I review cameras for several magazines. My priority is to see if the  camera lives up to the manufacturers’ claims. However it is difficult to test how solid and indestructible a camera is other than how it feels. No one intentionally drops a camera to see if it holds up. I was recently testing a Leica M9 full frame digital camera at a regional park near my home when a bizarre incident occurred. As I bent down to take a picture the M9’s shoulder strap formed a loop, which an off leash dog put his head through and ran off snapping the camera out of my hands. For 30 seconds the pooch ran the M9 into muddy puddles and bouncing off of rocks before I caught up to him. Bottom line- except for a few scratches, the M9 took the licking and kept on ticking and resumed performing perfectly as if nothing happened.  I can say with authority that the M9 magnesium alloy body is built like a tank.

By Steve Baczewski

Steve Baczewski started taking pictures at the age of six. His early influences include Henri Cartier Bresson, Richard Avedon,Dorothea Lange and Margaret Burke White. He has a degree in Photography and currently works as a freelance writer, professional photographer, graphic designer and consultant. He teaches classes in both traditional and digital photography. A Contributing Writer for Layers and Photoshop User, Steve Baczewski covers Graphics-related software and hardware.