Leica S "arrogance" ??


There is an interview with the gentleman above on the Dpreview site here, which has stirred up some pretty negative comments.

Quotes like 
"People who ask about cameras like the D800 have never experienced medium format. They just look at the pixels, but the world is not only pixels. You can get small DSC cameras with 14, 16, 20MP but no-one asks 'should I buy that 500 Euro compact camera or a Canon EOS-1D X?'
This question comes only from people who have no experience of medium format at all." don't help.

A shame his comparison is meaningless and misleading. The difference between the pixel density of a small compact camera and a Canon with a 35mm sized sensor is huge, whereas the difference between the S2 and D800 isn't. Indeed some have queried whether the S2 can be classified as medium-format anyway.

S2 - 37.5 MP 30x45mm 
D800 36MP - 24x36mm. 

The mistake here is surely that basically patronising potential customers (and therefore buyers) of the camera only reinforces Leica's (unjustified) reputation as the creator of rich peoples playthings.

Now whatever the merits of the S system over a DSLR such as the D800, the reason why the Nikon is getting so much attention is how the costs stack up.

Lets look at the current S2 system. 
Body - Around the £17,500 mark
Lenses - 
24mm f/3.5 £5,300
35mm f/2.5 £4,500
70mm f/2.5 £3,400
120mm f/2.5 £5,000
30-90mm Zoom £7,300
180mm f/3.5 £5,000

The D800 can currently be bought in the UK for around £2,300. Lenses - well the choice is huge at all prices and all specifications.

In the current recession, professional photographers working in the commercial field have to offer what their clients perceive as value for money. Assuming that they can afford the S2 and some lenses in the first place, or indeed afford the cost of hiring such an outfit on a regular basis, they then would have to make that back, before they turn a profit. There are still obviously in-demand photographers to whom that isn't a problem, but I suspect that there are less of those than there used to be. When offering a price to a client, its obvious that the D800 user has an advantage, in that they aren't trying to recoup the considerable costs that the S2 owner has.

Now as I said, I'm not going into the S2 v D800 quality debate, other than to say that having run some S2 raw files through Photoshop, I saw nothing that changes my opinion about the D800 / D800E. Plus any differences that there might be are really not going to be that huge.  I'm also not going to go into the differences between the two in terms of handling, versatility and the ability to use the cameras in wide variety of situations, as I think its pretty obvious which camera has the advantage there.

Nothing to do with Leica, but if you want to see an interesting video on the D800 compared to MF (Not the S2), I've included one put out by The Camera Store below.



There are some interesting comments by the "Pros" here. I'll let you come to your own conclusions, but I must admit it did merely confirm what I think about certain commercial photographers and why they buy (and attempt to charge) what they do.

Medium Format digital users will of cause attempt to talk up their cameras, and because of how much they cost, why wouldn't they? However I think the video with its intense scrutiny of blown-up images on the screen to "spot the difference" speaks volumes.

As do the comments about why the pro's can't turn up to a job with a Nikon or Canon because somebody there might have the same camera. "And that we can't have" !!!!! And you thought it was only hobbyists / enthusiasts / amateurs who bought expensive cameras to make them look like proper photographers.

So, the remarks by the Leica man probably haven't helped to increase Leica's S system market share within the Pro market. Maybe it wasn't intended to do that anyway, but an exercise in confirming to their current customers just how "superior" they are.

Either way, its raised a few peoples blood pressure on either side of the debate. Ultimately, its still a case of You pays your money (If you have it in the first place) and you makes your choice. I've already made mine, its up to others to do the same. 



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