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Leica M11 - your next camera?


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42 minutes ago, frame-it said:

"A back-illuminated sensor or backside illuminated sensor (BSI) is an imaging sensor for digital cameras with a different layout from other sensors that allows more light to be collected at the pixel level. The resulting images have less digital noise, and low-light performance can be improved by as much as a stop or more."

 

https://www.photo-digitaltransitions.com/bsi-sensors-demystified/

 

https://www.adorama.com/alc/faq-whats-a-back-side-illuminated-sensor/

 

In theory, there is more light with BSI, but in practice, the amount of added light has no noticeable influence on the noise characteristics of FF cameras. That has been demonstrated when Sony and Nikon switched their FF cameras to BSI sensors, and no improvement in noise was observable.

The assumption that switching to BSI noticeably improves the noise characteristics has been persistent. It is valid for smaller sensors only.

Some discussion here: Re: BSI and Stacked sensors.

BSI technology has been most effective as marketing tool.

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Another unofficial factoid:  The price will be €111,121. 😳

These discussions invariably mix heritage and legacy issues with the latest and greatest, which doesn’t help. The M camera isn’t a test bed for the newest developments, or the mostest of everything - Sony does that better than anyone.  Nikon has its own aesthetic, and Canon something different again.  Each is battling in a difficult market where the cellphone camera reigns supreme in the number of cameras used and images taken. The M camera needs to compete for sales in the same market

I think Leica needs to play the Sensor Card, Leica M is the only fullframe camera on the Market that doesn't need to record Video. Which means the Sensor requirements are different. They should focus more on dynamic range and color reproduction. Just like Phase One and Hasselblad with its Medium Format is doing. Canon, Nikon, Fuji are all crippling themeself with the requirement of being able to film 120fps 4k footage with these sensors. All these cameras skin colors reproductions are s

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13 hours ago, Steven said:

Maybe it has to do with my memory card ? I use the pro grades V90 and they are very slow on my SL2S as well. Play back is unbearable. 

Perhaps, but I am not sure. I have very fast SanDisk and Lexar cards, but also think my M240 is a bit slow. Perhaps the M10 is much faster, but from trying it out in camera store I found it to still be on the slow side (of course I could not change or check the memory cards in the demo units).

I hope a new processor and new sensor will make the M11 a little but quicker and more agile, even if I am happy with my M-E. Even if I use it mostly for slow photography and works well for that, it is always nice to see a less slow and laggy device (improves it as a responsive tool).

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7 minutes ago, martinot said:

I have very fast SanDisk and Lexar cards, but also think my M240 is a bit slow.

Cards speedness do not change anything to the M240's slowness, in my experience, as far as startup and wakeup times are concerned at least. Otherwise the body is normally responsive within the limits of its buffer. Old body too but it is another story.

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12 hours ago, lct said:

Cards speedness do not change anything to the M240's slowness, in my experience, as far as startup and wakeup times are concerned at least. Otherwise the body is normally responsive within the limits of its buffer. Old body too but it is another story.

Yes, I think you are right that SD cards does not make any big difference in most M cameras. Still a great camera even it it is a little slow booting up time. Very happy with it anyway. I notice the M-E is bit better with snapping several photos in a row compared to the normal 240, and probably due to its double sized buffer. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:52 PM, SrMi said:

 

In theory, there is more light with BSI, but in practice, the amount of added light has no noticeable influence on the noise characteristics of FF cameras. That has been demonstrated when Sony and Nikon switched their FF cameras to BSI sensors, and no improvement in noise was observable.

The assumption that switching to BSI noticeably improves the noise characteristics has been persistent. It is valid for smaller sensors only.

Some discussion here: Re: BSI and Stacked sensors.

BSI technology has been most effective as marketing tool.

From what I see...all over the internet since Thom first wrote this piece in 2015 (?), I don't think I can completely agree. Is there a potential base BSI architecture is a slightly less light-gatherer on larger sensors than smaller sensor? Maybe to some slight extent or as your wrote "theoretically" or even better, just enough for all those DPReview threads on the same for how many years now? 

In the meantime almost every major manufacturer racing to implement the benefits of BSI on Full Frame seems a very expensive venture if there was no merit other tan marketing ! And now Leica users are also enjoying the benefits in the SL2-S. 

