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Thread: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

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    Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Hey guys,

    I've been struggling with getting a handle on the various resolution differences between the medium format backs and my D3. I wanted to get a rough idea of what I might expect in the resolution area between various choices so I put together a little test that helps me visualize the differences.

    Here's the link to the test:

    Resolution simulation

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    Hey guys,

    I've been struggling with getting a handle on the various resolution differences between the medium format backs and my D3. I wanted to get a rough idea of what I might expect in the resolution area between various choices so I put together a little test that helps me visualize the differences.

    Here's the link to the test:

    Resolution simulation

    Thanks,

    Greg
    there's an additional quality that makes a difference in the resolution.. and that's the lack of an AA filter on the MF backs. This is most apparent at 100% views. With a 100% crop on from an AA covered sensor, it's usually obvious that you're at 100%... it 'feels' like you can't enlarge any more without getting apparent digital artifacts. With a MF sensor, the feeling is that you can continue to magnify and get more detail. there's no sense of digitial artifacts at the 100% crop.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    there's an additional quality that makes a difference in the resolution.. and that's the lack of an AA filter on the MF backs. This is most apparent at 100% views. With a 100% crop on from an AA covered sensor, it's usually obvious that you're at 100%... it 'feels' like you can't enlarge any more without getting apparent digital artifacts. With a MF sensor, the feeling is that you can continue to magnify and get more detail. there's no sense of digitial artifacts at the 100% crop.
    Jim,

    Yes, I'm aware of the AA filter issue but I've not really seen a side by side comparing with and without so it's hard to get a handle on how much improvement it brings. I'd love for someone with a digital back and a digital SLR to provide a similar comparison. Matching the same relative pixel size optically as I've done would be very revealing (i.e. zooming in with the DSLR) in helping to show the difference.

    Thanks,

    Greg

    P.S. I've updated the crops as they were using far too much JPG compression on the first post, so you might want to reload the page and hit refresh to see better crops.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Greg,
    Interesting approach to getting a handle on resolution but I don't think it tells the story quite as well as a 100% crop. Marc's crop of the cowboy's face is a good example of what resolution MF backs are capable of. Here's one I took of my son's friend who was on his way to a Cave Man party. This one taken with the 80mm lens.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Greg,

    Here is a shot of a palm tree, wall, and fountain in my back yard. These are identical crops that were converted to sRGB, jpeg, and sized for the web. The crops were made at the same size based on inches at 72 dpi for the web from a 100% original size. They were both focused on the same spot on the palm tree.

    One was shot with the Nikon D3, 24-70 zoom set at 50mm to have basically the same field of view as my 80 mm on the Hassy, ISO 200, F8, 1/250 shutter speed. The other is from the H3DII39, 80 HC lens, ISO 200, F8, 1/250 shutter speed.

    I think this is a more realistic comparison of the actual difference you will get, as they both start from the same overall picture.

    This is one of the things that convinced me to move to MFDB.


    Best,

    Ray
    Last edited by harmsr; 10th June 2008 at 21:03.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Here is the full image so you can see how small a crop this was.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Ray & David,

    Thanks for the crops, they are helpful to see. I've no doubts about the improvement between them but I wanted to see how much difference there was stepping from 12 to 24, 12 to 31, 12 to 39 as well as between the various backs such as 31 to 39. If you look at my photos side by side the biggest jump by far comes from 12 to 24. There are much smaller relative jumps between 24 and 31 and likewise between 31 and 39.

    My debate with myself is on holding out for the mythical D3x vs MF sooner. Presuming the lenses can deliver what the D3x sensor will likely be capable of it poses an interesting question. My guess is that they can based on what I'm seeing from the D300 which can pretty much match the D3 resolution wise - the question mark being the ability to deliver the resolution into the corners. The D300 scaled up to full frame would be something like 26mpix if I'm not mistaken so presumably a high quality 24mpix from the D3 is achievable if they don't muck things up with a heavy AA filter.

