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What must said about this early group of "reviews" is that the writers were all most assuredly very carefully selected by Leica, presumably on the assumption that they would write "friendly" dispatches about the new camera. Leica will not have been disappointed by all of the present gushing, either. I do not say this out of churlishness. For better and worse, I am an M8 owner. I want very much for the M9 to be a success. I also, however, keenly remember how this murky business of what I'll call "in-group" reviewers steered a lot of people badly wrong about the not inexpensive M8. There were few if any adequate warnings and in most cases no warnings at all from this crowd about the very substantial shortcomings of the M8. When some of these very same reviewers were subsequently forced to acknowledge major issues, such as the handicapped IR design, requiring outboard filters for lenses, software issues, shutter noise, battery issues, frameline woes -- and I could go on and on, they expended a great deal of energy on their sites and on other forums essentially making allowances for Leica and for the M8, judging that these problems were a small price to pay for this great new camera, with its great "files quality." Would that their readers have been placed in a position to make such judgments for themselves, fully armed with thorough and objective reviews prior to purchase. This should not be construed as an attack on Leica, on the M8 (or M9) or even on the reviewers, who one deliberately leaves unnamed. It is, however, an attack on the troubling coziness that exists in this business that often passes off self-interested boosterism for journalism. As a start, one would like to see much greater disclosure about the relationships between these reviewers and their subjects, in this case, Leica. Howard French
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2009 on Leica M9 Links at The Online Photographer