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Guest noah_addis

Which DSLR produces files most like the M8?

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

 

Despite what you say in your first post, should should buy a DMR and enjoy better quality than your M8.

 

DMRs are cheap, these days. R lenses are incredibly cheap these days.

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Another vote for either the D3 or D700 and Zeiss ZF lenses. These produce similar sharpness, high micro contrast, 3D like imagery as my Leica glass with a consistent 'look' and color rendition. I have the ZF 18/3.5, 25/2.8, 35/2 and 50/2 and will be adding the 85/100 soon too.

 

The Zeiss glass is now becoming available for the EOS system too so I would expect similar results there too if that's your preferred flavor of DSLR.

 

I used to use the Kodak 645M and briefly a Kodak SLRn - the SLRn was a problem child that was either superb or a pig to deal with in terms of color rendering at times. If you thought Leica were AWB challenged ... definitely also a low ISO beast but did have that non-AA sharpness and resolution though.

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Guest noah_addis

Thanks for all the tips. Definitely leaning towards Nikon. Zeiss glass is out though, since I really only need this camera for 180mm and longer. I might pick up one wide lens so the slr can serve as a backup for my M8s, but for most of my wideangle and normal lens work I'm sticking to M8.

 

I'm still wondering if I'll notice a huge difference between the D300 and D700, particularly since I don't care about superwide lenses and don't shoot above iso 800. I'm sure there is a difference, but is there a $1200 difference? I don't want my slr to be too good, otherwise I might have to wonder why I spent so much on my M8s

.

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Thanks for all the tips. Definitely leaning towards Nikon. Zeiss glass is out though, since I really only need this camera for 180mm and longer. I might pick up one wide lens so the slr can serve as a backup for my M8s, but for most of my wideangle and normal lens work I'm sticking to M8.

 

I'm still wondering if I'll notice a huge difference between the D300 and D700, particularly since I don't care about superwide lenses and don't shoot above iso 800. I'm sure there is a difference, but is there a $1200 difference? I don't want my slr to be too good, otherwise I might have to wonder why I spent so much on my M8s

.

 

Hi Noah,

 

I haven't tested the D300 yet but the D200 files are much softer, out of the camera, than are those from the D700. In your shoes I think I'd think hard about the D700. My rough impression, overall, is that the FF, higher res. (35 mm size) DSLRs tend to have weaker AA filters than their smaller sensor brothers.

 

Some have also been very enthusiastic about the Sony A900 but I don't have any direct experience with it.

 

The only 35 mm format DSLR that produces files like the M8 (in my experience so far) is the R9/DMR. But the files from cameras like the 1Ds series, D3/D700, etc. certainly have their own strengths.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Considering the Kodak CCD sensor in the DMR was adapted to fit in the M8, I'd offer another vote for the R9/DMR. Kodak made the microlens assembly 40% thinner, thereby boosting the base ISO from 100 to 160 ISO. But the underlying sensor is almost identical. These are the only sensors (DMR and M8) that offer offset microlenses to combat sensor vignetting on wide angle lenses. Both lack AA filters. They also capture at 16-bit vs. 12 or 14-bit on all the C and N offerings. And, Leica glass looks like Leica glass. The optical fingerprint of the R lenses is very similiar to the M glass.

 

The color reproduction and tonality are virtually identical. So, if you are after a DSLR that matches (or slightly exceeds) your M8 take a serious look at the DMR. Or, wait for the S2 or R10.

 

The ZF lenses are quite good on the D3/D700. But, these cameras still have the CMOS smoothness and AA filters. If I were choosing a DSLR system today, the choices would be:

 

R9/DMR with 19, 28, 35 f/2, 60 macro, 90 AA, 180 f/2.8, 2x APO

 

or

 

D3 (I prefer the ergos vs. the D700) with 18 ZF, 28 ZF, 35 ZF, 50 ZF macro, 100 ZF macro

 

Both excellent systems in their own rights, but I am holding out for the S2 right now.

 

Good luck.

 

David

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If you are looking for a "film" like feel, the Fuji S5 pro will give the closest match. Its basically a Nikon D200 with a Fuji Sensor. Menus are slightly different from the Nikon menus, but all the Nikon features, i.e. flash capabilities, use of legacy nikon lenses and etc.

 

Beautiful colors, neutral AWB that almost never misses (except for sunsets, giving it a too warm interpretation).

 

In the end I traded it in for a D700 in lieu of speed (fps) and full frame. But I still miss the colors from the S5, the D700 can be post processed to get the S5 colors, just a lil more work.

 

Regards,

 

Aulia

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The D300 is a good camera and with the crop factor will give a longer effective focal length for less weight. If low light isn't much of a consideration, then it will be fine. Also this has a 100% viewfinder, albeit small. It is apparently much better than the D200 and by some margin.

 

However, I traded my D300 for a D700 and haven't regretted it for one moment. It complements the Leica M8 in that it does offer a far greater low light performance, IQ is absolutely fine, but you need to buy the best lenses. These aren't cheap! The 70-200 is fine, but rumoured to being replaced. There are issues with vignetting and edge softness according to some pixel peepers. However if you process with DxO Optics, then this is removed automatically and impressively. Incidentally, you cannot use DxO with a teleconverter, nor Zeiss ZF lenses.

