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Thread: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    I am hoping someone can set me straight because I don t get it? I always though the issue with noise in a digital rendering was more than just "digital grain". Noise seems to be used interchangeably for high ISO performance (not necessarily by SR but in most discussions).

    To my eye .....there is absolutely no difference between the M8 and the M9 when it comes to high ISO performance. IMHO it still sucks. At 640 you have a loss in dynamic range, color saturation and resolution. Regardless if some photographers find higher ISO s acceptable .....I could see absolutely no improvement in high ISO performance. And I could easily see that the Canon 5DII was better in this specific test.

    If I apply this to night photography( a joy with the M s ) ....I frequently lose images to lack of dynamic range. I can t expose for the shadows without blowing the highlights . It seems to defy logic to advise ..don t underexpose really anything at higher ISO s . I find about 1/2 to 3/4 stop latitude in bringing back shadows . The image quality suffers.

    I understand the point about what you see in a print and this is a good point made frequently when comparing canon 5DII to the D3/D700 . But I believe thats only part of the discussion.

    The other issue that jumped out at me in the review as the discussion of IR contamination . The M8 was unacceptable to most people without filters and the M9 is better.....but the contamination is still there? Compare the blacks from the 5DII to the M9 ....am I the only one that can see the difference?

    In the big scheme of things ..the M9 ..is whatever Leica can build and I will certainly be trading my M8 s for M9 s...but in these two critical areas it seems that a lot of smoke is being blown about improvements.

    (a qualifier..this is not a slam on SR review..it seems to show everything you need to know).

    Is this stuff relevant or do I need another "education" ?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Roger part of the issue why it may not be in any of the reviews for that matter is the updates for LR and C1 profiles are missing when these folks actually did there testing and those algorithms for noise are just not being applied when they did there tests. The basic problem is the Raw software just cannot read the M9 properly. Now that C1 is out with a profile , now is the time to actually test that and run it in a profiled software. All the information from the M9 is wrapped in the DNG. Basically all the settings and in camera raw processing of vignetting, cyan drift and noise control is wrapped up in the DNG so any software with the M9 profile or update can read that, right now that is not being read by the software.

    So these test on noise actually need to be reprocessed in C1 for the moment at least to update those tests.

    We need to remember all camera data is wrapped in the DNG and until it can get properly unlocked by the software we won't see those benefits the M9 has like noise for example.

    Geez i butchered the spelling here . Not enough espresso
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Roger hope that made sense but the reviews need to be updated now since there is probably for one new firmware which may have some real changes to the files themselves, since these folks most likely used some older firmware. But we honestly don't know if any color changes and such where actually changed. So that maybe doubtful but more important the raw software can actually start to read what's behind the DNG wrapper. So on noise I would not put to much stock yet on that until it is redone with the correct profiles or updates to LR. It's unfortunate that these folks had one hand tied behind there back without the correct raw processing profiles and or updates to LR.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Roger - I am not one to care about technical comparisons but in my eyes I do see a better high ISO performance in the M9 over the M8/M8.2 (see the thread with samples I posted at the LUF http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...ine-myths.html).

    Cheers,

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Riccis these are very good examples

    the only thing I see as far as noise is...
    on the first image (upper right center) some Chroma Noise
    but I can't say for sure based on this web sample
    Riccis can confirm it, maybe I'm wrong

    other than that I love it.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Guy don't tell me you don't have one M9 by now to play around?

    You seriously have to get your hands on one a.s.a.p.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Well actually I am hoping to try one out real soon here and give a users report. It does look nice and this M9 does have me missing the M system.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Riccis View Post
    Roger - I am not one to care about technical comparisons but in my eyes I do see a better high ISO performance in the M9 over the M8/M8.2 (see the thread with samples I posted at the LUF http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...ine-myths.html).

    Cheers,
    Riccis

    Thanks for the real world test. If noise = grain then your images prove the point that the higher MPs translate into a smoother look. And I acknowledge that a lot of people look at noise as essentially digital grain.

    However it is also obvious that the images are struggling with limited dynamic range and desaturated colors. The colors you control and this could be your choice..they are quite attractive renderings for a wedding . But if say a face was caught in shadow you would struggle to bring it back.