    One of the biggest unknowns that only someone with a D300 or D3 and a MF back can help answer is how much the AA filter does indeed get in the way. That's why it would be great if someone could do a resolution matched photo between their MF back and DSLR on a scene with some fine detail using apertures that hit the sweet spot of the lenses such as f/5.6 for the DSLR and f/8 for the MF. Making the raw files would be icing on the cake as I could then see how they compare with various levels of sharpening and processing.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Ray,
    That palm tree comparison pretty much says it all.
    Greg,
    I love my Nikon D3, it's awesome for what it does but it's not in the same ballpark as the MF backs for what they do well and, IMHO, neither will it's successor. BTW, great food presentation shot you posted over in the Nikon forum. I commented on it there too.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    David,

    Thanks for the compliment. Totally agree with you that a DSLR is not going to match a MF back in pure image quality. The question is how close will it get. Most pertinently is how close it will get when we have a 24mpix D3x and a 22mpix MF back. Ray shows how far apart they are today at the extremes of 12 to 39 which doesn't suprise me at all, in fact below I have a couple of crops that show very similar results.

    Between 24mpix D3x and 22mpix MF from a resolution standpoint I would expect them to be pretty close unless the lenses are not up to the task and the AA filter holds back the real resolution. It's really a cost/reward decision for me as well as the operational trade offs between the two systems which for my style of shooting definitely favors a DSLR.

    If you're ever feeling bored and want to indulge my insanity I'd love if you could run a test that matched the resolution of your D3 and MF back purely from a pixel vs pixel quality standpoint since I'm really, really interested in seeing the differences in just how far apart or close they are.

    Just for fun here are two of my own crops, one is the 12 mpix shot upsized to match the simulated 39 mpix shot followed by the simulated 39 mpix shot. Not surprisingly it shows a pretty similar difference that Ray showed.

    I want to thank you guys for your patience in putting up with me!

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    No thanks needed Greg, I've gotten more than my fair share of help here too.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    I don't know if a proper comparison/simulation is entirely possible, but there might be a way to get somewhat close (later).

    1. Any 20-24MP DSLR be it the 1Ds3 or D3x or A900 will have an AA filter that one must assume will kill any chance of obtaining that extra 'umph' you see from a comparably sized MFDB. Even the D3's AA filter is, IMHO, far too robust. Don't know why they do it (we're nota ll fashion week photogs), but both mfg's seem intent on limiting their sensors with the bloody things.

    2. The pixel pitch differences between a 22MP DSLR and a 22MP MFDB will also heavily handicap the DSLR vs. the MFDB.

    3. There is also the tendency for DSLR manufacturers to tweak images, even in 'RAW' mode to some degree with the in-camera firmware to 'fill in the gaps' as it were re color delivery, contrast, etc between what the sensor+lenses natively deliver and what the product managers think the customers want/need to see. I never had the feeling that C or N RAW is purely RAW vs the impression I get reading here that MFDB image delivery are far closer to a pure 'native' delivery.

    An approach that might come closer:

    1. Compare a identical shot from a DMR (no AA filter, the closest thing in 35mm to a MFBD) with a Canon DSLR with a similar pixel pitch using the same lens via an adapter. Don't re-size (introduces another variable). Use the DMR's sensor size as the template - after all, you're only interested differences in resolution, so just compare center-frame out to the limit of the DMR's sensor. You'd be using the Canon as it can take a Leica R lens and thus avoids introducing another variable into the equation.

    2. Pick a FF DSLR and find a MFDB with a similar pixel pitch. If a Hassy or Mamiya, you could use the same lens via an adapter on either C or N. Same approach as #1. Use the FF's 24x36mm sensor as the limit for the comparison view.

    On choice of DSLR - The 1Ds, 5D and 1Ds2 (in that order) are your best 35mm Canon options for this test as they have thin AA filters (the new XSi is reputed to as well) and thus your most optimistic comparison. The robustness of the 1Ds3's AA filter is still a matter of some debate.

    You could also use the D3, but with it's seemingly robust AA filter - you would have to be happy introducing some more robust USM into the mix (which D3 NEFs apparently take very well). If you did use the D3, I would assume any D3x's filter would be as least as strong.

    In either test, you'd need to adjust for the differences in DoF between the two bodies of course.


