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Ditching M11, getting M10-R?

  
 
1bwana1
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


quasitime wrote:
Not to thread derail the thread too much, but makes you wonder about the underlying financials of Leica products.

For example, for each let's say $9000 camera sold, how much is profit? How much of that profit goes back into marketing dollars, versus R&D, logistics, retail, service & support, and all the rest?

I guess what I'm wondering at the same time, is why does Leica struggle so much in some areas such as post sales support? Is it a lack of funding internally, or more of supply chain and talent constraints?


As a privately held company we don't have insight to financials. Dr Kaufman recently said that Leica is having its best year ever. So, presumably there is money to put towards customer service issues if he desired to do so.



Jun 10, 2024 at 07:59 PM
johnvanr
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


1bwana1 wrote:
As a privately held company we don't have insight to financials. Dr Kaufman recently said that Leica is having its best year ever. So, presumably there is money to put towards customer service issues if he desired to do so.


They obviously also have a completely different approach to their marketing. No other brand has stores, which must cost Leica a fortune to maintain, esp. since they’re typically in the nice areas of major cities.



Jun 11, 2024 at 02:13 AM
panos.v
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


johnvanr wrote:
That’s what I find so hard to believe, that there isn’t a simple combination of button presses to reset the camera or a device that stores have to connect to a camera and reset it.

Leica told me today that a reset in Wetzlar should not take more than an hour. The story changes completely if the circuit board is somehow affected, which I understand. I’m just wondering how many cameras are just sitting there waiting to be looked at, before someone can do the job in no time.


Up until 18 years ago they sold the same camera they did for the last 50 years. So their service department could be the same 10 guys fixing the same issue with parts that the same 10 suppliers send them.

Now, they are building a much more complex product which is well outside their core competency of making mechanical stuff. They are effectively a consumer electronics business. That is a whole different set of skills. They still operate and think like they are selling M3 and M6s yet their support people need to be constantly updating their skills and so are their hardware and software people. This is not so much a money issue, it is a mindset and organisational issue.

Example, if you never did an electronic camera before you would come up with some process where a firmware update is a fragile approach. It makes sense because "it is the user's fault if it goes wrong" and keeps your costs lower as you don't have to spend too much time making it robust, neither do you add extra hardware to facilitate it.

Then again, if you knew a thing about electornics you'd say "well we could do it like that but that would lead to x returns which means that much more money in warranty repairs + reputational cost vs spending an extra $100k on software development and adding an extra $2 in hardware cost per camera".

Also...if you have a team working on the firmware/OS and another on image processing & storage, for all you know they never crossed the lines to say "can we use that 128GB for software updates" vs "we have 2MB for the software update". So that's where your organisational structure and culture comes in.

The leadership then comes into play because if they know the above but keep pushing for new releases the engineers never have time to go and improve that stuff. If the money keeps rolling in though...maybe they are right. Who cares.

Or maybe Leica should just not let users do software updates, they should be invited back to the stores where they make them a coffee and then have an hour to sell them some more stuff while the tech person in the back room is reflashing the camera. Talk about a white glove service! You're welcome Leica.



Jun 11, 2024 at 04:46 AM
johnvanr
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


panos.v wrote:
Up until 18 years ago they sold the same camera they did for the last 50 years. So their service department could be the same 10 guys fixing the same issue with parts that the same 10 suppliers send them.

Now, they are building a much more complex product which is well outside their core competency of making mechanical stuff. They are effectively a consumer electronics business. That is a whole different set of skills. They still operate and think like they are selling M3 and M6s yet their support people need to be constantly updating their skills and so are
...Show more

You may well be right, but at the same time, Leica's app is among the best apps by camera manufacturers. But, yes, I often wonder to what extent Leica depends on Panasonic for a lot of their tech and whether talk of Panasonic leaving the camera business would cause a crisis at Leica.



Jun 11, 2024 at 05:06 AM
311erin
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


“That could be. The app is still Leica’s responsibility, though.”

Leica is indeed facing challenges in transitioning to more tech-centric products. Unlike Sony, which has a vast market cap of around $104.49 billion and extensive resources, Leica lacks the same financial strength and experience in the tech space. Sony's long-standing presence in the market and significant investments in technology enable it to offer a superior user experience. In contrast, Leica's smaller market cap limits its ability to compete on the same level. Regardless, Leica needs to catch up.



Jun 11, 2024 at 06:20 AM
stgrove
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


311erin wrote:
“That could be. The app is still Leica’s responsibility, though.”