    You don t see these issues with a D3/D700 until you get to 1600 . I am not expecting D3 sensor performance (but for my use I would trade for it). Rather I am pointing out or suggesting that discussions of high ISO performance go beyond grain .

    This in no way takes away from the improvements your images show or your conclusion that high ISO performance has been improved?

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well actually I am hoping to try one out real soon here and give a users report. It does look nice and this M9 does have me missing the M system.

    I thought by now, Leica would send you one

    they told me I'm gonna get my M9s in two weeks

    is there a member that can let you use one over the weekend?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Not here in town but trying to get one from Leica for a spin.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post

    I understand the point about what you see in a print and this is a good point made frequently when comparing canon 5DII to the D3/D700 . But I believe thats only part of the discussion.
    What point are you referring to? That the extra resolution of the 5D2 is lost unless you print large or crop heavily?

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Well Leica just called me . I WILL have a M9 and several lenses here Thursday for a long week end and actually put it to use on a golf tournament job on Friday. So there you go plus I will do some testing as well. Guy
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    What I see in some of those images is just the JPG compression (if I remember correctly I saved them anywhere between 6 and 8 to keep a decent file size).

    I don't know what the D3/D700 look like but, IMHO, the M9 does an excellent job throughout the ISO range and there is no excuse (at least for me and my style of working) to not be able to come home with great shots regardless of lighting conditions.

    Cheers,

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Roger hope that made sense but the reviews need to be updated now since there is probably for one new firmware which may have some real changes to the files themselves, since these folks most likely used some older firmware. But we honestly don't know if any color changes and such where actually changed. So that maybe doubtful but more important the raw software can actually start to read what's behind the DNG wrapper. So on noise I would not put to much stock yet on that until it is redone with the correct profiles or updates to LR. It's unfortunate that these folks had one hand tied behind there back without the correct raw processing profiles and or updates to LR.
    Guy

    I follow you 100% but I expect that the raw conversion issues could actually be a limiting factor. Leica and C1 worked hard to optimize the DNG conversions with the M8 and they seem to have established a very high standard.....getting the most out of the files. Adobe isn t likely to have the same focus on optimization and Phase may not be all that motivated. You can t optimize a digital system by throwing the file over the wall to adobe to process.

    I was just reacting to the very limited push back I have seen from Sean s review. We can only go with what he presented but the performance ...again as shown.....has limited improvement over the M8 files. So if his review is to taken seriously .....doesn t anybody else see the issues. There has been a lot of flap over the independence of the reviewers (as selected by leica) and I have no doubt that Sean has shown us some of the best tests out there.......but the conclusions don t seem to reconcile with what I am seeing. Again...from the tests...

    (1) improved ISO has not been demonstrated beyond the obvious benefit to reduced noise in prints.

    (2)IR sensitivity is better but without filters doesn t match the 5DII or the M8 using filters. Conclusion..don t have to use filters but IR contamination will slightly affect image quality.

    (3)his example in B+W appears to have an unidentified or discussed "band" across 1/3 of the image.

    good are his reviews if the examples are not reflected in the conclusions reached ?

    Again I think all the right stuff has been said by Sean and we all choose to see what we have already concluded. ( I am as guilty as anyone). Your response as I understand it is " you can really tell until the raw conversion software has the right profiles and the new firmware is tested" ......(good points). Riccis point is that in his practical application he sees an improvement and that he doesn t pay much attention to the tests?

    Now if you tell me that my read of the report doesn t match yours....thats a totally different perspective.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well Leica just called me . I WILL have a M9 and several lenses here Thursday for a long week end and actually put it to use on a golf tournament job on Friday. So there you go plus I will do some testing as well. Guy


    huh Leica delivers

    finally

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Riccis point is that in his practical application he sees an improvement and that he doesn t pay much attention to the tests?
    This is correct... I am not one to pay attention to the technical stuff and as long as the tools I use are reliable don't really care about anything else... After all, I still shoot Holgas

    My only goal when making images is trying to faithfully record a moment in time even if the results are not technically perfect. I will take a grainy, dark image that moves or invites the viewer anyday before a techically perfect but boring one.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Good stuff, Riccis.

