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Thread: Evaluating the New M

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Evaluating the New M

    Premature ? Production samples aren t really available and we all know that working with Leica s DNG s can only provide a glimpse of the potential .

    Why do these seem so important to some and nit picking obsessive pixel peeping to others . Who cares and why? And how can photographers come to such different conclusions .

    The answer appears to be based how you see three factors affecting your situation :

    1. Economics ....is the new M so compelling that you would plunk down another $4K to trade out from your M9 ? Would the benefits out weigh any perceived loss of CCD magic (real but in the eye of the beholder). As always , are there better alternatives out there at lower prices .

    2. Aesthetic... this is the CCD /CMOS debate . The most common discussion is will we lose the amazing CCD aesthetic and if so will my results now appear as N/C/S . But the other dimension is that the results will look different when grouped with prior work done with an M9 .

    3. Time ..this doesn t get discussed (seems like ever ) but each new system takes months to fine tune . Add in several iterations of firmware and updates to raw conversion software and its 4-6 months before I hit my stride with a new kit . Some really enjoy this phase of new gear and seem to seek out new challenges ..others find it draining .

    Its hard to debate these three factors in a vacuum ..without knowledge of each others work . I shoot primarily street and travel and have the ability to travel extensively . .I want my 2007 photographs taken with the M8 to work with my 2013 photographs taken with a new M . Thus having an aesthetic that shows a family resemblance makes some sense . The m9 and the S2 were just perfect .

    My family photographs are an entirely different matter . There is something magic about pulling together a group of family pictures taken over generations . Not a bit of consistency in anything other than the faces . Black and white,faded color prints ,kodachrome doesn t seem to matter when I see my girls at 5 and 2 together .

    When I took weddings ...I wanted reasonably consistent within the event ..but the look could and did change each year with new gear and new techniques .

    So any evaluation will of course depend on your POV.
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    If one has a bunch of 6 bit coded lenses, the answer is simple.

    For a newcomer, the new M is a tough sell.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Meh. I like my M9. It is what it is, I expect no more, no less. I don't need to read menus (much) to operate it - and I'm generally very happy with the results. Okay, so it doesn't do "high ISO" so well. That's why I have fast lenses.

    Video? EVFs? More reliance on interacting with menus... I could do without all of those.

    Using the LCD to focus, with peaking, etc. okay - that I can see.

    I guess we'll all have our reasons for or against. That's okay. We're still waiting for that "perfect camera."

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    The new sensor, video features, live view, etc. don't interest me much. The weathersealing, quieter shutter and faster operation do interest me, but I'm not sure that it is enough to warrant a trade up. I may wait for the next model, since the M9 is still relatively new to me.

    To be honest, I also don't really love the overall aesthetic of the new camera, from the thumb wheel lump, to the lack of the rangefinder light window and larger dot, etc., but that isn't enough to deter me. We'll see. Banding from shooting multiple shots consecutively in lowlight does bother me with my M9, but I don't know if that will also exist in the new M.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I'm anxious to see the next generation of the M-E will be. I have no interest in video or FPS but the CMOS sensor with better low light capability does interest me. I do love the M9 to. Just would need better low light performance if and when I switch to all Leica in the future.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I simply skipped the M9 after all my issues I had with the M8 :-(

    I said to myself let's skip the M9 and wait for the next model. Now the M finally arrived!

    And while on paper it seems to do all what I wanted and asked for (especially higher and better ISO) I am no longer sure if I will buy one. Although I have all of the M lenses till 2009 and all coded.

    But I meanwhile acquired so many other great camera (systems) like the OMD and the D800E, which actually more that I ever could imagine cover all my needs and I am not sure if I should give all the hassle with a new M a try again - especially for that price. Would it not be better to just invest some more money into my existing systems and save the rest for really exciting news?

    Just not sure at this point in time but will see ....

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    So any evaluation will of course depend on your POV.
    Yep, and my typical POV favors the 2m frame lines on the new M, which is one reason why I prefer the M8.2 over the M9.

