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Thread: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

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    Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    HI There
    Sean Reid has put up his piece on the file quality of the new M compared to both the M9 and the MM - it makes interesting reading.

    Well worth the price of entry if you are considering buying the new Leica (there will be more coming, including comparisons with the Sony RX1 and Merill cameras)

    Reid Reviews

    all the best

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Just read the review and its excellent intelligence for any potential M user .

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Loved it! Nice index page!
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    +1.

    This is such an important decision going forward, that I broke down and paid the subscription fee to read Reid's review to add to the mix of sources.

    I particularly like the very controlled studio test that eliminates variables going in ... with field work to follow. IMO, Sean was very even-handed in is interpretive analysis. Well done.

    I still preferred the M9 rendering up to 640/800, but concede that final LR profiles may change that. I am 100% with him regarding the banding at 3200 and 6400 because in practice the light source temperatures at those ISOs tends to be less than stellar. Hopefully, at least 3200 can be dealt with before full production.

    The notion of a M240 1.3 stop gain in ISO performance over the M9 after ISO 800 (give or take), poses a serious question for those that may, or may not, have the need. Personal applications for a rangefinder is the guide for that, and whether one has other low light options in their gear box. Or whether (like me), one prefers B&W and has a MM for that.

    -Marc
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I've been on the waiting list from Day 1, and I'm still not quite sure that I'm all in.

    Sean's review really shows how great the M9 (still) is and how great the MM is at B&W. I prefer the look of the M9 from base ISO - 640 or so, but the noise from the M240 is acceptable to me through ISO 4000 or 5000 -- assuming no banding.

    I have always disregarded banding if it wasn't visible with a 1-shop push, and I've always considered an image (and an ISO) unusable if the banding is visible without push.

    That leaves the M240 in an awkward spot for me, at least right now. If the banding is sometimes visible at 3200, I would consider the real maximum ISO of this camera to be something less than that, which really doesn't improve the maximum setting over the M9 much (if any). Granted, the files are cleaner at ISO 1250-2000, which I very much appreciate and highly value, but I really need to go to 3200-4000 regularly.

    There's much to like about the new camera, but the banding matters to me a good bit. I guess we'll see.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jffielde View Post
    That leaves the M240 in an awkward spot for me, at least right now. If the banding is sometimes visible at 3200, I would consider the real maximum ISO of this camera to be something less than that, which really doesn't improve the maximum setting over the M9 much (if any). Granted, the files are cleaner at ISO 1250-2000, which I very much appreciate and highly value, but I really need to go to 3200-4000 regularly.

    There's much to like about the new camera, but the banding matters to me a good bit. I guess we'll see.
    Hi there. I think everyone is being very cautious here(good thing too). I've been setting the camera at 3200 for gigs and parties and I've not had one shot spoiled by banding. And that's with earlier firmware.
    I've also quite happily used 4000 and 6400 in reasonably contrasty light and got good results.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I think this is one of the few realistic reviews so far. It has put a hatchet through some of the hype and manages to place the M240 in context. I'm sure some potential buyers will be disappointed and some even more keen.

    Steve

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I'm encouraged by the b/w potential, preferring my M8.2 over the M9, but reluctant to buy an MM. This might be very close to the MM (and I'd actually welcome a bit more 'grain'), with the potential added advantages of weather sealing, 2m frame lines and much better flexibility in PP using color channels. Plus, still being able to shoot color, which almost assuredly will beat the M8.2, and perhaps the M9. So far, so good.

    Jeff

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi there. I think everyone is being very cautious here(good thing too). I've been setting the camera at 3200 for gigs and parties and I've not had one shot spoiled by banding. And that's with earlier firmware.
    I've also quite happily used 4000 and 6400 in reasonably contrasty light and got good results.
    Thank you for your reply. May I assume that you would regard an image as "spoiled" if you saw banding in it?

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jffielde View Post
    Thank you for your reply. May I assume that you would regard an image as "spoiled" if you saw banding in it?
    probably, but not necessarily - if it were in oof shadow areas I'd probably just darken the area- but certainly if it were in the subject.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi there. I think everyone is being very cautious here(good thing too). I've been setting the camera at 3200 for gigs and parties and I've not had one shot spoiled by banding. And that's with earlier firmware.
    I've also quite happily used 4000 and 6400 in reasonably contrasty light and got good results.
    Hi Jono - I might not have these firmware revision perfectly formatted... The firmware revision is visible in the DNG via C1. I've noticed that images with firmware 0.1.0.0 had very visible banding - even at ISO 200. Then somewhere around firmware 0.1.8.0 things got much better. I've seen firmwares 0.1.8.0, 0.1.8.1, 0.1.9.0 and 0.1.10.0. Images from those levels have looked MUCH better (in terms of banding). Are you at liberty of offering some insights?

