Yet I always have this uneasy feeling with Leica that they make the wrong choices. Partly by misjudgement and partly just because they lack the financial power of the Canons and Nikons of this world.
Once, back in the fifties, they had it all right with the M3. At that time Leica was top of the bill and gave a photographer all he could wish for. But then they got stuck in this concept. Until todays MP there was hardly any development. It was not until 2002 that Leica introduced automatic exposure in the M7. A feature that almost every Japanes brand had allready introduced in the seventies. The digital M came in 2006 with the M8. The third attempt after the failing 'Digital Modul' for the R range of cameras, and the micro fourthirds Digilux 3 (built by Panasonic). The M8 was a halfhearted attempt. It wasn't fullframe, which meant you suddenly were confronted with an entire 'new' set of lenses, due to the cropfactor. Besides there was the risk of a serious magenta colour cast due to the infrared/ultraviolet sensitivity. Happily with the M9 they got most of the problems right, but my goodness what a price tag. Of course Leica always meant a big price tag. In the past this meant big bucks for the best quality optics. But in the digital area the optics are only part of the story. The other part is all about the sensor and the software producing the image. So the best optices don't always guarantee the best pictures. It's the combination of optics, sensor and software which make the picture today. And there is where Leica loses the battle. The big Japanese can deliver comparable pictures for a much lower pricetag. The software compensates for the shortcomings in their zoom-it-all lenses. It's sad to say but I don't believe Leica will make it. They allready had to give up their SLR line. Also the introduction of the S2 won't save their neck. It's too much aimed at a niche market with a heavy contender like Hasselblad in the same niche and again a few Japanese like Mamiya and Pentax. I'm sorry to say but Leica has no future, no matter how much I like their quality products and classic craftmansship.