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Digital Leica M8 / M8.2 / M9 / M-E /Mono / M10 aka "M" Discussions about the Leica M8 /M 8.2 / M9 / M9-P/ M-E / M Monochrom / M10 aka "M": Leica digital M mount rangefinder cameras. Naming the new digital M the "Leica M" is VERY unfortunate as it will only confuse newbies with other Leica M cameras of the the past. Happily there is room for confusion with only the past 59 years of Leica M production ... since Leica introduced the Leica M system in 1953. All Hail for the Leica Marketing Department learning Leica M history!

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Old 12-11-2012   #26
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I'm sure the betatesters have been at it for a while already. Leica wants to get this one right, clearly. My guess is that the first meaningful publications will not appear before early spring.
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Old 12-11-2012   #27
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Originally Posted by Ron (Netherlands) View Post
They built in live view, that is a pity because without live view they would have used a bigger part of the sensor for the actual still photography.
Nope. You misunderstand how live view works on current CMOS sensors. There is not a penalty for still images, except that live view can heat the sensor up somewhat, resulting in slightly increased noise. On the other hand, one can actually achieve exact rather than approximate focus, which is particularly important to extract the performance of really good fast lenses and subjects not at the center of the frame. Live view is, in other words, essential to extract the full optical potential of modern Leica M lenses.
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Old 12-11-2012   #28
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Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
I'm sure the betatesters have been at it for a while already. Leica wants to get this one right, clearly. My guess is that the first meaningful publications will not appear before early spring.
I am really hoping that the user experience of the M is the biggest improvement. More so than the sensor performance.

At lower iso at any rate the output produced by the M8 and M9 are phenomenal.

Maybe my view is coloured too much by personal experience, but I have developed a prejudice that the M8 (and by extension the M9, though I have never used one!) have a firmware that at best could be described as quirky and at worst possibly down right flakey.

I am really hoping the bigger battery, combined with better power management and speedier electronics and the bigger buffer will be a revelation.
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Old 12-11-2012   #29
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People are getting ridiculously high on "oh I don't need that feature", "oh this is not just for still photographers" or "why didn't they fulfill my every single whim and needs" etc. etc. Everytime they get dragged out of their comfort zone, they have to be dragged screaming and shouting. Some of these features hardly impede their normal shooting habits, but it hasn't stopped the chest thumping that is getting ridiculous.

AT the core of it all, the question of the "look" will ultimately depend on what kind of data is extracted out of the sensor and how it is processed. CCD and CMOS tech these days perform very similarly. To wit: http://www.teledynedalsa.com/corp/ma...D_vs_CMOS.aspx

As for live view, it's just real time read out of the sensor. Nothing to it. Even CCD sensors can be used to do that. Just slap a heat sink if it gets too hot that's all.
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Old 12-11-2012   #30
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Not much slapping space for heat sinks in M bodies I would say
Anyway, you are forgetting one thing: the M (8,9,M,MM) is not about image quality as long as it is good to excellent. The whole point of the camera is about ergonomics, RF experience, intangible Leica feel etc. Otherwise we would all be using some DSLR brick.
So it is quite normal for users to get nervous when Leica starts changing -to them (us)- essentials and to ask whether Live View and Video do not impinge the gestalt of the camera.
Of course the rationale is clear - the camera needs to become more mainstream to remain viable, but Leica carefully kept building the pure digital M in the form of the ME, very aware as they are of these sensibilities.
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Old 12-11-2012   #31
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Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
Not much slapping space for heat sinks in M bodies I would say
Anyway, you are forgetting one thing: the M (8,9,M,MM) is not about image quality as long as it is good to excellent. The whole point of the camera is about ergonomics, RF experience, intangible Leica feel etc. Otherwise we would all be using some DSLR brick.
So it is quite normal for users to get nervous when Leica starts changing -to them (us)- essentials and to ask whether Live View and Video do not impinge the gestalt of the camera.
Of course the rationale is clear - the camera needs to become more mainstream to remain viable, but Leica carefully kept building the pure digital M in the form of the ME, very aware as they are of these sensibilities.
Agreed, Jaap. Not to compare Sony to Leica, but a similar thing happened to Sony with their A900 DSLR. IMO, that's still one of the best DSLRs around, in terms of user experience. It had the best viewfinder of any DSLR to date, the controls were fantastic, and the IQ, while not quite as clean as today's cameras, was very good. When that camera arrived, the biggest complaint was that it didn't have live view or video, which never bothered me one bit. Fast forward four years, and we have a new Sony A99 which has completely reversed course by being based off of live view, and it doesn't even have an OVF at all.

I'm not saying that Leica will remove the rangefinder altogether, but I personally started using the M9 to go back to a simpler form of rangefinder shooting, so all of the bells and whistles of the new M don't really interest me, outside of maybe the quieter shutter and weather sealing.