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Hi Jono - I might not have these firmware revision perfectly formatted... The firmware revision is visible in the DNG via C1. I've noticed that images with firmware 0.1.0.0 had very visible banding - even at ISO 200. Then somewhere around firmware 0.1.8.0 things got much better. I've seen firmwares 0.1.8.0, 0.1.8.1, 0.1.9.0 and 0.1.10.0. Images from those levels have looked MUCH better (in terms of banding). Are you at liberty of offering some insights?
    HI There John
    They haven't finished improving it yet (but as you've noted, it has been incremental) - but the next firmware upgrade required a recalibration - so none of us had it in time for the these posts.

    It's unfortunate that Lloyd Chambers chose an image from the earliest firmware to do his criticism. Such is the danger of posting images before shipping, but my personal opinion is that the advantages are more than the disadvantages.

    So there should be an improvement in both noise and banding in the shipping camera.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Hi Jono - the recalibration is EXCELLENT news because that means they are tuning the hardware. Some of timing parameters and voltage levels can be controlled at the software level (ie - firmware parameter settings), whereas other components are hardware only. So, if Leica is re-calibrating that means they are digging into the hardware (most likely). Getting the baseline hardware as good as possible ensures a good foundation, then firmware can optimize. The more Leica does at the hardware level (in terms of "fixing" things), the happier I am. A month or two delay is nothing compared to us living with the product for 2-3-4-5 years.

    If I were the Leica product manager, I would not have released image for public consumption that were with earlier variants. It can led people to incorrect conclusions. I feel that I've seen big improvements in the DNG noise / banding with the latest firmwares. So if Leica can get it even better, who knows, maybe even ISO 3200-6400 will be better. Fingers crossed Thank you for the info.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    If I were the Leica product manager, I would not have released image for public consumption that were with earlier variants. It can led people to incorrect conclusions. I feel that I've seen big improvements in the DNG noise / banding with the latest firmwares. So if Leica can get it even better, who knows, maybe even ISO 3200-6400 will be better. Fingers crossed Thank you for the info.
    Hi John
    The releasing of images and subsequent discussion is a sort of double edged sword. I think that any camera will suffer a bit when an image deliberately exposed to the left to block shadows is pushed by 4 stops. If you don't post any images then, true, nobody will push them by four stops! But nobody will talk about them either. Maybe it's better to get all this stuff out of the way before it ships,so that people know what they're buying.

    It seems to me that Ming and Sean's reports have really clarified in most people's minds that the IQ Is pretty good as it is. When it's even better at release time, then everyone will be happy with their new cameras!

    In terms of actual use I've often set the ISO to 3200 and just left it there. I've also used 4000,6400 on lots of occasions.
    All the best

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I know my opinion will not be very popular, but I think Leica should have stuck to the original plan:

    M10 classic RF with higher pixel CCD, improved high iso and LCD screen, faster processor, resolved card compatibility issues, 2m frames, improved RF mechanism, improved WA corner performance.

    M mirrorless body without RF, APS-H or FF CMOS sensor, LV, video, 3" high resolution screen, R lens adapter, focus peaking, scrollable magnified view, high refresh rate EVF.

    I surely would get the 1st one, and most probably the 2nd one too.

    I'm not feeling so confident about the 2 in 1 solution which seems to have many quirks.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    If I understood it correctly from Ming Thein review, and the comments on Sean Reid comparisons, the M9 seems to be still the king of low iso IQ with its special CCD sparkle and color rendering. Ming Thein places the M between the M9 and the D800E in this regard, but closer to the M9. It seems to me Leica has decidedly sacrificed some of the low iso IQ in order to get the other benefits of the CMOS sensor. Just my thoughts on this matter, and that is not intended as criticism, just a matter of fact observation.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I couldn't agree with you more, Edward.

    Leica, unfortunately in my opinion, is going the route of all other camera manufacturers in their quest for cleaner high iso at the expense of low iso. I can't think of a single exception, except Leica, until it's migration to CMOS. I'd love to see Dalsa make a high megapixel 35mm CCD chip for a 35mm camera that takes R glass.

    I think it's safe to say that with respect to low iso output there's still nothing in 35mm format that can match the DMR's 100 iso output. And unfortunately there's no way forward (in 35mm) with Leica in an upgrade path for R owners.

    A lot of us want a camera for landscapes that can use R lenses. The D800E doesn't have that per pixel "sparkle" of the CCD sensor. I think Rob Stevens and Guy would both agree... given their extensive use of the DMR.

    Why is it that no camera manufacturer will fill the very real need for a high quality low iso camera that is acceptable up to 800 iso but outstanding at 100 iso? I'm so tired of the mush I'm seeing at 1600 and 3200 that nothing grabs my interest any longer (apart from the Sigma DP2M when a 45mm focal length will do).