"In-depth comparisons. https://www.dxomark.com/leica-sl2-s-sensor-review-optimized-for-low-light/

Throughout the sensitivity range, the SL2-S’s sensor performance is almost identical to the 24 MP Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and the Nikon Z 6, both of which use a similar 24 MP BSI-CMOS sensor. Rather than look at those, however, we’ll take this opportunity to compare the SL2-S with the original Leica SL and the Leica M10 instead. Both of these cameras feature a front-side illuminated 24 MP sensor, so we’ll highlight the improvements made in the SL2-S and see why Leica has returned to using a 24 MP sensor.

Portrait (color depth)

The Leica M10 and the original Leica SL share very similar color depth for much of the sensitivity range. However, with slightly cleaner files from a lower minimum ISO, Leica managed to wring an extra 0.6 bit from the SL sensor, taking the maximum color depth to an impressive 25 bits. As you might expect, the BSI sensor trumps both for maximum color depth at 25.2 bits. At first sight that’s only by the narrowest of margins until you realize that the SL2-S’s minimum measured ISO is nearly double that of the SL. In fact, it’s not just at the minimum sensitivity where the SL2-S sensor outdoes the M10 and SL sensor, but throughout the range, complete with a slight increase in the response between ISO 400 and ISO 800.

Both the the M10 and SL2-S just dip beneath our 20-bit measurement threshold for good image quality (green dotted line on the graph below) at ISO 3200, but the SL does so at ISO 1600. All three hover around our 14-bit threshold for acceptable image quality at ISO 25,600."

 

So whatever is going on in the SLS-2 BSI architecture, I'd like to see if that can be implemented in the next M camera.

 

 

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On 5/14/2021 at 3:52 PM, martinot said:

I really see not point in that. Just put the M-mount adapter on the Leica SL.

Not logical.  The SL has more in common with my Nikon Z than it does my Leica M10.  If someone wants an EVF M camera, the SL is a poor substitute.

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1 hour ago, John Ricard said:

Not logical.  The SL has more in common with my Nikon Z than it does my Leica M10.  If someone wants an EVF M camera, the SL is a poor substitute.

Not in my experience.  I have been using the SL since its release, and I have sold down my SL primes and zooms to the 24-90, using that lens and my M primes (9 lenses, 21-28(2)-35-50(4)-75) without any problems where I want an EVF.

For example, the 21 Summilux, 50 Noctilux and 75 Summilux perform well on the SL, and if you read Jono’s reviews, the 28 Summilux performs better (marginally) on the SL than on the M10.  Similarly, many have observed that the 50 Noctilux 0.95 also performs better (purple fringing).  Further, if you want a full frame EVF based camera, then the SL is the ONLY camera with the microlenses that make M lenses play nice.

So what is your observation based on?

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TBH id opt for a digital minilux than a new leica m. New sensor tech, manual controls and quality evf / ovf and LCD back screen (no screen for purists) are what most want. The trend i feel consumers are wanting are small high quality full frame compacts no bigger than the size of a phone to be travel friendly as possible.

Flagships always have their place however 😀

 

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2 hours ago, WvE said:

Don't care much about BSI, just gimmie me:

Faster start-up

 

  

It's a shame that it's all I'm wishing for in the M11. Hard to believe that a 2017-released camera is so slow in this department.

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2 hours ago, roma said:

It's a shame that it's all I'm wishing for in the M11. Hard to believe that a 2017-released camera is so slow in this department.

I start it up and leave it on all the time when doing street photography. Why would you ever shut it off....next amazing image might be just around the corner and you're fumbling with an on/off switch. Makes no sense.

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16 hours ago, IkarusJohn said:

Not in my experience.  I have been using the SL since its release, and I have sold down my SL primes and zooms to the 24-90, using that lens and my M primes (9 lenses, 21-28(2)-35-50(4)-75) without any problems where I want an EVF.

For example, the 21 Summilux, 50 Noctilux and 75 Summilux perform well on the SL, and if you read Jono’s reviews, the 28 Summilux performs better (marginally) on the SL than on the M10.  Similarly, many have observed that the 50 Noctilux 0.95 also performs better (purple fringing).  Further, if you want a full frame EVF based camera, then the SL is the ONLY camera with the microlenses that make M lenses play nice.

