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psquared

M9: Does Phase One Know Something?

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I just looked in the Film Curves folder, it is a sub-folder in the main C1 program folder, and there are four Leica M9 entries. Extra Shadow, High Contrast, Standard & Linear Response.

 

But But But the funny thing is there is NO S2 entry in either the Color Profiles folders or the Film Curves folder.

Could be the M9 entries are really for the S2 and will be named differently, Leica S2, with a new C1 release and the S2 hits the market.

 

Leica just isn't that good at keeping secrets for them to have a working prototype and for PO to have a camera to work up profiles for.

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Stefan Daniel implied that such a camera would be called the M8.3.{" be it M9 or M8.3" )

 

I don't know if a M8.3 will be presented before the M9 is ready, but I am sure the full frame rangefinder isn't ready yet. Leica need to expand the product portfolio from a basic shared technology (developed for the S2), and they need to do it fast. The only digital product made by Leica is the M8 right now. So I expect new products, but not a full frame rangefinder, at this moment.

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A 1.3x M9 slightly more expensive than the 8.2 seems to be more reasonable.

 

The M8.2 is very expensive. It is a unique product, but Leica should find ways for reducing costs, margins, and finally, prices. Any revised "entry model" x1,33 M camera ought be more affordable than the M8.2 is.

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But But But the funny thing is there is NO S2 entry in either the Color Profiles folders or the Film Curves folder

 

Isn't the S2 shipping with Lightroom rather than C1?

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Perhaps Leica plans to do what it did with the S2 with its long announce-to-release period...Leica might announce this fall that it intends to release the camera for Photokina 2010. That would have the benefit of freezing customers who might drift away to a compact DSLR, and at the same time, provide some satisfaction for those of us waiting for an M9. At least we'd have a timeline.

 

Quite possible. Although for them to not also freeze potential M8.2 purchasers, the M9 would have to be priced substantially higher

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I just looked in the Film Curves folder, it is a sub-folder in the main C1 program folder, and there are four Leica M9 entries. Extra Shadow, High Contrast, Standard & Linear Response.

 

But But But the funny thing is there is NO S2 entry

Phase One sees the S2 as a concurrent and do not collaborate with Leica for this camera.

The S2 will probably be delivered with Adobe Lightroom (i said probably).

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C1 will support future smaller Leicas, but not the S2.

 

I'm not really sure about full-frame, too. It would be great, getting 80% more light-sensitive sensor-area (this is also about noise) in a system that always was about 24x36mm (even the M8 uses a shutter in this size!) but somehow I don't believe that. I would also love to see live view, which would be great for M-photographers using the M on a tripod (like I do) and also for the R-photographers to adapt their lenses! But the power consumption of the CCDs still seems to be a problem, so that's not very likely, either.

 

But I think jaapv is right, this is about creating a technological bond between the S-System and the M. That might sound strange, but it's about the electronics. The new sensor architecture is available (6µm 18x27mm = 13,5MP), the ICs (including the Maestro processor) and the displays of the S2 are more advanced and can be used in a M9, too. So it would make production and part-sourcing much easier and efficient. The M9-electronics could be a S2 with a smaller sensor and no AF.

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Phase One sees the S2 as a concurrent and do not collaborate with Leica for this camera.

The S2 will probably be delivered with Adobe Lightroom (i said probably).

 

Or maybe this is just a big joke. Since PO sees the Leica S2 as competition they figured they play a joke on all the M users and Leica.

 

If the S2 will use LR, which I doubt Adobe would do that, for there in box RAW converter (Maybe a stripped down version of some type only good for the S2) why would Leica go back to PO for the M9.

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Isn't the S2 shipping with Lightroom rather than C1?

 

 

Never read that anywhere but then I don't go to the S2 forum much.

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The main reason is very simple: The M8, of necessity, had to be built out of discrete electronic parts. That means it has limited processing power and heat dissipation problems. The amount of data from a full format sensor with the attendant extra calculations would have taxed the processing to - or beyond- the limit making the camera exceedingly slow. For this very reason Leica had to drop the original plan to make it a full 16 bits camera, forcing them to devise a very intelligent compression algorithm.

 

Sounds to me like a rather revisionist history of the M8 development. It also sounds like bollocks.

 

 

A full format sensor would have driven the cost of the camera at least 1500 Euro higher too, which for obvious reasons would not have been a good idea.

 

I don't know. The M8 was priced about a grand cheaper than I expected. I wouldn't have minded paying £4k (incidentally the original price of the M8.2) for a full-frame M8.