    Apart from the obviously important IQ factor, the M also appeals for its potentially better low light capabilities, longer battery life, more efficient processing, quieter shutter, weather sealing, and focus enhancements with longer lenses.

    But, no rush; any digital M is up to most tasks...for my needs.

    Jeff

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I simply skipped the M9 after all my issues I had with the M8 :-(

    I said to myself let's skip the M9 and wait for the next model. Now the M finally arrived!

    And while on paper it seems to do all what I wanted and asked for (especially higher and better ISO) I am no longer sure if I will buy one. Although I have all of the M lenses till 2009 and all coded.

    But I meanwhile acquired so many other great camera (systems) like the OMD and the D800E, which actually more that I ever could imagine cover all my needs and I am not sure if I should give all the hassle with a new M a try again - especially for that price. Would it not be better to just invest some more money into my existing systems and save the rest for really exciting news?



    Just not sure at this point in time but will see ....
    I love my MM.....The low light performance is truly amazing. The files when talking sharpness have been compared to the Nikon 36 MP D800 and its half the MPs. At 6400 ISO
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/489271-post78.html

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I don't understand the angst that comes with every new camera body. It's like the entire world future depends on that. I am very sure the M will be a great camera, that it will have some quirks, that leica will fix most of those quirks within 6 months, that I will buy one within a couple of months after Leica fixes the quirks. In the meanwhile I am enjoying my M9 and I'm not even following the bickering in the M threads because it's a waste of my time.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I love my M9P and MM...I think that the M240 will be great, but I am currently not in a big rush to acquire one. We'll see if things change when my dealer calls
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    In the meanwhile I am enjoying my M9 and I'm not even following the bickering in the M threads because it's a waste of my time.
    How do you know there's bickering?

    Jeff
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    I love my M9P and MM...I think that the M240 will be great, but I am currently not in a big rush to acquire one. We'll see if things change when my dealer calls
    Pass on a new model M .

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Pass on a new model M .
    I think he means he's taking a wait and see approach until they're readily available as he's ecstatic with the M9P/MM still right now... At least that's how I took it.
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I think he means he's taking a wait and see approach until they're readily available as he's ecstatic with the M9P/MM still right now... At least that's how I took it.
    Of course ....but when the dealer calls my bet is that he takes the new M ...
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    How do you know there's bickering?

    Jeff
    I'm sorry but 17 posts in 4 years and you came back from your long hibernation just to post a smart *** reply like this?
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I'm sorry but 17 posts in 4 years and you came back from your long hibernation just to post a smart *** reply like this?
    Over 1200 posts and still no sense of humor? I guess it's not a quantity issue.

    Jeff

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    So I should have said: I stopped reading the M threads because of the bickering. We're not all native English speakers around here.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I don't understand the angst that comes with every new camera body. It's like the entire world future depends on that. I am very sure the M will be a great camera, that it will have some quirks, that leica will fix most of those quirks within 6 months, that I will buy one within a couple of months after Leica fixes the quirks. In the meanwhile I am enjoying my M9 and I'm not even following the bickering in the M threads because it's a waste of my time.
    Good point ...we must be coming at it from a different perspective ? In my case (which my guess is not typical but still relevant to some ) ...the M is my primary system . Because of a desire to always have two bodies available for travel ..I have three M9 s . I can t plan a shooting trip of 8-10 days and have equipment thats not functioning . I shoot always with two bodies ..so having one down would be a real issue . Its all personal projects but its not much different from a professional requirement and I approach it that way .

    So a new M is a big deal for me . First I need to get two bodies(and sell at least two of the three) ..which will take probably until the end of summer . Then I need to spend a ton of time testing and refining my post processing to achieve a consistent aesthetic or look .

    Even going from the M8.2 to the M9 was no fun . Two of my three RF wouldn t focus to infinity . One of my sensors cracked . Three or four service requirements in the first 3 months ..each a 4-6 week out of service . I hope the new M is better but their is no evidence that Leica even recognizes this issue . (M8,M9,S2 all had these problems ).

