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9 weeks with an M9


jonoslack

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Hi there everyone

I've been away from the internet for a couple of weeks (in Crete with an M9) so I've missed all the brouhaha. I know that many of you have seen my simple field report, but some may not have done, and anyway there was no scope for reply.

This is not meant to be any sort of competition for the 'proper' review sites, and I can see that the subject has been well covered by Sean Reid, Michael Reichmann, Phil Askey, and many others. Still, it may provide some extra information, and hopefully some entertainment.

 

M9 Field Test Report

 

If you've already seen this (it has not changed since publication on the 10th), apologies for the duplication.

 

Next Monday I'll publish some pictures from South West Crete together with some more feelings.

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"Deliberate mistake" - you mean the black hot shoe - when the production black cameras have chrome shoes? ;)

 

Welcome home.

 

If you've written words or shown any pictures that purport to demonstrate the superiority of the M9 over the M8 - put on your flame-retardant suit!

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"Deliberate mistake" - you mean the black hot shoe - when the production black cameras have chrome shoes? ;)

 

Welcome home.

 

If you've written words or shown any pictures that purport to demonstrate the superiority of the M9 over the M8 - put on your flame-retardant suit!

 

Hi Andy

No, the Deliberate mistake was that it says M8, not M9 :)

 

Thanks for the Welcome

 

Actually, I can't remember quite what I wrote, but I have already loaded my flame retardant suit!

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Hi there everyone

I've been away from the internet for a couple of weeks (in Crete with an M9) so I've missed all the brouhaha. I know that many of you have seen my simple field report, but some may not have done, and anyway there was no scope for reply.

This is not meant to be any sort of competition for the 'proper' review sites, and I can see that the subject has been well covered by Sean Reid, Michael Reichmann, Phil Askey, and many others. Still, it may provide some extra information, and hopefully some entertainment.

 

M9 Field Test Report

 

If you've already seen this (it has not changed since publication on the 10th), apologies for the duplication.

 

Next Monday I'll publish some pictures from South West Crete together with some more feelings.

Jono,

A nice set as usual. How do the high iso shots look in colour? I did see some banding on one image, i put that down to under exposer as that was 1/30th the others looked to be 1/16th or there about.

Kevin.

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As I've written elsewhere, I believe that all of us who are interested in the M9 should tip our hats to Jono. He has been beta-testing the camera all summer and invested a good amount of time and energy in testing and communicating with Leica so as to improve the production version.

 

Good on you, Jono and thanks for the report.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Thanks for this.

 

I wonder if you could give a 5 seconds intro to "how to use the M9" in terms of color space, max ISO, generally adjusted EV, etc.

 

I notice that on this photo suffolk - L9210220 it is Adobe RGB and "colors pace -1"

 

I haven't had time to test and compare but just been shooting all week. Have to do edit in the weekend and next week for clients. So I've just hit the road with sRGB and Lightroom, "max ISO 800 is probably ok"

 

But I figure you have developed some rules and settings, and I would just like your personal "ideal settings" and any other "fast intro to getting the M9 working fast" ideas.

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Hi There

Sean - thank you for the kind words - as you say, plenty of time and energy, but it's been interesting and rewarding as well (spiritually at least!)

 

Jaap - glad you enjoyed it, that was my main intention.

 

Dan - of course, it wasn't really that rigorous as the firmware kept changing! My intention was to give a feel for it, rather than a real critique (I'm leaving that up to Sean and others)

 

Kevin, IMHO the colour in high ISO is better than with the M8, see my answer below with respect to banding.

 

vdb - my mind was made up the minute I took it out of the box!

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Hi Thorsten

 

I'll do my best.

Colour Space

I'm pretty sure that 'color space -1' in the exif information actually relates directly to Adobe RGB.

 

File Output

I've been using compressed DNG, I find that the results are perfectly acceptable, and the considerable file saving is worth the possible very slight loss in quality (obviously others may disagree)

 

Exposure.

I've been using -2/3 in bright outdoor light, and 0 EV compensation in low light - this seems to work for me, but it's possible that my test camera is not perfectly calibrated.

 

If I'm using auto-iso, I set it to max of 1250, but I've happily used 2500 on occasions.

 

Otherwise it works pretty much in the same way as the M8, the extra menu options are great, I have two user settings, one called Daylight (where I also set the WB to daylight and the ISO to 160 ) and one called Evening (where it's all on auto)

 

I hope this helps

 

Thanks for this.

 

I wonder if you could give a 5 seconds intro to "how to use the M9" in terms of color space, max ISO, generally adjusted EV, etc.

 

I notice that on this photo suffolk - L9210220 it is Adobe RGB and "colors pace -1"

 

I haven't had time to test and compare but just been shooting all week. Have to do edit in the weekend and next week for clients. So I've just hit the road with sRGB and Lightroom, "max ISO 800 is probably ok"

 

But I figure you have developed some rules and settings, and I would just like your personal "ideal settings" and any other "fast intro to getting the M9 working fast" ideas.

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highiso - L9941797

 

I still see the banding we complain about with the M8

Have you seen improvement with new firmware?

 

HI There

That shot was taken with an older firmware version - it was also pretty drastically under-exposed, and the jpg conversion for the web made things considerably worse as well. Things have improved quite a bit since then - but it is still possible to see colour banding occasionally and especially when under-exposing. I've not found it spoiling any photos with the later firmware versions - but I've needed to do a little PP on occasions.

 

This is an issue that was addressed, and I feel there is still room for some tweaking (which I'm quite sure is being done).

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HI There

That shot was taken with an older firmware version - it was also pretty drastically under-exposed, and the jpg conversion for the web made things considerably worse as well. Things have improved quite a bit since then - but it is still possible to see colour banding occasionally and especially when under-exposing. I've not found it spoiling any photos with the later firmware versions - but I've needed to do a little PP on occasions.

 

This is an issue that was addressed, and I feel there is still room for some tweaking (which I'm quite sure is being done).

 

To add some perspective to the banding.

I can also induce banding at high iso and under exposer with my 1DsmkIII and that performs very well at high iso. You can see on Jono's shot with the banding the Girls face looks under exposed, what should be a highlight is more midtone.

I would like to see some 2500iso images in colour to see how the croma looks.

All in all I think it's a decent camera and looks to produce salable images at the higher iso's, not as good as the best at high iso, but good enough and there are other reasons for owning a M.

 

Kevin.

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To add some perspective to the banding.

I can also induce banding at high iso and under exposer with my 1DsmkIII and that performs very well at high iso. You can see on Jono's shot with the banding the Girls face looks under exposed, what should be a highlight is more midtone.

I would like to see some 2500iso images in colour to see how the croma looks.

All in all I think it's a decent camera and looks to produce salable images at the higher iso's, not as good as the best at high iso, but good enough and there are other reasons for owning a M.

 

Kevin.

 

I'll second that, I did a thing last night and was in a dim interior with the 5DmkII at 1600 and because the only wide I had was f4 (17-40L zoom) I was stuck at f4 1/60-the results showed banding in the dark areas of the frame because essentially it was underexposed 1 stop relative to where it should have been.

 

Not surprisingly, the M8 at 1/60 f2 ISO640 looked much better.

 

So it just shows to go ya that clean high ISO isn't all that and a bag of chips if your lenses can't get you into well exposed territory

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