[LRflex] Re: The DMR as a Collectible.

  • From: William Abbott <wbabbott3@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: leicareflex@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 13:35:34 -0800

David wrote,

"It's the engineering dept, I worry about!"

I agree wholeheartedly, but it is particularly the systems  
engineering and program management functions that I worry about, not  
the excellent mechanical and electrical engineering and human  
interface design sections Leica undoubtedly has, because the digital- 
camera-in-the-user's-hand is now as much a creature of the sensor and  
the software as it is of the glass. That's what's new to Leica about  

This brings up three problems for Leica: choosing the optimum sensor  
technology, choosing an appropriate sensor source, and finding ways  
to successfully integrate that source into the development,  
production, and support phases. And doing the same for software.

Working productively with critical sources is an area in which Leica  
has not lately demonstrated an overabundance of competence, IMHO, but  
it  is the heart of the matter and the heart of my concern.

Thinking about legacy Leica-R glass, modern "expected" functionality,  
and sensors, I am struck by the absence of comments or information or  
guesses here about sensors, because it well may be that the future of  
the beloved Leica-R system depends more on the capabilities and  
promises of Kodak (or others in its industry) than anything Leica can  
do in its own house, much as many aircraft designs were critically  
dependent on their engine manufacturers, who sometimes delivered and  
sometimes didn't. Perhaps this group's experience isn't heavily  
directed towards sensors; I know virtually nothing about them.

I do recall that the DMR sensor "features" micro-lenses that redirect  
light rays from legacy glass to intersect the sensor perpendicularly  
but my guess is that that "feature" cannot be in the path to the  
future because of cost.

Gary Todoroff's "Lympa," a marriage of Leica-R glass and an Olympus  
E-330 digital body, may presage our future because Leica, Olympus,  
and Kodak are members of the Four Thirds group, and Leica already has  
a Four Thirds product, the V-Lux 1. Based on the Lympa, I expect the  
R10 to preserve backward compatibility with legacy glass, but only in  
a limited sense, omitting many of the new features available with new  
glass. That is also what Nikon did.

For more go to:
http://www.four-thirds.org/en/about/group.html (very interesting in  
http://www.northcoastphotos.com/Lympa.htm (very interesting in  

There is an old joke about a kid who wanted a pony for Christmas and  
someone left him a pile of horse manure under a his Christmas tree as  
a cruel prank. The kid, seeing the pile, starts pawing through it,  
and says, "I know there's a pony in there somewhere!"

I sure hope so.

As ever,


On Feb 10, 2007, at 11:28 AM, David Young wrote:

At 10/02/2007, you wrote:
> David,
> I agree with all of your points, BUT, unless Leica can somehow slip  
> their R&D
> budget into the U.S. Defense Department budget ( or somehow get VP  
> Dick
> Cheney & his "Buddies" at Halliburton to buy into Leica), they'll be
> a few Euros
> short of what's needed.
> Art

I don't think so.  ACM, the new owners, have VERY deep pockets, and
are committed to making Leica a viable, commercial success.

It's the engineering dept, I worry about!


David Young,
Logan Lake, CANADA

Wildlife Photographs: http://www.telyt.com/
Personal Web-pages: http://www3.telus.net/~telyt

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