    I also enjoyed your Noct shots on the other site.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Roger I just got a call back from Leica . They are sending me a M9 24 lux, 35 cron, 90 summarit and thought of you on this one a 135 . They wanted me to make sure I did the firmware update, something I have been saying all along and I mentioned my C1 was up to date for the M9. All good on there end and I promise I will do a noise test like i did with my MF gear that i have shown on the forum. I don't have a M8 but we can at least see what is going on and i can shoot my P30+ next to it to compare noise because we know it's standard if we want which is the same 6.8 micron. Not sure it would benefit us but maybe interesting.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    What point are you referring to? That the extra resolution of the 5D2 is lost unless you print large or crop heavily?
    Sean explains that the M8 files maybe negatively impacted by upresing them for printing or conversely that the lower magnification required to print the larger M9 file may reduce the apparent noise. Its still there just not a prominent . This was a common discussion when comparing the noise of a 5DII file with the d3/D700. The argument is that you have to use similar magnifications to have an apples to apples comparison.

    So an 18mp sensor with the same exact ISO performance will look a lot better than a 10MP sensor when compared at the same output size. My read of the tests would be that he proved the noise would be less but that the DR ,color and resolution look the same.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Thanks for the explanation Guy,you see I dont spend that much time on these forums but having checked it all out a little I see what you mean..handbags at dawn!
    Glad youre getting an M9 ,be nice to read a working photographers views.
    Dont suppose youd try putting it under the tap for me to see how it copes with adverse weather?

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    That actually makes sense. The bigger sensor will show less noise due to less magnification for sure.

    DR on the M9 though maybe different because of the Ad converter has been improved on the M9.

    Color should remain. Same basic sensor and if the profile is correct for the increased red channel and lower green and blue than it should match. One reason I been mentioning a new profile or update on the raw processing the algorithm is different than the M8 but when corrected it should match the M8 color.

    Resolution on same print size than the M9 should be better unless I missed something there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Thanks for the explanation Guy,you see I dont spend that much time on these forums but having checked it all out a little I see what you mean..handbags at dawn!
    Glad youre getting an M9 ,be nice to read a working photographers views.
    Dont suppose youd try putting it under the tap for me to see how it copes with adverse weather?
    Yea Neil it's just something that is silly in the end. I'm sure after the dust settles all will be fine there. I wish them all the best in working that out. BTW I did not want to blow you off either on it but as you see what it comes down to it just not worth the read actually.

    Hell it don't rain in Arizona

    You know I really never had a issue with water in light rain on any gear. Let's face it I don't want to get to wet either by than the light is crap and you want to go home anyway.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Riccis View Post
    This is correct... I am not one to pay attention to the technical stuff and as long as the tools I use are reliable don't really care about anything else... After all, I still shoot Holgas

    My only goal when making images is trying to faithfully record a moment in time even if the results are not technically perfect. I will take a grainy, dark image that moves or invites the viewer anyday before a techically perfect but boring one.

    Cheers,

    Riccis
    You know I love your work and respect your POV. High ISO performance is a technical subject and has nothing to do with the artistic merit of your examples.. They are excellent images in the hands of a very skilled photographer .

    However I don t think they demonstrate high ISO performance(except in reduced noise in the shadows). This is important to a street bum like myself because we take the light we can get.
    For example I am as interested in the new Noctilux performance as the the M9 sensor . When the 21/24 1.4 lenses came out this gave me 2EV more to work with . A really big deal for street work. I will bust my butt to learn to use these lenses wide open on moving subjects . The M needs 2 more EV to cover 99% of all street situations. Anything short of that requires a work around....slower shutter speed ,special processing etc.

    Since this is an important capability for a sweet spot in M photography ..thought maybe a discussion of Sean s report might be meaningful.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That actually makes sense. The bigger sensor will show less noise due to less magnification for sure.

    DR on the M9 though maybe different because of the Ad converter has been improved on the M9.

    Color should remain. Same basic sensor and if the profile is correct for the increased red channel and lower green and blue than it should match. One reason I been mentioning a new profile or update on the raw processing the algorithm is different than the M8 but when corrected it should match the M8 color.

    Resolution on same print size than the M9 should be better unless I missed something there.
    Guy

    Agree with what you have said....can you see any of this in Sean Reid s examples?

