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M240 to the new M10-R , Is it really worth the upgrade?

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The Leica M10-R is surely a very fine tool and I do wish I had one if money was not an object, but my M9 and M-P will suffice for now! As to what the difference in megapixels means, it can mean absolutely nothing, or everything. I have 20 by 30 inch prints from my M9 that might have had more details had the image been made with the M-P, or a M10, or a M10-R. I will never know! 

In 2009, the late Micheal Reichmann (founder of Luminous-Landscape) posted this little fun comparison: https://luminous-landscape.com/kidding/ It is a bit of a reality check for all of us.

As to how images appear straight out of camera, it is a meaningless issue for digital cameras or negative film cameras; the only straight out-of-camera images are slides from film transparencies and Polaroid prints. Everything else needs processing.

Jean-Michel

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4 hours ago, martinot said:

Yes, I think the choice on buying new M systems today is (at least as I personally see it) basically just down to two cameras for most users to really consider; either the M240 for a limited/reasonable budget, or the M10-R for a much less limited budget.

The improved shutter on the M-P 240 and my M-E 240 is quite quiet I think, but l do appreciate the higher ISO and DR capability I see in the photos from the M10-R.

Leica made very good improvements already with the M10 sensor, but the new one in the M10-R seems to be a really great sensor. Just wish Leica also had upgraded the CPU and memory at the same time to better match and cope with the increased resolution (the camera electronics seems to slow down considerably with the increased amount of data that has to be processed from the M10-R sensor).

I'd say the lack of an updated processer and ram is to leave room for the M11.

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7 minutes ago, jto555 said:

I'd say the lack of an updated processer and ram is to leave room for the M11.

This is the downside of the M10-R, its a 40mp sensor in a 24mp camera. Though thinking about my OG 240, I never really want for more speed from it, so it is likely not a huge issue for most Leica shooters, you're right though, you know there will be a M11 or M10-R-P in a year or two that is the same in almost every way except for an additional 2gb buffer or something.

Edited by robsonj

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17 hours ago, martinot said:

Yes, I mostly use RAW/DNG as well. That said WB should not change the RAW files (it is only for the in camera development of the JPEG files).

So it is likely down to sensor difference; if you have made sure that your RAW development software (Lr, C1, etc.) do not apply their automatic camera preset profiles (they do that by default), that always tries to mimic the respective cameras normal in-camera processed JPEGs colour profile as much as possible.

I'm not sure about the white balance settings not affecting RAW files. In my experience the RAW file opens in ACR and the image shows at the WB setting that I used. For example, if I shot RAW with my WB set to tungsten outside my photo would look very blue when I open it in ACR. However, all of the data is still there so changing the WB by pull down menu or by setting a white point will bring it right where it should be. I assume that ACR is probably at an auto preset profile. Either way, the raw files out of the camera looks warmer to me than the same file from my M10. The two cameras have a different color signatures. When I was using two M240 cameras it really wasn't an issue. Now I'm using two M10 cameras with one M240 in reserve. I try not to shoot the M10 and M240 together, but sometimes a job calls for three cameras.

 

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20 hours ago, 84bravo said:

I'm not sure about the white balance settings not affecting RAW files. In my experience the RAW file opens in ACR and the image shows at the WB setting that I used. For example, if I shot RAW with my WB set to tungsten outside my photo would look very blue when I open it in ACR. However, all of the data is still there so changing the WB by pull down menu or by setting a white point will bring it right where it should be. I assume that ACR is probably at an auto preset profile. Either way, the raw files out of the camera looks warmer to me than the same file from my M10. The two cameras have a different color signatures. When I was using two M240 cameras it really wasn't an issue. Now I'm using two M10 cameras with one M240 in reserve. I try not to shoot the M10 and M240 together, but sometimes a job calls for three cameras.

 

WB is not affecting the RAW files (only JPEG, and meta data).

BUT, like I said in previous post, Lr (and other RAW-apps like C1, etc.) normally applies all settings in your camera (they read your settings in the metadata fields, including your WB setting and other picture settings) to the RAW-development as standard. They then try to develop and display the RAW-file (as standard settings) so close to how it would have looked as the JPEG developed in-camera.

Edited by martinot

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2 hours ago, martinot said:

WB is not affecting the RAW files (only JPEG, and meta data).

BUT, like I said in previous post, Lr (and other RAW-apps like C1, etc.) normally applies all settings in your camera (they read your settings in the metadata fields, including your WB setting and other picture settings) to the RAW-development as standard. They then try to develop and display the RAW-file (as standard settings) so close to how it would have looked as the JPEG developed in-camera.

White Balance most definitely affects .dng files. 

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1 hour ago, jdlaing said:

White Balance most definitely affects .dng files. 

Yes, but it isn’t baked into the image on a raw file, it is just metadata off to the side

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12 minutes ago, robsonj said:

Yes, but it isn’t baked into the image on a raw file, it is just metadata off to the side

Take three pictures set to .dng capture only with different white balance settings and open the .dng files on a computer. You’ll have three different looking files before any processing is done. 

Edited by jdlaing

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And Leica doesn’t use “raw” files. They are .dng which is actually a processed file.

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All are processed of course...from photons reacting on the sensor to showing an initial image.

Further...if opening any raw or DNG file with different software will result in different colours and white balance peculiar to that software.  So best to get used to one image processor.

...

Edited by david strachan

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1 hour ago, david strachan said:

All are processed of course...from photons reacting on the sensor to showing an initial image.

Further...if opening any raw or DNG file with different software will result in different colours and white balance peculiar to that software.  So best to get used to one image processor.

...

Correct, because the software is reading the metadata stored along side the raw image data, but it is not part of the image, which is different from a jpg

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5 hours ago, jdlaing said:

And Leica doesn’t use “raw” files. They are .dng which is actually a processed file.

