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Leica 007 and Canon 5ds/5dsr ETC thoughts


started this thread to hear some thoughts on our latest offerings of systems out there, the thread is a good basis for many platforms now being offered by all of the existing camera manufacturers. It doesn't have to be Leica 007 vs Canon 5drs it could also include any current, past or future system but should be one that has been announced and that will be available for purchase shortly.

Minus the cost of either system and the advertizing hype it boils down to practical work flow and practical image quality. Granted each photographer uses a system for many different uses and no system is broad enough to cover all of the imaginative uses for any given photographer. Also the systems yet to be released in the next 5 years may or may not render any of the current crop inferior as to their image making ability.

I find the complexity of menus in a camera not used on a daily basis to be a deal killer in real life situation ex. OLY when you need to make the tool work for you. I like the fact or the feeling one gets picking up a camera to ones eye and being able to shoot and not think about the tool your shooting with but instead the image you trying to make. For example my big complaint I have with my M240 is I always shoot the person to high in the frame I have to constantly remind myself to lower the top of the camera frame (or raise the lens higher) to more center the person...seems I'm always pointed slightly down.

The AF system of the 007 seems promising especially with the front, back and focus DOF readings on the cameras screen. I like the fact you can use the camera in Spot-AF with real time focusing. The Canon has Cross-type AF points claiming greater autofocus precision and better focus tracking (its always been great). Whether either will prove out in real use other than marketing Hype is yet to be realized.

HIGH-ISO at high ISO and shooting in light other that bright daylight or studio lighting and I'm not referring to the extremes of either end. The high MPix of these cameras demand fast shutter speeds the standard (250mm = 1/250 second, 90mm = 1/90 second) old rules might not apply here they might have to be doubled to reduce vibrations hand held. (This would have been an opportunist time for either manufacturer to introduce 5 axis sensor vibration. I wouldn't worry about 6400 ISO and shooting a indoor scene I'm more talking about the range of ISO 1600-3200 and the cameras ability to focus in that light and my ability to see through the viewfinder what exactly the hell I'm doing!

I wonder which camera in your hands or mine is better balanced with your ability to hand hold and get a better hit rate based on ones ability to gain better vision through the view finder, the actuation of the shutter and or combination of back button pre focus and the fine tuning with manual focus. Also checking the focus area of importance and seeing the real raw histogram of that area before making a series of 100 images is a big plus in my work.

Files straight out of the camera and imported into your favorite processing program showing how little or maybe not even any work ones needs to make to the RAW files would be another issue to contemplate. Getting accurate color and being able open shadows or back down highlights or for lack of better words who's file has just a more mailable tolerance and for what images.

In the field shooting wide angle landscapes on a tripod the sensor and the micro lenses of either should produce very different results just as using either system with an 85mm shooting portraits hand held will for different reasons. These and other situations are thoughts in my mind as to Leica discussions make public as to why they stayed with the MPx sensor at 37mp and didn't go to the 50 mark maybe eliminating some serious risks that would unveil themselves using the high MP sensor, using lenses with limiting auto focus motors, lower F stop diffraction, speed, blur, weight and size, coatings, scales, and available filters.

As we discussed baring the costs of the two systems because in a real working world job after job it doesn't matter what does matter is the time you've spent on the workflow and the finished results.

If you had your choice of one or two systems to use on a daily basis to fill you needs what would you choose and why?

Would this next system of acquisition have longevity and if so how long would you expect it to have. Will any of these newer systems really give you "increased quality and higher speed"?

Would you buy into the Leica, Canon, Nikon or other new systems because its scary how much more storage and work one will need to do the same job as before with a 20MPx sensor or will you being doing less work because of a particular feature(s) your next tool offers?

I have a million other questions but I'm out of time now.




New member
i think the only? way to get medium format look on 35mm is with otus lenses

and the leica system or phase one would make you stand out though...


Workshop Member
Photographs taken with Medium Format can often have a very special aesthetic (look) that is preferred by many photographers . You can not duplicate this with a smaller sensor . The Leica S system or for that matter any of the MF systems (HB,Phase,Pentax) can all produce terrific image quality . At normal ISO s up to 400-800 it is unlikely that any FF system can produce better image quality .

The Leica S system has the CS lenses which make high speed synch with strobes possible .

The FF systems have however closed the gap on MF image quality and can better it in situations where extreme DR or high ISO is required .

In almost every other area ...the new FF cameras will outperform MF .

