Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/02/19

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Subject: RE: [Leica] RE: The M7d
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 19:30:30 -0500

Thanks, Jim, I'm amazed to say that all makes sense to me - sort of. Not
amazed that you explained it, but amazed that I can understand it. So your
basic point is that putting the electronic shutter in the M doesn't
accomplish anything in terms of ultimate readying the camera for a digital

BUT...IF...Leica was to come up with some sort of add-one to turn the M into
a digital rangefinder camera, couldn't that unit conceivably be removable,
allowing one to chose between shooting with film in the traditional manner,
or shooting with the digital unit? And, if they were thinking along those
lines, wouldn't having an electronic shutter make it easier to "lock" the
shutter open for use with the digital unit?

I realize all this is typical LUG mental masturbation, but what the hell...

B. D.

- -----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Jim Brick
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 6:48 PM
Subject: [Leica] RE: The M7d

I do respect your opinion on many things BD.

But just so you are a little more informed, digital sensors do "not"
require a shutter The shutter is a pulse to the sensor substrate that, in
lay terms, opens the pixels to collect light, then closes them. The pulse
width determines the shutter speed. The camera shutter basically does
nothing. Many cameras have "live" mode where the LCD on the back acts like
a live viewfinder. To do this, the camera shutter, if there is one, is open
in what we used to call "T" or Time exposure. Basically the shutter is
simply out of the way. The sensor is in a decimation mode in that it only
delivers every 4th pixel row and 4th column. This allows the image to be
read out fast enough to update the LCD reasonably rapidly. The decimation
is also to size the image down to the LCD size. Then when you push the
"shutter release", you are simply sending a pulse to the sensor to capture
the image, at full resolution, at whatever "shutter speed" has been
selected. The shutter noise coming out of 99% of the digital cameras is a
.wav file sent to a speaker in the camera.


At 03:48 PM 2/19/2002 -0500, B. D. Colen wrote:

>THAT is the proverbial $64K question. I was speaking with another LUGer the
>other day who speculated that PERHAPS the electronic shutter was being put
>in the M because that might then give Leica what it needed to produce what
>would amount to a digital back - imaging a digital capture unit that would
>fit into the back door area, with more electronics, etc. that would sit
>below the camera, a bit like the Kodak digitization of the Nikon F5 - If
>didn't care about having a "traditional" LCD viewing screen, you might then
>have a digital rangefinder using M lenses...and there would be no reason
>an LCD couldn't fit into the hot shoe, connected by a short cord to the
>bottom unit, which would allow viewing images as soon as they were taken.
>Just total, utter, speculation - and I know, Jim B., it would be a total
>piece of shit that would produce images unworthy of Leica - in fact they
>would be images unworthy of being called photographs of any kind. :-)
>B. D.

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