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Guest noah_addis

Which DSLR produces files most like the M8?

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Guest noah_addis

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I'm thinking I might need to add a dslr to my kit for the occasional assignment where I need a longer lens. I prefer to shoot with my M8 and 24-35mm lenses and occasionally the 75 and 90, but as I embark on a freelance career I don't ever want to be limited or have to turn down an assignment due to lack of long glass.

 

I really like the look of my M8 files. Some say they look more like film than most dslr cameras. That might be part of it, but for whatever reason I like the look, flaws and all. I like a little bit of noise and don't need to shoot above iso 800.

 

I'm curious to hear from other M8 shooters which DSLR they have used that looks most like the M8, excluding the DMR. (I'm sure it's great, but I'd prefer to stick to a camera from one of the bigger companies that is cheaper). Budget is an issue, since long-lens stuff is a very small percentage of what I do. And I would prefer a smaller slr without a large battery grip.

 

I've been using canon DSLRs for work for the last few years, pretty much all of the 1D series as well as a 5d. The Canon files, particularly from the 5d, have a different look from the M8 files. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but they look pretty different to me.

 

Before that I used the Nikon D1h, which produced files that did have a similar look, though at only 2.74MP it's not up to modern standards. The D1H had some problems to be sure, but the files were a bit like the M8 in that they needed very little post-processing and they were very sharp out of the camera with no sharpening.

 

I'm wondering if I would be better off with a camera using a ccd instead of a cmos sensor? I'm not sure if there are any current dslr cameras with ccd sensors, but the D200 is still available new from B&H at a great price.

 

As I will be using the camera primarily for long lenses, I don't mind a crop factor. And I would say I need at least 10mp.

 

Any suggestions?

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I'm thinking I might need to add a dslr to my kit for the occasional assignment where I need a longer lens. I prefer to shoot with my M8 and 24-35mm lenses and occasionally the 75 and 90, but as I embark on a freelance career I don't ever want to be limited or have to turn down an assignment due to lack of long glass.

 

I really like the look of my M8 files. Some say they look more like film than most dslr cameras. That might be part of it, but for whatever reason I like the look, flaws and all. I like a little bit of noise and don't need to shoot above iso 800.

 

I'm curious to hear from other M8 shooters which DSLR they have used that looks most like the M8, excluding the DMR. (I'm sure it's great, but I'd prefer to stick to a camera from one of the bigger companies that is cheaper). Budget is an issue, since long-lens stuff is a very small percentage of what I do. And I would prefer a smaller slr without a large battery grip.

 

I've been using canon DSLRs for work for the last few years, pretty much all of the 1D series as well as a 5d. The Canon files, particularly from the 5d, have a different look from the M8 files. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but they look pretty different to me.

 

Before that I used the Nikon D1h, which produced files that did have a similar look, though at only 2.74MP it's not up to modern standards. The D1H had some problems to be sure, but the files were a bit like the M8 in that they needed very little post-processing and they were very sharp out of the camera with no sharpening.

 

I'm wondering if I would be better off with a camera using a ccd instead of a cmos sensor? I'm not sure if there are any current dslr cameras with ccd sensors, but the D200 is still available new from B&H at a great price.

 

As I will be using the camera primarily for long lenses, I don't mind a crop factor. And I would say I need at least 10mp.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Get a Panasonic G1 with an M to m4/3 lens mount adapter and then you use your Leica M lenses. Here are some samples that were posted on flickr by a photographer using this setup with several Leica and CV lenses on the G1.

Panasonic LUMIX G1 - a set on Flickr

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I should have a license plate like this, but "My other camera is a 1D Mark IIn." I'm not sure there's anything *really* quite like the M8 - though Canon/Nikon have slightly different white balance interpretations. Canon seems warmer whereas Nikon (and the M8) seem cooler. Sharpness can be had with either system, but with the AA filter neither will be as sharp as the M8.

 

What I like about the Canon 1D series is the similar crop factor (1.3x vs. 1.33x) which makes the mental focal length math a "no-brainer."

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I would look at one of the newer Nikons over the D200.