    I expect similar issues with the new M and as you can see ...a number of very experienced M users are on the fence . The aren t convinced that the benefits of the new M are worth being a beta tester for Leica .

    The thread was an attempt to have a reasonable discussion about perspectives based on different priorities for the new M .
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    The one issue here is accepting Leica to take 6 months to clear the quirks. Not all of us are that patient to wait and from a Pros seat what do you do with clients today. My M8 spent more time in Solms than in my hands and that was a problem. I have not come back to Leica for many reasons and this is one of them . Yes they have gotten better I will give them that but beyond a couple weeks for maybe a profile alone is too much time lapsed. For me I can never be a out if the gate buyer with Leica. Even the D800 was ready to go but it took a couple weeks for the profile for C1. That's about as long as some of us can wait it out. I would love to get back in someday but it will not be for Pro shooting. I just can't depend on there service and firmware timeliness to fix the quirks. But no doubt love to have one for personal work but honestly ill go with a M9 CCDS sensor since I'm loaded for bear with CMOS. But that's my perspective and not everyone else's. I always loved Leica stuff but from my seat there is much more than just buying in involved. Service, support and stuff like that are more important than for the hobbyist. Damn shame too as I like shooting them but the money outlay for two big systems is just not there for me now.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    A very valid set of points there, Guy. I feel the same way about Apple (or other tech)... Don't buy a v1.0 product! Wait until v1.1 at the least.

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I have to admit I was concerned about buying into poor service and support, buggy releases, absence of rentals and product not being available off the shelf, but in the end the deciding factor for me on top of the other worries was the lack of scrollable live-view.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    As Guy points out Leica has a poor track record at getting new product introductions . Look at the S2 .. a product clearly aimed at the professional market . Pro s paid a big premium to to get overnight turn around with the S2P .

    The S2 seemed decent at launch yet most of the S2 owners I know had to send a body or a lens to Solms . The turn around was good and the support from Leica was excellent . Those with the S2P got the overnight loaners as promised .

    They botched the coordination with Adobe because of the last minute shift away from Capture One . Early files frankly didn t cut it ..but after a year and several firmware updates ...they were superb.

    Most rental houses dumped there initial orders because you couldn t even get a set of S lenses . Go on to the promised CS lenses .. never even made it before the S2 was replaced by the S ... a whole generation behind .

    For the first time in a while I held out and didn t get a new Leica product at launch . This was more driven by no lenses available ...I mean only the standard 70/2.5 was available . This worked well ..my S2 has been free of problems, the software was ready and now the CS lenses are becoming available .

    Plus I felt no requirement to get the new "S" ....just happy with my S2 gear as it is .

    So a good case can be made for waiting past the initial release ...

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    My other concern for folks is giving up there M9s too quick for the new M. Sure nicer features and better ISo and for a lot folks it will be great to upgrade but be careful giving up your CCD on a unproven CMOS sensor . Now not saying its bad it could be awesome but its a little early in the game and we are not sure what its good and bad qualities are. Far from it for me to tell folks what to do but I would just take your time and smell the roses for a few minutes before you cut your CCD M9 to its roots. Cause I may just snag it up and not give it back. LOL

    Needless to say I have a bias towards CCD and I have yet to see any CMOS touch it in certain ways. I know this one is new and I have my eyes wide open on it. I'm hoping its awesome.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I don't get the folks selling cameras they like because a new camera is released--it is just a product announcement, not a royal command. The M9 that took great photo before the new M will continue to take the exact same great photos after the new M. Do you guys buy a new car every year?
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    When to sell(an M9 for an M) is a difficult decision because of the lack of availability of the new M . The incentive to sell early in the process is to get a better price . Once the new model is full supply ..the availability of used M9 s will peak . If you sold very early you might have received $4500 for a typical mint minus M9 . It then went to $4000 . Now I think you would be lucky to receive $3500-3750 . Probably not the bottom but close enough not a big advantage today unless you need the funds.