    When I speak to color I am referring to color saturation(isn t this called color depth by the MF team ). On paper the uncompressed DNG s should retain more color depth . Just to be sure isn this the capability to see tone separation in say a bold color area . with the DMR you can see the subtle shading in a colored shirt for example that you will not see with a canon file (or at least in my canon files).

    No question the M9 has the potential to be better than the M8 in every area ...but the early tests results aren t showing much? I do see better color in Jono s images but this maybe more effective processing as there are no side by side comparisons . Hope you are right on the new firmware and profiles.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Riccis
    You know I love your work and respect your POV. High ISO performance is a technical subject and has nothing to do with the artistic merit of your examples.. They are excellent images in the hands of a very skilled photographer .

    However I don t think they demonstrate high ISO performance(except in reduced noise in the shadows). This is important to a street bum like myself because we take the light we can get.
    For example I am as interested in the new Noctilux performance as the the M9 sensor . When the 21/24 1.4 lenses came out this gave me 2EV more to work with . A really big deal for street work. I will bust my butt to learn to use these lenses wide open on moving subjects . The M needs 2 more EV to cover 99% of all street situations. Anything short of that requires a work around....slower shutter speed ,special processing etc.

    Since this is an important capability for a sweet spot in M photography ..thought maybe a discussion of Sean s report might be meaningful.
    The light gathering capabilities of the Noctilux is the reason why I didn't really need to go over ISO 1000... I believe there will be new shipments coming soon so hopefully you can get your hands on one to test.

    As always, I am very appreciative of your kind comments.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    No I cannot see his review.

    Yes we do refer that to color depth and yes the uncompressed DNG is 14 bit I believe compared to the 8 bit compressed file. There should be a subtle difference between them. Basically you should be getting the best saturation and color depth in the 14 bit. The DMR is 16 nit so yes you would see it more like a MF file with more color toning across over a 12 bit file per say. Yes lets see what that new firmware and color profiles brings to the table. C1 in the past over LR also had a longer tonal range , not so sure that is true anymore though.

    Roger try Prophoto as your color space. It holds the biggest color space. There is another but Prophoto is good

    I'm also going to have Bob and Jack double check me here just to be clear.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Riccis View Post
    The light gathering capabilities of the Noctilux is the reason why I didn't really need to go over ISO 1000... I believe there will be new shipments coming soon so hopefully you can get your hands on one to test.

    As always, I am very appreciative of your kind comments.

    Cheers,
    please call me first when you decide to sell yours .....LOL

    I am still not sure I want to change for the new Noctilux look....I really like the old version for street shooting at night and I have the 50 1.4asph if I can get enough light. But I will probably cave in eventually.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Sean explains that the M8 files maybe negatively impacted by upresing them for printing or conversely that the lower magnification required to print the larger M9 file may reduce the apparent noise. Its still there just not a prominent . This was a common discussion when comparing the noise of a 5DII file with the d3/D700. The argument is that you have to use similar magnifications to have an apples to apples comparison.
    ahh, gotcha. Yeah, that one bit me when I was trying to decide between D700 and 5D2. By (bad) habit I did some 100% viewing and thought, "hmm, the D700 does kill everything wrt hi iso noise." Then I instead cropped the same relative area in the same shot with equivalent lenses - and the 5D2 was pretty much on-par with the D700. Far too easy to get tripped up by not factoring in the variable. And *way* too easy to get carried away pixel peeping.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I don't have a M8 but we can at least see what is going on and i can shoot my P30+ next to it to compare noise because we know it's standard if we want which is the same 6.8 micron. Not sure it would benefit us but maybe interesting.
    I think you should get one of GetDPI members to lend you M8 not sure if Jack has his still and make it clear (non nonsense test) like you usually do along with P30+

    I think it's worth the stretch considering whatever you tested so far is
    nothing less than 100% pure honest and without any hint of aspartame!!!