If your work is dependent on efficiency ..the FF alternatives will surely be the better solution . If its based on achieving a “signature” aesthetic with consistent high image quality ...I would favor MF .

You can make either alternative the basis for a terrific professional system .neither starting point will be particularly easy .


New member
I've used pretty much every system out there. I won't get into details but I will say this.

Canon/Nikon/Sony - All very competent systems that can handle 100% of the demands a client would have. Allows you to be lazy (if you want to be), and has a moderate amount of joy. The three different systems handle colors slightly different, and the ergonomics are slightly different as well.

Why choose an M-system. For the joy of using a rangefinder (if you find joy in that). To challenge yourself. And for the slightly different colors and vastly different ergonomics. I can use the M-system for 100% of my clients needs. I'm sure some could argue that you can't do XYZ with the M-system.. But that doesn't pertain to me - or I'll find a workaround. Don't chose the M-system for image quality alone (although IMHO it has the best IQ of the lot). Your clients won't recognise it. By all means choose it for IQ, if it gives you joy. Or if it makes your life easier on the computer while editing (I find it makes for easier editing). The lenses really help with this due to the variety of character among all the lenses.

Why choose an S-system. Because you like the way the lenses render. You're not going to get such a hike in quality that your client will recognise. Also because you like the mailability of the files while editing. And because you like the colors. Don't choose it because it's Medium format.. The format has little impact when all is said and done. The AF and overall speed is behind that of all the cameras listed above. I can focus my RF at least twice as fast as the S-system. And I don't think AF has been vastly improved in the 007. Although I hope ISO has.. As I think these days clean 3200 is a necessity (I swear jobs have gotten darker in the last few years).

What do I have?
1) S-system (recent, but like the way the lenses render) could do with two-three stops better ISO and a slightly faster more responsive overall camera. + faster AF.

2) M-system - I use this for 99% of my client work. I get the most joy out of using a RF system. And the IQ gives me the most joy. Plus editing the files is easier for me. Also the in focus keeper rate is higher then my 1Dx (and my 1Dx is phenomenal). But I'm very comfortable with the M-system. Why do I use the Canon system at all.. Times that I'm bored. Boring client, boring job. Don't feel like using an RF. Need on camera flash for the whole job. Lots of reasons, but most of the time I use the M240 because it's lighter and I'm confident in my ability to hit focus, so it's also fuss free for me. Plus again, what a joy to use.. Makes me feel alive. Could do with 1-stop cleaner ISO. Leica needs to tweak color profile a slight bit. Maybe add some film emulation options to the JPGs.

3) Canon system - now being replaced by the A7-system (for the second time in recent history). Again, this is just my security blanket system, it gets so little use that I'm going to switch to A7II cameras.. Mainly so the wife has an easier time when she's helping me out.. She actually likes the A7II and the FE lenses, so it's a win win. I couldn't care less to be honest, I won't use the Sony or the Canon setup.

I guess to directly answer your questions. Most camera systems these days are capable of shooting anything a client needs. I could meet 90% of my clients needs with the 5D Classic. So the choice from here on out, really is just personal preference. What system speaks to you color wise. Ergonomics, fun factor.
I think it's better to pick a system where you're happy shooting. Then IQ is a consideration but only during the editing process (do you get the colors you like). Lastly you should worry about format. I have a friend who only shoots with M4/3 and he makes a good living.

Some direct answers:

Subjects move fast. You need 125th at a minimum (with any system) even though I can hold my M240 still at 15th of a second with a 50mm of wider lens. For the S-system 250th is comfortable with 70mm and wider, at 120mm/180mm you're going to want 500th of a second. I've gotten away with 125, but only in ideal situations. If I'm using on camera flash and the room is right, I can get 60th or 90th and fantastic results. If the room isn't right for it, I stick to 125th with flash. Again flash work is really dependant on personal style.

I think ISO 3200 is good enough for most fast lenses. Anything darker and it's almost not a point to take a photo.. Since you subject is going to be horribly lit anyway.. Better to learn on camera flash at that point. And for still life, obviously just use a tripod.

Balance in hands - The lighter camera obviously.. Especially after the 10 hour mark. I'm dying holding two 1Dx cameras after 10 hours. I can comfortably move into the 15 hour mark before I'm annoyed with two M240 cameras. And yes in Asian weddings can easily go on for that long. I spent three hours shooting with the S-system, and I was fine. But I can tell you this. Had I been using two S-cameras, I would probably start getting annoyed at the 6 hour mark.