    So you buy a new M at $7000 and sell it 6 months later for what $6300 (10% loss) and buy the best M9 you can find for $4000. (maybe an M9P) . It looks to be a 10-15% loss on your decision if you decide to go back .

    I think the rush is to have the funds available to purchase the new M.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I don't get the folks selling cameras they like because a new camera is released--it is just a product announcement, not a royal command. The M9 that took great photo before the new M will continue to take the exact same great photos after the new M. Do you guys buy a new car every year?
    I would totally agree. In fact, I still say that about the M8. Keep in mind that some might have to sell the _old_camera_ to afford the _new_camera_. Others? Yeah... Constant gear churn. Often followed by the ol' battle cry, "switched to the [dark|other] side!"
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I don't get the folks selling cameras they like because a new camera is released--it is just a product announcement, not a royal command. The M9 that took great photo before the new M will continue to take the exact same great photos after the new M. Do you guys buy a new car every year?
    Everyone has different needs (I'm not a pro by any means photography related) but I have no intention of sell my M9P. I'm simply adding the M240 as an additional body that may possibly become the main body. I also plan to add an MM eventually.

    Yes the M9 is still very capable and it's the best camera I've used for my wants/ needs. Again I have no intention of parting with it yet.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Meh. I like my M9. It is what it is, I expect no more, no less. I don't need to read menus (much) to operate it - and I'm generally very happy with the results. Okay, so it doesn't do "high ISO" so well. That's why I have fast lenses.
    I like my M (well, actually Leica's M). It is what it is, I expect no more, no less. I don't need to read menus (at all) to operate it - and I'm generally very happy with the results. It's high ISO is hardly Canon or Nikon standard, but 3200 is pretty reliable and 6400 is often fine. And anyway, I have fast lenses.

    Sorry to take your message in vain! It's a good message about familiarity and confidence. Sure there might be things lurking in the background, and like the M9 there are certainly things one would change.

    Guy is right to be cautious, and there are questions about the brave new sensor (especially if you push a properly exposed image by 3 or 4 stops).

    I realise I'm sounding glib, but three months in, and not one shot spoiled by the camera, and confidence begins to set in.

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I like my M (well, actually Leica's M). It is what it is, I expect no more, no less. I don't need to read menus (at all) to operate it - and I'm generally very happy with the results. It's high ISO is hardly Canon or Nikon standard, but 3200 is pretty reliable and 6400 is often fine. And anyway, I have fast lenses.

    Sorry to take your message in vain! It's a good message about familiarity and confidence. Sure there might be things lurking in the background, and like the M9 there are certainly things one would change.

    Guy is right to be cautious, and there are questions about the brave new sensor (especially if you push a properly exposed image by 3 or 4 stops).

    I realise I'm sounding glib, but three months in, and not one shot spoiled by the camera, and confidence begins to set in.
    Jono, you don't sound glib at all to me. You sound excited to be testing the new M, as I know I certainly would be myself testing an improved prototype of the next model. And I do want to both acknowledge and thank you for posting your own findings to date, though admittedly with some trepidation. While your posts make for interesting reading, I hope everyone understands the camera you are using is certainly not representative of what anyone should expect from the final product when it ships. Hence, my trepidation in your comments.

    The very LAST steps before freezing firmware for a release candidate is the engineers final tweaks and adjustments of the high ISO settings. Unfortunately, this final step can not be done until everything else is frozen for a couple of reasons way too technical to go into here. We are all very lucky to have you posting at all, as most camera manufacturers forbid their beta testers from posting or saying anything about image quality for just this reason. High ISO optimization is required in-camera for the best final output quality.

    RAW processing software makers also need to incorporate specific changes to work the files. This too requires time after a release candidate stage is reached. While the new M files may be readable with Adobe's present RAW converter as generic M DNG files, I can guarantee you will not see the real quality until much later once Adobe releases specific support for the new camera model. Just look at the Fuji X-Pro files as a great example, if you doubt my words.