Either way, as long as Leica doesn't get rid of the classic features of the M series, like the rangefinder, I'm ok with more features that I personally won't use. However, if the success of these new features sends Leica in a new direction, that would be a disappointment.
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Old 12-11-2012   #32
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Originally Posted by semilog View Post
Live view is, in other words, essential to extract the full optical potential of modern Leica M lenses.
I don't agree. I get pin sharp at f1.4 everytime with the M9/MM

My 2 cents is that for off centre subjects, live view is ok on a tripod, but impractical for hand held
Focus and re-compose works fine as long as the subject is not close.

The only way for fast accurate off-centre focus at very close distances is using contrast detect AF.

Off centre can also be achieved comfortably using cropping with 18mp, especially as the M9 is usualy pixel level sharp.

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the M (8,9,M,MM) is not about image quality as long as it is good to excellent.
oh it is. thats the whole rationale behind Leica lenses' unequaled excellence optically
its the sensor + lens combination, and the M9 sensor can deliver at 160 and 320
Of course the workflow and ergonomics are also key to the Leica experience. more difficult to master then a DSLR, but once mastered better pictures result.
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Old 12-11-2012   #33
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Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
The whole point of the camera is about ergonomics, RF experience, intangible Leica feel etc.
I do not think that that word, "intangible," means what you think it means.
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Old 12-11-2012   #34
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I think I do ;http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intangible
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Old 12-11-2012   #35
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I don't agree. I get pin sharp at f1.4 everytime with the M9/MM
MTF falls off precipitously with even slight focus error, and focus-recompose (necessary of any subject not at the center of the frame) is inherently inaccurate. Field curvature adds to the difficulties.

You may be happy with your results. That is not the same thing as saying that you are extracting the full potential of M system optics.

Leica's engineers know this, and that is precisely why they have designed the new M in the way that they have.
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Old 12-11-2012   #36
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... I don't really know the theoretical difference between these sensor types (CCD vs CMOS) so thought to ask all of you informed and experienced followers if you can predict or know of any possible differences?
The main theoretical difference is that Leica's new FF sensors supplier is "brand new". That means: or 1) they are going to make something exceptional or 2) it's going to be a little fiasco. I wish them good luck and hope for them the sensor and camera will work as announced, charged for and expected.

Not on the subject:
I think the camera announced on 9/9/09 can start to be called Leica M9 "classic" (means it's not M9-P, MM or ME or this Hermes thing). Isn't it romantic?... It probably represents something with its rather special Kodak (RIP) CCD. After lot of sympathy for M3 and M6, I see only one successor for them - No 9 ("MM" is also nice but that's personal, not mathematical).
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Old 12-11-2012   #37
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Look at the word's etymology. Something tangible is, literally, something that may be touched.

Latin: tangere -- to touch.

A camera's ergonomics and feel are -- by definition -- the tangible aspects of the device.
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Old 12-11-2012   #38
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I do not think that that word, "intangible," means what you think it means.
for example price is something that is "intangible"
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Old 12-11-2012   #39
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MTF falls off precipitously with even slight focus error,
Leica's engineers know this, and that is precisely why they have designed the new system in this way.
At 2 metres with a 50mm lens at f1.4 the DOF is 13cm.
We can all make far less error then this and I don't think the MTA would be effected.
For 35mm it's more then double

Live view was introduced to keep up with the joneses, allow video, allow longer telephoto lenses and allow a different focus technique that many people like using a tripod.
I don't think it had anything to do with the quality of detail.
R lens compatability was just a bonus. I am sure that Leica will be bringing out long focal length M lenses at some point.

IMHO obviously this could be speculated endlessly, but I am pretty sure that detail was not an objective of live view.
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Old 12-11-2012   #40
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IMHO obviously this could be speculated endlessly, but I am pretty sure that detail was not an objective of live view.
Erwin Puts, and Lloyd Chambers (e.g., here) among others, would disagree with you.

The plane of critical focus is far, far shallower than indicated by a DoF scale, and field curvature is present even in many of the best lenses from Leica and other marques.

This is in fact easy to see. Put, say, a 35/1.4 ASPH on any good mirrorless body (NEX-5, GRD, XE-1, OM-D, etc.) and use magnified live view to focus. You will see, in real time, that considerably finer adjustments than suggested by the DoF scale make a big difference.

For further information see e.g. John Williams, Image Clarity, ISBN 0240800338.

I find it bizarre that Leica shooters would spend huge amounts of money on optics and then reject a feature that allows the performance potential of those optics -- the reason for spending big bucks in the first place -- to more readily be harnessed.
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Old 12-11-2012   #41
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We can file this one under wishful thinking. The strength of the Monochrome comes from the removal of the Bayer filter with its attendant elimination of the (chromatic) aberrations it produces and the lack of interpolation artifacts. Neither of which is implemented in the M. That one will be a superb color camera, outperforming just about any current camera, but the Monochrome will still rule in the B&W domain.
Ahh, skirting your NDA? Thanks!

Personally, I can (almost) afford one or the other without selling my beloved M9. I'd rather get the camera that is not a one-trick-pony. But I'll still wait and see.
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Old 12-11-2012   #42
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Look at the word's etymology. Something tangible is, literally, something that may be touched.

