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anuncastshadow

Q2 Monochrom "stuck" bright white pixels

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Hello all,

This is my first Leica (well, second technically) and I am having an issue where there are 5-6 "stuck" bright white pixels at ISO 800 and above, all located in different areas on the sensor. I had about 2-3 pixel issues on my first unit, returned it, and now am again having the same issue albeit in greater numbers. They are clearly visible even at 50% zoom, otherwise I'd be inclined to live with them, but it is quite annoying.

Is anyone aware of this being an issue with the Q2 Monochrom or this sensor type on other Leicas? Is there a general remedy, or does it look like I will be exchanging the unit again?

 

Thank you!

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Hi

 

 

I would  like to see the images that show  that, if you willing  to share/post here in the forum

Might be that I am no aware of them, and it would be one more reason  to see an example  as I have the same camera.

Thanks 

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I've attached below a full sized shot with observed pure white pixels circled in red. I have also attached 100% crops of the image to further show how the spots appear in the image, confirming it is not dust or some other physical anomaly separate from the sensor. I have confirmed that between photos shot in another environment, and these, the white spots in exactly the same locations, which leads me to believe they're stuck pixels.

Again, I can only seem to observe them at ISO 800 and above, which seems less than ideal, considering the proposed high ISO performance of the Q2M. And although they don't appear as bad here (due to jpeg compression when exporting for the forum?) they are much brighter and annoying when editing, please trust me!

I am new to this type of forum attachment, so please advise if the images are not easily viewable. Thank you!

Edited by anuncastshadow

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darn- they are indeed visible in your shots - a bit hard to spot on image #1, but then very clear with the magnifications.

I took a look at some shots in dgn and jpeg at 800 iso and a copple way higher and I don't see those white spots/pixels. sorry for your troubles. What is Leica saying about this? It seems they admitted fault/problems as they replaced your camera, but did they offer any explanation at all?

And are these spots always in same exact locations? I am not an expert, just wondering if this phenomenon will occur at other isos and even with different processing software...

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Hi

on my Olympus om 5 there is a pixel mapping function which repairs stuck pixels(white dots) that can appear over time

I have used it a couple of times and it works

I don’t know if this type of function is built into the Q , check the manual.

 

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4 hours ago, Steve the sweep said:

Hi

on my Olympus om 5 there is a pixel mapping function which repairs stuck pixels(white dots) that can appear over time

I have used it a couple of times and it works

I don’t know if this type of function is built into the Q , check the manual.

 

Thank you for this suggestion. I was recommended to contact Leica by the shop who sold me the camera, in an effort to obtain a firmware update to resolve hot pixels. The person I spoke to at the shop said Leica M sensors often have this issue, which I was not previously aware of, and cannot determine if this is true. The manual does not mention any function similar to the one you mention that’s available on the Olympus.

I just took a test exposure of 1/60 @ 1.7 ISO 2500 with the lens cap attached, and count 21 bright white pixels in total which seems high for a $6,000 USD camera. 

By comparison, I own a Mamiya 7ii, Ricoh GRii, and FujiFilm x100v and the performance so far of the Leica troubles me, even if I feel a bit nitpicky. 

I do not want this experience to detract from my opinion the overall performance of the Q2M as a whole, however. It’s a truly fantastic camera and I’ve been impressed with its results outside of the issues I’ve had with the hot pixels. I just believe this particular unit is an exception to the norm. 

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I would definitely contact Leica asap, report what is happening and ask for their advice - might be a longtime till they release such firmware if indeed can be solved that way. Besides only Leica will know how to solve the issue and might require returning the camera to them directly; if your camera was bought at an authorized retailer, you should be fine under Leica warranty.

I would be more inclined returning the camera to store as defective, and let them handle the issue - as long as their terms grant you full refund. They then would initiate a return to Leica , and you would be free to try yet a third time - but making sure it is a Leica store.

If you can go to an authorized retailer/leica store  explained what you have been experiencing and get the camera tested  even before leaving the store, it might be of great help, if that is allowed by them - likely have to bring a laptop.

Something to talk with your retailer and Leica - Leica above all should offer a better solution imo

Edited by nwphil

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12 minutes ago, nwphil said:

I would definitely contact Leica asap report what is happening and ask for their advice - might be a longtime till they release such firmware if indeed can be solved that way. Besides only Lica will know how to solve the issue and might require returning the camera to them directly; if your camera was bought at an authorized retailer, you should be fine under Leica warranty.

 

I would be more inclined returning the camera to store as defective, and let them handle the issue - as long as their terms grat you full refund. They then would initiate a return to Leica , and you would be free to try yet a third time - but making sure it is a Leica store.

If you can go to an authorized retailer/leica store  explained what you have been experiencing and have the camera tested even before leaving the store, it might be of great help, if that is allowed by them - likely have to bring a laptop.

Something to talk with your retailer and Leica - Leica above all should offer a better solution imo

Thank you for your response. I do believe I have the option to return, but upon proof “the item is defective”. With further research, the shop from whom I purchased this unit appears not to be an authorized retailer (I am not certain), unlike the first shop. 