    I agree with Guy Mancuso's advice above. This major a change in the sensor design is a big deal. A "Wait and See" attitude is the best course of action for both professionals and serious enthusiasts especially given the "Colorful" history Leica has in releasing new digital products. Paying to be a Leica beta tester is not a comfortable position. Folks that buy an M as a status symbol should rightly take those first lumps, not those of us who are serious about our photography!

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    By Jove Annabel, there is another Leica M coming!

    Was it on the weather channel dear? I wonder who dreams up these names?

    Could you ask Jeeves to barricade the windows, darling. And pass me that brandy.

    Do you think the trains will be running?
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I am pretty sure there are no Annabel editions.

    It is Cognac and not...

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    No and no. It is brandy. From the root word Brandon.

    See. Says Brandy. Can't argue with fact.


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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    I agree with Guy Mancuso's advice above. This major a change in the sensor design is a big deal. A "Wait and See" attitude is the best course of action for both professionals and serious enthusiasts especially given the "Colorful" history Leica has in releasing new digital products. Paying to be a Leica beta tester is not a comfortable position. Folks that buy an M as a status symbol should rightly take those first lumps, not those of us who are serious about our photography!
    +1! I most certainly agree with this. It's fine to be optimistic and even excitied about the potential for a new product, even early sample DNG's being released.... but there is absolutely no substitute to having one in your hands and put it through it's paces in an enviorment and the shooting conditions that represent you own needs. Carefully examining "these files" will go a long way to your knowing" if a new sensor and image developments are an advanatge. This is aside from the ergonoimics and addtional advanced features incorporated into the new camera.

    This I believe this is generally the only practical way to be certain if it's a worthwhile and even cost effective upgrade for most. I also realize the difficulty for some to have the opportunity to have "hands on" time with a newly released camera but it's often worth the wait to evaluate it rather than dive in head first and worry about what the changes mean for you type of photography.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    RAW processing software makers also need to incorporate specific changes to work the files. This too requires time after a release candidate stage is reached. While the new M files may be readable with Adobe's present RAW converter as generic M DNG files, I can guarantee you will not see the real quality until much later once Adobe releases specific support for the new camera model. Just look at the Fuji X-Pro files as a great example, if you doubt my words. :
    Hi Chuck - I'm going to take issue with you here - The X-pro files are a completely separate and different animal (as were the DNG files from the MM). Those from the M are not - there is a Bayer filter and the demosaicing is standard.

    LR, Aperture, C1 and everyone else will develop a camera specific profile using the information supplied by Leica, but the standard DNG conversion should (and does) work very well, especially if you remove the default sharpening and noise reduction algorithms (which aren't necessarily suited to a FF aa less camera).

    The x-pro files are not DNG standard, and they don't use a Bayer filter - totally different.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    I agree with Guy Mancuso's advice above. This major a change in the sensor design is a big deal. A "Wait and See" attitude is the best course of action for both professionals and serious enthusiasts especially given the "Colorful" history Leica has in releasing new digital products. Paying to be a Leica beta tester is not a comfortable position. Folks that buy an M as a status symbol should rightly take those first lumps, not those of us who are serious about our photography!
    Well, a lot of lessons have been learned - and there are resources to do it better these days. The launch of the M9 was actually pretty smooth - the IQ was good, and hardware issues were sorted fast - the MM was even better.

    I imagine that releasing the DNG files isn't really to make users feel cuddly - but to find out if anybody can see a real gotcha in the files which hasn't been noticed elsewhere.

    Let me put this a different way - if I can scramble the money together I'll be getting two bodies at the earliest possible moment.