    Just another opinion...

    Lawrence
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    This is pure speculation ...but it appeared that Leica was considering two paths with new M sensor . At one point speculation was that they would use the Dalsa 23MP CCD sensor . But after a while it became obvious that they would go with CMOS (plenty of quotes from Leica management) . Plenty of evidence that they understand the trade offs and are working to have the new M perform better in every way .

    HIGH ISO PERFORMANCE.......After 10 s of thousands of photographs with digital M cameras ...I know the one most important specification to me ..for street and travel is better ISO performance in the 800-3200 range . At low ISO and in good light ..the M9 s CCD performs as well as I might ever need . This extends the hours that the M camera can be effectively used for street photography . ISO1600 is enough for most requirements I have encountered and the M9 loses to much IQ for my requirements . I ve not seen any CCD solution that really pushes into this area without unacceptable loss of DR and color saturation .

    R SOLUTION .....since I handled the new M last OCT in NYC at PRO PHOTO ...I ve pushed that the new M is not an effective solution for the R lenses . The EVF is a poor substitute for a Leica SLR and the longer lenses balance poorly on the new M . (You can test this with any number of small format cameras that use EVF and can be adapted to use R lenses..this is a me too feature not an advancement ). But it does increase the flexibility of the system and provide a way to effectively use the 135APO M and in very low light utilize focus peaking with fast lenses . I miss having a 180 APO lens in my travel kit and for this ..the EVF will be appreciated .

    DMR Color ....I miss it and agree ..haven t seen anything that matches it at base ISO. My experience DMR, D3x,D800E and S2. Have adapted the best Leica R lenses to the Nikon mount . The best solution for landscape is the S2 by a wide margin (but of course it doesn t use the R glass) . (You have 40MP CCD ,better in camera processor and the best lenses Leica has ever made(the Leica position on lenses).

    OTHER SPECIFICATIONS ....I do give Leica full credit for addresses all the smaller attributes of the M9 that limit its effectiveness in the field/street etc. More accurate frame lines,better battery ,larger faster cards , larger buffer ,weather sealing , better menu and controls . These will be appreciated more once the camera is out .

    Remember the crappy DMR batteries ...I was getting only 100 shots at the end per battery . Sd cards limited to 4GB and slow . Iso that feel apart starting at 400. Electrical system that becomes unreliable if you get a damp day .......

    But I totally concur that losing the "sparkle " is the concern . Everything else seems better .

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    In a sense, this is another instance where one has to step back and evaluate the gain and loss of a new offering based on very personal criteria.

    A friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. In some cases, a new offering presents a clear alternative rather than an incremental one. At the rarified price category of many new Leica offerings, it is a serious consideration.

    I think the MM presented a clear demarcation, an easy one-of-a-kind decision for those more dedicated B&W rangefinder shooters with the means. I saw the S2 as also being a clear "yes or no" decision based on personal applications because the form factor, dual shutter, and all new, ground up S lenses ... also made it a one-of-a-kind solution. Similarly, upgrading my Hasselbald H3D-II to a H4 was made easier because of the addition of the remarkable True Focus innovation, and a Dalsa based 60meg CCD with its delicious skin tones.

    In the case of the new Leica S camera, the gains are incremental at best with little evidence that one's photography will obviously be impacted. Same for the New Hasselblad H5. Incremental at best. Neither represent inexpensive decisions.

    For some, The new M is as revolutionary as one could expect from their flagship rangefinder camera. For others, the demarcation from CCD capture, to CMOS and its attendant added versatility, is a loss that worries them based on personal criteria, and IQ expectations they formed with the M9/M9P.

    In addition, I personally do not subscribe to the M's size creep to cram in more e-features. Personally, I would have loved a new CCD dedicated rangefinder M that was smaller than the M9. For performance, there is no reason that the Maestro Processor couldn't have been used with CCD, (the S2 with Maestro is CCD). I also think more high ISO IQ could still have been squeezed out of CCD. Weather proofing, and all the other little tweaks? Sure.

    -Marc
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Good discussion points Roger.

    While the ship has sailed, and any further points about CCD are most certainly moot, I still wonder if Leica prematurely abandoned the CCD uniqueness that separated it from other CMOS solutions. BTW, I fear they will do the same with the next S camera.

    While I agree that above ISO 800 (or maybe 1000 if you have your shooting/PP skills honed), the M9 can start getting jinky ... I also wonder if the CCD technology had been fully explored, and whether a 1.3x CMOS gain in higher ISO demonstrated in Read's comparison was really all that impossible with CCD.

    I say this because I experienced how Hasselblad had improved CCD ISO performance to provide a 40 meg sensor with an ISO 1600 performance visibly better than the 800 that proceeded it ... which BTW, clearly outperforms the S2 at ISO 1250 by a good margin.