    Or, if you wanted just a quick idea - Capture Integration's web site shows a quick test between a Hassy back and 1Ds3 and the differences in detail capture and image 'fidelity' VERY telling.
    Last edited by robmac; 11th June 2008 at 04:48.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    I'll just add (for the gazillionth time) that there is a lot more to MFv35mm than number of pixels alone.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Graham very true but most folks will pixel peep and it is also the easiest thing to measure in there head. DR and all the other benefits of MF get kind of side tracked but I do agree with you there are many other advantages in MF. The closets camera to MF are the DMR and M8 since there actually both CCD sensors and do not have the AA filter and such. So technical there are identical in many ways but there is no way the DMR or M8 can make for the size of the MF sensor. For the folks waiting for the D3x or whatever it still will not close the gap. MF will still have the advantage because the bigger sensor will always win this battle. Bigger is better. Frankly i would not buy a Canon 1dsMKIII or a Nikon D3x for the best files only let's say. If you can work at that price point with a ZD you would be better off files wise , not working wise in regards to speed of camera and stuff like that. There really is not much change in my mind from MF film and 35mm Film . Real Estate wins but even more so with digital because now DR wins and stuff like that . The detail is amazing . Now is there a big difference between the 22 mpx and 39 mpx backs , not really . The only real advantage here is detail on the 39mpx back there is more but at a great cost. But that is the only real difference because for example Jacks P45 plus and Guy's P25 plus will look almost identical side by side except for the detail Jacks p45 will have a advantage and folks that is a difference of 17 more mpx between the two but in reality it is not a 17mpx difference as you would think it should be. Yes the P45 plus is better with detail but it is not by this some huge wide margain that it sounds. It's there alright but a lot of folks just go straight for the most they can get off the bat and nothing wrong with that as you should get the most you can for the money but a 22mpx back will far exceed the DSLR 22mpx camera. There is a much bigger spread here than between the backs themselves.
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Guy,

    The closest side by side controlled images I've found between the D3 and M8 were from dpreview's raw comparison photos found here:

    http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/Ni...ISO200-ACR.jpg

    http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/Le...60-raw-acr.jpg

    There is certainly a sharpness difference between the two, though not as big as I would have expected and the D3 is actually resolving more detail. Adding a small bit of sharpening (62, 0.3, 1) to the D3 matches the M8 for perceived sharpness.

    Regarding the bigger pixels, they certainly are a big factor in things link DR and noise. I will point out that the D3 has larger pixel pitch of 8.45um vs 6.8um of the 39 mpix backs so am I to assume from your statements that the D3 also has larger dynamic range? There's no doubt the D3 handles high ISO noise much better but does it have as wide of a DR? Don't know since I've not seen raw files of the same shot from both. When you get a chance to run your DR tests it will help answer that question (even though you'll be using a D300 since I have a good idea of the difference between the D3 and D300).

    Look, as a total package from what I've seen of your guys shots I definitely give the nod to MF but as I mentioned in my previous posts I'm really just trying to get a handle on how big the differences are since the step up to MF is a big financial commitment.

    In the spirit of learning and helping myself and others see the light a few direct comparisons providing the raw files would go a long way in achieving that goal. I won't belabor the point and continue pestering you guys if you don't want to or don't have the time to compare them that's understandable to me.

    Thanks,

    Greg

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    I think Guy's point is well made. The differences between 35mm and MF are much, much greater than between MF backs. There are also far more variables at work when comparing 35mm vs MF - so many that most comparisons have to be taken with a BIG grain of salt.

    The only way to truly know is to rent and play with your gear vs. say a 22MP back and compare. I don't own MF yet, but the implied changes in workflow, speed, ISO considerations,etc are as important as the relative IQ.

    As much as going MFDB is a step fwd in terms of IQ, it is also a step back in time to an age of slower paced more deliberate work where lighting (amount of it, not just playing with it) had to be front and center.

    I personally think of the move to MF-levels IQ as a step-wise process:

    1. DSLR and native lenses ->

    2. -> DSLR with higher-quality alternate optics * - BIG improvement in IQ over #1 ->

    3. -> Choice time:
    stay 35mm and go to a used DMR
    or (if it suits) an M8 for top glass + no AA --- OR go entry level MFDB.

    * Leica, Zeiss (in their various guises), etc.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    The funny thing is i though going back to MF would actually slow me down , to be honest it is certainly not as bad as i actually thought though, yes there is a delay 1.5 seconds or 1.25 seconds for most backs but without shooting sports not the biggest deal and even the fashion i shot in San Juan i think once i was waiting. The other thought was bigger and bulkier again next to a D3 not as bad as i thought also , we had several D3's in San Juan and actually they were taller and dare i say maybe bulker. I know sounds kind of strange but certainly put some of that oh carp here we go with the big stuff to bed. Now there certainly downsides or upsides depending how you look at it. DOF is certainly like 2 stops shallower so you F4 lens is like a F2 lens in 35mm. Plus and minus on that one but more minus. Shutter slap can be a issue. Big mirror long travel so you have to watch your speeds. Now i have shutter lag also but i have the old mamiya AFD at the moment and expect better with the newest coming out. The Mamiya lenses are well sized and not that heavy some of the hassy lenses are big and heavy along with Rollie . I think the Contax glass is not that big and of course we all know of the V hassy lenses. Other than some of these downsides i am actually quite surprised how fast it really is BUT you need to be more deliberate in your shooting and need to pay attention to some of this stuff. Really no room to be sloppy or you will get burned like DOF and shutter speeds for example .Tripods are needed more but you can get by very well without them and these backs you have at least ISO 400 with all of them and some even higher. I have yet to see a difference of any real value between 100 and 200 ISO so gaining a stop there is a good thing.

