Not sure if everyone has seen these yet:
Not sure if everyone has seen these yet:
No, hadn't seen them yet, some of it looks quite wonderful...
I really like tho model, just awesome - I could take pictures of her all day long!
Jokes aside, the images look pretty good for me!
I'm not sure about the Higher ISO stuff, I know these files are not to be judged critically but, I've personally have pulled cleaner ISO 800 out of the P30+ and H3D2-31...
(but I do also "expose to the right" so...)
Only saw a few high ISO images (3-4 at ISO 640 and one at 1250), and even two of those were converted to B/W, as the noise looked high enough to want it to look like grain. That effect is nice, but to me, this is not looking like a very high ISO performer compared to any other MF.
Among the other shots, many were shot at smaller apertures, and things held up nicely there. Those that were shot at wider apertures (where marked), are also looking good. Nothing spectacular or knock you out of your chair compared to other systems, but still looking quite good.
Colors seem a bit all over the place, and I would have blamed that on the lack of fine-tuned processing from different apps, but these are JPEGs from the internal processing engine in the camera, so I kind of expect them to be exactly as Leica has configured things to be. Skin tones are good. The rest.....just cannot really tell.
It is good to see more images. Sure would like to see more lenses, like a wide angle, but we will have to wait on that, I guess.
Just look at the horrible M9-samples fron dpreview - I have no idea how they constantly "achieve" that quality...
David Farkas has done the best job so far - some of his shots truly show the potencial of this camera, while most others could have been made with any decent MFDB.
Let's try to be fair and more realistic. The posted S2 shots on DPReview are JPEGs straight from the camera with no post processing or retouching, as far as we know. They are just the way Leica handled them, plus any artifacts and other image quality degradations that may occur as a result of posting through that site. The images posted by Farkas were processed from DNG files and have had some additional post processing, as admitted by David himself. His blog display is also of bit different quality than the other forum. So, we are really not getting an apples to apples comparison. That does not mean the S2 files presented on DPReview are the best we could see coming from the camera, but they are what came from the camera as is, good or not. Many of those could probably have benefitted from good processing and handling, but that was not the objective of that review. So one should bake that into their evaluations.
Bottom line.....folks need to get their hands on RAW DNG files and run them through their own processing and evaluation. In a few weeks, we will have more samples and options to discuss. I am not prepared to dismiss nor overly praise the stuff coming from the S2 at this point, as we just have too little, nothing to make direct comparisons, and some bias in both directions coloring things. I think we will start seeing how things shake out shortly.
Let's be clear that Mr Farkas' review currently seems to be the only one with halfway useful insight on the capabilities of the S2 (despite missing DNGs), while dpreview shows misleading sample-quality of a 20k$-camera which makes the first readers already whine about artifacts, high-ISO-quality, colors...
Most of these images are unsharp, have artifacts, they used ISOs beyond specifications (without the necessary firmware) - they didn't even clean the sensor... Some photographers already had the chance to test the S2 more extensively but only Mr. Farkas created a useful review - kudos to him.
But of course, Leica finally has to deliver useful samples - that's their job (beneath delivering the camera itself...).
Not denying that David Farkas has presented a lot of useful information on the S2 through his handling of it. Maybe moreso than others. That is partly what his job is as a salesperson representing Leica. He freely admits this. It is good that he has taken the time to pull the useful information together. But let's not lose sight of the fact that David is out to sell these cameras, and it is in his interest to promote the S2 in its best light. No fault there....just being realistic. DPReview, on the other hand, generally tries not to show a bias, and just reports on things in their own way and using their formula. Things all get treated pretty much the same way, so if your favorite D3x review, or GF1, M9 or S2 are all showing some image problems, consider it as equal treatment....maybe not the best, but pretty equal. The cameras are delivering whatever they are delivering, then they are treated to whatever Web forum conversion and degradation that happens. So you can either blame the shooter, the camera, or the Web processing....whatever suits your needs. It would be great if the testers had more familiarity with what the cameras may really be capable of doing, but again, that takes time and having access to the equipment long enough, or it requires testers that have much more familiarity with that type of gear. DPReview announces news, but I have not seen the same sort of extensive testing done on MF systems and cameras as they do for digicams and DSLRs. I do not expect finely tuned images from them on something like the S2, and we did not get them. We did get what the camera delivered to the tester. Period.
Leica has not made much effort to deliver any useful samples. They are relying on others to do that sort of thing. Why do you think they are agreeing to Guy and Jack, and CI to do some of the testing they are doing? Leica is letting folks draw their own conclusions. That is good. Wish it would all have been happening months and months ago, but at least it is finally starting to happen.
Last edited by LJL; 12th November 2009 at 10:45.
Guy has stated that he will build a profile that will be used (in C1 I suppose) to look at the file quality of the S2 images. Again the image will be processed. Only difference is that the processing will be to Guy's biases and standards whereas the one's David showed were processed according to his biases and standards.
I guess my point is that the development of raw images involves using or creating a profile that you (the developer) thinks gets the most out of the image(s). There is no gold standard for this exercise.
I don't have a problem with the concept of developing your own profile or using the ones created by the raw converter manufacturer. I just don't understand the logic that we need unprocessed raw images to make our judgements since such an unprocessed doesn't and I believe can't exist.
I do believe that using raw files and creating our own profiles makes lots of sense. They will be processed to be sure but done in such a way that gets the most out of the image using our own personal biases and standards. (after all one man's red is another's red orange perhaps)
Also Jpegs straight from the camera are already profiled by controlling contrast, exposure, saturation etc. Again no gold standard here.........someone made conscious decisions about how the files looked best (to them
When we actually shoot samples with the S2 at our Open House (http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11674) we will have a better feel for the high ISO capability. That said, I am not surprised by what DP Review showed. My expectation is that the S2 will be a push for any commercial work above ISO 400/640. I hope to be wrong. But in my experience, "final firmware" does not create miracles from so-so high ISO results.