    To date I'm not a big fan of ANY CMOS camera above 1600, so if Leica can tweak the new M to perform at 2000 to 3200, they will have something. It will remain all in the eye of the beholder.

    In addition to the DMR with its Imacon solution, I also herald back to the Contax N Digital which used a 6 meg full-frame Phillips CCD and produced spectacular color and tonal depth. Both these camera suffered horrible power issues, which with modern Lithiums would NOT be such an issue today. Same with highly tweaked PP profiles we have now.

    Basically, I see this new M as having been driven to provide versatility in using SLR lenses and shooting video ... neither of which I have any interest in with a rangefinder. Hopefully, the only advantage with the clip-on EVF is that it can be improved without replacing the camera.

    -Marc
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    What I'm worried about, and I hope to be wrong, is the standardized look of CMOS sensors. I have used Canon and Sony DSLR in the past, and while one can be easier to PP than the other, they all share a certain flat look and color rendition. When I moved to the M9 I was shocked in the beginning by the color rendition and really disliked it, as it was very different to what I was used to. Now I came to like it, and even prefer it to the CMOS look, especially that it is quite unique that differentiates it from other 24x36 cameras. When I first saw the M samples and played with the raw files, I immediately felt the familiarity with the Canon and Sony files. Not bad, actually quite nice, but nothing unique about it. I think Marc (fotografz) mentioned something in another thread about all FF sensors getting a standardized look and I fully agree with him.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Its hard to know the logic behind Leica s product decisions . Most of us view this from a market or probably even narrower personal perspective . e.g.. if Leica wants my business or maybe if Leica wants a successful new product .

    Unfortunately Leica has to consider their own internal capabilities to deliver the product . I am sure they feel burned by the Kodak CCD supply issues and at the same time did not want to get a "me too" sensor from Sony . It was only mentioned as a small point in one of the reviews but Leica had to work with the sensor supplier to develop a new micro lens solution . This is potentially an improvement in edge sharpness with wide angles .

    Establishing a low volume ,highly complex electronic supply chain is extremely difficult for a small manufacturer . Add in that they had to consider the new plant (which comes with plenty of new equipment ) . I think production sets the parameters for the digital M .

    Now once they have decided on the key components then marketing takes over to stuff the new product with things they believe will resonate with their customers .

    I believe this is how we ended up with the new M .

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    What I'm worried about, and I hope to be wrong, is the standardized look of CMOS sensors. I have used Canon and Sony DSLR in the past, and while one can be easier to PP than the other, they all share a certain flat look and color rendition. When I moved to the M9 I was shocked in the beginning by the color rendition and really disliked it, as it was very different to what I was used to. Now I came to like it, and even prefer it to the CMOS look, especially that it is quite unique that differentiates it from other 24x36 cameras. When I first saw the M samples and played with the raw files, I immediately felt the familiarity with the Canon and Sony files. Not bad, actually quite nice, but nothing unique about it. I think Marc (fotografz) mentioned something in another thread about all FF sensors getting a standardized look and I fully agree with him.
    True ....to an extent .

    There are three components that are controlled by the manufacturer that impact the key elements of IQ .

    1. Sensor .

    2. In camera processor (Maestro from the new M ) .

    3. lenses .

    The same sensor in different bodies will always have a family resemblance but the tuning accomplished thru the in camera processor creates much of the vendor specific aesthetic . e.g.. Nikon D3X and Sony A900 ..very different results from the same sensor .

    The lenses .....take the same D800/E and use Nikon,zeiss and Leica R glass and you get a different aesthetic . Look at Leica s X1/X2 ..Sony APS-C sensor and Leica lens .

    Add in the post processing ... .NEF look very different in NX/2, C1 and LR4 before I add in my custom WB, color calibration , process selection and lens calibration .

    Generally the main complaint is WOW thats a lot of work to get a good file ..and it is . The interesting thing about the new M files is they look finished right out of LR with the embedded profile .

    I don t think they will get the new M CMOS to match the M9 CCD but I think the new M will have excellent aesthetic ...if its better than the D800/E with R lenses ..then it will be better than everything else ...except maybe the M9 .
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Excellent discussion, and Sean's review was up to his superb standards. I came away leaning heavily toward getting the MM and keeping my M9. The MM out resolves it's siblings, has the best high iso, and I believe will produce images at low and medium iso that outshine the M because of the added malleability of it's files, especially pushing shadows. This aspect is not covered in Sean's review which only looks at out of camera rendering.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    The interesting thing to me is, from a marketing perspective, it might have actually made more sense for Leica to stick with CCD, simply because the argument of a "different" look can be made, thus differentiating it from the other 35mm cameras out there. By going to CMOS, even if it does technically perform better than the CCD, their sensor will be directly compared to the likes of Sony, which is a tall order when people expect the best from a $7K camera.

