One of the cameras which is truly great is the older Leica M9. To me, it’s far more interesting, sexy, and beautiful than the newer Leica M240, and even the newest Leica M10.
If you go on eBay and search for used Leica M9 cameras, you can find them in the sub-$2500 range. The best bang for the buck for a digital rangefinder!!! Or apparently you can get a refurbished Leica M9 a la carte according to Jonathan Slack:
Cameras come in Black Paint and Chrome.
M9 is €2,800
M9p is €3,000
Or for direct service email Michel-Alexandre Razafimahefa at Leica Customer Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leica M9 CCD sensor looks better for color photos when compared to the Leica M240 sensor.
Also, the ergonomics, design, and menu of the Leica M9 is better than the Leica M240. The Leica M9 feels Bauhaus design inspired, the Leica M240 is a strange chimera with design compromises (why did they add a video button?)
In praise of Leica M8
My friend Bil Brown lent me his Leica M8.2 one day, and I shot it RAW and I was amazed by the ability to play with the RAW files to process it into monochrome.
Function-wise, it’s clunky and slow. But it produces great photographs, and gives you the true rangefinder experience.
Used Leica M8 or M9 over Fujifilm?
This is what I’ve discovered in my experience:
Everyone is curious about the Leica rangefinder M experience, and secretly everyone wants to own a Leica M (whether film or digital).
And this is the funny thing:
Cameras are more charming when they’re imperfect and a bit fussy and flawed and impractical.
For example shooting with a Leica M is like driving a Ferrari; the Ferrari isn’t practical. Shooting with a Fujifilm camera is like driving a Lexus; perfect in every way, but lacking some sort of soul, sexiness, or character. And shooting with a Sony seems like you’re just using a soulless computer-camera-device (too focused on technical and specs, not aesthetics, design, and beauty).