I had a D200 and the one thing I noticed with it's files compared to the M8 files is that once I started to zoom in on the Nikon image it seemed to break apart long before the M8 images do.

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Guest Luis D

It depends what you mean. In terms of high-iso noise and infrared sensitivity, as well as raw sharpness, my former Kodak 13n is very similar. Perhaps because it has also a Kodak sensor with weak AA filter. The M8 DNG's are needing little sharpening compared to RAW from Nikon and Canon, but what's the big deal about it if you know how to apply proper sharpening? Is the point to compare raw files or final prints? For me it is prints, and after workflow I can't find any advantage to the M8 in IQ. In ergonomics it has no competitor, that I grant. In technology and IQ it falls farther behind with every new release of another brand. Not that the M8 produces bad files, or worse than it did at the start. Still an impressive output for a 10mp cropped sensored camera.

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Guest noah_addis

Not really interested in a G1 and adapter. I'm looking for a real slr with optical finder and a proven track record.

 

I like my company-issue 1dMKIIn, and it definitely looks more like the M8 than my 5d does, but I wish it were smaller. I'd prefer a 5d/d300 size camera. Too bad no one makes a smaller camera at that sensor size (other than the M8 of course).

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Look at the D90. Also DXO makes an Nikon to M8 profile you can use in LR and the colors look very close.

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Guest noah_addis

Shootist--thanks for the info, that's one thing I was curious about. I could get two new d200s at B&H for the price of one D300, but if it is that inferior, it's not a good value. I know it's older technology, but so is the M8 and I like that:D.Have you tried the d300? Curious if that will be sufficient, or if I have to step up in price to the D700.

 

Luis D--Good point about the sharpening, though some clients prefer unsharpened files, and not all prepress departments know what they're doing. But your point is valid. Still, my 5d files have a different look when it comes to color as well. It is sometimes hard to correct, and never quite matches perfectly. But no camera might match perfectly, I'm just trying to get as close as possible out of the camera.

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I really like the look of my M8 files. Some say they look more like film than most dslr cameras. That might be part of it, but for whatever reason I like the look, flaws and all. I like a little bit of noise and don't need to shoot above iso 800.

 

I'm curious to hear from other M8 shooters which DSLR they have used that looks most like the M8, excluding the DMR.

 

I posted a couple of months ago a topic on this very subjective feeling (I have a D200 also) and I print on A3+/A2 with an Epson 3800 (Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta and Espon Exhibition Paper).

 

Even if not scientific, I have the same impression that M8 files (if correctly post processed (C1 and some Photoshop adjustments plus now the very good Qimage software) are looking less digital and more natural compared to the D200 and D3 raw files. But I have no idea with the results obtained with the newest Nikon (D700 seems to be a big improvement with respect to IQ).

 

I understood from the answers of the other forum members (and thank you to all of them) that the lack of AA filter, the CCD sensor and the quality of the optics shoud be some of the reasons explaining why the M8 pics look so great even if printed at big sizes (taking into consideration the 10 MP of the M8 sensor).

 

Check this thread:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/60665-why-looks-m8-pics-less-digital.html

 

Regards,

 

Bebert

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A Kodak slrn, CCD no AA filter, 14mp, iso performance similar to M8.

 

Can still get them used but Kodak are stopping support at the end of this year.

 

Actually in some ways the 5D does produce files similar to those from the M8, I have looked at processing the Canon RAW files in Capture One using the M8 generic profile.

 

Jeff

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Guest Bernd Banken

it's easy:

 

D700

 

best user interface

best flash/lighting system

best bayonett - lenses from a variety of makers AF/MF

best formfactor of the body - better than 5D

better lenses, especially wide angle and

better low light capability of the sensor/software system

investments in lenses is value-keeping

 

Bernd

 

PS: low light D300:

 

Flickr Photo Download: Fishermen's shack

 

ISO 3200 lens 17-55 Nikkor

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My D700 or D3 with my Carl Zeiss 35mm F/2 gave a similar look to the M8 with a 28 Summicron in terms of sharpness, color and contrast, but with more shallow depth of field.

 

Honestly, I think with a few killer primes on either a D700 or 5D, you could dial in a similar look to the M8.