    Of course, I could be wrong, since I'm sure the new M will sell very well.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Roger,

    Leica folks did mention they're aware of the popularity of the M9 output and tried to emulate it with the new M sensor CFA and processing. The CFA play a very important role in color rendition and separation and it seems Leica engineers were quite successful at that, as Ming Thein places the M between the M9 and the D800E, but closer to the M9, which says a lot. I don't think it would be technically possible to achieve exactly the same output due to the radically opposite ways CCD and CMOS work, and that's regrettable, but that's the way it is, and we'll have probably to adjust our exposure habits and PP to the new sensor characteristics. I just hope Leica resolves the banding issue as a priority, the slow start up time as the 2nd most critical issue. The sensor output will be very nice, no doubt. Just not as nice as the M9 ...
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    The interesting thing to me is, from a marketing perspective, it might have actually made more sense for Leica to stick with CCD, simply because the argument of a "different" look can be made, thus differentiating it from the other 35mm cameras out there. By going to CMOS, even if it does technically perform better than the CCD, their sensor will be directly compared to the likes of Sony, which is a tall order when people expect the best from a $7K camera.

    Of course, I could be wrong, since I'm sure the new M will sell very well.
    Hi Douglas. I don't think they reckon that you can distinguish between a CCD and a CMOS if the colour is adjusted right and you don't pile on the NR like some companies do. I think I agree with them as well.
    All the best

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Douglas. I don't think they reckon that you can distinguish between a CCD and a CMOS if the colour is adjusted right and you don't pile on the NR like some companies do. I think I agree with them as well.
    All the best
    Oh, I agree. Assuming the banding is fixed, I'd surely be fine with the new sensor. The sensor in the M9 was a relatively old base design even in 2009, but there has been a lot of magical CCD talk over the last few years, which, for better or worse, added a bit to the mystique of the camera and brand.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Slightly off topic question please. Sean said the M8.2 was essentially an M9 with a smaller sensor. Does that mean the IR sensitivity was reduced in the M8.2 so that IR filters are not required as they are in the M8? I'd be tempted as a back up body if that were the case, but not if I had to use filters. txs....Peter

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by innerimager View Post
    Slightly off topic question please. Sean said the M8.2 was essentially an M9 with a smaller sensor. Does that mean the IR sensitivity was reduced in the M8.2 so that IR filters are not required as they are in the M8? I'd be tempted as a back up body if that were the case, but not if I had to use filters. txs....Peter
    No you still need IR filters with any iteration of the M8. He was referring to the sensor design. They are essentially the same (even down to the pixel pitch of 6.8 microns.) The M9 has a stronger IR pass filter but neither has an AA filter.
    Sony A7 | Sony A7R-FS | 25 Distagon Batis FE | 35 Nokton II | 35 Distagon FE | 55 Sonnar FE | 85 Sonnar Batis FE | 135 Sonnar Alpha | Panasonic G1 | Panasonic 14-45

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Douglas. I don't think they reckon that you can distinguish between a CCD and a CMOS if the colour is adjusted right and you don't pile on the NR like some companies do. I think I agree with them as well.
    All the best
    Here I have to disagree by a wide margin. It's why we buy medium format backs its not just the color it's the smoothness of the file and tonal range that makes a CCD sensor. Frankly this is going to be a unpopular comment but we are never going to see a CMOS sensor look like a CCD in these terms. It can get close but I am not looking at Leica to be the one doing it, they simply do not have the color technology behind them. If anyone can maybe pull it off it maybe the guys from MF since they have been doing digital color CCD for so long. Dalsa sensors are probably the best at color, saturation and neutrality. That has not been the case with Kodaks which have less DR which equals more saturation or punch as we call it and a more compressed looking color file. Go look at the Dalsa sensors very carefully and see the smoothness of tone.

    Now many may disagree with me but this was why I jumped on the P40 back with Dalsa from the P30 with Kodak. There is a difference between them not that one is bad over the other but very different in how they render. Now this is how I see all this as I have had 5 backs and tested or owned pretty much everything out there and now have the D800e which is great but you have to work your *** off in post just like every other CMOS sensor and no matter how good you are and I'm pretty good at it with post that is, it's a really tough nut to crack. Bottom line CMOS is all about high ISO and CCD is about base ISO and we hit the wall on CCD. We are not going to get higher ISO from it in any major way, tweaking software maybe a chance. Yes the Leica is a new CMOS but so is Nikon, Sony and Canon in there own way. No one has cracked the nut yet to look like CCD and I don't expect them. What I would do is hold on to my M9 since its the last of the breed when color counts and get the new one for more usability shooting. This is more than just pure color the issue here which Leica will get pretty good but I would not expect CCD smoothness of tone. Not sure anyone can crack that.