Nor does any other manufacturer. Any raw format, like .dng, .orf, .nef, .crw, etc is just the container in  which the data as processed by  the camera are stored. Raw data are NOT the pure sensor output, as is often mistakenly assumed, but the data as processed by the camera.

 

5 hours ago, jdlaing said:

Take three pictures set to .dng capture only with different white balance settings and open the .dng files on a computer. You’ll have three different looking files before any processing is done. 

Of course. LR reads the sidecar files and applies the settings from the camera. However, you can choose any setting you like from the pull-down menu (including the camera setting) or override the sidecar instruction with the colour balance sliders. The data in the .dng will always be the same.
F.Y..I. : LR only converts the raw file when exporting. All you are seeing on your screen is a preview generated by LR from the raw data showing a simulation of the LR changes you have applied

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On 9/16/2020 at 2:25 AM, 84bravo said:

I'm not sure about the white balance settings Either way, the raw files out of the camera looks warmer to me than the same file from my M10. The two cameras have a different color signatures. When I was using two M240 cameras it really wasn't an issue. Now I'm using two M10 cameras with one M240 in reserve. I try not to shoot the M10 and M240 together, but sometimes a job calls for three cameras.

 

You cannot say that. The colour impression you are seeing depends on the camera profile stored in the post-processing software for the specific camera, not on the camera itself.
If you profile your cameras properly, the initial colour rendering will be very similar. The only difference you might see will be by the specification of the Bayer filters and Leica, like any manufacturer, will keep these as similar as possible across their models. Those are very subtle differences anyway.

I would advise you to buy profiling hard- and software are start using a colour-managed workflow. X-Rite is a well-respected supplier, for instance.

Read here

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Just elaborating on the above: the colour profiles provided both by Leica and Adobe for the M240 are pretty bad. Not as bad as before the first updates, but still sub-par. The M10 appears to be a lot better (as was the last iteration of the M9).

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10 hours ago, jaapv said:

Of course. LR reads the sidecar files and applies the settings...

Minor nit... reads the metadata which is contained in the DNG file out of camera, not a separate sidecar file.  If a sidecar file exists post initial editing metadata from the sidecar file may take precedence over that stored in the DNG.   I forget what Lr does.   Capture One makes it a user option.

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10 hours ago, jaapv said:

Nor does any other manufacturer. Any raw format, like .dng, .orf, .nef, .crw, etc is just the container in  which the data as processed by  the camera are stored. Raw data are NOT the pure sensor output, as is often mistakenly assumed, but the data as processed by the camera.

 

Of course. LR reads the sidecar files and applies the settings from the camera. However, you can choose any setting you like from the pull-down menu (including the camera setting) or override the sidecar instruction with the colour balance sliders. The data in the .dng will always be the same.
F.Y..I. : LR only converts the raw file when exporting. All you are seeing on your screen is a preview generated by LR from the raw data showing a simulation of the LR changes you have applied

I don’t use Lightroom anymore. I shoot in .dng only and when I open the file I see what the camera provided as a .dng based on what camera settings I choose. I do not use presets. If I set a specific white balance that is what is recorded and processed in the .dng file.

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4 minutes ago, jdlaing said:

I don’t use Lightroom anymore. I shoot in .dng only and when I open the file I see what the camera provided as a .dng based on what camera settings I choose. I do not use presets. If I set a specific white balance that is what is recorded and processed in the .dng file.

Again, the WB is not in the raw image data, a dng is just a container file of raw data and exif data, the WB is stored in the exif data (among other things - GPS coords for example if your camera supports that), not the actual raw image data, which differs significantly from a jpg file where the influence of the chosen white balance is baked into the image data at the time of capture.

You may not use Lightroom, but to open a dng file, whatever software you are using is interpreting that exif data and the WB values specified within it and applying it to the raw image data that it is also reading from the dng container when it opens the file, maybe this will help you, from Adobe... https://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/ps_workflow_sec3.pdf

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14 minutes ago, robsonj said:

Again, the WB is not in the raw image data, a dng is just a container file of raw data and exif data, the WB is stored in the exif data (among other things - GPS coords for example if your camera supports that), not the actual raw image data, which differs significantly from a jpg file where the influence of the chosen white balance is baked into the image data at the time of capture.

You may not use Lightroom, but to open a dng file, whatever software you are using is interpreting that exif data and the WB values specified within it and applying it to the raw image data that it is also reading from the dng container when it opens the file, maybe this will help you, from Adobe... https://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/ps_workflow_sec3.pdf

That’s what I said to begin with. The statement was made that white balance has no effect on the .dng file. 

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1 hour ago, jdlaing said:

I don’t use Lightroom anymore. I shoot in .dng only and when I open the file I see what the camera provided as a .dng based on what camera settings I choose. I do not use presets. If I set a specific white balance that is what is recorded and processed in the .dng file.

No , you don’t see a DNG. That is not an image file   You see a conversion of the DNG based on the sidecar file of the DNG And your postprocessing presets. Change the presets and your postprocessing program will produce a different output. There are specialized programs like Accuraw or Rawdigger that allow you to delve deeper, but still the DNG needs to be converted to something that can be displayed on your monitor. As I said, the raw file is just a container format for the out of camera data as processed by the firmware. In the case of DNG simply TIFF. 

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1 hour ago, jdlaing said:

That’s what I said to begin with. The statement was made that white balance has no effect on the .dng file. 

Which it indeed doesn’t do. The data on the DNG are immutable. The white balance is set by the raw conversion based either on the “recipe” provided by the sidecar ( .XMP ) file or by the user of the postprocessing program. It is simply proven. Just strip the .XMP file and you will have a DNG file without proprietary WB information. 

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