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New M Images


Guest Essemmlee

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Guest Essemmlee

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I'm no expert on photography but I know what I like my images to look like. So, in the past few days I have wandered about the internet looking for new M photos. I've found a few now.

 

The striking thing about them, for me, is that they do look exactly the same as my Nikon images. They seem to lack the depth of colour, the richness and the tonality of the M8 and M9.

 

Like the majority of Leica owners I would like the best image making camera out there and in fairness to Leica, the M is not overpriced. But I want my images to look like M9 images, or better.

 

Is it possible that new development in RAW processors will assist or perhaps updated firmware (not that Leica are any use at firmware updates) may help.

 

What do you reckon?

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What do you reckon?

 

I reckon that any current decent digital camera - Leica, Canon, Nikon, Sony - will give you a neutral enough image file to give you whatever look you require.

 

There is no inherent characteristic to any sensor (other than that in in the Monochrom) that is so strong it determines the feel of the final image.

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It is quite clear (to me at least) that people looking at M files on the Internet are seeing exactly what they want to see. If they have no interest in buying one, then they say that the "Leica look" is missing and the files look ike Nikon or Canon files. If they want to buy an M then they think the files are terrific. But we have also seen that distinguishing which camera took a certain image is not so easy (other than conceivably the MM) so the "arguments" presented are really circular.

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Guest Essemmlee
Can you post links to the images you are comparing please M8 / M9 / M Thanks

 

I'm not comparing M8/M9 and M on line. I'm recording my views on the M images I've seen on line, compared to my M8/M9 files.

 

As an example of M images on line you could try these:

 

Leica M Typ 240 Samples Gallery | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

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It is quite clear (to me at least) that people looking at M files on the Internet are seeing exactly what they want to see. If they have no interest in buying one, then they say that the "Leica look" is missing and the files look ike Nikon or Canon files. If they want to buy an M then they think the files are terrific. But we have also seen that distinguishing which camera took a certain image is not so easy (other than conceivably the MM) so the "arguments" presented are really circular.

 

Whilst there is some truth in what you say. When side by side comparisons are shown there is a difference with most.

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I'm not comparing M8/M9 and M on line. I'm recording my views on the M images I've seen on line, compared to my M8/M9 files.

 

As an example of M images on line you could try these:

 

Leica M Typ 240 Samples Gallery | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

 

OK thanks, so if your images are not similarly online and processed like Steve Huff's is it a fair comparison? I'm not trying to influence you either way I'm genuinely interested in what comparison can be made.

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The striking thing about them, for me, is that they do look exactly the same as my Nikon images. They seem to lack the depth of colour, the richness and the tonality of the M8 and M9.

 

What do you reckon?

 

Dear Essemmlee,

 

I posted a few photos in the tread in the link below a few days ago.

 

I own both the M9-P and the new M, and my opinion is that the M9 is no match for the M in any division.

 

The M is superior in any way, mechanics and feel of controls, shutter sound, ISO performance and color accuracy.

 

These images I could not have done with the M9:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/259592-preparing-m-40.html#post2346317

 

Best regards

 

Trond

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Guest Essemmlee
Can you post links to the images you are comparing please M8 / M9 / M Thanks

 

The M is superior in any way, mechanics and feel of controls, shutter sound, ISO performance and color accuracy.

 

These images I could not have done with the M9:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/259592-preparing-m-40.html#post2346317

 

 

I'm not arguing with you about the camera; in fact, I'm not arguing at all. I'm sure it's everything you say it is. I'm saying the images I've seen don't look like those 3D, popped, beautifully coloured M8/M9 images that I'm used to. They look like Nikon/Canon images (to me).

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In Huffs review there are a couple of images against the M9 that show some rendering differences, the tree and a guy in a bar. I can see differences in the rendering in both of these. On an iPhone I asked my tolerant partner to choose which she preferred she chose the shots taken with the M9, in her own words those had more depth. No angle, no trickery just how they look. It could be rendering inherent in the sensor or settings. One thing I am aware of from my home cinema and calibrating projectors is how sensitive the impression of image depth is to the ramp up from low ire level. Getting the black level right and the transition up was everything.

 

I have no doubt the new M is technically better

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I think it's important to remember that, while the new M's sensor looks good and tests better than the M9's sensor, technically, it doesn't mean that the new M's sensor is better for making art.

 

Some artists paint with fine brushes, while others paint with broad strokes, or, in photographic terms, a Gregory Crewdson photo and a Harry Gruyaert photo may look quite a bit different in terms of grain, tonality, color, etc., but I generally prefer the look of the latter, despite Mr. Gruyaert using a smaller format and pushing Kodachrome with a massive amount of visible grain in many of his photos.