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Guy,
    Almost all modern digital cameras have a color space that is larger than sRGB and some larger than Adobe RGB.
    ALL rendition of color involves some degree of compression and occasionally expansion, or perhaps lets call it remapping, of the color space to some gamut that the display device (monitor, paper, or whatever) is able to reproduce.
    So lets not confuse the raw file encoding of the numerical values in raw files to perceived color saturation.
    24 bit color (8bit r g b) gives us 16777216 potential colors to work with. Complicating this is that the human visual system has a color gamut (the colors we are capable of perceiving) that is brightness dependent. At very low light, in fact, we have no color vision at all. At high levels we have no color reception either since our eyes saturate very much the same way that a sensor can have a blown highlight.
    Simply encoding 14 or 16 bits linearly as the data exits the ad converters does not necessarily guarantee any perceptual difference whatsoever. Now linearly here, to digital engineers, is that the next higher order bit represents twice the value as the bit below it. That means it might have (color gamut/profile remapping aside) twice the brightness.
    So in conceptual terms and using an 8 bit file as an illustration, there are only two levels (on and off) at the minimum brightness level. With three colors that gives you only eight colors at minimum levels. The interesting thing is that is fine with us humans, since when things are really really dark, we can't see color anyway.
    The argument in favor of some other non-linear encoding method is that at the lower half of brightness levels there are 2097152 colors. that leaves 14680064 colors available in the bright half. Now if the sensor is "stretched" or digitally amplified, and I have my suspicions about which cameras do which, by shifting all of the available sensor data right one bit, the available number of colors in the high end remains the same, but the number of levels available in the low end drops in half. This is what some perceive as a reduction in dynamic range, which is indeed what it is. Even with additional analog amplification, random noise, or worse, non-random noise, enters the low bit positions. The M8 suffered badly from non-random noise since internal camera noise which is synched with internal clocks, could actually be seen as noise patterns imposed in the low "high iso" levels. This is usually mor obvious with ccd based camra with off-chip ad converters and poor electrical noise design. CMOS based integrated converter cameras don't have this problem, but they have more inherent conversion noise due to on-chip noise coupling and variability in terms of the integrated a/d converters. A different sort of problem. Companies with limited R&D resources tend to opt for ccd sensors and low integration levels.
    thanks
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 15th September 2009 at 12:01.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    At very low light, in fact, we have no color vision at all. At high levels we have no color reception either since our eyes saturate very much the same way that a sensor can have a blown highlight.
    No reception and blown highlights. That sounds like my first marriage...

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Guy,
    Almost all modern digital cameras have a color space that is larger than sRGB and some larger than Adobe RGB.
    ALL rendition of color involves some degree of compression and occasionally expansion, or perhaps lets call it remapping, of the color space to some gamut that the display device (monitor, paper, or whatever) is able to reproduce.
    So lets not confuse the raw file encoding of the numerical values in raw files to perceived color saturation.
    24 bit color (8bit r g b) gives us 16777216 potential colors to work with. Complicating this is that the human visual system has a color gamut (the colors we are capable of perceiving) that is brightness dependent. At very low light, in fact, we have no color vision at all. At high levels we have no color reception either since our eyes saturate very much the same way that a sensor can have a blown highlight.
    Simply encoding 14 or 16 bits linearly as the data exits the ad converters does not necessarily guarantee any perceptual difference whatsoever. Now linearly here, to digital engineers, is that the next higher order bit represents twice the value as the bit below it. That means it might have (color gamut/profile remapping aside) twice the brightness.
    So in conceptual terms and using an 8 bit file as an illustration, there are only two levels (on and off) at the minimum brightness level. With three colors that gives you only eight colors at minimum levels. The interesting thing is that is fine with us humans, since when things are really really dark, we can't see color anyway.
    The argument in favor of some other non-linear encoding method is that at the lower half of brightness levels there are 2097152 colors. that leaves 14680064 colors available in the bright half. Now if the sensor is "stretched" or digitally amplified, and I have my suspicions about which cameras do which, by shifting all of the available sensor data right one bit, the available number of colors in the high end remains the same, but the number of levels available in the low end drops in half. This is what some perceive as a reduction in dynamic range, which is indeed what it is. Even with additional analog amplification, random noise, or worse, non-random noise, enters the low bit positions. The M8 suffered badly from non-random noise since internal camera noise which is synched with internal clocks, could actually be seen as noise patterns imposed in the low "high iso" levels. This is usually mor obvious with ccd based camra with off-chip ad converters and poor electrical noise design. CMOS based integrated converter cameras don't have this problem, but they have more inherent conversion noise due to on-chip noise coupling and variability in terms of the integrated a/d converters. A different sort of problem. Companies with limited R&D resources tend to opt for ccd sensors and low integration levels.
    thanks
    -bob
    One thing I have learned surround yourself with genius between Bob and Jack I'm all set. Now can you figure out if two slices of cheese on my burger is shortening my life by one minute or less. Love ya man
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    ahh, gotcha. Yeah, that one bit me when I was trying to decide between D700 and 5D2. By (bad) habit I did some 100% viewing and thought, "hmm, the D700 does kill everything wrt hi iso noise." Then I instead cropped the same relative area in the same shot with equivalent lenses - and the 5D2 was pretty much on-par with the D700. Far too easy to get tripped up by not factoring in the variable. And *way* too easy to get carried away pixel peeping.
    But as understand it .....this does not in anyway affect the dynamic range or color saturation which are affected by the sensors ISO performance. You can see this in the sensor evaluations on the DxO labs evaluations. So if you are looking primarily at the grainy clumping in the dark areas as your measure of high ISO you are only looking at part of the issue.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well Leica just called me . I WILL have a M9 and several lenses here Thursday for a long week end and actually put it to use on a golf tournament job on Friday. So there you go plus I will do some testing as well. Guy
    I should have mine by Thursday also, and have a shoot on Saturday AM to try it out. I also updated C1 in readiness, but will try some of my Presets in LR also.