 

Zeiss currently don't make long focal length lenses. I have the 50mm 1.4 which works well but frankly is a pain compared to autofocus. Though not by any means an expert, I've heard that older MF Nikon lenses aren't necessarily up to same standard as modern designs.

 

If you want to fully research the Nikon options, then Nikonians website offers a wealth of information, with dedicated D700 (and other model), lens and software areas to the forum.

 

I suppose in conclusion, the D300 will offer far more bang for your money, for something that you foresee will get comparatively minimal use. My experience is that the Nikon DSLRs are so easy and pleasant to use, that it's the Leica which loses air time.

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I like the D200. I have two M8's and they are the 'workhorses' because I love using them and the Leica glass. For longer lens work I use Nikon and had a sole D2x body. The last time we went to South Africa to shoot wildlife I didn't like the fact that I didn't have a backup body and so bought the D200. The D2x got dirt on the sensor (the firmware at the time wouldn't allow sensor cleaning without the body being connected to the mains) and so I used the D200. I was really impressed with the images, so much so that from then on I used it in preference to the D2x.

 

If you're interested, there are a lot of D200 shots on my website, particulalry in the 'Wildlife', 'Galapogas' and 'Ecuador' sections.

 

Hope this helps.

______________________

Cheers, Tom

 

 

Photography by Tom Lane

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The dSLR which I have found nearest to the M8 is Canon's original 1DS. The files from this camera have a more 'filmic' quality to them than more recent dSLRs IMHO and I have a couple of them which are still workhorses. They do suffer from dodgy shadow detail at times and are noisy from ISO400 upwards but still produce very usable files. I use mine with fast Canon primes and several R lenses - the results from the 80/1.4R on the 1DS at middish apertures are absolutely supberb and other R lenses delivers very well too. 1DS bodies are dropping in price now and combined with R glass can offer good value for money too.

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Considering the Kodak CCD sensor in the DMR was adapted to fit in the M8, I'd offer another vote for the R9/DMR. Kodak made the microlens assembly 40% thinner, thereby boosting the base ISO from 100 to 160 ISO. But the underlying sensor is almost identical. These are the only sensors (DMR and M8) that offer offset microlenses to combat sensor vignetting on wide angle lenses. Both lack AA filters. They also capture at 16-bit vs. 12 or 14-bit on all the C and N offerings. And, Leica glass looks like Leica glass. The optical fingerprint of the R lenses is very similiar to the M glass.

 

The color reproduction and tonality are virtually identical. So, if you are after a DSLR that matches (or slightly exceeds) your M8 take a serious look at the DMR. Or, wait for the S2 or R10.

 

The ZF lenses are quite good on the D3/D700. But, these cameras still have the CMOS smoothness and AA filters. If I were choosing a DSLR system today, the choices would be:

 

R9/DMR with 19, 28, 35 f/2, 60 macro, 90 AA, 180 f/2.8, 2x APO

 

or

 

D3 (I prefer the ergos vs. the D700) with 18 ZF, 28 ZF, 35 ZF, 50 ZF macro, 100 ZF macro

 

Both excellent systems in their own rights, but I am holding out for the S2 right now.

 

Good luck.

 

David

 

Yes- I would have offered the same advice, but the OP specified "no DMR".

It may be biggish, but it has the best ergonomics I've ever seen on any camera. The files look slightly better on first examination - they are- but there is a fairly large advantage in postprocessing - they are considerably more robust.

Lenses are dirt cheap for what you get at the moment, and if you search around, a DMR/R8(9) might well be found for 2000 to 2500 Euro.

I happily use it next to the M8, lenses are 28-60macro-180/3.4 and 105-280, extenders and it is a superb system in its own right.

Now where is that R10!?

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Look at the Sony a900 with Zeiss lenes. I sold my D700 because I always went back to the M8. But the Sony with Zeiss has something special going on.

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Thanks for all the tips. Definitely leaning towards Nikon. Zeiss glass is out though, since I really only need this camera for 180mm and longer. I might pick up one wide lens so the slr can serve as a backup for my M8s, but for most of my wideangle and normal lens work I'm sticking to M8.

 

I'm still wondering if I'll notice a huge difference between the D300 and D700, particularly since I don't care about superwide lenses and don't shoot above iso 800. I'm sure there is a difference, but is there a $1200 difference? I don't want my slr to be too good, otherwise I might have to wonder why I spent so much on my M8s

.

 

Noah,

 

If you get a Nikon, grab a CV 180/4.0 APO-Lanthar SL lens while they can still be found. It is outstanding and inexpensive.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Guest noah_addis

I don't have anything against the DMR, but the price is still a bit high.

 

For whatever kit I get I plan to buy two lenses for now.

 

1. An effective 28-35mm lens. For the Nikon crop cameras, I love the 20/2.8. I used it for nearly all of my Iraq work with a D1h.