 

On film is where you really see a big difference in Leica glass. With digital, it is not all that hard to come up with the "look" in post...

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Guest noah_addis

Thanks for all of the advice. I do tend to like Nikon glass better than Canon, and there are more zeiss lenses available in the F Mount, so I guess I'm leaning in that direction.

 

Bernd, you mention the D700 but your low-light D300 pic looks great. For good light (say below ISO 400) how much better is the D700?

 

Since I rarely use long lenses, I'd rather save as much money as I can on the camera, but not at the expense of too much quality.

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Noah - I've been shooting 5D alongside M8 for the last 18 months. My experience has been that with good glass, the 5D files hold up pretty well. I know it's difficult to judge from a web rendering, but the set here are mostly made with the M8 + 28 cron asph + 5D + 85L 1.2 (+ a few images with the Canon 16-35 L).

 

Copenhagen Youth Project

 

I have to admit, I have problems saying which camera took which shot after processing (though IMHO the M8 WB is now MUCH better than the Canon under tungsten or mixed artificial lighting.

 

Maybe it boils down to the glass that you have - if you've not got an investment, then Nikon files seem to be great + there's a range of good MF or Auto glass out there - were I starting out again, I might consider. As I've got a working set of excellent Canon glass, the 5D does it for me.

 

Best of luck with the decision.

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I would look at Nikon D3, D700 or Canon 5D - but mainly which Leica or Zeiss lenses could be used on what.

 

I've seen great shots on all of them with those lenses, and also the Canon 200/1.8 and the 85/1.2 are great lenses.

 

I think most of the look (warm, cold, saturated) Nikon and Canon tends to get has a LOT to do with the environment in which they were produced: What I mean is that I see a tendency here around that Nikon shooters do certain PS work to keep high saturation, high contrast (almost towards graphical look), etc. And that is certainly not how the camera presented it, but rather a style developed with the guys next to on that newspaper, magazine or school.

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Honestly, I think with a few killer primes on either a D700 or 5D, you could dial in a similar look to the M8.

 

On film is where you really see a big difference in Leica glass. With digital, it is not all that hard to come up with the "look" in post...

 

Just noticed this, and couldn't agree more. It also underscores an argument in favour of getting a 5D while they're heavily discounted. I'm REALLY torn between getting a second body as back up / shooting partner on some gigs, or going for the 5D2. If I can fight off the techno lust, I may well do the sensible thing.

 

On this topic, very interested to hear of any M8 users who are also now using a 5D2...

 

Reflections, experience?

 

Good luck Noah

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I agree with Jeff, the Kodak 14 series is the closest to the M8. I have a 14nx (upgraded 14n), long time Nikon shooter currently with a D3, and the M8. As Jeff says, the Kodak does not have an AA filter and uses a CCD sensor (they made the CCD sensor for the M8) and these qualities do create a certain look. The Kodak however is only usable to Iso 800 and has other occasional artifacts that can be a pain, so it may not be that practical for you. On the other hand, I love the output from the D3, and a D700 would probably be the best choice currently in Nikon land. I also agree that using great primes like the Zeiss 35/2 and 50/2 Macro create a look closer to what the leica lenses offer. best...Peter

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taking a 5d with Nikon MF prime lenses AI/S (35/2, 50/1.8, and 28/2 ) and you will be very hard pressed to see a IQ difference vs M8 and similar M lenses in final print.

The 5d is still a superb camera IMO.

 

The above can be had for small money and it works

 

andy

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taking a 5d with Nikon MF prime lenses AI/S (35/2, 50/1.8, and 28/2 ) and you will be very hard pressed to see a IQ difference vs M8 and similar M lenses in final print...

True for the 5D with Leica lenses as far as printing is concerned. On screen, the lack of AA filter gives a special look to M8 and DMR pics though. Quite discernable from 5D's IMHO.

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Get a Panasonic G1 with an M to m4/3 lens mount adapter and then you use your Leica M lenses. Here are some samples that were posted on flickr by a photographer using this setup with several Leica and CV lenses on the G1.

Panasonic LUMIX G1 - a set on Flickr

 

He needs an IR filter...?

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