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    To me its all about having the best lenses in the world and not being able to frame or focus proper images...without taking 3 frames of each shot and hoping one is framed and in focus.
    Its having a sensor that can shoot in low light.
    Its about being able to see clearly through the finder window and have the image bright enough to focus (bright enough to pop in focus)

    SORRY but 90% of all Lecia images I see posted are not in focus and for that its always seemed a shame that Lecia makes cameras that cant focus their lenses...or at least I cant get a high percentage of keepers. Unless I'm on a tripod. Either its my eyes, the rangefinder coupling or the lens calibration I had all the issues associated with the camera and its lenses. I've had new cameras that were mis-aligned, new lenses that were impossible to focus and had to be returned. Maybe that par for the course still in all I cant help but to love the system and its images for what it is and wish that someone at Leica would wake uphttp://www.getdpi.com/forum/images/smilies/banghead.gif .

    The sample images I have seen with the M240 so far show me nothing better than what I get already (maybe even more issues with color and focus). I am ready for a cleaner and higher ISO, a better and brighter screen and just maybe a camera that I can get more keepers. However not one of the comments I have read address this issue of MORE KEEPERS.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post
    However not one of the comments I have read address this issue of MORE KEEPERS.
    Well, two possibilities - if my images are okay, then it's practice . . . if they aren't, then it's lowering your standards (because I'm satisfied . . . within reason).

    Let's face it, the downside of a rangefinder is that the little patch is always going to be a challenge. The upside is that it's simply the best way of taking photos . . . . .but putting a rangefinder on a tripod is a really odd solution (like trying to drive your ferrari off road)! If you're after focus perfection, then perhaps there are better solutions?

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    bab: Hmmm ... my experience with Leica rangefinders and my viewing of others' images taken with Leica rangefinders do not suggest major problems related to focusing and framing. In these regards, there are certainly pros and cons for a rangefinder--or a DSLR, for that matter. Rangefinders permit excellent manual focus (perhaps better than any other type of camera) and viewfinder sighting of more than what you're shooting. These are both big plusses for street/candid photography.

    Anyway, understandably, people have very different views of the new M. They even diverge greatly for folks like me with M8s and others with M9s. (If I had an M9, I doubt I'd be tempted by the new M. But, from an M8, the step forward with the new M should be much more apparent [even if one never uses the video or live view].) Such views get even more varied when considering people who don't shoot Leica rangefinders. To make sense of this diversity of opinion, just see Leon Festinger's work on cognitive dissonance.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Yah had two M8 they were great but want the FF so upgraded to the M9, very happy to own it so far. Don't care to much about video. The "New" camera is not made for existing owners its made for new potential buyers. Still I thank you for the "Link"

    bab

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Hey Jono,

    You got it right not completely satisfied, same with the OMD but sure like the way the Lecia glass focuses on it and the low light capabilities.

    By the way you know Im talking about shooting in the Street wide open with lux don't you F8 is great but not for me. And yes I can focus faster with the M than anything thats through the finder but as YOU know better than most it doesn't mean you seeing what the lens is...congrats on you last photo posting with the M good job!!!!!!!

    bab
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    When I started back with digital RF in 2007 , I struggled with accurate focus like everyone else . The equipment calibration (to Leica s specifications ) was simply not tight enough . Factor in lenses that were produced before the M8 and you had mess . If your equipment is still in the middle of the calibration process ..factor in a trip to DAG or NJ . Once you start making slight corrections for individual lenses you lose the consistency needed for accurate focus .

    Recognize the need for practice ..focusing a range finder requires hand eye coordination . Yes ..if you have weak eyesight ..maybe its not the system for you . If you can not shoot frequently you have to practice . There are ton of techniques to establish your focus point beyond put the rangefinder patch on the eye .

    Probably most important is ..why are you shooting wide open ? Yes it creates an aesthetic and can create interest in a photograph ....but if you are close enough to the subject you can shoot at f2.8 and still have enough bokeh . I haven t seen many professionals that shoot wide open as a standard practice ..they use the aperture that works for the situation . I start with f5.6 as my standard and adjust for the situation .

