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Thread: LuLa Review of S2 is available

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    LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Micheal Reichman has published his review of the Leica S2 here

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...meras/s2.shtml

    I haven't read the review as of yet, but thought I would post it for those interested. I may be crazy for posting anything about the S2 with the way it stirs things up, but what the heck.

    Mark

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Micheal Reichman has published his review of the Leica S2 here

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...meras/s2.shtml

    I haven't read the review as of yet, but thought I would post it for those interested. I may be crazy for posting anything about the S2 with the way it stirs things up, but what the heck.

    Mark
    For someone with no dog in the fight, I thought it was a "fair and balanced" evaluation of a new system.

    Steve

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    I was going to post it a while ago, but it's kind of an "egg shell" topic these days.

    The article is pretty good. The video is pleasant to watch. It's a calm review over-all (which I appreciated).

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Good review and certainly worth reading for someone considering the S2. The only thing I found surprising was that Michael only got 125 shots out of the battery (albeit with chimping). David F and I shot the camera all day long and it still had more than a half charge remaining.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    The comment on the battery puzzled me also. I picked up the S2 after Marc William shot 170 frames (as I recall) and I shot an additional 307 frames with at least 1/4 battery life remaining at the end of the day.

    Mark

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Micheal Reichman has published his review of the Leica S2 here

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...meras/s2.shtml

    I haven't read the review as of yet, but thought I would post it for those interested. I may be crazy for posting anything about the S2 with the way it stirs things up, but what the heck.

    Mark
    It should NOT stir anything up if the information that is presented and posted is a objective view. And that my friends is the bottom line. When things are misrepresented and false statements are made than you have issues. The warnings have been sent out and dealers WILL abide by them. Otherwise they are NOT welcomed here. END OF STORY
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    I was mostly shocked by the speed of shooting to a computer. I mean that is just slow.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    I was mostly shocked by the speed of shooting to a computer. I mean that is just slow.
    I felt the same, Christopher. I was not expecting that.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yes the tethered speed factor is a real concern for studio shooters ( got to ask yourself why USB vs firewire??) and then also ask yourself why proprietary cable which is definately a consumable item in any MFD tethered shooters inventory - definately a negative relative to other manufacturers products. Add teh fact that teh delivery schedule for a lot of lenses and especially the central shutter lenses is ..umm sometime in the future + another studio shooters bump in the road.

    Second negative(s) lack of viewfinder information and ordinary outdoors OLD display. When shooting digitla backs - simple EV control is mandatory - especially in outdoor situations.

    Sure balance this against a whole bunch of camera body specific positives..

    Then note what many of us have been saying in here - back-up body ?? Off camera use of back??

    Boils down to a hefty price premium for atthe margin les flexibility balanced against superiror ergonomics offset by new system issues ( lens availability/software etc etc etc)

    it is a tough call and certainly not a no brainer for anyone considering a switch or even a new buyer.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    From what Leica told me a couple weeks ago they are still working on the tethered software and it is not optimized yet. From what I gather that is all it does is tethered . You can shoot to hot folders in both LR and C1 but from past experience that took about 4 or 5 seconds from shot to preview. Dedicated programs and backs like C1 , Phocus and Leaf Capture run the 1-2 seconds shots to preview from what I have read. I have not tried Leaf capture or Phocus but I hear they run good ( David G and Yair can comment further on this ). Hopefully by the time I get the S2 things will get better with the Leica program. Have not read the review yet so not sure what he used for his review.

    Obviously with MF tethered is pretty darn important asset so hopefully that will all work out.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yeah, I was also disappointed by the tethering speed. That is a deal-killer for the exact market I thought the S2 was going to be most successful in.

    I see why Leica went with USB though. Apple is killing off Firewire, which they were the primary backer off for years. I never liked USB, but if in one or two years you cannot buy a computer with Firewire then this starts to look like a good move. I guess they were betting on this being the better choice for the future.

    I didn't see anything else in the movie which I thought was an issue for its intended market.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Seems like a good, balanced review to me. Predictable and valid cons as well as pros. It will be good to see the future unfold...

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yes most of the stuff looks really nice, another thing I did not like that much is the viewfinder coverage. I think I would just expect a lot more than spending 18k on a camera. I mean that is probably one point why I would prefer a 1DsMk3 over a 5DMk2.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yes, Michael's statement about 93-95% coverage is at odds with Leica's claim of 96%, I think. 100% would be perfect, of course.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Yes, Michael's statement about 93-95% coverage is at odds with Leica's claim of 96%, I think. 100% would be perfect, of course.
    Agreed. On such a camera, not having 100% VF coverage makes little sense, and it's among the disappointing things with it. High ISO might be better with the final firmware (not sure by how much though), tethering will likely be better with the final FW (and possibly by some margin), but the VF coverage will obviously stay that way - I wonder why Leica made such a choice in a camera meant to be the best in its class...