    Let me add folks if you want to try this stuff which i recommend highly before buying is talk to Steve , Lance and Sean at camera West also and other dealers to try some demo's out. Also we have a big lighting workshop in September that all of the backs and camera's will be there to demo and shoot Pro models and get some learning in as well on lighting and how to run these both with hardware and software. take your time and figure it all out and questions like Greg asked are very important to know and learn from.
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Guy describes the transition elements (from DSLR) well here. While MFD is a bit bulkier, it is generally not as much as what one might imagine, at least with the Mamiya AFD II/III and some others. I've never seen the Hy6 gear, though hope to soon.

    People speak of shutter lag, and it is there (I've not seen the new Phase/AFD III yet), but medium format film has this in some systems too. The pace between shots can be an issue for some, especially in shooting fashion, but has no bearing on my 'work'. There are backs which process the shots faster for this kind of work though.

    For me the move to MFD was to gain better files so that I could print large (and larger) without agonizing over every file to get there. So far, this seems to be delivered in spades to me. I'm still learning and just "plinking" with the system, but I literally put the back on the camera, walked outside and shot a few frames of a scene in my yard that I have shot with many cameras and lenses... opened the files on the computer... and said "Wow! This is it." I have not had that experience in digital in a long time. There is no comparison IMO to the files of DSLR for the stuff that I shoot. Now, please understand that I'm not saying that good glass in good hands with a DSLR can't get super results. I'm not saying that at all. I'm only saying that for the way that I shoot I can see the value immediately in the MFD system.

    I still shoot digital like it's film, though with more bracketing, so speed is not an issue for me most of the time. My concern will be to learn to protect the gear more from the elements than I have had to do with SLR/DSLR in the past. I'm starting to think carefully about that now.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 11th June 2008 at 09:09. Reason: typo, as usual

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    I'll just add (for the gazillionth time) that there is a lot more to MFv35mm than number of pixels alone.
    I have to echo Graham also here. The DR, tones, color, DOF, etc... etc... is completely different in MF. MF is much more than just the extra pixels.

    I had really tried to avoid going MFDB for a long time in what I do, while knowing that I needed to do it. The cost just kept putting me off. However, I fell under the spell in Puerto Rico using a loaned Phase/Mamiya and then looking at the files of the same things that I shot with my Nikon D3 and ZF primes. The MF files were so much richer in everything.

    As Guy said, the MF outfit is really not much bigger than my D3 was. Compared to some combinations like the D3 and 24-70, the MF is actually smaller.

    MF does really need a different focus on shooting than the D3, because the D3 can almost be a P&S camera. I had to re-train myself for the need for more light, higher shutter speeds, and stopping down to get the depth of field that I wanted. It is not an 11 fps D3, but that is good in its own way. For what I actually get paid to shoot, I don't need the "machine gun" but rather the quality of individual shots for large prints.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    A lot of good discussion here, that's for sure. I have some observations and lingering questions.

    Okay, so the DMR has a pixel pitch which is the same as the 39MP P45+/CF-39 (6.8um). The D3's pixel pitch of 8.45um is close to that of the 22MP P25+/ZD/CF-22 as well as the 16MP P20+/CFV (9um).

    The 16MP square sensor P20+/CFV crops to 12MP if you use a 2:3 ratio. Does the D3 give the same look when the CFV is cropped? I'd be curious to see that. Perhaps Jim can offer some insight here. The CFV has no AA filter, obviously the D3 does. What is the true effect?

    This is where we are now, but Photokina holds some interesting possiblities:

    1) The R10 should be announced at Photokina. At the last Photokina 1 1/2 years ago, the R product manager told me the "larger than full frame" goal in an R9-sans-drive body size. Dr. Kaufmann repeated this again at the LHSA meeting in Oct. 07. To me, this is a pretty sound confirmation. Leica also appears to be commited to no AA filter, Kodak CCDs and high bit depth (the DMR was 16-bit). The Leica glass is truly amazing and capable of extremely high resolving power.