 

Of course, if one is shooting for a client, one may need to provide the specific look that the client is looking for, but, if you're shooting for yourself, there's no reason to obsess on the technical aspects of the sensor, if you're happy with the one you have. Just make art with what you like. I frequently push my M9 to ISO 5000'ish equivalent, and I could certainly take Trond's concert photos linked above. Granted, I may not be interested in taking that kind of photo, in the first place, and, if I did, I might even like my grainier version even better.

 

It's all just a matter of taste. No big deal.

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Guest Essemmlee
I'm baffled by the notion that a particular tonality looks like any particular camera brand. Just as with film, the processing is what dictates the look.

 

My first post proposed that very theory - maybe the RAW processors are not there yet.

 

It is my view, so far, that the images look a bit plasticky. I'm not saying they are bad, or technically inferior, just different.

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My first post proposed that very theory - maybe the RAW processors are not there yet...

 

Really? Your first post appears to propose that there's a unique rendering of colour and tone from the M8/9 sensor that is markedly different to the files from Canon and Nikon. Different sensors have different characteristics, but those characteristics are all but irrelevant once we've applied our processing choices. Inherently "plasticky" images from Canon and Nikon are an Internet myth.

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Really? Your first post appears to propose that there's a unique rendering of colour and tone from the M8/9 sensor that is markedly different to the files from Canon and Nikon. Different sensors have different characteristics, but those characteristics are all but irrelevant once we've applied our processing choices. Inherently "plasticky" images from Canon and Nikon are an Internet myth.

 

That's not entirely the case, at least in terms of color. I suggest you read all of these thread postings about color filters from Joakim (theSuede) who works in the industry:

 

a850 vs a900, 1 stop better noise performance? - FM Forums

 

Bayer masks and DxO color depth measurements - FM Forums

 

That being said, I don't anything about the new M's color filter, so I wouldn't know how it compares to the M9.

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Guest Essemmlee
Inherently "plasticky" images from Canon and Nikon are an Internet myth.

 

Really. Having a Canon 1Ds3 and a Nikon D3s as well as my M9 tells me otherwise.

 

However, you are entitled to your opinion as I am mine; and it is only mine, as I have constantly mentioned.

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I'm definitely not seeing what I liked about the images from the M9 in the images from the new M. Particularly at base ISO, where I think the M9 is a class act and tough to beat. This has nothing to do with specs, but just what's pleasing to the eye in terms of color and clarity in the photographs taken with the M9.

 

I really wanted to like the new M as the promise of improved performance at high ISO is something I would find incredibly useful. However, it doesn't look like the leap that was expected and I find it hard to justify the cost when it's outperformed by the current range of Nikons and Canons. Putting the rangefinder vs SLR aspect aside, what I'm ultimately concerned about here is the output of the camera.

 

I think the new M was a direction that Leica was right to move in, but can't help feeling it falls short of expectations. Not outshining the M9 at base ISO and being surpassed by Canon and Nikon at high ISO leaves it somewhere in the middle for me. Mediocrity is not something I feel like paying a premium for. I forgave the shortcomings of my M9 as it excelled at one thing; shooting at low ISO. I've kept my Nikon DSLR as it excels at another; shooting at high ISO. And I might be tempted to buy a Monochrom as it obviously excels at black & white throughout the ISO range.

 

Back in the days of film, photographers never expected one film to do everything well. Choosing the right film for the shooting conditions and desired aesthetic was an important decision. Yet with 35mm digital cameras we are expecting a single sensor to do everything well. But perhaps that is because this is all the manufacturers have offered us this far (with the exception of medium format digital.)

 

I would really like to see a modular M system camera, capable of taking different digital backs designed for specific purposes. Keep the same body, but swap the sensor / back to deliver the best results for a given situation. Investigate which sensors deliver the best results at low ISO, high ISO and for black and white, and design the best possible sensor to excel at a single task. Don't compromise.

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That's not entirely the case, at least in terms of color. I suggest you read all of these thread postings about color filters from Joakim (theSuede) who works in the industry:

 

a850 vs a900, 1 stop better noise performance? - FM Forums

 

Bayer masks and DxO color depth measurements - FM Forums

To quote theSuede: “Even if spot colour differences may be quite large between different models from the same maker, the general colour "fingerprint" of the brand is quite easy to achieve. It's just a matter of getting the profiles right - which they hopefully are capable of doing. Raw-data is NOT the same thing as colour. The transform and interpolation makes the final colour.”

 

Just what almoore said.

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