    I can tell you from a lot of experience its not that easy to focus an AF lens like a 35/1.4 at f1.4 and get consistent placement of the plane of focus . Then factor in curvature of field and focus shift . Shooting wide open with any system is a challenge .
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Also keep in mind that very few of the great classic street images are in perfect focus. Of course shooting on 35mm film such as Tri-X masks a lot of focus imperfection. It's the crutch of these new super sharp super h-res sensors that imperfections show up strongly. Perhaps changing your processing might help - add some grain, convert to b&w, bump up the contrast and clarity, etc etc. All of that can help. And not shooting wide open.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post

    The sample images I have seen with the M240 so far show me nothing better than what I get already (maybe even more issues with color and focus). I am ready for a cleaner and higher ISO, a better and brighter screen and just maybe a camera that I can get more keepers. However not one of the comments I have read address this issue of MORE KEEPERS.
    That is because they can be obtained from ANY cameras. I hope this is not considered as. Something aginst Jono because it is not.

    What is so special about an M and where is it really useful for compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cams? The line is getting blurry every day andonce the likes of a FF NEX hits the streets, that line will vanish for good.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Wel, C1 STILL has no Monochrom profile, not even the ability to read the DNG...
    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Chuck - I'm going to take issue with you here - The X-pro files are a completely separate and different animal (as were the DNG files from the MM). Those from the M are not - there is a Bayer filter and the demosaicing is standard.

    LR, Aperture, C1 and everyone else will develop a camera specific profile using the information supplied by Leica, but the standard DNG conversion should (and does) work very well, especially if you remove the default sharpening and noise reduction algorithms (which aren't necessarily suited to a FF aa less camera).

    The x-pro files are not DNG standard, and they don't use a Bayer filter - totally different.




    Well, a lot of lessons have been learned - and there are resources to do it better these days. The launch of the M9 was actually pretty smooth - the IQ was good, and hardware issues were sorted fast - the MM was even better.

    I imagine that releasing the DNG files isn't really to make users feel cuddly - but to find out if anybody can see a real gotcha in the files which hasn't been noticed elsewhere.

    Let me put this a different way - if I can scramble the money together I'll be getting two bodies at the earliest possible moment.

    all the best
    JAAP
    http://www.jaapvphotography.eu
    The colours of my generation are black and white.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Hats off to Leica for introducing a potentially genre expanding camera, a camera that could now be used for applications that demand critical framing and focus. But wait, those hats need to go back on, duh, they forgot all about the ability to scroll live-view.

    The new M Leica is now competing with a plethora of other cameras and as such will be a hard sell to all but the Leica die-hards.
    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    So Roger ?????? When I spent 6k on a 35mm 1.4 why wouldn't I want to shoot wide open in the street in low light to gain shutter speed and isolate my subject. I agree with you it takes practice but Roger I've been practicing for a long time. I can't say more to the fact that it my opinion for me its hard to nail the focus. You and Jono have your opinions also. It just occurred to me there might be an issue with the rangefinder system in today's technologically advanced world that might ease ones ability to focus the damm thing in lower light and keep it on plane. If your always shooting at 5.6 or +,- a stop then your not feeling my frustration. But having said this "Yes it creates an aesthetic and can create interest in a photograph ". you get the point. And by the way my 35mm 1.4 FLE is not AF and I was hoping Leica solved the focus shift with the floating lens element.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post
    So Roger ?????? When I spent 6k on a 35mm 1.4 why wouldn't I want to shoot wide open in the street in low light to gain shutter speed and isolate my subject. I agree with you it takes practice but Roger I've been practicing for a long time. I can't say more to the fact that it my opinion for me its hard to nail the focus. You and Jono have your opinions also. It just occurred to me there might be an issue with the rangefinder system in today's technologically advanced world that might ease ones ability to focus the damm thing in lower light and keep it on plane. If your always shooting at 5.6 or +,- a stop then your not feeling my frustration. But having said this "Yes it creates an aesthetic and can create interest in a photograph ". you get the point. And by the way my 35mm 1.4 FLE is not AF and I was hoping Leica solved the focus shift with the floating lens element.
    Not trying to play devil's advocate but could be be that your copy of the lens isn't playing nicely with your body? I have a Nokton II (35/1.2) and when I do my part I have no problem focusing wide open. It's true that live view could alleviate your issues but maybe it's a deeper issue as well with your body or lens.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Yep I guess I could send both in again for the third time...but I agree with you. Don't get me wrong sometimes I nail the image but there are other times when I'm confident I got it and get home pull them up and bam! passable but not quite there. Have the same issue with the Canon just more keepers. Read somewhere where Lecia supposedly has embedded a focus point? into the new S glass so when you slap it on any body its aligned! Interesting idea.