    So, we have a larger than 35mm sensor with fat pixels, no AA, 16-bit capture, world-class glass in a small package. I would think that the R10 will pretty soundly trounce a D3x or 1Ds3, but how will it hold up against MFD? My theory is that it should outperform the 36x36mm 16MP square backs, and come close to the 22MP ones. We'll have to wait till 'kina to see, I guess... Something else that shouldn't be glossed over: the R10's DNG files will also work with any software on the market, so no workflow compromises.

    2) Mamiya will probably come out with a new ZD back by Photokina to match with their new AFDIII camera. If Mamiya significantly improves performance and speed yet keeps the price under $10K, how will this affect the MF market? For me, they can keep it at 36x48mm 22MP, just make it faster with a nicer screen at a great price and they'll have a real winner (especially now that the ZD files work in C1 in addition to LR).

    Either way, I think this is going to be a really interesting year. I'm really looking forward to checking everything out at Photokina in person. Maybe we should have a meetup in Cologne?...

    David
    Last edited by dfarkas; 11th June 2008 at 17:45.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    My worry David is the entry point on the R10. Lets say your theory is right which I tend to agree with BTW very close to the MF backs but getting in the door at a price point to compete against a ZD back for example is going to be tough. Even the ZD today will out resolve it plus the DR and so on and if they improve the speed and LCD and such it will just make it more appealing. Hell it's a steal as it is today. As they say leica needs to watch what they do here . 3k for lenses adds up fast and this R10 is not coming in at 5k , I 'll bet money on this one.
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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    David,
    I hope what you say is true for the new Leica R, and also that it supports all my R glass as I am still holding on to my 35-70 elmarit. Would be a killer lens with full frame. But I won't hold my breath for Apple to provide any kind of support for R10 files, and I won't expect the R10 to have ISO 6400 either.
    Eric

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Quote Originally Posted by foto-z View Post
    I'll just add (for the gazillionth time) that there is a lot more to MFv35mm than number of pixels alone.
    This is such an important statement, it probably deserves to be a permanent sticky in this forum... My corollary is that at present, NO current 35mm DSLR comes close to matching any of the past few generations of digital backs for total image quality, regardless of number of pixels.

    Cheers,
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    I agree with the big guy. To even add i don't expect one too either.
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    R10: If we assume for the sake of argument one does happen, the 10s market is a narrow slice between the D3/X, 1DS3, etc., and MFDB kits. Premium price, uber premium glass, etc- we all know the dynamics.

    The problem, unlike a x years ago, is that the camera's potential market is getting narrower and narrower - from bottom-up (as expected) but also now from the top-down.

    As the price/performance curve accelerates downwards on DSLRs, the R10 has to be that much better in terms of IQ to justify a hefty premium over the D_ or 1D_ in terms of the hardware only - let alone to overcome aura surrounding their service/support structure vs that of Canon or Nikon. One could also argue that the D3 has introduced a new downward step-wise move in the higher-end DSLR price/performance expectation by customers. It has certainly poured some gas into the fire, which makes things that more difficult for ANY new entry.

    Realistically, the SOLE advantage the R10 would have vs competition will be low-to-mid ISO level (safe assumption) IQ. Not fps, uber ISO or AF performance - but by delivering a MFDB-esque IQ advantage vs. what one can expect from existing top-drawer DSLRs.

    The new twist is the apparent realization from MFD kit players that their easiest market share increases will come from looking DOWNWARD not upward as seen with 16-22 MP entry kits and large discounts on higher-end kits that in turn see more used gear released into the market.

    In short, MF players look like they are pushing the concept of getting a high-end DSLR customer into the product line at a (relatively) painless entry point with the hope of keeping them as they move upstream. Entry MF kits also offer the advantage that used glass is plentiful and ranges from cheap (M645) to only modestly expensive (in Leica terms) and most can be used across platforms. Toss in optional extended warranties with back swaps during a mechanical crisis, a very professional dealer support structure (from what I see) and the compelling case for ANY uber-premium DSLR gets tougher and tougher.

    Take the preceding and factor in the potential need to launch a line of new AF glass/system plus the hobbling of any teething issues with a craftsman-sized and SLOW service & support structure and the business case (and thus the financial/strategic wisdom to Leica) for any 'R10' gets worse with every passing quarter.

