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When can we expect a reasonably good screen and fast image review?

image review improvements m9 screen m9 speed processor power

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#1 movito

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 19:49

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Hi folks,

like many here I'm lusting for an M9-P and considered buying one new or having my M9 upgraded. Until I noticed that the screen upgrade is just sapphire glass, not a better screen.

My mother's Canon S90 has a better screen (and better interaction design) than my M9.

Since you know a lot more about Leica than me, I'd like to ask:
  • when can we expect a digital M with a 920' dot screen (or better)? In 2013–2014 with the M10 or in 2012 with a M9-P2?
  • is there a rational explanation for today's sub-standard screen? Are the proportions or the size strange? Are all the great VGA-or-better camera screens 3" or larger? Is the current 2.5" screen the best that could be sourced or merely a cost saver for Leica?
  • is there a mismatch between the size of the M9's raw files and the throughput of the M9's graphics chip? Is the camera body too small to host a sufficiently powerful image processor or is it a matter of writing faster firmware?

Thanks!

#2 mjh

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 20:30

is there a rational explanation for today's sub-standard screen?

There was no higher resolution 2.5" LCD available (at least at the time; I don’t know about now but with the trend towards 3" displays it might still be true) and a bigger display wouldn’t have fit the classic case design.

is there a mismatch between the size of the M9's raw files and the throughput of the M9's graphics chip? Is the camera body too small to host a sufficiently powerful image processor or is it a matter of writing faster firmware?

The M9 is as fast as it can reasonably be given the hardware (which was a rather conservative development of the electronics of the M8).

As to the features of undisclosed future models you would have to ask Leica (and they won’t tell).
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Michael J. Hußmann

#3 movito

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 22:34

Thanks! Yes, there might be few 2.5" screens to choose from. Still, I'd expect a bit more development in four years. A 3" screen would mess up the lines at the back of the camera, but I'd gladly sacrifice that concinnity/elegant balance of form for better image review.

Slow review and zooming is a big disadvantage when shooting in a social setting. Everyone wants to see how their shot came out and the camera is too slow to keep up and the images are disappointing to look at –*they see the 2.5" screen and think "that's it?".

Were the graphics chipset and components developed/sourced by Jenoptik or Leica?

#4 mjh

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 22:38

Slow review and zooming is a big disadvantage when shooting in a social setting.

In my experience it is fast enough.

Were the graphics chipset and components developed/sourced by Jenoptik or Leica?

Who knows? And what does it matter?
Michael J. Hußmann

#5 ggriswold

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 22:57

Slow review and zooming is a big disadvantage when shooting in a social setting. Everyone wants to see how their shot came out and the camera is too slow to keep up and the images are disappointing to look at –*they see the 2.5" screen and think "that's it?".


LCD is for photo review, histogram checking and menu selection, not presenting slide shows at parties. Always been fast enough for me.

Why do people keep trying to make this wonderful, small and perfect camera a Canon 5D MKII or Nikon D3? It is a minimalist tool, not a Swiss Army Knife. I apologize for sounding intolerant, but these "why can't my M9 do live view, do video, do time lapse, or do my laundry" inquiries just astonish me. There are dozens and dozens of cameras with all these "enhancements" so nobody should ask nor expect the last bastion of photographic simplicity to get in on the "feature bloat". Less is more. BTW- No offense intended Movito.
Thanks, I feel better now.

Edited by ggriswold, 03 July 2011 - 23:11.

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#6 Ecar

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 23:04

LCD is for photo review, histogram checking and menu selection, not presenting slide shows at parties. Why do people keep trying to make this wonderful, small and perfect camera a 5D?

+1, although the M9 is not perfect and we could do with a somewhat better screen (say, when you want to check critical focus)...

#7 hx911

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 00:20

I think we have blurred the lines on what the screen is for.
IIRC manufacturers of point-and-shoots have found many pictures (most?) are not printed, but stay in the camera and get shown on the built in screen - this then drives the design and development.
On more 'pro' cameras the screen is just to check framing, exposure, maybe focussing ... so a different task.
Now 'we' get confused and ask - my has my $ 8000 camera a worse/smaller/... screen than a $ 200 P&S.
In a social setting, maybe a P&S is more suited to the task (of instant gratification) - and the M8/9/x is more like film .... you have to wait a bit for the result.
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#8 rosuna

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 00:37

"why can't my M9 do live view, do video, do time lapse, or do my laundry" inquiries just astonish me.


He is not asking for that, but for a better screen and faster operation, just that. It does not imply any "feature bloat".

All times someone writes asking for perfectly normal improvements, someone responds in those or similar terms, and it astonish me.

In response to the original question, no one knows when Leica will present/show an improved model of the classical rangefinder. From the words of Dr. Kaufmann, one may infer that we will see something at Photokina 2012 at the earliest.

Edited by rosuna, 04 July 2011 - 00:44.

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#9 AlanG

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:50

I disagree that "On more 'pro' cameras the screen is just to check framing, exposure, maybe focusing ... so a different task. Now 'we' get confused and ask - my has my $ 8000 camera a worse/smaller/... screen than a $ 200 P&S.
In a social setting, maybe a P&S is more suited to the task (of instant gratification) - and the M8/9/x is more like film .... you have to wait a bit for the result."

I wonder if some people don't realize that it is common for clients and even subjects to want to review the images on the back of the camera. (When not shooting tethered to a laptop.) Every client who has been on a job with me since 2003 has expected to see the images either on the LCD or on a tethered laptop.

