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Puts weighs in on the M...Part 1


Jeff S

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Part One

 

Not much surprising here given some of his earlier reflections, but I was intrigued to read his comments about the improved build quality and manufacturing tolerances; I don't recall reading about this in other reviews.

 

He comments on the quieter shutter and offers some added information regarding its changed method of operation. I'll be curious to see if Part 2 addresses any of the other operational improvements that I and some others value, e.g., 2m frame lines, illuminated frame lines, longer battery life, weather sealing, faster processing, etc., or whether he will focus more exclusively on IQ.

 

And, as is typical of the old Puts, the number of typos is dreadful, especially given his attention to presenting a new site, with presumably narrower but careful focus. At least he has learned to organize thoughts in actual paragraphs.

 

Jeff

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"the useable (ISO) ... is indeed around 1600 and 3200 ...

 

(This verdict applies to the M Mono too ...)

 

Some reviewers might hope that the M is a quantum leap forward compared to the M9 or M Mono, but that is hardly the case ...

 

The M is ... a compromise that it is in danger to loose its soul. The M Mono is, from this perspective the true heir to the digital CRF throne."

Edited by photomeme
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"The M however is the camera that has all important mainstream features and its success might be living proof that the classical rangefinder photographer does no longer exist."

 

Actually, we exist. It is the classical range finder camera that does no longer exist in the M.

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"the useable (ISO) ... is indeed around 1600 and 3200 ...

 

(This verdict applies to the M Mono too ...)

 

Some reviewers might hope that the M is a quantum leap forward compared to the M9 or M Mono' date=' but that is hardly the case ...

 

The M is ... a compromise that it is in danger to loose its soul. The M Mono is, from this perspective the true heir to the digital CRF throne."[/quote']

 

I've never heard an owner of an M mono claim that usable ISO is that low. In fact, I think ISO 5000 looks fabulous and 10000 is amazing in a grainy way that high noise color photos are not.

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I've never heard an owner of an M mono claim that usable ISO is that low. In fact, I think ISO 5000 looks fabulous and 10000 is amazing in a grainy way that high noise color photos are not.

 

Reid makes the same point you do, with examples that illustrate it.

 

He said, he'd not go over 3200 ever with the M for professional work, but up to 10,000 with no worries on the MM.

 

Splotchy, not finely grained, noise appears in his 3200 M examples. 6400 on the M looks significantly worse than 1600 on the M9. Hence, Reid concludes the usable ISO bump on the M is only about 1.3 stops.

 

The first signs of chromatic noise appears on the M samples at ISO 400, if you're pixel peeping. That was a shock to see.

 

Noise is fine grain in his MM examples all the way up to 10,000.

Edited by photomeme
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This is going to disappoint a few people...

 

But you omitted the next sentence..."LV with focus assist is however easier to use especially in dim light and with low-contrast motives." For many folks it's not a question of final accuracy, but the ease of accomplishing it. And, it should be no surprise to those with experience that a tripod significantly helps the LV experience.

 

Of course, camera (and lens) alignment has also been a factor for achieving RF focus in some instances for other digital Ms. The fact that he says the new M is built to closer tolerances is actually a good thing, and I suspect one reason why he can now say that the RF and LV results, if not experiences, should be the same.

 

Jeff

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Actually, we exist. It is the classical range finder camera that does no longer exist in the M.

 

"Leica will introduce Social Media capabilities in their cameras in the future, Alfred Schopf, CEO of Leica Camera AG mentioned in a Bloomberg interview in December 2012."

 

If this takes place in one of the next M iterations, then I'll know the herd mentality has really taken over.:eek:

 

For now I'm happy to ignore additional functions in the new M if I choose (assuming of course I buy one), and use just like my other M RF cameras. But I fear that down the road things will get out of control.

 

Jeff

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To use the ever popular automotive analogy, the M is basically like a Porsche Cayenne. It's controversial among the dedicated/traditional core user group for a number of reasons (whether RF diehards or 911 drivers), but on the whole a popular decision that enables the company to survive until the next cycle.

 

All I can say is - get over it.

 

At its core the M is still an M. Don't use live view, video, the LCD, whatever, if you don't need it. It still has manual exposure mode and a mechanical rangefinder (though I guess you won't be able to see the frame lines with the camera off - but then at least you'll know it's off!) and still uses manual focus lenses with real manual focus and aperture rings. And it's the same price as the M9 in 2009. Well, accounting for inflation, I guess it's actually less expensive. Leica is not forcing you to pay more for it.

 

I find the discussions here quite illuminating. Over at another forum I frequent, those shooting down the M are doing so because it isn't progressive enough! Seems that Leica can't win either way. Or, maybe they really do need to make two separate M cameras.

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To use the ever popular automotive analogy, the M is basically like a Porsche Cayenne.

 

Not to me. But using your analogy, it's still the same size and shape as the 911; can drive just like the 911, only better; and it can additionally perform the functions of the Cayenne if you order the option package and you flip a switch on the dash. Pretty amazing.

 

Jeff

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All I can say is - get over it.

 

 

No one needs to get over it. The M just isn't "classical," that's all. We have headed into the digital age. And, if you didn't notice, that started with the M8 (it uses one of them new-fangled digital film memory cards).

 

From what I read here, most of us are excited and plan on using all of the "progressive" features you mention. And, over here on the irascible Leica User Forum we aren't shooting down the M because it has a few progressive features. But, we do understand the history of the camera and this M is no classical M. That will take many years...

Edited by RickLeica
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Guest malland

I appreciate that Puts is not publishing any evaluation of the new camera's IQ and color rendiiton until the final camera is released and the RAW developers have profiles for it, as he states at the outset:

...My report will be split in two parts: the first part is a reflection on the status, philosophy and direction of the digital rangefinder, now in its latest incarnation, the M. The second part will look at the performance, but this part will be completed when the real production version is ready and relevant RAW developers are available...
.—Mitch/Paris

Paris au rythme de Basquiat and Other Poems [download link for book project]

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But you omitted the next sentence..."LV with focus assist is however easier to use especially in dim light and with low-contrast motives." For many folks it's not a question of final accuracy, but the ease of accomplishing it. And, it should be no surprise to those with experience that a tripod significantly helps the LV experience.

 

Of course, camera (and lens) alignment has also been a factor for achieving RF focus in some instances for other digital Ms. The fact that he says the new M is built to closer tolerances is actually a good thing, and I suspect one reason why he can now say that the RF and LV results, if not experiences, should be the same.

 

Jeff

True and I fully agree - I was referring to the suggestions made in this forum that the RF mechanism is past its sell-by date and should be replaced with some allegedly more accurate electronic system.

As it is I was equally happy to read it. :)

Edited by jaapv
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Part One

 

And, as is typical of the old Puts, the number of typos is dreadful, especially given his attention to presenting a new site, with presumably narrower but careful focus. At least he has learned to organize thoughts in actual paragraphs.

 

Jeff

 

Indeed…A friend of mine, who is a professional writer and Leica user even offered him free correction services because he enjoyed Puts' writings so much; however the great man didn't even bother to respond to the offer. Although his command of English, (as that of almost all Dutch people), is quite excellent and even finely nuanced, he seems to enjoy having the most mistakes per page of any writer on the Internet I know of ;-0)

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