    In short, there are the decisions that many of us, to varying degrees, would love to see vs. those that, in all reality, might better ensure that Leica, as we know it, will be around and thriving X years fwd.
    Last edited by robmac; 12th June 2008 at 06:35.

  25. #25
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Just as an example Jack is selling his ZD back today at 6k i think. If one wanted to jump into it very easily right now add a Mamiya AFDII body and 80mm lens and it is still cheaper than a Canon 1dsMKIII. Than for another 1500 hundred you can get 3 more lenses. So a entry into this would be about 9k . Entry into a Canon would actually be more. Now the better imager is the ZD. My point is it is not that hard to jump in and maintain the quality of MF and this is going to change even more towards MF because of the price of the MF stuff is getting more price competitive. We just saw a new H3/31 with body and lens at 18k and Phase P30 plus with new body and lens at maybe slightly higher after all the deals going on. Now your looking at 9k with lens and 18k and starting with a new system. 7 years ago when i had all the Hassy V stuff i was looking at 45k for a back. Times have changed a lot in the MF world both on price and better backs. So the market is is getting tighter and prices are becoming more competitive between the systems. So for folks that have been shooting DSLR's looking to move it is not that drastic a price difference it once was. The Leica R10 needs to find a home in between them or it will be a bust. Canon and Nikon are very competitive right now with all the bells and whistles going on which most people like, I don't but that is another thread. LOL . For Leica to make it with this R10 it has to very compelling that it will out run Nikon and canon and get that much closer to MF but still maintain 35mm style of shooting. I think that is there only hope here is to ride the pine between DSLR's and MF. Otherwise folks will go Canon Nikon or just move up to MF.
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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Guy,
    I agree here. At one point, I was holding hope for the R10, and still do, but in my assessment, it probably is NOT going to outdo the upper end Canon or Nikon offerings for most things, except non-AA filtered image files. At a price point that Leica will most likely hit the market, the MF solutions are not going to be that much more of a jump, and will be providing a lot more overall for IQ, unless the R10 is MF. Just a bit larger than present 35mm is not going to be all that much better, but the lack of AA filter could help a fair amount.

    For the costs, a MF set-up will do better for the IQ needed, and keeping a decent DSLR system for other needed shooting will most likely be the choice of a lot of users. Rob's points about Leica service hits home with respect to Canon or Nikon as DSLR choices, and now the MF folks are also being very competitive in both offerings and service through dealers. The R10 may be a very interesting offering, but it is sailing into a very strong headwind at this point. I for one have lost a lot of my initial interest in it at this point. If it cannot keep up with Canon or Nikon on AF, speed, high ISO, etc., nor MF for overall image, where will it find a home? Most likely not in my kit.

    LJ

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    I think that is the key although maybe a very powerful tool but where will it sit in the market is my concern for them. It has to do something special or may just get buried in no man's land. What I think it needs to do image wise is beat the pants off Nikon and Canon but still be price wise equal to it. Make it the best DSLR out there because that is the most popular format.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Just to stir things up (I'll get ready to duck), is there not a possibility that a larger-pixel 16-bit Leica would have better noise characteristics than the current 14-bit ZD back?

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    Re: Getting a handle on resolutions differences

    Quote Originally Posted by shakeshuck View Post
    Just to stir things up (I'll get ready to duck), is there not a possibility that a larger-pixel 16-bit Leica would have better noise characteristics than the current 14-bit ZD back?
    A lot of things may be possible. A full frame 35mm, or a bit larger, in a CCD with no AA filter, but maybe a very nicely tuned set of microlenses and at 16-bit may be able to deliver really stunning results, and at ISO 800.....maybe a bit higher. Would that rival or look better than the current ZD back? Quite possibly could.

    That is a stack of "maybes", and not beyond reach for Leica. "Will it happen?" is another question. Not saying Leica could not pull it off, but will all of the other pieces needed (decent, fast AF, good WB, decent frame speed, etc.) also come along in the package at a price that does not have folks starting to look more seriously at "that next jump" to MF? That is the part that is unknown right now. There is little doubt that 35mm, as a format is more popular and "easier" to use for most folks. It has its limits, so the question still remains if Leica can squeeze itself into that market with something that delivers outstanding images, works fast and pretty flawlessly, and does not cost so much that MF starts looking like a better choice for the buyer.

    LJ

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