Tuesday, 22 September 2009

To Leica M9 or not

One of the coolest things about Leica film cameras is that they seem to live for ever. My Leica CL is over 30 years old but I had it serviced by Leica recently, and I hope that it will now last another 30 years. The fact that Leica still service the CL, which was not even made by Leica, is amazing.

Leica equipment does not lose its resale value as fast as other brands. Therefore, owning Leica equipment is a sound investment in the long term as you can sell off stuff and get a decent amount of your investment back.

With the digital cameras, of course, this model may not work that well. As soon as the next camera is released, the older model starts loosing value immediately, and in a few years time, is worth a fraction of the original cost. You can already see that prices of used M8s have started falling. Nevertheless, I hope that Leica M8 cameras will hold their value longer compared to other brands. This will be true if Leica continue to service these cameras for several more years. Unfortunately it is hard to imagine that the M8 will be useful 30 years from now.

The problem with owning the M9 is that it is so expensive that you would be nervous carrying it with you everywhere. Certainly for someone like me, it would be big investment, and I would be worried about it getting stolen. Whereas the Ricoh GRD 3 is much cheaper, and pocketable as well, therefore I am carefree when I have it with me. And should GRD 4 come out next year, it would not cost much to upgrade.

For anyone addicted to upgrading their digital camera every year, investing in compacts makes more sense. Of course, when it comes to the quality of images, the large image sensor of the M9 or the DSLRs are much better.

So should I start saving for the M9 or not?

Maybe not. I am content for now with the combination of Nikon D300 and the Ricoh GR Digital 3.

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