    My opinion here but I go by my eyes and that's unfortunately what I see. Now we are talking stuff that mere mortals outside the folks here that would ever notice in the first place. So unless your a pig like me don't worry about, go shoot it and be happy.

    Bottom line buy the new Leica for usability in the field and if you really stress on pure color and tonality it maybe the one area you may have to compromise on and believe me we compromise on every system out there. Just pick your poison and go have fun.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by innerimager View Post
    Does that mean the IR sensitivity was reduced in the M8.2 so that IR filters are not required as they are in the M8?
    Nope, M8 and M8.2 sensors are the same, and both lead to better b/w output in some circumstances than the M9 since the external filtration is more effective. Sean prefers the M8.2 to the M8, as do I, for the other upgrades, especially the 2m frame lines.

    Jeff

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Thanks Jeff, that's how I always understood it. best....Peter

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    As a side note, I'm particularly amused by the fact that some of the same folks who complained about the need for a simple cut filter for the M8, now have no problem with the potential need for many filters (color, ND) for the MM. Yes, the M8 solution was achieved ***-backwards, but it works better than the M9 approach for b/w.

    Jeff
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    As a side note, I'm particularly amused by the fact that some of the same folks who complained about the need for a simple cut filter for the M8, now have no problem with the potential need for many filters (color, ND) for the MM. Yes, the M8 solution was achieved ***-backwards, but it works better than the M9 approach for b/w.

    Jeff
    Not speaking for any of them. Just want to point out something-

    There is nothing *simple* about the cut filter usage. One needs to massage the images afterwards as well. Even after that colors are all over the place. The wider the lens, more of a problem.

    The cut filters also will not work for extreme wide angles.

    No such issue exists with the MM and filter (or no filter) usage!

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Here I have to disagree by a wide margin.
    I think the point was that its the temptation to calibrate a CMOS sensor to have fantastic high ISO which compromises it rather than the actual sensor technology. AFAIK there are no modern CMOS sensors which do not do this. The new CMOSIS sensor is much less ambitious (as was the sensor in the Sony A900). As we all know, CCD is inherently better at noise than CMOS.
    Personally I wouldn't claim to have the knowledge to have a valid opinion, but I can see the point that people's perceptions are perverted by the AVAILABLE sensors rather than the POTENTIAL sensors, and that the current CMOS sensors don't have the same feel as the best CCD sensors as a result of the irresistible urge to load the CMOS sensors with NR.
    Hard to get at a TRUTH here, and we all have opinions. I'm caught between the rock of Leica and the hard place of Guy.
    It must be time to go out to dinner!

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I know and was not meant to argue your points but I would keep expectations at pause on Leicas new breed of CMOS. Like to see what they think they can pull off in final production version. Lets face it Nikons is pretty dang good as they increased the DR better than anyone thought and rivals MF which no one thought could be done. That was a pleasant surprise. But these sensors on highlight bloom more than the same shot on CCD and that's where the color tonality is not the same. If they can do that than that would be something. Ill have to show you guys that test someday. Pretty interesting.

    I tested a lot of Nikon vs Phase that I never had time to post or show. It's quite interesting but its really nit picky stuff too. 98 percent of shooters would never see this stuff, lets face it this forum is the other 2 percent and I love that fact. We have some very serious shooters around here and that's great for all of us to learn from.

    Have a beer for me bud.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Not speaking for any of them. Just want to point out something-

    There is nothing *simple* about the cut filter usage. One needs to massage the images afterwards as well. Even after that colors are all over the place. The wider the lens, more of a problem.

    The cut filters also will not work for extreme wide angles.

    No such issue exists with the MM and filter (or no filter) usage!
    I was speaking about b/w (hence the MM comparison), so no significant issues with color or wide angles. And the M8 files, with the filter, require less work than the M9 for b/w (which may never fully recover if blacks aren't right).

    And, again with b/w only, the M8 filters can be put on and forgotten (except possibly with bright lights at night), while MM usage may require continual filter changes if one cares about the fine tonal distinctions and/or shallow depth of field in daylight.

    Again, this was only a comment about complaints regarding filter usage between the M8/M8.2 and the MM, not a commentary on the obvious advantages of the MM in other regards.

    Color is a different story, and the M9 color is improved over the M8. To your point on wides, however, one could argue that extreme wides on the M9 present more issues than on the M8.2...red edge, etc. But that's another discussion, and one that doesn't concern me in any case since I don't use anything wider than 28.

    Jeff
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Guy Wrote>>>"we compromise on every system out there. Just pick your poison and go have fun."<<<

    and if I might change that line a bit to add:

    "we compromise on every system out there so just pick your poison and work with it to the best of your ability"

    No camera, no system works for everything and most certainly not for every situation each one of us is most likely encounter at some point. Compromises are bound to exist and it's often a matter of gaining something when choosing a different or new camera or lens while at the same time often having to give up something. The trick is to gain as much as possible while giving up as little as possible, when it comes to performance levels we strive for. For example....sometimes these tradeoffs are as simple as having to lug around a heavy big lens if we want to reach 500-600mm with both speed and performance.