    EDIT: may be because it is the only one in its class? Competition always helps, and I think that if some other manufacturer will pick up on the "DSLR on steroid" concept we'll see a much better S3 to battle back... Now that I think of it, if no other manufacturer will pick up on the concept, we might never see an S3 after all...
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    if in one or two years you cannot buy a computer with Firewire then this starts to look like a good move.
    I thought the same thing.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yes that is true, eSata would have been a nice choice, even if unrealistic ;-)

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    If I understood it correctly, the viewfinder is not 100% because the sensor is positioned within the calibration process and therefore could theoretically be positioned outside the 100% frame (= something won't be captured that was shown in the viewfinder).

    Thanks for the review, I'm sure under studio conditions (f5,6-f11 without corners) current (lens-)systems are good enough, a nice open aperture corner comparison would have been nice.

    Now we need final firmware and some nice profiles for LR and C1.

    I'm a little bit disappointed about the ridiculous statement from Leica about the delay when they're still working on firmware - I wonder who made this statement (let me guess: marketing, not engineers)... Credibility is crucial and Leica should keep their marketing-people on a short leash as they did in the past.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Yes that is true, eSata would have been a nice choice, even if unrealistic ;-)
    Christopher, while eSATA is faster than FW and USB, it's connectors are something that I definitely wouldn't like to have to deal with during a shooting. The connection is so flimsy that is seems to me that they would unplug just by looking at them...
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    I know what you mean, but this is NOT up to the cable but the device. I have both. Some it really falls out when you touch it, but I also have a few drives which I can hang from the eSATA cable, which I can't say about USB or FW.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    While sadly true that FW is on way out (at least in non-Mac Pros) and USB2.0 may future proof the S2 a bit, FW is still the standard and should have been used IMHO. What matters for successful launch of this thing in the STATED target market will be performance vs current alternatives.

    They should have tested both types of connection and picked the fastest given the likely firmware on release. I think people consider firmware updates too much of a panacea. They can only do so much, especially if hardware constraints are in the way.

    What I find truly idiotic is the use of a proprietary (and likely spendy) cable. WTF were they thinking? Not only will getting x spares of these things be hard on camera release (hope they made A LOT), but this is just what someone needs. A critical but (one can assume) needlessly spendy, hard-to-get-in-a-hurry, pseudo-consumable that does the same thing as units they can get by the handful from almost any department/electronics/camera/computer store in the country, their DSLR kit or their Phase/Mamiya/Hassy studio mate for nothing or next to it in 10 mins. Brilliant.
    Last edited by robmac; 30th November 2009 at 06:07.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Yes most of the stuff looks really nice, another thing I did not like that much is the viewfinder coverage. I think I would just expect a lot more than spending 18k on a camera. I mean that is probably one point why I would prefer a 1DsMk3 over a 5DMk2.
    I shoot a 1Ds3 over a 5D2 for precisely this reason. Better build and AF are others, but frame coverage is huge for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Yes, Michael's statement about 93-95% coverage is at odds with Leica's claim of 96%, I think. 100% would be perfect, of course.
    Actually, I think 105% would be even better in most cameras. Fact is, I see this as a negative in my recent move to the P65+ --- with the P45+ I had roughly a 110% VF, giving me a clear border all the way around the frame, now with the P65+ I'm pushed right up against the stops. Maybe I'll get 100.5% if I'm lucky...
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    While sadly true that FW is on way out (at least in non-Mac Pros) and USB2.0 may future proof the S2 a bit, FW is still the standard and should have been used IMHO. What matters for successful launch of this thing in the STATED target market will be performance vs current alternatives.

    They should have tested both types of connection and picked the fastest given the likely firmware on release. I think people consider firmware updates too much of a panacea. They can only do so much, especially if hardware constraints are in the way.
    I don't believe the type of connection chosen is the issue here.

    The camera needs to be able to push the data down the cable and the software needs to be able to read it quickly and consistently.

    This is not trivial when we're talking 40-50-60 MB of raw data every time you press the shutter. You will notice that some companies use lossless compression technology which may help, depending on the computer configuration.

    Smaller files also help in terms of storage space and transfer time...