    The fun will be shooting the M8 and M9 at the same shoot.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Awesome Marc looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    The fun will be shooting the M8 and M9 at the same shoot.
    That's what I'm talking about Marc

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    But as understand it .....this does not in anyway affect the dynamic range or color saturation which are affected by the sensors ISO performance. You can see this in the sensor evaluations on the DxO labs evaluations. So if you are looking primarily at the grainy clumping in the dark areas as your measure of high ISO you are only looking at part of the issue.
    I actually don't focus so much on shadow noise. Instead I try to evaluate the whole picture (figuratively and literally) and I don't look at machine test numbers. I have never looked at DxO lab tests. While it can be fun (or not) to check images posted in the web, the reality is that I have a set of circumstances under which I shoot, so really all I care about is how the gear performs with my typical subjects under my typical conditions. So the best "tests" I've done are when I can shoot back to back and then go back and look at what I've got. "Noise" actually doesn't bother me as long as it fits with my aesthetic. Grit/grain works for me (depending on the image of course).

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Guy,
    After you have tested the M9 and lenses, let Leica know I will gladly purchase it at a deeply discounted used price.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hell I already have a ticket to Brazil.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well Leica just called me . I WILL have a M9 and several lenses here Thursday for a long week end and actually put it to use on a golf tournament job on Friday. So there you go plus I will do some testing as well. Guy
    Second-stage deliveries seem to be underway in UK, although supplies are still short. Yesterday I got the black one I ordered from Cambrian Photography in North Wales just before the launch . It was the only one they got and they have several back orders. The first delivery (pre-launch) apparently went only to London dealers in support of the opening of the new Leica Store in Mayfair, which also took place on 9/9/09.