    It can be fustrating for those times when things come close and we wish for just a bit more performance in a given area, whether it's a particular level of performance from a lens or alternatively color purity, higher ISO performance or FPS from a body, etc. I could of course go on and on but i think you get the point.

    All we can do is wait and hope with each succeeding generation of equipment, that strides are made. Occasionally and unfortunately a step or two is sometimes taken backwards while achieving other things that are deemed an improvement. I'm reminded of the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII. It may be for many a better performing lens when used on full frame that its predisessor, but for some, focus breathing is then became an issue with the newer lens. On DX cameras though, many feel the older VRI lens might actually be the better choice.

    So when everything reaches perfection, we can then all put our cameras down and call it a day

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 23rd February 2013 at 14:50.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by apocolibri View Post
    Why is it that no camera manufacturer will fill the very real need for a high quality low iso camera that is acceptable up to 800 iso but outstanding at 100 iso? I'm so tired of the mush I'm seeing at 1600 and 3200 that nothing grabs my interest any longer (apart from the Sigma DP2M when a 45mm focal length will do).

    Just another opinion...
    Lawrence
    I agree totally , I'd like to see 50 or even 25 very clean ISO
    Actually the only way is Medium Format

    I am really unhappy with the 200 native ISO of the new M (specially with fast lenses) , but I buy it anyway ...
    Leica M - 24,35,50,90,135

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Have you folks looked at the Sigma DPx Merrill cams for excellent low ISO performance? You can literally have them welded to a strong tripod for a good measure.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Vivek,
    The Merrill has put the joy back in photography for me. I use the DP2M for florals and landscapes, and though it lacks the color accuracy of the DMR, the color can be corrected in post. Resolution, on the other hand, can't be added later so the Merrill is outstanding in the narrow parameters within which it excels.
    Lawrence
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    I don't think any of us can really isolate the difference in "look" between CCD and CMOS, because there are so many other factors in the chain, like color filters, internal processing/algorithms, supporting electronics, conversion methods, specific designs, etc.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I don't think any of us can really isolate the difference in "look" between CCD and CMOS, because there are so many other factors in the chain, like color filters, internal processing/algorithms, supporting electronics, conversion methods, specific designs, etc.
    Thank you Douglas. You put it so much better than me. And you have articulated just what I meant to say!

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Thank you Douglas. You put it so much better than me. And you have articulated just what I meant to say!
    Sorry Jono, for every post that agrees with you, there are others who do not.

    CCD look cannot be replicated by CMOS no matter what the hardware and software chain is. Period. Moreover saying Leica of all manufacturers did a better job (compared to giants like sony, canon or nikon) is stretching things a bit. The difference between M and other CMOS cameras like the D800/e is due to Leica lenses than anything else. Once again CCD look cannot be repliçated by CMOS with current technology.

    I will give you reasons. CCD can convert light to voltage, one CCD pixel produces one signal nothing else. Whereas in CMOS, at each pixel there is light conversion, amplification and noise reduction at sensor level. This leads to extremely high signal uniformity in CCD which cannot be matched by CMOS. But since there is massive parallel processing in CMOS high speeds are easy. This is the fundamental design so dont argue that one can change it. No amount of post processing chain can change this.

    Another fundamental difference is near infrared sensitivity. CCD sensors can made with thick subrate (75-200 microns) increasing their sensitivity and spatial resolution as well as high/extended near infrared sensitivity. CMoS can have only 25-50 micron substrate thickness, so they never match the CCD's near infrared sensitivity and fine spatial resolution in this region.

    If you read my earlier statement, I said CCD look cannot be replicated by CMoS. I did not say one is superior. That is personal preference. As Guy said, pick your poison.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Sorry Jono, for every post that agrees with you, there are others who do not.

    CCD look cannot be replicated by CMOS no matter what the hardware and software chain is. Period. Moreover saying Leica of all manufacturers did a better job (compared to giants like sony, canon or nikon) is stretching things a bit. The difference between M and other CMOS cameras like the D800/e is due to Leica lenses than anything else. Once again CCD look cannot be repliçated by CMOS with current technology.

    I will give you reasons. CCD can convert light to voltage, one CCD pixel produces one signal nothing else. Whereas in CMOS, at each pixel there is light conversion, amplification and noise reduction at sensor level. This leads to extremely high signal uniformity in CCD which cannot be matched by CMOS. But since there is massive parallel processing in CMOS high speeds are easy. This is the fundamental design so dont argue that one can change it. No amount of post processing chain can change this.