Just based on workflow. I am very comfortable with the M240 and I find the lenses have such character that I could probably get the best OOC JPG files from it. Second would be the S-system since the lenses are more neutral. I have an order for the other systems, but I think you're only really curious about the S&M (Canon/Nikon/Sony all fall behind anyway).
Give me some time on this, and my opinion may change. Then again, I might get the S-007 before I fully learn the S-006.
To also add, I find that my M240 is most accurate.. But it's also the camera I've spent the most time color profiling etc. So you get what you put in I suppose.

I could use a D700 plus some G lenses (that camera is damn old). And I'd get the same if not better results then the newer cameras. With enough time, I think I will feel the same way about the S-006. The M240 is leagues better then the M9. And definitely something that doesn't need to be upgraded as long as it keeps working, I can keep using it. And I think as long as a camera focuses fast (be it you focusing it, or it focusing itself) and as long as it has 3200 iso that's relatively clean. You're not needing much else. These days with all the adapters, the sky is the limit for lens choices.

I hate the MP race. But I see the "need" for it with certain clients. If you're using MP as a crutch for cropping, then you're not doing your job. Two cameras would work, like A7s and A7r... Sony's doing good with their line deviations.

To end it all off..

Canon/Nikon/Sony = less work. And I don't think "new features" will make my life easier. Super fast accurate AF + high clean ISO would be awesome, and welcome.

M-System/S-system = joy to edit.

M-system = Joy to use. And the reason I haven't quit photography as a profession.

Obviously I can't fall asleep.. Hope I don't bore anyone who actually reads this :D


New member
aDam007, that was a great summary thank you!

Do you think you can see a difference between Leica's CCD and CMOS sensors?

best regards


Active member
Many questions here being mixed....

I get the best IQ with the Leica S 006.
1) I think the lenses in combination with the larger sensor draw beautiful, specially a smooth transition from the focused plane to the background, also very natural skintones, and very smooth color and tonal transition.
2) I think the big viewfinder also helps a lot...You really see what you shoot and you see where you have focused. Even manual focus work quite good
3) And is slower than a DSLR but then I still seem to manage to get the shots I want. I "produce" less quantaty but better quality
Still its limited in regards to lower light

I even recently sold my 5dIII+lenses

I also do like the M-system for the rangefinder experience/seeing around the frame and the excellent and fast primes and the simple user interface.

The mirrorless crowd seems to work quite good and to deliver quite good IQ but I am confused by the many menues/buttons and functions.
My favorite mirrorless system is the Leica T at the moment. Technically the Sony A7II might be better and the EM1 might be faster (I also won these two) but the T has very good lenses, a very simple and intuitive user interface and I do like the IQ.


New member
aDam007, that was a great summary thank you!

Do you think you can see a difference between Leica's CCD and CMOS sensors?

best regards
Yes. Mainly it affects SOOC JPG files.
By the time you've profiled both cameras, and have shot them side by side. You can remove most if not all the differences between the two sensors.

Any differences SOOC are caused by a number of factors.. CCD vs CMOS is a small almost non-existent fraction. It's easier to get a M240 file to look like an M9 file, which is the most important thing. Since the M240 is newer.

I don't want to start a crazy debate/rumour, but the main difference between the M9 and M240 is the sensor glass reflections. And this is apparent between lenses. And in certain lighting conditions. Neither is better or worse, but it does cause some lenses to act better on the M9 or M240. I ran tests ages ago when the M240 first came out. To be fair, it's not that big a deal.

I'd like to add that Paratom's points are spot on.


Active member
Thanks guys. I'm debating an S 006/007
I have used a M9 and M type 240 for moths and finally kept the new M.

2 or 3 steps better high ISO would extend the areas where you could use the S.
I will keep my S 006 and wait and see how the S007 performs and how prices develop.


New member
I've had a M9 and MM. I havent tried the M240 yet. I demo'd the S006 recently and really enjoyed it. I like your idea of pairing the two though makes sense.


Active member
I've had a M9 and MM. I havent tried the M240 yet. I demo'd the S006 recently and really enjoyed it. I like your idea of pairing the two though makes sense.
The only thin is that both are kind of slow . So I think it males sense to also have something like a MIrrorless like Oly or Sony or Leica T in addition for long Tele, Zoom and for going to the beach swimming or skiing or riding the bike.