What this means to me is that I will likely be recommending the S2 to my customers as a product that handles like a dream, (indeed I think it may be the nicest feeling camera in my hand I've ever held) is fast and responsive, and delivers sharp, detailed images that look outstanding at ISO 80 - 400. While some "final firmware" may improve things a bit, my initial impression is that 640 and higher ISO will involve some limitations. There's no getting around that it's a CCD and my expectations reflect that reality, the samples I've seen so far seem to support it.
In my view, there's nothing wrong with that, but until I see results that prove otherwise - which is how we do things at Capture Integration - I won't be shouting high ISO solution from the rooftops...at least not until December 3...
If I may interject something..... There is a difference between processing an image with a conversion algorithm and customized camera profile, and then doing things beyond that to enhance the appearance of the image. That is the post processing. Things like local/regional exposure control (dodging and burning), color enhancements, skin smoothing, etc. Those go beyond what the conversion provided. It is good to know just how malleable some of the files are to tolerate this sort of treatment, but that is a completely different aspect for evaluating what the file the camera produces really looks like.
Personally, I think files should be processed (RAW conversion) with the best algorithms and using a camera profile that is able to bring out as much of what the camera is capable of producing. From there, it is good to see just what is needed or how things could be enhanced to create the art one may want to achieve. But additional treatments should be noted, as those are post processing actions.
P.S. RAW conversion is not "changing" the file, as you suggest. It is "interpreting" the data that is provided and reconstructing the image from that data. Some algorithms do this better than others, being able to extract and use more information once they are tuned to work with a specific camera's output. Doing stuff beyond that is really post processing as mentioned.
Last edited by LJL; 12th November 2009 at 11:13.
Agreed nothing is done to the files when I test unless I actually say so, read the M9 review. I don't even WB in a lot of cases to show what it looks like coming straight from the camera. When testing systems nothing should be done otherwise it skews the results and you actually don't know what truly the camera is or is not doing.
I don't want to use semantics to prove a point.
But whether you want to call it interpretation or change is, I believe mute. The fact is that no image exists unless and until it is processed in the raw converter. And getting "the most" out of the camera is, again, subject to your interpretation. Not everyone agrees on the recipe which is why so much is written and taught about raw conversions.
So I expect that David's will be different from Guys and so on and so on. None of this is based on right or wrong, just different views based upon what is important to you.
As pertaining to true post processing e.g. dodging and burning etc I am in violent agreement with you. If the purpose of the image is to show what the camera can do such post processing tricks obviates the purpose of the exercise. For me, creating the best profile for the converter, based on how you view the image is totally fair game. Where possible, I would still rather use the GMB color checker to get the correct white balance than just eyeball the image and decide what I think is best. Doesn't help others unless their biases agree with mine.
So perhaps we are not that far apart. There are no gold standards as it relates to converting the image but best practices would minimize the number of subject interpretations of the variables where possible.
At this point I will bow out of the subject of profiling a camera. It is an art at best and thus very subjective. It would be an interesting exercise someday to have 10 people take a new camera and build their own raw profile for it. I suspect the end results would be all over the place.
Anyway, cheers and thanks for the discussion.
No problem if you consider some of the semantics moot. For me, interpreting data from a file to produce another file is different from changing data in a file. I can selectively choose to interpret just the luminance data, and produce a total graytone image, yet the color channel data is still there and has not been changed. Anyway, I do think that I understand what you are saying, and it is not worth debating for us ;-)
I also agree with you about using a proper white balance. Personally, I like to set a custom WB based on whatever the lighting is before I start shooting, but doing so afterward for the RAW files is not a problem either, as long as you use a good standard, like the GMB charts or a WhiBal card or some of the other tried and tested tools. Eyeballing is not accurate, nor repeatable.
As for all the camera profiling, you may be right about getting as many different results as attempts, but in the end, one would hope that if done correctly, we would see things being pretty close. The X-Rite Color Passport things that Guy and Jack will have should get that part of the playing field a bit more level for the rest of us regardless of what the final tuned profile used in C1 or whatever is.
Still looking forward for what is to come.
Woody the camera is NOT being profiled . It is a profile just like a Profile that Phase would make for any other camera to use in there software. Just like LR would have a plug in to support a camera, no difference than this. Just like Phase makes a profile for a M9 the same thing applies here. If anything it puts the S2 in the same exact playing field with a Phase back in C1. The basic fact remains NOTHING is being done to the file here except the color aliasing is corrected. If you brought a s2 file in today into C1 you will notice some color aliasing in the hair since there is no profile for the S2 in C1 yet. This is a profile for C1 plane and simple. Other than that nothing is done to the files in my case just like the M9 review. Big difference, I am not enhancing a image to make it look good.
I have the feeling there is too much hype about what can be influenced. There are two parts, which are responsible for the final image as we see it - before any TIFF or JPEG conversion, just in RAW:
1) the RAW converter, which NO ONE really has influence except the SW developers of Phase, Adobe, Aperture, etc - sure they stick to vendor specs here, but how they finally calculate what you see as initial RAW file input differs significantly!
2) the Profile - this is what several of us would build differently, or take the implemented or already available profiles, which then makes out of the specific RAW in C1, LR, Aperture etc the final RAW picture we really see on screen. This is what Guy and Jack and Doug etc. can build in C1 or other SW - only this part can be influenced.