    Another fundamental difference is near infrared sensitivity. CCD sensors can made with thick subrate (75-200 microns) increasing their sensitivity and spatial resolution as well as high/extended near infrared sensitivity. CMoS can have only 25-50 micron substrate thickness, so they never match the CCD's near infrared sensitivity and fine spatial resolution in this region.

    If you read my earlier statement, I said CCD look cannot be replicated by CMoS. I did not say one is superior. That is personal preference. As Guy said, pick your poison.

    Well said and that's the science of it. I can see it in the files otherwise why do we make those MF vs that all over the net. This is exactly the reason when you break it down to final output. There is a difference, sure other factors come into play but we judge final output.
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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Sorry Jono, for every post that agrees with you, there are others who do not.

    CCD look cannot be replicated by CMOS no matter what the hardware and software chain is. Period. Moreover saying Leica of all manufacturers did a better job (compared to giants like sony, canon or nikon) is stretching things a bit. The difference between M and other CMOS cameras like the D800/e is due to Leica lenses than anything else. Once again CCD look cannot be repliçated by CMOS with current technology.

    I will give you reasons. CCD can convert light to voltage, one CCD pixel produces one signal nothing else. Whereas in CMOS, at each pixel there is light conversion, amplification and noise reduction at sensor level. This leads to extremely high signal uniformity in CCD which cannot be matched by CMOS. But since there is massive parallel processing in CMOS high speeds are easy. This is the fundamental design so dont argue that one can change it. No amount of post processing chain can change this.

    Another fundamental difference is near infrared sensitivity. CCD sensors can made with thick subrate (75-200 microns) increasing their sensitivity and spatial resolution as well as high/extended near infrared sensitivity. CMoS can have only 25-50 micron substrate thickness, so they never match the CCD's near infrared sensitivity and fine spatial resolution in this region.

    If you read my earlier statement, I said CCD look cannot be replicated by CMoS. I did not say one is superior. That is personal preference. As Guy said, pick your poison.
    No one is saying the technologies are identical. What Jono and are I saying is that, when it comes to the look of the file, narrowing the differences down to being simply a matter of CMOS vs. CCD is a bit dubious, because I don't believe that any of us have used identical cameras with identical filters packs and processing, the only difference being the underlying sensor design, and that's what it would take to really suss out the differences.

    I love my M9, and I'm not planning on buying an M 240 anytime soon, but I'm not scared by the new CMOS, as long as Leica isn't doing things like using more transparent color filters for better high ISO, etc.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well said and that's the science of it. I can see it in the files otherwise why do we make those MF vs that all over the net. This is exactly the reason when you break it down to final output. There is a difference, sure other factors come into play but we judge final output.
    I don't know, Guy. I'm a former MFDB owner, although not nearly as experienced with different models like you are, and it's tough to say how CCD MFDBs would compared with CMOS MFDBs, if the MFDB manufacturers ever managed to acquire large CMOS chips. CMOS actually makes even more sense to me in MFDB than in the M camera, since live view would be particularly useful in a more static shooting environment.

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    Re: Sean Reid's M9/MM/M240 Comparison

    Sure CMOS in MF would be a nice option to have no doubt it would give us live view and higher ISO files. I think many are looking for this with also the hope it would bring costs down and don't be surprised if its right around the corner either. In some ways it will have advantages but I'm afraid in others it may not but it is what people are looking for is feature sets that can make life a little better and live view is the big one for sure. This certainly is a big plus for the new Leicas and it will be the same as MF when it goes CMOS. Count these as advantages.

    Just look at the differences in CCD with Dalsa and Kodak they are very different looking files. Phase, Kodak, Dalsa, Hassy , Sinar , Leaf and all there players in MF can't get those sensors to look alike. I agree with you all factors do count including software, firmware, color profiles and all that but these two sensors no one has ever matched the same look even in the CCD world. Now not that one is better or worse but very different for sure. They have different traits, now I don't know the science of that and how each one manufactures them either. But we do compare them or at least I have and it's pretty obvious the difference between a P45 and P40 for instance. That would be P45 Kodak and P40 Dalsa for those that don't know which one uses. Leica stuck with Kodak all the way which for them a good choice .

    Another of Leicas main problem is basically the same as a tech cam and that is with wides and the rear exit of the lens to sensor being so close. Tech cam users know all about vignetting, color shift even at zero settings and using LCC to correct everything out. Leica M has fought some of those same challenges. Luckily Leica does not have shift lenses or LCC would be the order of the day. Now will CMOS be better at this for them or not. Been wondering about this. N,C,S has never had to deal with this since the lenses are designed different than the M glass. Going to be interesting but I have yet to hear anyone bring this up yet. As we know there is a reason for coding lenses and its not just knowing the EXIF data.

    Geez I hit three different topics at once, sorry folks
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