Latin: tangere -- to touch.

A camera's ergonomics and feel are -- by definition -- the tangible aspects of the device.
Which proves i said exactly what I meant to say: "the Leica feel" is an abstract emotion. Not something you can err... feel...
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Old 12-11-2012   #43
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Ahh, skirting your NDA? Thanks!

Personally, I can (almost) afford one or the other without selling my beloved M9. I'd rather get the camera that is not a one-trick-pony. But I'll still wait and see.
No NDA, I'm not a beta tester.
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Old 12-11-2012   #44
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Which proves i said exactly what I meant to say: "the Leica feel" is an abstract emotion. Not something you can err... feel...
Ah. That makes more sense.

And as someone who first used an M3 at the age of 4 or 5 years old, and has shot an M6 for a long time, it is to me -- by far -- the least appealing aspect of using an M. For me it's about the tangible experience of using the device and the actual results obtained.

Which is why I don't use a digital M. To me, the thicker bodies on these cameras compromise the form factor of the M3 and its analog lineage.

A difference that, to me, is entirely tangible.

At least the new M has live view, so that one may frame and focus accurately when one has the time to do so. And it may even prove useful at higher ISO values...
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Old 12-11-2012   #45
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Erwin Puts, and Lloyd Chambers (e.g., here) among others, would disagree with you.

The plane of critical focus is far, far shallower than indicated by a DoF scale, and field curvature is present even in many of the best lenses from Leica and other marques.

For further information see e.g. John Williams, Image Clarity, ISBN 0240800338.

I find it bizarre that Leica shooters would spend huge amounts of money on optics and then reject a feature that allows the performance potential of those optics to more readily be harnessed.
You also need a heavy tripod to take full advantage of these optics and higher MP sensors, too. Do you plan on always shooting your M on a heavy tripod?

To be honest, I think that lenses like the new 50 Summicron ASPH are pandering to dreamers a bit, and I'd bet that most Leica shooters don't need the performance of a $7K 50/2 lens.

The appeal of Leica to many of us is the size and the rangefinder experience, rather than some potential, super image quality that would take very large prints, perfect technique, and a tripod to see any advantage. Heck, despite being similar in price, I recently chose a 35/2 IV over the 35/2 APSH, mostly because of the size and weight. If I wanted to use a tripod, Live View, take movies, etc, a D600 and a ZF lens would be a considerably cheaper option, and it would also have exceptional image quality. Same with the A99, if an EVF is more appealing.

Despite there being several DSLRs with better performing sensors than the relatively antique design of the M9's sensor, I still chose the M9 because of the rangefinder. I just hope Leica doesn't get too far off course.
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Old 12-11-2012   #46
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I'm hoping that the ISO stays very usable up to its very upper limits.
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Old 12-11-2012   #47
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No NDA, I'm not a beta tester.
Just yanking your chain...
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Old 12-11-2012   #48
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only a fool would develop either without video capabilities in the current climate.
An I for the life of me have no idea why video is so important in a still camera.

But then I have little use for most features in most cameras nowadays. I like an MP best of all.

The M9 does everything I need 99.9% of the time in a digital body, and does that in a really simple fashion 100% of the time. That said, I'd probably get an 'M' over an ME or a used M9 if I needed to replace an M9.
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Old 12-11-2012   #49
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Not sure. When I first got my M8 in Oct/Nov 2006 it felt just as lumpy as you describe. After a few weeks I got used to it and now it feels completely normal. In fact my film Ms feel rather thin and my Barnacks -especially the rangefinder-less ones- are downright dainty. The form factor I like least is the slab-like M6 TTL and M7. Somehow to me the proportions are wrong. I think the most balanced dimensions are those of the rangefinder Barnacks. I find my iiif just about perfect.
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Ah. That makes more sense.

And as someone who first used an M3 at the age of 4 or 5 years old, and has shot an M6 for a long time, it is to me -- by far -- the least appealing aspect of using an M. For me it's about the tangible experience of using the device and the actual results obtained.

Which is why I don't use a digital M. To me, the thicker bodies on these cameras compromise the form factor of the M3 and its analog lineage.

A difference that, to me, is entirely tangible.

At least the new M has live view, so that one may frame and focus accurately when one has the time to do so. And it may even prove useful at higher ISO values...
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Old 12-11-2012   #50
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The appeal of Leica to many of us is the size and the rangefinder experience, rather than some potential, super image quality that would take very large prints, perfect technique, and a tripod to see any advantage. Heck, despite being similar in price, I recently chose a 35/2 IV over the 35/2 APSH, mostly because of the size and weight. If I wanted to use a tripod, Live View, take movies, etc, a D600 and a ZF lens would be a considerably cheaper option, and it would also have exceptional image quality. Same with the A99, if an EVF is more appealing.
And a Mamiya 6 or 7 will still utterly crush the IQ of any 135 analog, or any digital camera short of a D800 or Leica S2, in a lighter smaller package and a fraction of the price.
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