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Thread: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

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    DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    I have the option to acquire a DMR; that might be a really stupid move at this point, then maybe not.... I really like how the R9 is handling.

    How does the DMR noise levels compare to the M8?
    Is ISO-400 on the DMR comparable to ISO-640 on the M8?
    Is ISO-400 DMR worse than Canon 5D ISO-800?

    Thanks for sharing, there seem to be significant DMR know-how on getdepi...!

    Peter

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    This is purely based on having used all three cameras in very similar venues . it is not based on any controlled testing ....I think you have it about right or very close. The DMR starts to lose quality at ISO 400..still very useable but IMHO just not the same as ISO 200. At ISO 100 the DMR again just my opinion blows away the M8 ..and I have and use both . The 5D produces excellent files right up to ISO 800 and where its starts to degrade...so for my shooting the DMR at 400 the M8 at 640 and the 5D at 800 are at similar noise levels. From a practical standpoint I consider the DMR challenged in situations calling for higher ISO levels. The M8 is OK because I have very fast glass and the 5d is decent. None of these three are close to the Nikon s. There you have a significant difference.

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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    Thanks, Glen.

    I am hoping that ISO 400 is still fairly clean; ISO 800 color I have seen and is not looking good. If 400 works, one can shoot quite a lot handheld. If you need 200 for clean quality, you are indeed limited (like my Hassy-V with an Aptus back).

    ISO 640 on the M8 is 'really OK' if exposed correctly, i.e. can be printed fairly large like 16x24" in color (bw is easier, imo) and is looking good.

    I have to see if I can get hold of some ISO400 DMR shots.

    Peter

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    Member MarkSaperstein's Avatar
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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    This is purely based on having used all three cameras in very similar venues . it is not based on any controlled testing ....I think you have it about right or very close. The DMR starts to lose quality at ISO 400..still very useable but IMHO just not the same as ISO 200. At ISO 100 the DMR again just my opinion blows away the M8 ..and I have and use both . The 5D produces excellent files right up to ISO 800 and where its starts to degrade...so for my shooting the DMR at 400 the M8 at 640 and the 5D at 800 are at similar noise levels. From a practical standpoint I consider the DMR challenged in situations calling for higher ISO levels. The M8 is OK because I have very fast glass and the 5d is decent. None of these three are close to the Nikon s. There you have a significant difference.
    I haven't used the new Nikons (yet), but my experience is very similar this. I will add that when using Flexcolor to process DMR files, the results are outstanding.

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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    I have since sold the DMR (I moved to medium format digital), but ISO 400 with the DMR is fine. It does not have the noise-free look of the ISO 100, but it is still quite good. It looks better to me than 640 on the M8, but worse then 320. A lot of it depends on exposure...high ISO with the DMR really depends on actually having light. So 400 looks good if you have a properly exposed shot, but if you just put it at 400 and then underexpose one or more stops, it starts to get noisy. Bluntly put, the point of the DMR is to shoot at 100. Anything less, and you are beginning to compromise its utility. Anything over 200 and it starts to lose any advantage it might have over the current crop of DSLR's. I also use the D3, and while the DMR gave it a run for its money at base ISO (showing about equal resolution and good color), the results gave way pretty quickly. If you intend to shoot a lot at even moderate ISO's, I think you would be better served by a D700 -- it is cheaper, smaller, lighter, full-frame, has a much better screen, and the high ISO performance is dramatically better. Most of the lenses are not as good, but some are really excellent (the new 24-70 was as good as the 28-90 ASPH), and you can always get the Zeiss ZF lenses if you feel the need for manual focus high quality optics. They are not as good as the R lenses, but it is angels dancing on the head of a pin in this case.

    Anyway, this is just my take on it. Others will surely have a different opinion.
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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by psorantin View Post
    I have to see if I can get hold of some ISO400 DMR shots.
    I use it almost always at ISO 400:



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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    Thanks, Doug.

    That looks fine.

    My thinking is that with good ISO 400 plus some fast 'lux lenses, it is a quite flexible system. I look at it like a digital medium-format back (like my Leaf Aptus), that's what it kind of is.

    Maybe crazy, but I am considering buying one plus one or two fast R primes.

    Peter

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    Re: DMR-Noise levels: Comparison to M8?

    If you can wait until after Photokina, I would do that. Even if you eventually decide to purchase it, the used prices will probably go down after Photokina, especially if Leica introduces something new. Then you get to see what else might be available as well. And with all respect to the DMR, but it is pretty old technology now. They have come a long way with respect to usability, reliability and broadly based image quality (from low to high ISO). I hate to call it out, but as a former DMR owner, I have to say that the D3 (and consequently the D700 that shares the innards) is a much better camera in almost every possible way. If you are not already sitting on a bunch of Leica R glass, it seems pretty unwise to me to go down that road, especially since you already have a medium format digital camera that is capable of extreme resolution and fidelity at low ISOs. The DMR is not much smaller or light than most medium format digital, so you are not gaining a huge portability benefit or anything.
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