Never used an F3 but...... If my head speaks, the brialliance of Canon EOS cameras is hard to deny. They were leagues ahead when they came out and arguably still are in terms of performance. They lose out to Nikon in terms of perceived solidity and build. I have heard pros comment that they are stronger as the placky exterior helps them to bounce and reduce shock to the insides and so are in fact harder to break (stop working) than metal bodied cameras. I didn't want to like them, plastic, plastic,plastic, but the embodiment of SLR flexibilty and raw performance. I own them and respect them but am not fond of them. I do think that they really shifted the goalposts and pushed SLR cameras to another level. To me, Leicas are lovely things, but I cannot vote for anything so unjustifiably expensive. They must cost peanuts to make (so much retooling required over the last 50 years, so much R&D.....yeah right). I would love to own one, but would never buy one as I would feel like I had been robbed. I take a rather cynical view of how Leica does business with the M series. One minute the M6 is the ultimate reportage camera, with no uneccessary frills. Owners scoff at those who need such faddish rubbish as TTL flash....then embrace the M6TTL whilst scoffing at the idea of any auto exposure....and embrace the M7, claiming that the camera keeps getting better and better but claim that progress is now not neccessary; it has all it needs right now. Leicas are a bit like religion and society. The values of a faith should never change or be compromised to fit in with modern living. People should adhere to the values if tehy have any well, value. When progress is innevitable and is accepted, it completely reduces to cobblers the arguments previously used to deny it and the validity of the values themselves! The original values deemed intrinsic, definitive and ultimately of divine origin are now regarded as archaic, barbaric, reducing the current values to mere reflections of our culture, today. When the M4s and M6s were new, microchippery flaunted by other cameras was unneccessary. Now that the M7 has come along, it is OK....cos its a Leica, see! Now we do need TTL/ auto exposure. Before, when those other cameras had it, it wasn't needed. The point is that Leica could have produce the M7 20 years ago, but did not. I doubt it was because they could not, but more likely because they have customers wrapped around their fingers and tehy simply did not need to. They now have the MP and the M7, covering both bases, but put the daft knurled round rewind knob on the MP (like this is as efficient as that on the M6/7) whilst claiming that it is now raw, purified, distilled photojournalistic perfection...(by going backwards in the opposite direction to those improvemts made by introducing a proper rewind lever)......oh wait, its the M7 that is the perfect tool...err, or was it the MP. They must really have had to invest cash to build the MP at 2000, MORE than the M7. They are taking the P***! Nonetheless, I still want one. With 50mm lens, 1000 would be about right.
If only another manufacturer vould hit Leica head on with seriously good build, stunning lenses etc with a similarly basic level of automation. Something less automated than the G2, but better built than the Voigtlanders, without the prblems of the Hexar RF. Basically a complete rip off of the M series, without the daft film loading (silent shutter mandatory). I am convinced if it was done, Leica would be reduced to the Cartier Bresson surfing fraud that it is. I still want one, because of what it is, not the name. I would gladly buy a competitor's rip off at 1/3 price that does the same job and is built as well and lose the name. I feel that Leica now run a shrewd business, serve their own interests well, but the photographic community (a member of which made them so famous) so very badly. Like Canon and Nikon, they could have moved things forward and produce serious tools to be used (those who use them because they are perfect for the job probably do so for that reason, namely because they have no alternative choice. The rest polish them.

Damn, I missed out the politics....

Come on bite, come on!

Tom