Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/13

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Subject: [Leica] Vacation... lighten up, why digital?
From: pfang <pfang56@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 12:27:53 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Luggers -

>I understand the achilles heel of digital cameras is
>digital storage.
>Even a 16MB smart media card will only hold 4 "high"
>resolution pics
>from a 1.5 or 2.x megapixel camera. Even with a
>handful of these pricy
>cards you will have to edit and transfer the data to
>a laptop every day. Who
>would want to do that on vacation? And carry a
laptop?

As stated earlier in my previous Europe advice post, I
will be carrying a Sony S70 digital camera ALONG with
my 2 M6s.

The sony s70 camera is pretty amazing -- with its
effective 35-105 / 2-2.5 Carl Zeiss zoom lens and 3.3
megapixels, I've taken some very high quality shots
printed on a color printer. Resolution wise, I would
argue that at 8x10, the quality is pretty close to
35mm shooting 400 grain film.

Here's the proposition - I normally get about a 4-6%
hit rate on true "keeper" shots shooting with 35mm. On
a normal trip, I would carry about 30 rolls of film
(or 1000 frames), costing around 150 bucks for 40 to
60 "keeper" shots. With the digital camera, I get to
review and delete "bad" shots and retain the keepers. 
40-50 full res shots fits on a single Sony 64mb memory
stick, which costs about 120 bucks. 

Afterwards, I can download these prints on my computer
in about 5 minutes, through the supplied USB cable.
Using the photo software, I can print these "keepers"
on a standard inkjet (Epson 870, $300) for about 0.25
- -0.50 per 8x10, at a rate of 2 per minute. Overall,
just a bit cheaper and faster than regular 35mm.

So why aren't my Leica's on eBay? Here's why:
1) At 100 speed, there's no comparison in resolution
2) Can't do true black and white without manipulation
3) No "decisive moment shots" - digital camera needs
to process exposure for at least a second b4 shooting
4) Drop the M6 - no problem. Drop the S70 - big
problem.

Overall, I would argue that this digital camera is
certainly not a significant burden or cost to use.
Just wait until Leica unleashes its first 6mp digital
camera in a year or so...

Cheers,

Peter

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