I have reached out to Leica with RAW images of the exposures made today with the lens cap attached (pure black) and am waiting to hear back. However, I am aware that my options moving forward may be limited based on the purchase information. The item was sealed, and sold through rangefinder.com.hk which I heard good things about, but I don’t think they are an authorized Leica dealer, in which case that responsibility lies on me. But I do feel like I should be able to return the item within the 14 day return period to them (not Leica) regardless. 

Anyway, I digress, but I appreciate your input and will see what happens moving forward. 

For reference, the camera has Firmware ver. 1.0 installed, and I could not find any updated version on Leica’s website. Will have to see if Leica can provide a custom firmware update to map the indicated areas. 

Additionally, I have been using the RAW and JPEGs with Lightroom and Photoshop 2021, on a 2020 16” MacBook Pro with Big Sur. 

Edited by anuncastshadow

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Unfortunately, mine is exhibiting the same white spots upon closer inspection.  Going to return mine this week.  

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41 minutes ago, Leica28 said:

Unfortunately, mine is exhibiting the same white spots upon closer inspection.  Going to return mine this week.  

Sorry to hear you are also having this issue. I wish you luck on your next unit should you choose to exchange it.

To offer further visual evidence of the issue, I have attached a full-size and 200% crop of the lens-cap exposure I made earlier today that show only a handful of the white dots I am seeing.

I will update if I hear from Leica in case the information they provide may help anyone with this, or similar issues.

 

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44 minutes ago, Leica28 said:

Unfortunately, mine is exhibiting the same white spots upon closer inspection.  Going to return mine this week.  

so sorry to hear that....

Now, I think it's time we all come together and maybe figure a way to establish some sort of test so the Q2M users can figure their sensors.

Is there a specific setting - in the shots, that helped reveal the dead pixel?

@anuncastshadow what about in your case? would you mind to share too?

Thanks

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4 minutes ago, anuncastshadow said:

Sorry to hear you are also having this issue. I wish you luck on your next unit should you choose to exchange it.

To offer further visual evidence of the issue, I have attached a full-size and 200% crop of the lens-cap exposure I made earlier today that show only a handful of the white dots I am seeing.

I will update if I hear from Leica in case the information they provide may help anyone with this, or similar issues.

 

lens cap on - that's a good way . i will test mine at all iso values. I guess as long as it's stable, speed does not matter - probably 1/125s, but about f stop? f5.6?....

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31 minutes ago, nwphil said:

so sorry to hear that....

Now, I think it's time we all come together and maybe figure a way to establish some sort of test so the Q2M users can figure their sensors.

Is there a specific setting - in the shots, that helped reveal the dead pixel?

@anuncastshadow what about in your case? would you mind to share too?

Thanks

@nwphil I am not an expert with technical experiments, but I can mention that my first experience with the camera was taking miscellaneous photos around the apartment, familiarizing myself with macro mode, autofocus behaviors, et cetera. Upon zooming in to 100-200% levels in Lightroom to observe the resolution (pixel peeping I suppose) I noticed that some images exhibited the white dots, and others did not. Upon further review, I noticed that they occurred regardless of aperture or shutter speed, and that they definitely occurred in any exposure using ISO 800 and above.

After noticing the issue, and in an attempt to most clearly illustrate the issue with Leica, I took two images with the camera in Manual mode, Macro mode disabled, and the lens cap attached and manual focus set to nearest distance. One exposure was 1/60 @ f/1.7 ISO 800, and another 1/250 @ f/8 ISO 250,000. Both images, when viewed in Lightroom, appeared identical in terms of the intensity of the white dots, and their location. To me, this meant that aperture and shutter speed was not important in producing these artifacts, but confirmed that the ISO does. Subsequent exposures, regardless of aperture, shutter speed, or focusing distance produces these dots. Once the ISO is adjusted to 400 or lower, they are absolutely invisible.

I am still waiting to hear back from Leica, and with COVID forcing most of their employees to work in a limited capacity, I am unsure when I may receive a response. However, I am inclined to return the unit, despite the shop that sold me the unit seeming to have a preference to wait for Leica to produce a mapping of my sensor to resolve the issue. He (the shop owner) clarified that his statement earlier about the issue being observed on M cameras was mistaken, as this does not appear to be the "hot pixel line" problem he has seen on digital M cameras in the past. I am a bit skeptical about the pixel mapping process (though I am familiar with it, and have heard of it being performed for other digital camera manufacturers in the past) only because it's usually used to resolve or map maybe a handful of pixels, not the 21 I can count on my sensor. I should also clarify that using the term "hot pixel" to describe my issue may be inaccurate, as hot pixels usually occur when the sensor is quite literally "hot", for instance during extremely long exposures. The shop owner also indicated he did not believe them to be "dead pixels" but I suppose I am not sure what else they would be.

Anyway, I hope this information is helpful, and again, I will provide the update I hear from Leica when it arrives, but I most likely will pursue a replacement rather than proceed with a pixel mapping attempt if it is indeed offered.

