The Leica M9, as a pro-hobbyist photographer ⇒

Marco Arment:

The Leica M9 is disappointing, especially for $6,500, and clearly not a good fit for our purposes.

Once upon a time I had access to some amazing camera gear including a Leica M8, the company’s first digital camera. I was so mystified by its abilities I plunked down money for my very own Leica CL, a camera I sold with all of my other film gear a few years back.

I hope Marco gives the rangefinder system another try sometime. It’s a bitch to get the hang of and absolutely terrible for capturing fleeting moments, especially of a child. However, once you get the hang of it, you start seeing photos without holding the camera up to your eye. The whole world becomes a set of images waiting to be captured.

With an SLR I always feel like I’m exiting the moment to hide behind my camera; with my Leica I could see the framelines in the world around me, and in turn find the right moments to capture as they unfolded. This, I imagine, is why rangefinders are a staple of street and war photography.

But they’re tough as hell for capturing fast-moving kids.