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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by bab View Post
    So Roger ?????? When I spent 6k on a 35mm 1.4 why wouldn't I want to shoot wide open in the street in low light to gain shutter speed and isolate my subject. I agree with you it takes practice but Roger I've been practicing for a long time. I can't say more to the fact that it my opinion for me its hard to nail the focus. You and Jono have your opinions also. It just occurred to me there might be an issue with the rangefinder system in today's technologically advanced world that might ease ones ability to focus the damm thing in lower light and keep it on plane. If your always shooting at 5.6 or +,- a stop then your not feeling my frustration. But having said this "Yes it creates an aesthetic and can create interest in a photograph ". you get the point. And by the way my 35mm 1.4 FLE is not AF and I was hoping Leica solved the focus shift with the floating lens element.
    My point ...different than yours I believe ...is that you may be expecting too much from any FF camera system shooting wide open . As the resolution of our sensors increases it becomes painfully obvious that managing DOF has to be a priority . Shooting wide open obviously provides some wonderful aesthetic opportunities but at the cost of requiring exceptional accuracy in establishing the focus point . Its much more a function of the limited DOF than the focusing system utilized . (My basis is using the M9.D800E and S2 for the same type of street and travel ).

    My reference to AF (generally considered easier to obtain accurate focus ) was to establish a benchmark for comparison . I can confirm its not easy to shoot the summiluxes wide open without losing some (too many?) captures to focus misses . But AF systems often don t give accurate enough focus for shooting wide open . (My benchmark would be the D800E or the D4) . You can spend a day reading Diglloyd s tests to see the number of factors affecting accurate AF.

    My objective in street shooting is to "capture the moment " ...you can pull any portfolio off of Magnum and see the common emphasis ...its hard to achieve and I would never claim I am even any good at it . But I know for sure its folly to try to do this at f1.4 . My hit ratio is substantially better between f4-f8 . I shoot wide open plenty but I know it may take 3-6 captures to get one thats good enough .

    So if we eliminate the possible problems (1)calibrated equipment and (2) technique and practice ...then we are left with either (3)eye sight/hand eye coordination or (4) unrealistic expectations .

    Please don t think I am making light the difficulty in obtaining and holding accurate focus with a M . I ve had now 9 different digital M bodies since they were introduced and I appreciate how difficult it is too even know ..is it me or the equipment ?
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    That is because they can be obtained from ANY cameras. I hope this is not considered as. Something aginst Jono because it is not.

    What is so special about an M and where is it really useful for compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cams? The line is getting blurry every day andonce the likes of a FF NEX hits the streets, that line will vanish for good.
    What's special about an M9/MM/M240 is that you have a small rangefinder camera with a FF sensor. In buying an M9 last year, I may have actually gone a little backwards in terms of some IQ measurements compared to my other cameras, but it doesn't really matter to me in real usage. IMO, all of this live view stuff on the M 240 is just a bonus for a rangefinder user, rather than a reason itself to buy the camera. I'd buy an A99 and some ZA lenses if I really wanted an EVF-based, live view camera.

    I think M is still all about the rangefinder.
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    Re: Evaluating the New M

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I think M is still all about the rangefinder.
    Clearly it isn't.

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