    I've loaded the latest firmware and propose to go out testing some of my Voigtlander lenses with this camera later today.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Awesome John look forward to seeing some great images. Also congrats on getting one.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Guy,
    Almost all modern digital cameras have a color space that is larger than sRGB and some larger than Adobe RGB.
    ALL rendition of color involves some degree of compression and occasionally expansion, or perhaps lets call it remapping, of the color space to some gamut that the display device (monitor, paper, or whatever) is able to reproduce.
    So lets not confuse the raw file encoding of the numerical values in raw files to perceived color saturation.
    24 bit color (8bit r g b) gives us 16777216 potential colors to work with. Complicating this is that the human visual system has a color gamut (the colors we are capable of perceiving) that is brightness dependent. At very low light, in fact, we have no color vision at all. At high levels we have no color reception either since our eyes saturate very much the same way that a sensor can have a blown highlight.
    Simply encoding 14 or 16 bits linearly as the data exits the ad converters does not necessarily guarantee any perceptual difference whatsoever. Now linearly here, to digital engineers, is that the next higher order bit represents twice the value as the bit below it. That means it might have (color gamut/profile remapping aside) twice the brightness.
    So in conceptual terms and using an 8 bit file as an illustration, there are only two levels (on and off) at the minimum brightness level. With three colors that gives you only eight colors at minimum levels. The interesting thing is that is fine with us humans, since when things are really really dark, we can't see color anyway.
    The argument in favor of some other non-linear encoding method is that at the lower half of brightness levels there are 2097152 colors. that leaves 14680064 colors available in the bright half. Now if the sensor is "stretched" or digitally amplified, and I have my suspicions about which cameras do which, by shifting all of the available sensor data right one bit, the available number of colors in the high end remains the same, but the number of levels available in the low end drops in half. This is what some perceive as a reduction in dynamic range, which is indeed what it is. Even with additional analog amplification, random noise, or worse, non-random noise, enters the low bit positions. The M8 suffered badly from non-random noise since internal camera noise which is synched with internal clocks, could actually be seen as noise patterns imposed in the low "high iso" levels. This is usually mor obvious with ccd based camra with off-chip ad converters and poor electrical noise design. CMOS based integrated converter cameras don't have this problem, but they have more inherent conversion noise due to on-chip noise coupling and variability in terms of the integrated a/d converters. A different sort of problem. Companies with limited R&D resources tend to opt for ccd sensors and low integration levels.
    thanks
    -bob
    Bob,

    I am no electrical engineer or digital guru, but thank you for this totally understandable post on a complex topic. What's scary is that I understand it

    O.C.
    Victoria, Texas

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Since the M9 is as close as you can get to FF version of a crop camera in terms of sensor technology, we don't have to worry too much about generational differences between the sensors themselves, unlike comparing say a 5DII to a 50D. Even the pixel size is the same, so in many ways, the M9 sensor is just like the M8 sensor, with twice the area. I'm ignoring a couple things here like the IR filtering and the changed color filters, which might give a slight boost in sensitivity.

    For a given print size, an M9 image is going to have twice the light being collected as an M8 image. I think this is where most of the improvement comes from. About a stop. I'm guessing that if you take a 1.33 crop of an M9 image taken with the same lens as an M8 image and print at the same size, you'd end up with a very similar image in terms... well just about everything. The M9 might have slightly better noise characteristics due to the tweaked color filters and improved electronics, but it's probably minor.

    It's a back of the envelope calculation which ignores a lot of factors, but think of the film days where increasing film area and ignoring most other factors still gave you more grainless image. This is all just a guess though I think the M9 images look very usable to me. I'd be more than happy with the camera.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hi Roger
    I'm with Riccis on this one. All the side by side testing and report reading (and writing), and technical discussion in the world doesn't match shooting.

    For me, I can shoot 2500 ISO with the M9 and get reasonable COLOUR results from it, and as long as the focus is good and the exposure is good they will print relatively large. I couldn't do this with the M8 at 1250 ISO . . . I could (sometimes) at 1000 ISO. I can't easily prove this, but experience tells me that it's so.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Is it possible that M8 noise could be improved same to M9 by new firmware? I am still happy with M8 and plan to use it for a while.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Roger
    I'm with Riccis on this one. All the side by side testing and report reading (and writing), and technical discussion in the world doesn't match shooting.

    For me, I can shoot 2500 ISO with the M9 and get reasonable COLOUR results from it, and as long as the focus is good and the exposure is good they will print relatively large. I couldn't do this with the M8 at 1250 ISO . . . I could (sometimes) at 1000 ISO. I can't easily prove this, but experience tells me that it's so.
    Jono

    Sorry I can not agree with either of you on this. If testing is done properly(to isolate the differences) you can learn about the capabilities . DR and color saturation are important factors in IQ and they are affected by high ISO in all digital cameras.

    You can see it on a graph(if your inclined to be analytical) or in an image print or screen . Most of the discussions about high ISO talk about the point where noise overtakes the IQ ..grainy ,blotchy ,desaturated . But IQ starts to suffer well before it hits the "unacceptable level". In the M8 ..IQ ..if you include DR and color saturation starts to drop immediately and at 640 you have lost over 2EV . This means images taken with deep shadows will have no detail. A backlit image will just not be as good as one taken at 160.