Leica is indeed facing challenges in transitioning to more tech-centric products. Unlike Sony, which has a vast market cap of around $104.49 billion and extensive resources, Leica lacks the same financial strength and experience in the tech space. Sony's long-standing presence in the market and significant investments in technology enable it to offer a superior user experience. In contrast, Leica's smaller market cap limits its ability to compete on the same level. Regardless, Leica needs to catch up.


IMHO, Sony's "SUPERIOR USER EXPERINCE" is certainly lacking in their UI for cameras with overly complicated menus.

To me it is tech over done.



Jun 11, 2024 at 06:24 AM
retrofocus
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


quasitime wrote:
Not to thread derail the thread too much, but makes you wonder about the underlying financials of Leica products.

For example, for each let's say $9000 camera sold, how much is profit? How much of that profit goes back into marketing dollars, versus R&D, logistics, retail, service & support, and all the rest?

I guess what I'm wondering at the same time, is why does Leica struggle so much in some areas such as post sales support? Is it a lack of funding internally, or more of supply chain and talent constraints?


I suspect that > 50% of the initial camera price is just for the brand name. M-based cameras have more mechanical parts due to the rangefinder - this will increase cost of manufacturing a bit. To me, a "fair" price of a Leica M without the brand markup would fall into the $3500 price range (still profit included in there).



Jun 11, 2024 at 07:17 AM
1bwana1
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?




stgrove wrote:
IMHO, Sony's "SUPERIOR USER EXPERINCE" is certainly lacking in their UI for cameras with overly complicated menus.

To me it is tech over done.


I find the menus in Sony's recent cameras well organized, logical, and considering the great power of the cameras easy to learn. The Leicas do less so have many less menu items to learn.

Sony may be a tech powerhouse but the problems with the latest camera updates were much worse than any I have encountered with a Leica.



Jun 11, 2024 at 08:44 AM
stgrove
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


1bwana1 wrote:
I find the menus in Sony's recent cameras well organized, logical, and considering the great power of the cameras easy to learn. The Leicas do less so have many less menu items to learn.

Sony may be a tech powerhouse but the problems with the latest camera updates were much worse than any I have encountered with a Leica.


Must admit I have not been "back" to Sony forever and do not want to start with them again. They just lack shooting character to me.
I do like their sensors in my Leicas, Phase, Fuji and Hasselblad cameras.



Jun 11, 2024 at 06:03 PM
flash
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


panos.v wrote:
Up until 18 years ago they sold the same camera they did for the last 50 years. So their service department could be the same 10 guys fixing the same issue with parts that the same 10 suppliers send them.

Now, they are building a much more complex product which is well outside their core competency of making mechanical stuff. They are effectively a consumer electronics business. That is a whole different set of skills. They still operate and think like they are selling M3 and M6s yet their support people need to be constantly updating their skills and so are
...Show more

The M8 was released in 2006. Hardly a recent thing.

Gordon



Jun 11, 2024 at 06:10 PM
 


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d.s.
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


retrofocus wrote:
To me, a "fair" price of a Leica M without the brand markup would fall into the $3500 price range (still profit included in there).


Isn’t Leica’s cost for the rangefinder assembly alone over $1k?



Jun 11, 2024 at 08:26 PM
Desmolicious
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


panos.v wrote:
Up until 18 years ago they sold the same camera they did for the last 50 years. So their service department could be the same 10 guys fixing the same issue with parts that the same 10 suppliers send them.

Now, they are building a much more complex product which is well outside their core competency of making mechanical stuff. They are effectively a consumer electronics business. That is a whole different set of skills. They still operate and think like they are selling M3 and M6s yet their support people need to be constantly updating their skills and so are
...Show more



“Now, they are building a much more complex product which is well outside their core competency of making mechanical stuff. “

They never used to build cameras that scratch film, but now they do so it seems that core competency of making mechanical stuff has passed them too.



Jun 11, 2024 at 11:02 PM
quasitime
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


This is where it gets tricky to me. Positioning themselves in the luxury space throws everything off. If the camera was more affordable, would they be able to keep up with production? Getting the camera at a lower price into more hands might even be something that fundamentally doesn't match their business model. Just think of the support pressure that would generate, when they already seem to be underwater.

On the other side of the table, something like the Fuji X100VI might be priced too low. It is within reach of most consumers, and gets snapped up by flippers due to the shortages - which in turn create even more of a shortage. Fuji could probably price it at $1800, which might actually decrease demand and make it more available. Maybe?

retrofocus wrote:
I suspect that > 50% of the initial camera price is just for the brand name. M-based cameras have more mechanical parts due to the rangefinder - this will increase cost of manufacturing a bit. To me, a "fair" price of a Leica M without the brand markup would fall into the $3500 price range (still profit included in there).