 

2. A 180/2.8, which will stay on the camera all the time unless my M8s break and I need to use the wideangle.

 

The R180/2.8 APO still seems to be going for around 3k, which is too expensive for me for a lens I rarely use.

 

Also, I would prefer autofocus. I can focus my M8 faster than AF most of the time, but I've never been great at focusing SLRs. And I'll only need the long lens for fast-paced news situations.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I think I'll check out the d700 and maybe test it against the d300 and d200.

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Also, I would prefer autofocus. I can focus my M8 faster than AF most of the time, but I've never been great at focusing SLRs. And I'll only need the long lens for fast-paced news situations.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I think I'll check out the d700 and maybe test it against the d300 and d200.

 

If you can MF faster than the AF of, say, the 70-200VR on a Nikon body then I take my hat off to you...

 

I have the D200 and D700 and while the former is a fine camera the D700 really is excellent, especially the high ISO performance. Great ergonomics too.

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I bought an M8 because it has a Kodak CCD. My favorite DSLR has always been my 2 Olympus E1's because of the Kodak CCD. When Olympus switched to Panny sensors, I switched to the M8. Very similar files, process the same way with Huelight E1 presets in Lr 2. Olympus makes some of the best glass next to Leitz.

The E1 is 5mp, but the files are outstanding. The camera is cheap used, and it's a very simple camera comparatively; not a lot of silly bells and whistles. It's built like a tank, has the best dust removal system, and is nearly waterproof.

If you can live with all that it's a great camera.

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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.

 

 

Noah, I agree with your choice of Nikon and suggest you do a search for "Adobe DNG Profile Editor." This is a recent application from Adobe that can create and alter any camera profile to look like the original manufacturer's profile, or any other that you wish to simulate. There is a bit of a learning curve if you have never created a profile, but the end result is worth any effort expended. The bottom line is you can make any digital camera produce images that will have the look and feel of the M8 (but not necessarily the file quality, which depends on the sensor and optics).

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Noah, my vote goes for D200. I own D200 and looked very close to upgrade to D300, however for ISO <800 they will produce very similiar files. D700 is all diffrent story, but for long lenses I prefer 1.5 crop factor. On lens side look at Nikon 200-400/f4, with 1.5 crop factor it will be 300-600 and will cover all your long end needs! IMHO D3 is way to big to even think about it... All the best

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M-photography is more than the image, it's the entire perspective of capturing the image. Sure a DSLR can produce and equivalent, and I would argue, a better photo than any M camera. But from a "considered" approach, I find that the M (in my case the M7 and just recently M8.2, and yes I will throw into the fray my Panasonic LX-3), allow me a more discreet level of capturing the image. My subjects are more at ease, and on the whole, I find that I get "more" out of it. Having said that, I recently added the new Canon 5D Mark II to my collection, and at ISO 3200, there is hardly any objectionable noise. IAt events I will use the Canon, as people fuss a lot about noise. Family and casuals, the LX-3. The M8 for travel, street and impressing the neighbors,

 

SO which DSLR produces file most like M8? You are spot right on the Nikon D200. I have one.. and it's right there, maybe just slightly less noise on the Nikon D200. But the question is why? You would be more satisfied with the D700 or 5D Mk II if DSLR is what you are after.

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If you are looking for a "film" like feel, the Fuji S5 pro will give the closest match. Its basically a Nikon D200 with a Fuji Sensor. Menus are slightly different from the Nikon menus, but all the Nikon features, i.e. flash capabilities, use of legacy nikon lenses and etc.

 

Beautiful colors, neutral AWB that almost never misses (except for sunsets, giving it a too warm interpretation).

 

In the end I traded it in for a D700 in lieu of speed (fps) and full frame. But I still miss the colors from the S5, the D700 can be post processed to get the S5 colors, just a lil more work.

 

Regards,

 

Aulia

I second this choice. The Fujifilm S5 Pro gives you very film-like pix with amazing DR and absolutely beautiful color. Perfect for people shots, not perfect for sports or anything that requires buffering/fast writing to the memory card. The S5 Pro generates excellent OOC JPEGS of around 6MB in size, no need for RAW. The files are very flat and require only minimal PS work. As stated the camera is a D200 with a special Fuji sensor that is said to be 12.1mp but is really 6-9mp, a bit below your requirement. But when you look at the pictures this camera can produce that low mp count really doesn't matter. The output is stunning.

 

Fuji looks to be getting out of the dSLR business (the rumor is that an S6 Pro - a D700 with a Fuji FX sensor - is in the works but most people think this is wishful thinking). You can get tremendous deals on the body especially if you look outside the US. The link below is to the UK where you can pick up a body for £435 which is approx $642. If you buy get it sent by Royal Mail, not a courier like UPS.

 

Good luck!

 

Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Digital SLR Camera Body - Guaranteed UK stock - 331-501A - P10N079420A

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Fuji s5 pro with the AA filter removed ... straight out of the cam JPEG no PP'ing 90% great images.... equal to most M8 image qualities .... but easier to achieve for whatever anyone says the M8 requires quite a bit of PP'ing especially at higher iso's.

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