I have placed my order for this camera after some concern about the relatively flat looking files being posted which I've now resolved ... as the Beatles song goes ... "With a little help from my friends"
Thanks to Jono for supplying native MM DNGs of various subjects at a full range of ISOs in different lighting conditions.
Jono was also kind enough to supply a still life shot with the M9 and the MM at ISO400/320 respectively which allowed conversion to B&W and a direct comparison to the MM file with no variables except sensor type.
My good friend Irakly came by and we sat down to figure out how to process the MM files to achieve that "Leica Snap" (for lack of a better word) with B&W images ... the immediate observation was that true blacks were missing, which is what contributes to the over-all flat look. Our initial investagative process was not dissimilar to the approach needed when we went from B&W conversions of M8 files to the initially flatter looking converted M9 DNG files ... only this time the propritary MM processing technique was even more aggressive.
We began our effort by playing with the various B&W presets in the left dialog column, selecting the appropriate starting point for any given lighting scenario and/or ISO file.
Then we dealt with further assuring True Black, and fine tuning the other tonal areas.
Fortunately, LR4 has vastly improved the exposure controls to deal with it. By increasing the density with the black slider, then relieving the shadows (done to taste), plus increasing clarity and often contrast to different degrees, we were both satisfied relatively fast. Note, the adjustment of the "True Black" slider in LR4 was usually pretty aggressive, and to our surprise and delight, lifting of shadows did NOT result in increased noise ... such seems the nature of these MM files. True Black is far less affected by shadow adjustments in terms of degree, and remains true black even when shadows were restored. That is why they are separate controls I guess
I then processed the M9 color file, and the MM file of the same static subject ... Jono's famous "shelf pic".
Using best practices for M9 B&W developed over a couple of years use, I set about trying to match the over-all tonal spread and "snap" I expect from a Leica B&W image ... which was now easy to achieve with the MM file.
Interesting observation was how much sharper the MM file was when pixel peeping @ 100% and 200% ... the noise pattern on the MM file is much tighter and actually allowed some sharpening by increasing amount a lot and keeping the radius small (depending on ISO). The MM easily out resolves the M9 in these conditions. What percentage I'll leave to others to debate endlessly, but it is visibly sharper looking and cleaner by a good factor even without any additional sharpening.
I have a meeting in a few minutes, and when I get some more free time I'll post some results (thanks to Jono), in a SmugMug file and provide a link.
In the meantime, anyone with a DNG file, try playing around using some of the insights we discovered.
Hope this helps a little.