Jun 12, 2024 at 01:24 AM
panos.v
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?



flash wrote:
The M8 was released in 2006. Hardly a recent thing.

Gordon


Yes. So 18 years can be both a long and not so long time in organisational thinking and culture. What I mean is that the recurring issues on release of practically every model (maybe not the 240 so much) shows that Leica is simply not learning from the recent past Vs being firmly rooted in the distant past. And as Huss said, with the scratchy film cameras even the distant past is now more of a nostalgic feeling than practical. If it makes sense...



Jun 12, 2024 at 02:55 AM
pmeheut
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


d.s. wrote:
Isn’t Leica’s cost for the rangefinder assembly alone over $1k?


For years now, retrofocus explains what Leica should do but usually show he knows nothing about their business model, constraints, history...
This is the usual backseat driving but in this case we have someone who never learned to drive explaining to a Formula 1 world champion what he should do.



Jun 12, 2024 at 04:32 AM
johnvanr
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


pmeheut wrote:
For years now, retrofocus explains what Leica should do but usually show he knows nothing about their business model, constraints, history...
This is the usual backseat driving but in this case we have someone who never learned to drive explaining to a Formula 1 world champion what he should do.


I don’t think this comment is called for.



Jun 12, 2024 at 05:18 AM
stgrove
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


Back on subject, I have a comment about the German work culture from my experiences. Often in the past there was not an open work culture where problems and solutions were freely offered . Often it was instilled in the employees minds that the bosses knew better and one shouldn't question them.

I have had more than one of each Leica M camera from the M9 onwards up to and including the M11 and M11M. There were spurts where Leica took gambles with new product which proved to be genius, such as the original M9 Monochrom. However, I often felt Leica was embracing the new electronics in cameras without much depth of experience within the company.

The German culture is most interesting and having lived and worked in Germany as a boss and as a subordinate I thus formed my views as expressed above. I in no way criticize any German company or employee, but make my observations from the viewpoint of someone who respects the German work ethic and quality normally found in most German products made in Germany.

That said we all know every manufacturer embraces global sourcing and perhaps there are foreign parts used in Leica cameras which in the end are not up to the German standard of excellence. Is this why some M11 perform flawlessly while others do not perform to the end users satisfaction? I do not know, but suspect that might be the case.

Just my 2 cents.




Jun 12, 2024 at 06:25 AM
1bwana1
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?




stgrove wrote:
Back on subject, I have a comment about the German work culture from my experiences. Often in the past there was not an open work culture where problems and solutions were freely offered . Often it was instilled in the employees minds that the bosses knew better and one shouldn't question them.

I have had more than one of each Leica M camera from the M9 onwards up to and including the M11 and M11M. There were spurts where Leica took gambles with new product which proved to be genius, such as the original M9 Monochrom. However, I often felt Leica
...Show more


It is in the end Leicas responsibility to source quality vendors of course.



Jun 12, 2024 at 06:34 AM
stgrove
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


1bwana1 wrote:
It is in the end Leicas responsibility to source quality vendors of course.


True. Can you imagine how many worldwide vendors are trying to sell little Leica various parts. It must keep more than one employee busy day and night. Then comes the testing, acceptance or rejection, etc, etc. AND then, finding out that initial testing and acceptance was based on the suppliers hand picked samples, but when a batch of product hit Leica the QC was not acceptable across the board.



Jun 12, 2024 at 06:56 AM
brick33308
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Ditching M11, getting M10-R?


I got friendly with a person high up with Leica U.S. customer service who helped me when my Q3 bricked. Rather than make me wait indefinitely for repair as N.J. Leica repair was going to do, she intervened and got me a brand new Q3 replacement which I promptly sold and recouped my original purchase price. I told her I was going to get a new M11, and she told me (of course off the record and not to be attributed to her) that I should hold off doing that because the M11 is plagued by the same electronics issues that the Q3 suffers from. So I ended up getting a mint M10 from KEH that has performed flawlessly. I considered the M10R which was available for $1000 more. Although price wasn't an object, I decided to go with the 24mp sensor of the M10 instead of the higher 44ish mp of the M10R. Regardless, I think any M10 model is the way you should go.

And don't let the snottiness of some Leica employees steer you away from the enjoyment of shooting with a Leica rangefinder. Not all of them are that way. I had a WONDERFUL experience dealing with the owner of the Leica Rancho Mirage CA store when I bought the 35/1.4 lux steel rim reissue, and wouldn't hesitate to deal with him again in the future.

Perhaps whenever the M12 comes out and acquires a good reputation after some time I could be interested in getting one. But for now I will continue to enjoy and shoot my M10 with truly fabulous Leica glass every chance I get.



Jun 12, 2024 at 08:41 AM
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