If you read my last post, you know that I was thinking about if the Leica M-D 262 was the camera for me or not. I had this idea that a digital camera without a rear LCD would be the ultimate shooting experience. When I saw one for sale, I decided to try it out. This is now about half a year ago – and I now have a final verdict about the Leica M-D 262. Spoiler: It is not for me.
The idea of not having a rear LCD, not having any options at all – just turning the camera on and shoot – is very appealing to me. I do believe there is far too many options in todays cameras. I am quite certain that most people use only the automatic settings. Some use more advanced settings – but after a while you find your favorite settings and stick to them. Often advanced photographers use RAW-files – and with RAW-files most of the settings doesn’t matter anyway.
The M-D 262 is a camera that gives you no options at all – just turn it on and shoot. This part I loved. But I soon realized that I could not use the M-D as I had hoped. A month after I got the M-D I was asked if I could take some shots of a building at night, as I was on a work trip. At first I said – yes of course. But then I started thinking. I had my M-D with me – but I had forgotten my SD-card reader for my Ipad at home. I had no way of knowing if I had got an acceptable picture. Of course I could shoot multiple exposures – but still I would not be sure that I got the picture. I didn’t like that feeling. As I shoot for my self it is ok – but when I, from time to time get some kind of mission, I like to have a camera that support me. I am not good enough to only trust in myself to make exactly the perfect exposure and focus.
Another thing I found out was that I like to walk around, take pictures, experience things – and after a while sit down and look through what I got. I often erase bad pictures direct in the camera, to minimize the time spent at the computer. This way I can get home with 20 reasonably good pictures instead of 200 that I have to sort in the computer. Over the years I have learned which pictures that I like and which I don’t like. It can be the exposure, the focus or the composition. I see no point in keeping pictures I am not pleased with…
I also like to be able to shoot in JPG-mode. The black and white JPG:s from the M240 was (and are) fantastic. As long as I can nail the exposure with in a step or two, there is no reason to try and make a black and white ot of a RAW-file – at least not for personal photos. Again – as little time as possible in front of the computer. The M-D allows only RAW-files, so no JPG BNW there.
All the pictures in this post are unedited jpg:s from my M240P (not the pictures of the cameras – they are shot with my Iphone). Why not pictures from the M-D? Well…to be honest – they would look exactly the same…
Last but not least. I like to shoot in a city by night. I also do a lot of indoor photography. Shooting with the M-D in the night/indoor can be very tricky if one is not really good in judging the exposure. These are situations where having a rear LCD is very handy. The other week I finally gave up. I started to look for a M240 again. I found a nice M240P and switched back to a camera with a LCD again. After a week with the M240P I am very glad to be back with a LCD again.
All the things I have written about the M-D are not things that came to me as a complete surprise. I just under estimated what it would be like to shoot digital-analoge photography. It is very much like shooting film back in the old days. In an earlier post I wrote that the M-D 262 was my dream camera. It was true – in the year 2001. Not any more.