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    You raise some good points. Higher MAXIMUM theoretical hardware transfer rates are nice (e.g. USB2 vs FW800), but if either' can outpace the capability of the software+firmware, the hardware's not the choke point. In the LuLa test the computer hardware wasn't an issue as same system was used for both cameras. Great balanced test and having the video was a brilliant idea...
    Last edited by robmac; 30th November 2009 at 06:57.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    From what I noticed the S2 is a full 70mg Raw file. Not sure if they have a loosless compression file, let's assume they do like the M9 which would be handy. Phase has two lossless setting Q for my P30+ approx. 35mg and S is approx. 22mg . Obviously the P40+ would be more. Not sure what Leaf and Hassy files do in this regard on lossless files but it does help buffer and space obviously plus I know I can pretty much shoot continuously on my P30+ tethered for quite awhile. I have not tested this in practice and maybe Doug, David G and Yair can comment on each platform. But one would assume the lossless helps. On the same note I never noticed any quality difference between the Q and S settings.

    Leica S2 tethering cord is obviously proprietary which I agree is not really a great thing in the field. It goes down no way to run to a electronics store and get a replacement. It does have a nice pull feature that you can actually hold the camera by the cord and it won't fall out. I will wait to get the S2 next week or so and comment further since I would like to get more familiar with it more to report.

    This is somewhat the same scenario on batteries . I know many Phase and leaf shooters are not happy with separate batteries for body and back. Well there is also a advantage less power being used on the back battery by not running the camera battery and camera batteries are AA batteries which again can be found anywhere ( obviously need two chargers). So yes advantage and a disadvantages. Leica and Hassy batteries run the whole show so nice and convenient but it will run down faster as well. Obviously different opinions on which is preferred for end user. Now Phase and Leica do have vertical grips as well coming so another consideration to think about and I am pretty sure they take the back battery for the Phase and the Leica s2 takes on two batteries in the grip.

    In regard to battery life . Obviously this all comes down to chimping and such plus review time and playback time not to mention zooming. So be careful on these battery life comments, not sure what everyone is doing and how they work as well.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It does have a nice pull feature that you can actually hold the camera by the cord and it won't fall out.
    Great...providing that the camera comes with a heavy Foba studio stand as otherwise you trip over the cable and your 30K camera is on the floor...(been there, done that...lived to tell the story...)

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Yair there is some kind of release on that and hopefully I will report more on it and yes I do agree i lost a laptop like this in the way past when cord would not release and my laptop hit the deck and cracked the screen in a million pieces. Not a happy moment and good point here. I know the CI folks will get the Camera this week for testing before Jack and I and hopefully Steve , Doug and crew can report on this as well.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    While sadly true that FW is on way out (at least in non-Mac Pros) and USB2.0 may future proof the S2 a bit, FW is still the standard and should have been used IMHO.
    I see this opinion written constantly. All current MacBookPro, iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro models feature Firewire 800. IMO (and it's nothing more than an educated guess) the removal of Firewire from the MacBook Non-Pro was to allow Apple to lower the price of the entry level MacBook (recession inspired) without threatening the migration of pro customers to the non pro laptop.

    I strongly strongly suspect that the pro versions of Apple's computers will ship with firewire* for at least two more generations (I'd guess longer, but it's foolhardy to make any predictions about computers more than two generations out).

    *May be FireWire 3200, but that will be compatible with FW800/400.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    I don't believe the type of connection chosen is the issue here.

    The camera needs to be able to push the data down the cable and the software needs to be able to read it quickly and consistently.

    This is not trivial when we're talking 40-50-60 MB of raw data every time you press the shutter. You will notice that some companies use lossless compression technology which may help, depending on the computer configuration.

    Smaller files also help in terms of storage space and transfer time...
    Agreed. It's easy to simplify this to USB vs. FireWire. But there are many components between the sensor and the monitor when it comes to tethered performance. Phase/Leaf/Hassy have been optimizing every part of that chain for several generations.

    I'm anxious to see what Leica does about this prior to shipping. For instance it may be possible for them to enable JPG-to-Computer RAW-to-CF-Card. That's not an option with Phase/Leaf/Hassy and is a great way to get exceptionally fast transfer speeds. By the way, I'm completely speculating here - I have no inside information on this topic.

    We'll ask our friends at Leica at our December 3rd Leica Open House.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    From what I noticed the S2 is a full 70mg Raw file. Not sure if they have a loosless compression file, let's assume they do like the M9 which would be handy. Phase has two lossless setting Q for my P30+ approx. 35mg and S is approx. 22mg . Obviously the P40+ would be more. Not sure what Leaf and Hassy files do in this regard on lossless files but it does help buffer and space obviously plus I know I can pretty much shoot continuously on my P30+ tethered for quite awhile. I have not tested this in practice and maybe Doug, David G and Yair can comment on each platform...
    Raw files shot to the CF card on the H3D are losslessly [Sic?] compressed and remain so after transferring to Phocus.

    File size varies a bit shot to shot, but it certainly opens up more space on the CF card and makes transferring quicker.

