19 September 2007


Leica's SLR lets you swap film and digital backs

Leica R9 Modul R film-digital hybrid SLRThe Leica camera company (there's a loving profile here) takes an interesting approach with their R9 SLR camera: you can choose either an analog film or a digital "Modul R" back for the same camera.

No other manufacturer offers anything like that for a 35 mm SLR. Of course, the R9 by itself costs about $3200 USD (no lens—those cost thousands too, and I don't think any are autofocus), with the 10-megapixel Modul R back running another $6000 (!) or so. That's even crazier than the latest Nikon and Canon DSLR beasts.

But you know, it is Leica. If I had $9000+—USD—okay, with lenses, probably $12,000 just to get started—to spend on a DSLR (and I sure don't), I might consider the R9 Modul R over the Canon 1-Ds Mark III, just for the pure snob factor—and the much cooler name.

UPDATE: Here is the Leica M8, a more traditional rangefinder-style Leica, now in digital form, which I would very much like to try, though probably not own, someday:

The controversial Leica M8 rangefinder digital camera

It's quite controversial and very pricey ($5000 USD, no lens), but has great value for some people. For some it might even keep them alive (or at least get better candid photos) because it is much less obtrusive than an SLR.

Labels: , , , ,


wow, totally unaffordable, and yet totally awesome.
Lots more comments at Flickr for this photo.
Looks like the Modul R digital back is now discontinued—the web page no longer even exists. Makes sense, since the technology was aging, and I don't think the digital back sold very well.
Too expensive, I'll stick to my Hasselblad. ;)
Actually I have an old minilux that I have taken everywhere and it is still a fantastic 2nd cam for me.
They don't make it anymore, but there is this thing.