New member
You know where the high ISO helps. It's everyday situations where you find yourself shooting at ISO 1600 just to get 250th of a second shutter.. ISO 1600 on the S-006 is pretty bad. So if the 007 is 2-3 stops better that's ideal. And worth the extra $$.
My main job is as a printer, and with that comes the advantage of seeing the output of a lot of different cameras. One generalization I feel comfortable making is that the megapixel rating is really only one component of the imaging chain, and often not the most important. More important is the quality of the image at full resolution. When you look at the 100% detail, how does it appear to you? Crisp and clean with good contrast and no digital artifacts or smoothing? Is it sharp to the edges and corners and is the color good? Then you will get a great print, even at 120dpi (or less for really large prints).

So how does this translate to actual cameras?

1. It means that superior lenses are the most important criteria -- the cameras tend to be capable of showing off all your lens deficiencies, so you better have a good lens and use it at its good apertures.

2. It means avoiding most noise reduction and smoothing unless absolutely necessary. This also extends to AA filters. When you look at 100% detail and there is a blurred character and/or loss of contrast, this is often due to an AA filter. This slight blurring will be less slight when you are printing a medium to large print, and it comes across as unnatural and sacrifices your image quality. Fine grain actually helps control this and appears more natural. Without an AA filter you do need to control moire, but this is something better done in post in most situations.

3. Assuming similar megapixel ratings and sensor generations, it means that larger sensors with more conservative ratings tend to look better than smaller sensors with higher pixel densities. Yes, megapixels aren't everything, and sensor size is not always a cure-all either. In film, I find I get better results out the of Mamiya 7II than I do out of 4x5, as the camera is more ergonomic, the lenses are better and have more DOF, there is less wind effects and film-flatness/camera rigidity problems and I can expose more quickly and efficiently. Sure, in the best possible situation 4x5 will have more resolution, but for my uses the Mamiya 7II makes much better images. If the 5ds style of shooting fits yours better than the S, then it will of course make better pictures for you!

So in this context, my guess would be that while the new 5D might have the potential for higher resolution, we will need to see what it really looks like at its 100% detail to see how good that detail is. Pretty much everyone would agree that 12mp from the Sony A7s looks better than 12mp from a smartphone...I am surely biased to some degree, but I have not seen any sensors from Canon, Nikon, Sony or Fuji etc that look better than the output from the S and S2. I have seen some really lovely output from Hasselblad sensors as well, but nothing I have seen so far comes close in the smaller realms other than perhaps the M9 and A7s. I have both, so I know that they have very nice character at 100% detail, but even they don't come that close to S or S2's character at 100%. So unless Canon can crack that particular nut, I don't think the image quality from the 5Dsr will be as compelling as that from the S, particularly if you use it with the typical stable of Canon lenses.

This is also leaving aside handling and user experience. After using the S and S2, it is very hard to go back to a more standard DSLR. Even though I am quite enamored by the size and capabilities of the A7s, the user-experience is miserable compared to the S.
Sorry, I know that was quite a rambling post! I will state a few more things though, that are perhaps more directly relevant to your question:

I had the S2 for three years before upgrading to the S, which I got at a very good price since the 007 had been announced. I bought it primarily for the updated warranty and few extra features, and intend to sell the S2 when the dust has settled and it is all burnt-in and working 100% (I find my Leica systems often take a bit to even out).

The S2 was the best camera I had ever used up to the point that I got the S. Both of them are a joy to work with, and the output from the camera is more consistently excellent than anything else I have ever worked with or seen. Out of camera, the color is excellent, and I find that I have an extremely high percentage of keepers (from a technical standpoint!). The vast majority of pictures are focused properly, exposed properly and white-balanced properly. But it goes beyond just that...they look NATURAL to me. I do not get that feeling from other digital cameras. In terms of handling, it is very intuitive and extremely well thought out and executed. In fact, I often keep to P mode in daylight and keep an eye on it, as the camera tends to make the same choices that I would make. When it doesn't, switching to A or M is very quick and easy, and the top-mounted shutter speed dial and rear thumb control are tactile and extremely simple to operate. They are located where they should be located and do what they should do. There is no crowding or button overload.

For me at least, there is almost no struggle in using the little about it is aggravating or problematic in use. You can just stop mucking about and photograph pictures of extremely high technical quality. To me, that is the most important measure of a camera.


