Okay, in all honesty, my Leica M8 is my play camera. No, I did not say, “toy camera.” That would be a Holga or a cell phone camera. Those are toy cameras.
My Leica is my “challenge myself” camera. Honestly, I suck pretty bad at it right now. Of course it is full manual, but that’s how I shoot my Nikons 90% of the time, too. Yes, it has all fixed focal-length lenses. But, that’s how I shoot everything. I don’t use zoom lenses much. All of my last Haiti trip was shot from 4 prime lenses.
The thing I enjoy most about using the Leica – but what makes it such a difficult camera to use – is the technological limitations. Honestly, its old. What other cameras were big in 2006? The Nikon D2x? Seriously, old camera. Horrible JPEG’s, gotta shoot in RAW all the time, the biggest card it will take is 4GB, atrocious ISO noise… the list goes on.
But if there was a digital camera that captures the essence of using a film camera that just happens to be digital… the Leica M8 is unrivaled.
Yes, I can shoot my D700 and D7000 up at 12,000ISO all day long and get cleaner images than the M8 at 1250ISO, but where is the realistic “film” thought process to that. As cameras get more and more technologically advanced, the trade-outs and the thinking is being taken out of digital photography.
A Leica M8 puts that back in for me. When I go overseas on assignment, I will be shooting the D700 and will probably upgrade to the D800 as soon as it is pre-orderable. But… I will be THINKING when I taken the photographs. Not just hoping for the best thing the camera things is best.
Thank you, Leica, for making a digital film camera…