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Isn't the S2 shipping with Lightroom rather than C1?

 

 

Yes it is.

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Sounds to me like a rather revisionist history of the M8 development. It also sounds like bollocks.

What part sounds like bollocks?

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The numeric content of the M9 ICM-file is identical to the M8 ICM-file.

So, no bag and therefore also no cat :-)

Spoilsport!

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The M8, of necessity, had to be built out of discrete electronic parts. That means it has limited processing power and heat dissipation problems. The amount of data from a full format sensor with the attendant extra calculations would have taxed the processing to - or beyond- the limit making the camera exceedingly slow. For this very reason Leica had to drop the original plan to make it a full 16 bits camera, forcing them to devise a very intelligent compression algorithm.

There is a sequence of image processing steps for DNG and another for JPEG, with some of the early processing steps shared between the two. The square-root compression step is for DNGs only and it’s one of the last; the compression accelerates writing raw files to the card, but little else. The compressed 8 bit data is for saving only; for image processing it would have to be expanded to 16 bits again, so what little image processing is applied to the raw data gets applied prior to the compression step and doesn’t profit from the reduced bandwidth requirements. The JPEG processing pipeline takes more CPU resources but doesn’t profit from this compression step either, simply because there is no square-root compression for JPEG data. Performance considerations did play a role in choosing the computationally inexpensive but lossy square-root compression scheme over some kind of lossless LZW compression algorithm, but saving uncompressed 16 bit data wouldn’t have posed any problems – except for the longer wait for the data to be written to the card, and the larger file size, of course.

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Hello Jamie!

 

The numeric content of the M9 ICM-file is identical to the M8 ICM-file.

So, no bag and therefore also no cat :-)

 

The file is not the same according to profile inspector. What does it mean numerical content? Does it mean the files are actually identical?

 

Jeff

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The file is not the same according to profile inspector. What does it mean numerical content? Does it mean the files are actually identical?

 

Jeff

 

It really doesn't matter if the profiles are the same or not, since there is no M9 shipping right now. Of course if I were Phase, and an M9 was using a similar sensor to the M8s (similar--not the same), I'd begin with the M8 profile anyway. But honestly I bet they build their profiles automatically from production cameras. The content of the profile is not why I said the cat's out of the bag

 

Commercial software gets made out of components, and there are build-controlling tools to create the packaging and distribution of elements.

 

So in my view, someone at Phase has included this "placeholder" profile knowing a camera is coming and then forgot "not to include it" in this release. It's too much work for it to be a joke (and I'm not as cynical as Ed

)

 

I'd be very surprised if it was there in the next build, though who knows when that next time will be? After 9-9-09?

 

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(and I'm not as cynical as Ed )

 

I'd be very surprised if it was there in the next build, though who knows when that next time will be? After 9-9-09?

 

 

 

How could you tell?

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There is a sequence of image processing steps for DNG and another for JPEG, with some of the early processing steps shared between the two. The square-root compression step is for DNGs only and it’s one of the last; the compression accelerates writing raw files to the card, but little else. The compressed 8 bit data is for saving only; for image processing it would have to be expanded to 16 bits again, so what little image processing is applied to the raw data gets applied prior to the compression step and doesn’t profit from the reduced bandwidth requirements. The JPEG processing pipeline takes more CPU resources but doesn’t profit from this compression step either, simply because there is no square-root compression for JPEG data. Performance considerations did play a role in choosing the computationally inexpensive but lossy square-root compression scheme over some kind of lossless LZW compression algorithm, but saving uncompressed 16 bit data wouldn’t have posed any problems – except for the longer wait for the data to be written to the card, and the larger file size, of course.

Are you saying, Michael, that Leica's claim back in the beginning of 2007 that outputting 16-bits files "made the camera too slow" (I think it was even included in your article on the issue) was a spurious claim? As I recall you had even access to a 16-bits camera.

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...The compressed 8 bit data is for saving only; for image processing it would have to be expanded to 16 bits again, so what little image processing is applied to the raw data gets applied prior to the compression....

 

Michael

Is any information lost between the in-camera compression to 8 bits and re-expansion to 16 bits by the end user? I know there are forms of lossless compression but have no technical knowledge of how they work and whether its applicable to the M8.

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Yes-it is a complicated story. The best thing to is to research 2007 back issues of LFI; there was an excellent article there. The end result is that there is virtually no loss in the shadows and a considerable loss in the highlights. As this corresponds to the natural response curve of the human eye, for practical purposes it is virtually lossless.

Edited by jaapv

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