    D

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Thanks David helpful info as always.
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    I see this opinion written constantly. All current MacBookPro, iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro models feature Firewire 800. IMO (and it's nothing more than an educated guess) the removal of Firewire from the MacBook Non-Pro was to allow Apple to lower the price of the entry level MacBook (recession inspired) without threatening the migration of pro customers to the non pro laptop.

    I strongly strongly suspect that the pro versions of Apple's computers will ship with firewire* for at least two more generations (I'd guess longer, but it's foolhardy to make any predictions about computers more than two generations out).

    *May be FireWire 3200, but that will be compatible with FW800/400.
    I don't think Apple would lose Firewire either. It is not just us who depend upon it but some sectors of motion industry as well.

    Also eSata maybe ok for hard drives but as far as I understand doesn't have the right kind of protocols for something like we need.

    David

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    i was under the impression that Hasselblad only sent the .3FR files to the CF card and .fff directly to the tethered computer...

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    That's right Jim. But the .fff's which go directly to the computer are also compressed in a similar fashion.

    The only real difference from 3fr - > FFF is that the FFF has a larger JPEG preview built in which is created on import. The 3fr has a tiny one which is displayed on the LCD immediately after capture (as you would expect!)

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Hope you're right. While find it a bit disconcerting that all the non-Mac Pro machines are down to one lonely FW800 port vs 4 (stock) on the Pros; it does seem to be a (very) small way Apple is trying to differentiate it's more pro-centric or pro-capable machines from more consumer-centric ones.

    On the flip-side, trying to find a FW drive in a local shop is like trying to pull teeth - wall-to-bloody-wall USB2.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    I don't think Apple would lose Firewire either. It is not just us who depend upon it but some sectors of motion industry as well.

    Also eSata maybe ok for hard drives but as far as I understand doesn't have the right kind of protocols for something like we need.

    David
    Last edited by robmac; 30th November 2009 at 11:24.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    From what I noticed the S2 is a full 70mg Raw file. Not sure if they have a loosless compression file, let's assume they do like the M9 which would be handy. Phase has two lossless setting Q for my P30+ approx. 35mg and S is approx. 22mg . Obviously the P40+ would be more. Not sure what Leaf and Hassy files do in this regard on lossless files but it does help buffer and space obviously plus I know I can pretty much shoot continuously on my P30+ tethered for quite awhile. I have not tested this in practice and maybe Doug, David G and Yair can comment on each platform. But one would assume the lossless helps. On the same note I never noticed any quality difference between the Q and S settings.
    An Aptus-II 10 (56MP), for example will create a ~52MB file when shooting to CF card and ~61MB When tethered, both lossless compression.

    On a slow Mac, shooting compressed (tethered) can sometimes be a bit slower than shooting uncompressed. Fo that you can opt to shoot uncompressed but you then get a much bigger file (~112MB)

  37. #37
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    I’ll start by saying I really don’t have a dog in this fight. That said there’s two (okay more than) reasons the S2 simply doesn’t appeal to me.

    One – I like separate components; I like having a body and back. I like the utter ease of cleaning the sensor on a back that can be separated from the body and this is huge factor for me. Two – and I’m on the fence on this one – the ratio to sensor size. Is this a 35mm on steroids or a medium format?

    I do like the idea of dual cards however the first comment I made regarding the integration thus the lack of easy sensor cleaning is a huge point of dislike. Added to the dislike of the S2 being an integrated camera is the inability of incorporating a technical camera.

    If ever I decide to go back to shooting with a 645 body my choice (at least at the moment) is the Phase DF as it fits my style of shooting which is primarily landscape. There’s also been some discussion regarding a “closed” system and I feel this is another sample of just that. To my way of thinking the S2 is an all or nothing system with no in-between.

    I wrote this with no intention of saying the S2 isn’t or won’t be a great system for somebody – it just isn’t for me.

    Don
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  38. #38
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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    It certainly won't appeal to all and you points are very well part of that decision making process. Backup is a key element as well. I honestly have no dog in this fight either. I would like to see it succeed for Leica's sake no question we need more MF options in the field and for some folks it will be very appealing with it's ergonomics and it's feature sets. But I don't see a mad dash to dump current systems to get one. For new buyers moving up than they have several viable options to decide on and I think that is there market. We will have to see how it does out there in the real world of writing the check for it. That is really the only true measurement of success
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: LuLa Review of S2 is available

    Interesting how Michael's article changed the mood.
    By now a lot of comments sounded naive and more like fanboy hysteria.
    The first comment that was an aha moment for me was Yair's short note about the S2 somewhere above in this thread.
    Now with Michael's article the S2 is "down to earth" … and for some reason now I am more willing to see its strength. Strange

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