New member
Stuart, those are excellent posts. Thank you. I've struggled for several years now about whether or not to buy into the S system. I have an M system, but my main camera for landscape is a D810 and the better Zeiss glass.
What puts me off the S are the many reports of failures in the field - either the body or the lenses (and most particularly the two lenses I would want to have for the S - the 35 and 120). The only camera I have ever had fail was a 617, which broke a film winder. There were times I used to carry a back up but never having had a failure I stopped with the back up. The Leica S is a heavy unit, even heavier than the Nikon/Zeiss setup, and to carry my M setup as a backup is just too much weight for my poor beat up back.
All that said when others were reporting problems with the M digital's, none of mine (M8, 8.2, 9P & M-P) ever gave even a hiccup.
I will continue to read these threads as the interest remains high - I would probably need a money-back guarantee to dip my toe in the water.
Hi John,
I really can't answer your question other than to say that I have indeed had some problems in the S system, but none of them stopped me from making photos in the field. My first S2 did not AF correctly out of the box. MF was fine. It was replaced by Leica immediately and without hesitation. My 70mm lens did not seem to be evenly sharp across the frame in some images. It was spectacularly sharp in most situations, but at certain apertures and distances, it displayed odd behavior. Leica replaced it without qualms when I showed them the issue. The replacement is fine. I am also very demanding, as I live in a country with very demanding landscapes (lots of clutter-free foregrounds, tons of detail and little atmospheric haze) and print very large.

Any problem I have had has been dealt with extremely well and very quickly. That is all I can ask. I don't think reading reports on particular lenses failing is necessarily productive. Few people write about their lens NOT failing. Personally, I am more concerned with how they respond to problems, rather than whether or not they occur. I also don't think that the chance that the camera might fail is a reason to choose a worse camera...the camera might also fail. If the better camera fails, you are still going to be using a much better camera for the 99% of the time that the camera is around. For the 1% of the time it is not, you still have an M system!

The weight is an issue, but I did not find it that much heavier than other DSLR setups with bigger lenses. If you are concerned by weight, the 100mm f/2 might be an interesting consideration. As long as you don't need the central shutter or to focus closer than .7m (which is fairly close for a 100mm!), it would be a good alternative. The S lens performance is so high that there is likely not much between them in performance, particularly at landscape apertures.


New member
Thanks for your comments Stuart. I'm about to dip[ my toe into the S-006 I think. Much appreciated.


I have the s system with all the lenses and it is my main camera. i have not had any issues with my system. on the S2 focus could be a little tricky but i have learned to deal with it. i will upgrade to a pair of 007 once the dust settles and prices new/used are more reasonable.

I am glad that now sony, canon and nikon all have high res cameras. this will pressure leica to better price their cameras. i can live with the lens prices given i keep them for a very long time. but bodies are a different story.

Stuart, those are excellent posts. Thank you. I've struggled for several years now about whether or not to buy into the S system. I have an M system, but my main camera for landscape is a D810 and the better Zeiss glass.
What puts me off the S are the many reports of failures in the field - either the body or the lenses (and most particularly the two lenses I would want to have for the S - the 35 and 120). The only camera I have ever had fail was a 617, which broke a film winder. There were times I used to carry a back up but never having had a failure I stopped with the back up. The Leica S is a heavy unit, even heavier than the Nikon/Zeiss setup, and to carry my M setup as a backup is just too much weight for my poor beat up back.
All that said when others were reporting problems with the M digital's, none of mine (M8, 8.2, 9P & M-P) ever gave even a hiccup.
I will continue to read these threads as the interest remains high - I would probably need a money-back guarantee to dip my toe in the water.
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Well-known member
I have used a Pentax 645D and Nikon D800. You could argue the D800 is the equal or superior to the Pentax. On paper it is really impressive. I just prefer using the Pentax. I find the images more natural. I prefer the economics. The viewfinder goes hands down to the Pentax--I really have a hard time with small 35mm viewfinders. (I grew up with film and so 35mm viewfinders are small [APS are ridiculous).) As far as the economics, I can afford the Pentax. True, the D800 is cheaper, but I get better images out of the Pentax. So how much do less satisfying images cost?

I guess you are going to have to use the cameras and figure it out...


So after buying and using several generations of dsrl's you still didn't outlay 25k and your using features and a sensor that's two years ahead of a leica 007. That's in terms OF ISO, FPS shooting and a few other advantages in automation. What I don't understand is what marketing sense does a long life span of lenses have in common with a body and firmware that's (006) years behind a 3-5k body, when it seems all to possible to have made a better body for significantly less money with more advantageous features and capture more market share?