    I am ok with your POV that for your typical subjects ....you can shoot comfortably above 1000 . I am sure others will feel the same way . However to understand the capabilities of the equipment .....we need side by side comparisons. We need to know that the M9 performs like an M8 plus one EV. The easy way to see this is compare a series of images that scale by changing ISO.

    I think Sean Reid s test do this and he also does a good job of showing how the larger sensor impacts IQ when viewed at comparable sizes.......and my point has been yes I can see it in less noise ...but the DR and the color are the same.

    This is a fruitless argument as you state up front that lab style testing doesn t tell you much and that your field test is better. Only problem is that your subjective comments (good as they are ....well they are your opinion which I do respect and value). Its just that we may be after different things....

    Like you I have the M9 here now and I will test like anyone should in my typical shooting environment..using both the M8 and the M9 at exactly the same scene. Don t get me wrong I do expect a 1 stop improvement in noise suppression ..but I am not sure about the DR and color.


    And in the big scheme of things ....I will just work harder on my technique and processing practices ...I can get 1EV just by getting my act cleaned up.

    No problem here just a different POV.

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well Leica just called me . I WILL have a M9 and several lenses here Thursday for a long week end and actually put it to use on a golf tournament job on Friday. So there you go plus I will do some testing as well. Guy
    What, you didn't get the flight on Leica's private Gulfstream to their chateau on the Wannsee Lake for the private test shooting session with the Ukrainian swimsuit models? I heard that was what all the other reviewers got >:-)

    (Oops, now Reid is probably gonna sue me, too...)

    Oh, well, a golf tournament should be a good test of the M's vaunted shutter quietness. If we see a headline reading, "PGA Pro Bludgeons Photographer To Death for Clicking During Key Putt," we'll know it didn't pass...

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Hi Roger
    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post

    I am ok with your POV that for your typical subjects ....you can shoot comfortably above 1000 . I am sure others will feel the same way . However to understand the capabilities of the equipment .....we need side by side comparisons. We need to know that the M9 performs like an M8 plus one EV. The easy way to see this is compare a series of images that scale by changing ISO.
    Well . . . I've been doing testing for a few months, and then I've been methodical - and of course, with different firmware versions things have changed.

    The last few weeks (after the release and the official firmware) I've just 'gone with the flow'.

    I don't need to see side by side comparisons to understand the capabilities of the equipment . . . because I don't believe they ever tell you more than how the camera will perform in a set lighting environment, and I'm never shooting in a set lighting environment.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising that kind of information, and I read it avidly. But when I'm shooting, it all ends up back with instinct and experience, and other peoples' experience with bowls of fruit, or rows of bottles . . however rigorous it may be, simply isn't terribly helpful.

    My photography is the one area of my life where I DON'T need to be rigorous and scientific, and for me the Leica embodies that kind of free spirit. But I realise that's my idiosyncracy.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    What, you didn't get the flight on Leica's private Gulfstream to their chateau on the Wannsee Lake for the private test shooting session with the Ukrainian swimsuit models? I heard that was what all the other reviewers got >:-)

    .
    Actually, the girls were Azeri, not Ukranian, the lake was the Caspian, and there wasn't a swimsuit in sight. We missed Guy though

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    Re: Sean Reid s Review of the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Roger


    Well . . . I've been doing testing for a few months, and then I've been methodical - and of course, with different firmware versions things have changed.

    The last few weeks (after the release and the official firmware) I've just 'gone with the flow'.

    I don't need to see side by side comparisons to understand the capabilities of the equipment . . . because I don't believe they ever tell you more than how the camera will perform in a set lighting environment, and I'm never shooting in a set lighting environment.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising that kind of information, and I read it avidly. But when I'm shooting, it all ends up back with instinct and experience, and other peoples' experience with bowls of fruit, or rows of bottles ... how ever rigorous it may be, simply isn't terribly helpful.

    My photography is the one area of my life where I DON'T need to be rigorous and scientific, and for me the Leica embodies that kind of free spirit. But I realise that's my idiosyncracy.
    Your POV may not necessarily be an exclusive idiosyncracy.

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