What do you expect from a new rangefinder camera?
The answer is not so simple.  The Leica M9 or M9P is still the unique available rangefinder camera.  Its feature is basic, but less is more.
Don’t forget Epson R-D1 was indeed the first ever digital rangefinder camera introduced in 2004 but sorry the project is now dead.  The first digital rangefinder camera from Leica camera was the M8 released two years later in 2006.
The Leica M has a long history.  The first Leica camera, also the Barnack’s camera, i.e. the Leica I, was first introduced in 1925. But  it was not until 1932 the successor the Leica II and the Contax I were truly rangefinder cameras. In 1954, M lens mount was introduced with the Leica M3. since then the system has been used on various film models and the latest digital model the M9.
The question is: will there be any further refinement of the rangefinder camera? In six to seven weeks time, Leica camera will announce some interesting news.  What is on its mind?
Everyone is speculating a new model or some interesting news, a rumored M10 or X2? If you want to know more, visit these expectations on Leica Rumors site.
For me, I am waiting to see another new M series, but don’t rebrand M9 or M9P with only cosmetic changes in so called limited editions.
According to Wikipedia, a rangefinder is a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus. Thanks to Nick Devlin who reminds me in his Fujifilm X-Pro 1 review posted on Luminous Landscape that X-Pro 1 is not a rangefinder because it has no such mechanism. Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is has many unique features but it is not a rangefinder camera.  Its success is built on the innovation of the hybrid style design, between a rangefinder and a DSLR in the 35mm format. So will Leica camera give us some surprises?
Further refinement on the current M9 may be only a dream.  The following is my wish list:

  • A higher resolution LCD monitor (1000K dot 3:2)
  • CCD Sensor cleaning function
  • Higher image sensor (24 MP?)
  • Higher ISO (usable up to ISO6400)
  • Faster card storage speed

After all, a rangefinder has its uniqueness and limitation.  But for everyone who loves to take photography would be happy to see something really innovative and ground-breaking, not just incremental.
Stay tuned.

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