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Image Quality--CL vs SL vs M10

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.... and the answer to most of these questions is actually in the forum posts ...... it just takes some finding ..... many of us have posted comparisons, usually with examples. 


as has been often pointed out, for 'normal' use and at 'normal' rendition sizes the actual output of all these cameras is pretty close and would be hard to differentiate ... certainly as web sized posts.


it's only at the extremes that they start to differ significantly ...... and more importantly the mechanics and ergonomics involved in using the actual camera system .... which then comes down to personal preference. 


I use the SL and CL interchangeably depending on what I need ....... SL for serious landscapes and long exposures, interiors and low light, CL for general photography or when I need to travel light. There is an image difference, but we at talking about the difference between an excellent red wine and premier cru ... subtle ...... but there is a tonal smoothness if you look for it ...... which is also evident when you move from FF to Medium Format or higher. There are also less artefacts generated when sharpening and other more aggressive processing...... and again a bigger sensor like MF seems to offer more leeway. 


I had the TL2 and the image quality is identical to the CL. 


We're in 'dancing on the head of a pin' territory .... and basically these days if you find yourself dissatisfied with your photos it's the mug behind the viewfinder who needs changing, not the equipment they are using ..... 

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Interesting to see this thread come up again. 


I sold my SL and its two zoom lenses, and acquired the CL to use with my R and M lenses. The notion was that the M-D typ 262 does most of what I want for day to day shooting, but there are some uses (copy work, negative digitizing, tabletop, and long lenses) that it simply isn't well suited for given that it has no TTL capability and not even an LCD to view what you've captured on without moving the file to something with a display. There is also the fact that I already had a complete set of R lenses and an excellent set of R macro equipment (bellows, extension tubes, two macro lenses, etc). 


I haven't done such detailed, individual image comparisons between the M-D and the CL as was done at the top of this thread, but I've capriciously swapped the same lenses back and forth between the two bodies in all kinds of situations and compared the results: 

  • I'm impressed that the CL and M-D generate very nearly the same results on cases of almost matching FoV. 
  • The smaller CL format nets more usefulness for macro work than the SL, given that I can achieve 1.5x more magnification @ 24 Mpixel at the same optical settings.
  • The CL feels so right to use with the R lenses and a little awkward with the M lenses, for me. 
  • All of the lenses I've used on the CL render well.
  • The M-D proves nicer to use in bright daylight because of the viewfinder; the CL proves nicer to use in more variable and indoor, low light circumstances because of the viewfinder. 
  • I can achieve equally good, critical, accurate focus with either.

The CL proves to be too nice to use and too versatile to lock it into just the niche uses I had planned for it. And the M-D proves to remain too nice to use and too good a performer to let go of. I have very nearly my ideal lens kit for both between my M and R lenses. I have not a moment's hesitation saying that the CL and the M-D produce equal results, even out to a pretty high stress factor kind of shooting. Job done, I've got what I need for the projects I have in mind ...


Because of the strength of this kit, I've finally realized that I personally lost the desire for a Hasselblad X1D... That saves me a bundle!

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I have the M10, Q and CL.  Among the 3, I most enjoy using the CL and cannot tell any quality difference in the final RW image.  I use M and R lenses on the CL, and get great results with focus peaking and magnification used to compose and focus.  My CL came with the TL 18-56mm zoom lens and I find it as sharp as my Q or M.

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