Edited by anuncastshadow

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@anuncastshadow

Thanks, that's hepful, and please do keep us updated if you don't mind

 

I did a quick test, at all isos, lens cap on, all at f/8, 1/125s and focus 2 meter-6 feet (plus minus, as I don't think it matters, since it won't focus on the lens cap even it was in macro mode

In LR classic, turning the spot removal on, with visualize spots and slider all the way to the right, I can find spots, but not always at same location...BUT, they are not clearly pixels like I see in your post #10. They are fuzzy balls, and at 800% magnification it looks more like dust than a single pixel - I might be doing something wrong here, but nevertheless I will contact Leica and ask if they can explain this to me

 

ps: at higher iso the noise makes them "blend in" and I have to move slider way to the left. Somehow not convinced they are dead pixels, but in either case concerning of sorts. I don't think I can see them in my pics, but now that I have mapped a few I can double check in real shots (aka without lens cap on  ...LOL).

If it takes this much to see my 'spots' it might not matter

Edited by nwphil

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It's an interesting phenomenon indeed.  Not sure if it's related to the amplification of the signal rather than the basic capture itself.  Mine has 0 artifacts at ISO 200; about 15 at ISO 800, and the same at 6400, but much fainter.  However, I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out and doubt I will in any shots that are not of pure blackness.  Daytime landscape where details are meant to be great will be below ISO 800.  Nighttime, I like the noise.

ISO 200:

ISO 800:

ISO 6400:

(All f/1.7, 1/2000, infinity focus, camera held against a wall.  Full frame, exported at 2480px wide, using Capture One 12.  Clearly visible at least before uploading.)

 

Edited by harmen

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9 minutes ago, nwphil said:

@anuncastshadow

Thanks, that's hepful, and please do keep us updated if you don't mind

 

I did a quick test, at all isos, lens cap on, all at f/8, 1/125s and focus 2 meter-6 feet (plus minus, as I don't think it matters, since it won't focus on the lens cap even it was in macro mode

In LR classic, turning the spot removal on, with visualize spots and slider all the way to the right, I can find spots, but not always at same location...BUT, they are not clearly pixels like I see in your post #10. They are fuzzy balls, and at 800% magnification it looks more like dust than a single pixel - I might be doing something wrong here, but nevertheless I will contact Leica and ask if they can explain this to me

 

ps: at higher iso the noise makes them "blend in" and I have to move slider way to the left. Somehow not convinced they are dead pixels, but in either case concerning of sorts. I don't think I can see them in my pics, but now that I have mapped a few I can double check in real shots (aka without lens cap on  ...LOL).

If it takes this much to see my 'spots' it might not matter

 

2 minutes ago, harmen said:

It's an interesting phenomenon indeed.  Not sure if it's related to the amplification of the signal rather than the basic capture itself.  Mine has 0 artifacts at ISO 200; about 15 at ISO 800, and the same at 6400, but much fainter.  However, I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out and doubt I will in any shots that are not of pure blackness.  Daytime landscape where details are meant to be great will be below ISO 800.  Nighttime, I like the noise.

ISO 200:

ISO 800:

ISO 6400:

(All f/1.7, 1/2000, infinity focus, camera held against a wall.  Full frame, exported at 2480px wide.  Clearly visible at least before uploading.)

 

Thank you both for your input!

I would like to say I am more than willing to accept if I am being overly sensitive about the issue and could live with the fact that a 47MP sensor is going to have less than perfect resolution (some pixels may have issues). But because these are well defined dots that are quite numerous and sometimes smack dab in the middle of an unblemished surface in the center of a photo, they can be quite irritating. If they only occurred at ISO 250,000 and above or something, I could live with that. I used a Nikon D2H back in 2004 and remember when ISO 1600 was nigh unusable!

I appreciate sharing your results with me so I can compare it to my own experiences. I am still leaning towards returning this unit as it is less than satisfying to use, but I don’t want to make people as paranoid as I am by looking for artifacts that might not always be noticeable to everyone. 

At the end of the day it should be about whether you enjoy shooting with what you have in hand! And for me, I’m just currently on the fence with this specific unit. Otherwise it’s been an excellent tool, and it will be hard to send it back if that ends up being the final solution. 

 

 

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I can see hot-pixels on my Q2M as well. They are not visible at ISO400 or less.

Many cameras have an option to remap hot/stuck pixels, but Leica cameras do not.

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30 minutes ago, SrMi said:

I can see hot-pixels on my Q2M as well. They are not visible at ISO400 or less.

Many cameras have an option to remap hot/stuck pixels, but Leica cameras do not.

Alas, I was afraid of this. Like I mentioned earlier, I know not every sensor is perfect, and could have lived with a few stray pixels here and there, but this is noticeably worse than what I experienced with my first unit and I suppose is a little disappointing. I would have kept the first unit had I known.

Thank you for your input!

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Apologies to everyone with the constant updates, but I reviewed the sample images from DPReview's initial review of the Q2M and when importing the RAW files into Lightroom, I observed the exact same behavior, which I suppose concludes that the issue I am experiencing is normal for this camera.

If Leica contacts me with any additional information I will update this thread, but I wanted to conclude the discussion with an observation that both confirms and validates the behavior, and I am assuming it is no cause for concern.

Thanks to all that contributed to this discussion, and happy shooting!

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