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Thread: X1 vs M9 for street ?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    X1 vs M9 for street ?

    As I look at the specifications again and I have handled the x1 and taken a few shots, it may be a even better street camera than the M9.

    The size is smaller and with some of my "nasty black gaffer tape" it will look like a simple P+S. If the sensor is truly a Sony and the same as Nikon uses in the D300s ..it will have excellent ISO performance to 1600 and usable to 3200.

    The 36mm FOV is a bit tight for street (28mmFOV preferred) but as a fixed length lens..this maybe a good compromise. This will feel like a 28 on a M8.

    The AF might help (if it works in low light) and face recognition might make grab shots possible.. I can see + and - to AF .

    A good friend and lifetime Leica PJ told me he is excited about the EP-1 for street ...simply because he can get away with photographing almost anything. The X1 could be better.


    So this will be a test....I look forward to .

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    I'm inherently lazy, so AF is a must. I often don't bring the camera to my eye, so I would either have to zone focus manually or depend on the kindness of AF.

    The question for me is X1 vs GF-1 or go with a compact dSLR and small lens (like K7 or Kx with 40/2.8 pancake). I still think that the "p&s" form factor is more discrete for street, though small dSLRs are getting so common that they are starting to blend in as well.

    Seems that most here love the UI on the X1. Then it comes down to whether or not 35 (effective) 2.8 fixed lens will cut it. The 40 (effective) f1.7 on the Panny is more attractive from a speed aspect, but the DOF difference in the chips will wash out some of that aspect, and there is no IS with the Panny. However you will be able to slap on the Leica 90mm (effective) f2.8 macro on the GF-1...that is almost enough to make my decision for me.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Those are some of the trade offs...but the one feature/specification that most PJ complain about is.......speed . The AF systems can get slow or hunt in low light. Zone focusing can work for a lot but sometimes you need to focus.

    Then there is the "lag time" from shutter release to exposure. Most P+S frustrate when compared to an M and even an M is slow compared to a Nikon.

    But having a high performing APS C sensor with a Leica 24 asph ..wow. The leica interview tape shows that the 24 asph is based on the design of the M lens which is superb. While I would like more speed ..its really hard to focus from the hip etc with a 1.4 lens and you often need 2.8 to have enough DOF.

    This one looks close.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Those are some of the trade offs...but the one feature/specification that most PJ complain about is.......speed . The AF systems can get slow or hunt in low light. Zone focusing can work for a lot but sometimes you need to focus.

    Then there is the "lag time" from shutter release to exposure. Most P+S frustrate when compared to an M and even an M is slow compared to a Nikon.

    But having a high performing APS C sensor with a Leica 24 asph ..wow. The leica interview tape shows that the 24 asph is based on the design of the M lens which is superb. While I would like more speed ..its really hard to focus from the hip etc with a 1.4 lens and you often need 2.8 to have enough DOF.

    This one looks close.

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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Keep in mind the lack of OVF on the X1. Not ideal. I'm sure there will be very fine external viewfinders available, but you'd think they'd build the darn thing into the body in the first place.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    What about your M8, Roger?

    I don't think I can see myself using the X1. The current G1s I use, almost always it is with manual focus lenses. The CDAF stuff isn't for me.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    [QUOTE=Vivek;136011]What about your M8, Roger?

    I don't think I can see myself using the X1. The current G1s I use, almost always it is with manual focus lenses. The CDAF stuff isn't for me.[/QUOTE

    When the dust settles I will set up with 2 M9s and the fastest glass at every focal length. My most significant issue with the M9 is the (comparatively weak) high ISO performance. I need to solve this and will work on my technique and post processing to try to get the needed 2EV improvement over my M8 work. I believe the M9 at 1000 will equal the M8 at 640 based on the results I have seen todate.

    The X1 with the sony/nikon sensor should be at least a full EV better than the M9 at 1000 .....so the M8=640:M9=1000,X1=1600. Those are my assumptions. But I also know the M sensor is out of gas and one more bump is into unacceptable territory ..the sony/nikon sensor can go to 3200 opening up almost D3 options.

    The other issue is the simple small form ..the carry always camera . This is what my PJ friends all want. A small P+S that fast and has good quality at higher Iso s .

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    I agree with everything you say. I recently picked up a FF camera and have mostly f4 glass at the moment. It is providing a bit easier transition into the shallower DOF of the sensor.

    My g/f has the G1, and the AF is pretty damn stout. It was at least as fast/accurate as my K20d. There really are no speed issues with that camera other than screen blackout when the shutter fires (though that doesn't bother me so much).

    If the 24/2.8 is in fact up to Leica glass standards and it has good AF performance and a quiet shutter, I don't see myself being able to stop from pulling out the visa card - even if I've already bought a GF-1. And the aesthetic of the X1...can't be beat.

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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    My most significant issue with the M9 is the (comparatively weak) high ISO performance. I need to solve this and will work on my technique and post processing to try to get the needed 2EV improvement over my M8 work. I believe the M9 at 1000 will equal the M8 at 640 based on the results I have seen todate.

    .
    Realistically how large do you print your low light high ISO street shots? Even if the M8 and M9 were equal in ISO you have a lot more pixels at your disposal on the M9. If you aren't printing huge then the M9 gives you an advantage over the M8. If you add that to the one stop claimed advantage, you should be able to pick up two stops from where you currently are with your M8 without too much difficulty (again assuming a reasonable print size).

    That being said, I'm pretty keen to get my hands on the X1 and test it out.

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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Assuming decent high ISO performance (on par with the D300), the AF may not match it.

    I have had trouble with the D300 in low light and AF. They (high ISO/low light and AF) are incompatible, IME.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: X1 vs M9 for street ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Realistically how large do you print your low light high ISO street shots? Even if the M8 and M9 were equal in ISO you have a lot more pixels at your disposal on the M9. If you aren't printing huge then the M9 gives you an advantage over the M8. If you add that to the one stop claimed advantage, you should be able to pick up two stops from where you currently are with your M8 without too much difficulty (again assuming a reasonable print size).

    That being said, I'm pretty keen to get my hands on the X1 and test it out.
    I didn t get very far with my discussion of high ISO performance in the other post. So let me use an example......say you are shooting on times square in NYC. At ISO 640 you have reasonable noise assuming if you expose correctly. But the dynamic range required exceeds the M8 at 640 ....you have less than one EV to bring back a shadow and the highlights are gone. This is because with an M8 the dynamic range drops very quickly from the native 160....at 320 you probably don t notice but at 640 you have to nail the exposure . At 1250 the IQ is gone unless you are Ok with a noisy black and white .

    With a Nikon sensor ..the dynamic range starts out a little higher than the M8 (not a material difference) but the drop off is slower ....so that DR at 1600 is equal a M8 at 640 and then it continues ..where the M8 dies.

    Color saturation works the same way .

    This is explained on the DxO Labs website with examples and it exactly mirrors what I see in my files. So with the M8 I stop at 640 and try to use fast glass and better technique..with the M9 hopefully apples to apples I can get ISO 1000....

    This is also why I haven t used any of the P+S or 4/3 solutions. The noise can be managed (or smoothed) but the DR ,CS etc don t work well especially for color.

    Sorry for a long answer to a straightforward question.

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