And if you don't think that using a Leica in social settings where people may want to see the images is a good use for the camera, it really starts minimizing the role for Leica to absurd levels. I think a lot of photographers who are used to the "best" displays and fast detailed image review will be disappointed in any camera that does not keep up.

Recently, I spent about an hour shooting hand held scouting shots in various rooms with an interior designer. She'd look at the image, move some furniture or props, we'd discuss compositional changes and shoot again. We then selected which shots she wanted and I explained how I planned to light the spaces for the actual shots. It was an interactive collaboration. Then she left me to complete the project without her.

I also have found it very handy to show images to a subject so that I can better direct their pose or expression.
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#10 ho_co

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:55

movito, you have downloaded the latest firmware, right? I understand it generates the display a bit quicker than previously.
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Best,

Howard

#11 viramati

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 03:33

Doesn't really bother me that it is a little slow to click into focus but it would really be great if it had a screen where you could check focus better when you zoom. Though probably not possible on this model it is something I would consider if it ever became an upgrade
David

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#12 diogenis

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:17

Alan, on a 5DMKII with the larger screen perhaps you can do what you do with the client, and because you shoot interiors eventually he can check the photos because of low light.
However on a small Leica and its current form factor this is impossible. So, either you choose the Leica and maybe an iphone or an ipad as a monitor or you choose the 5DMKii.
Actually an iphone+eye fi pro x2 can really help you there a lot, plus you get a better screen with IPS technology for display consistency and bigger @ 3.5" amazing resolution that no other camera has, and you also leave the small Leica alone.

#13 hx911

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:29

Alan,
I totally get your point.
Maybe I should have split the post into facts/research and then noted IMHO ....

Just shows how priorities differ - I and recall using a polaroid back to check 'on location' when shooting film ... how time flies :)

#14 krabat

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:44

Although everybody is free to perform photography the way he/she likes, I always shake my head when I see how (even professional) photographers stare at the display of their camera after each single shot. I find it particular useless during so-called social events (weddings and other parties), where the scenery is changing every second, and a special situation cannot be frozen or repeated anyhow. I mean, if the photographer can rely on his/her camera and his/her abilities, then there is no need for a check-up after each taken image. (As an exception I would see complicated light situations, e.g. sunset or sunrise, or night photographs.)
Well, maybe it's a generation problem. I grew up with film cameras, and with film you only know after processing the film in the dark chamber how the pictures look like. A larger display at the M9 would be nice to have (and we have read a lot of criticism about the display of the X1), however, there are always certain limitations.
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#15 diogenis

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:54

Alan,
I totally get your point.


I totally don't really get his problem.
I fail to understand the improvement from going from a 2.5" to a 3.0" screen. That is from smaller to small. It will always be small and the most important it will shows colours unreliably. And the client should know this. Also, what is the reason for showing a 200k pixels over 4x the resolution improvement?
The sad truth is, that both LCD screens do suck, and only when one moves to the iphone's screen will get some semi decent results.

#16 Dabow

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:57

Oh dear, can open, worms everywhere. To the original OP - it's a sad fact that you can't ask this type of question here without receiving a string of vitriol in response. How dare you want a better screen and faster camera! How dare you use your camera different from others! How dare you question Leica's masterpiece!

Why people just can't except that styles and needs differ is beyond me. This has to be one of the most intolerant forums going. Pity.
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#17 dwbell

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:48

Yep, here we go again! Someone's asking for when an improvement will become reality...
....STONE HIM!!!!

For what it's worth, I shoot almost exclusively ISO400, I leave it there. I shoot almost exclusively f/2.0 at 35mm. I meter with an analogue hand held incident meter, or off the palm of my hand. I hardly ever review my shots as the screen is covered by the half case I use, auto review is turned off.

So I'm like a film user even though I've never shot film in my life. However, when there is a difficult situation, like strong back/rear side light with a high contrast and I can take a couple of shots, or a quick test shot beforehand - would I appreciate an almost immediate image on the rear screen and a higher resolution? You bet I would! Why wouldn't I? It would make me quicker and more efficient as a photographer! Is it redesigning the classic M? No, of course not. Is it asking the M9 to be a modern machine gun DSLR? Don't be stupid, anyone can see that's not the case. It's thinking, and asking, that what we have now could improve from a little more speed, and a little higher resolution screen.

:rolleyes:

#18 jaapv

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:03

You will not be able to judge exposure on your LCD screen,whatever the quality may be - the camera has a histogram for that and it is eminently readable as it is. However, I agree that it is a pity Leica could not source a better screen. I would love to have one,and instant plop on replay would be a nice thing as well, for me these are not very major points. I find Alan's argument more convincing.
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#19 Dabow

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:37

You will not be able to judge exposure on your LCD screen,whatever the quality may be - the camera has a histogram for that and it is eminently readable as it is. However, I agree that it is a pity Leica could not source a better screen. I would love to have one,and instant plop on replay would be a nice thing as well, for me these are not very major points. I find Alan's argument more convincing.


I would expect anyone who is serious about their photography would realise that an LCD screen (no matter how good the quality) isn't suitable, image wise, for gauging exposure accuracy. Speed improvement is always a bonus though, IMO.

Alan's point is a valid one. Just last week I was shooting someone's portrait. They asked to see some of the shots. Sorry to say I find this question an embarrassment now with my M9 and don't usually offer unless asked. The sitters comment pretty much summed it up - "It's not very clear. I think you need a better camera" I suspect they were probably comparing with the LCD on their P&S.
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#20 paulmac

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:02

Sorry don't get this - what's actually wrong with the screen?





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