So what is your observation based on?

I didn’t read where they said anything about performance being the reason. For me, it’s about the M form factor: no EVF hump, no grip, smaller main body, and dedicated dials. And EVF on the side is preferred by some.

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1 hour ago, hdmesa said:

I didn’t read where they said anything about performance being the reason. For me, it’s about the M form factor: no EVF hump, no grip, smaller main body, and dedicated dials. And EVF on the side is preferred by some.

That’s entirely fair.  However, what you said was:

Quote

Not logical … If someone wants an EVF M camera, the SL is a poor substitute.

If you like the M form factor, then the M camera with a Visoflex is the only EVF option.  The SL is, effectively, the ONLY substitute, if you want full frame and image quality is important.  That is entirely logical …

It might, however not be what you’re looking for.  Will Leica release an EVF based M?  An M11-e?  Well, I do think it will expand the M range in a way which might attract more buyers.  But I don’t think they will.  There is a fear that the rangefinder M has saved the company and needs protection as it is.  The M10 was a technological step back from the M240 - slimmer, no video, more traditional feeling and controls.  

I suspect the fear is that, if they release an EVF based M, they might be expanding the M range, but it would also detract from the traditional OVF rangefinder.  An M11-e would be competing with a whole host of other mirrorless cameras (a Sony with Otus lenses being but one example).  If newcomers to Leica saw an EVF version, they might forego the existing M cameras, which might not be good.

I’m guessing, but without any preference one way or the other.  I like my M10-D, my M-A and my Monochrom.  I used to worry about focus shift, but to be honest in over 10 years of rangefinder use, all my rangefinders have focused perfectly.  It is a system I have come to love and trust.

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4 minutes ago, IkarusJohn said:

That’s entirely fair.  However, what you said was:

If you like the M form factor, then the M camera with a Visoflex is the only EVF option.  The SL is, effectively, the ONLY substitute, if you want full frame and image quality is important.  That is entirely logical …

It might, however not be what you’re looking for.  Will Leica release an EVF based M?  An M11-e?  Well, I do think it will expand the M range in a way which might attract more buyers.  But I don’t think they will.  There is a fear that the rangefinder M has saved the company and needs protection as it is.  The M10 was a technological step back from the M240 - slimmer, no video, more traditional feeling and controls.  

I suspect the fear is that, if they release an EVF based M, they might be expanding the M range, but it would also detract from the traditional OVF rangefinder.  An M11-e would be competing with a whole host of other mirrorless cameras (a Sony with Otus lenses being but one example).  If newcomers to Leica saw an EVF version, they might forego the existing M cameras, which might not be good.

I’m guessing, but without any preference one way or the other.  I like my M10-D, my M-A and my Monochrom.  I used to worry about focus shift, but to be honest in over 10 years of rangefinder use, all my rangefinders have focused perfectly.  It is a system I have come to love and trust.

That wasn't me :) 

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12 hours ago, jplomley said:

I start it up and leave it on all the time when doing street photography. Why would you ever shut it off....next amazing image might be just around the corner and you're fumbling with an on/off switch. Makes no sense.

start up/wake up - same long time. Yes, I leave it on. 

I’m coming from years of using film M’s and the difference in having to wait for the camera to wake up is very annoying. The battery is too tiny to keep the camera always awake. I already carry 3 batteries for a full day out.

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How about this for a concept (having just come from the M10 BP thread - where I noticed the discernible difference in size between the M10 and MP film camera).

Aim for smaller (and knock-off of the film Ms).  How?

  • Find out who the Leica engineers have to sleep with at Apple to learn all their miniaturization secrets?
  • get rid of the SD card slot - put the memory on the circuit board.  Much faster and takes up less room.  64GB - 128GB?
  • Make the battery non-removable?
  • Use a USB-C plug for data and battery charging.

Most here will hate the idea, but it would be smaller, and more than enough battery life and capacity for most and it would be a kick-ass take anywhere camera.

Bring back the frame lines window and offset the lens mount closer to the view-finder - for no other reason that those changes would make it look better!

 

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