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View Full Version : Leica M 240 vs Leica D-Lux typ 109.


Ko.Fe.
10-27-2016, 13:36
Yesterday I googled "Leica 109 review" and interesting read from Kristian Dowling blog came out.

This is the second part of his user report of typ 109:
http://kristiandowling.com/blog/2015/1/31/leica-d-lux-typ-109-user-report-part-22

With this, where he compares it with M240:
"From ISO 1600 it matches the Leica M and from ISO 3200-6400 it actually exceeds it."
and
"I even put down my M as I had enough faith in the D-Lux to pull off the job with ease, and the results I achieved were no lesser pictures than those I had taken from previous workshops with the M."

I wonder if we have RFF members who have also used both, M240 and D-Lux 109 (Lumix LX100) and have similar or different experience.

Ko.Fe.
10-28-2016, 07:03
Anyone?
I'm thinking of what from both to take for low light family photos and for hikes. If typ 109 is so good on 3200 and 6400 for so small size and weight, I don't have to sell my film M gear for M240.

Richard G
10-28-2016, 07:07
I was at a wedding recently where a seasoned pro with a big Canon and wide angle was taking most of the wedding with this latest D-Lux. Might get one myself.

Ko.Fe.
10-28-2016, 07:15
Thank you for respond, Richard! I already made first step and quit from big Canon earlier this year :)

willie_901
10-28-2016, 07:25
It is puzzling how the D-Lix type 109 could have a higher signal-to-noise ratio (a.ka. 'ISO performance') compared to the M-240.

First, irrespective of brand, the difference in sensor areas mandates all M4/3 cameras have an inherent (theoretical) 1.8 stop disadvantage in the maximum possible signal level. So at at any point in time, the very best m4/3 technology has to have 1.8 stops less noise to achieve the same signal-to-noise ratio as a 24 X 36 mm sensor. Or, the M4/3 sensor's quantum efficiency has to be 1.8 stops higher. Consider the circa 2014 Olympus OM-D E-M1 has less SNR than the M 240 [1].

Second, the M240' s data stream is within a half a stop of newer cameras with 24 X 36 mm sensors. This means the Leica D-Lux typ 109 would have a SNR similar to the Nikon Df or D4.

My intent is not to besmirch the Leica D-Lux typ 109.

I assume it is an excellent camera. However, I very much doubt aspects of its IQ that depend directly on SNR are superior to most 24 X 36 mm cameras from circa 2014.

My conclusions are from statistical analyses of un-rendered raw files. I guess it is possible the Leica D-Lux typ 109 uses sophisticated, clever noise filtering at ISOs above 1600. This might enhance the perceived IQ at very low SNRs (i.e. high ISO values).


[1] data here (http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Leica%20M%20Typ%20240,Olympus%20OM-D%20E-M1); note: dynamic range is a direct reflection of a camera's SNR when the shutter is open.

Ko.Fe.
10-28-2016, 08:07
Thank you, Willie. It is too scientific for me :)

Here is another typ 109 (and M240) user report.
http://www.satureyes.com/blog/2015/10/review-leica-d-lux-typ-109-six-months-on

And similar statement:
"I have to confess that on many days I did leave my M kit behind and just took the D-Lux. It felt ‘wrong’ at first but then soon I realised that when I was back in my hotel and looked at the images they just looked great."

jaapv
10-28-2016, 09:27
It is puzzling how the D-Lix type 109 could have a higher signal-to-noise ratio (a.ka. 'ISO performance') compared to the M-240.

First, irrespective of brand, the difference in sensor areas mandates all M4/3 cameras have an inherent (theoretical) 1.8 stop disadvantage in the maximum possible signal level. So at at any point in time, the very best m4/3 technology has to have 1.8 stops less noise to achieve the same signal-to-noise ratio as a 24 X 36 mm sensor. Or, the M4/3 sensor's quantum efficiency has to be 1.8 stops higher. Consider the circa 2014 Olympus OM-D E-M1 has less SNR than the M 240 [1].

Second, the M240' s data stream is within a half a stop of newer cameras with 24 X 36 mm sensors. This means the Leica D-Lux typ 109 would have a SNR similar to the Nikon Df or D4.

My intent is not to besmirch the Leica D-Lux typ 109.

I assume it is an excellent camera. However, I very much doubt aspects of its IQ that depend directly on SNR are superior to most 24 X 36 mm cameras from circa 2014.

My conclusions are from statistical analyses of un-rendered raw files. I guess it is possible the Leica D-Lux typ 109 uses sophisticated, clever noise filtering at ISOs above 1600. This might enhance the perceived IQ at very low SNRs (i.e. high ISO values).


[1] data here (http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Leica%20M%20Typ%20240,Olympus%20OM-D%20E-M1); note: dynamic range is a direct reflection of a camera's SNR when the shutter is open.It is a well known fact that Leica uses a minimum of in-camera processing in their M cameras, leaving it to the user to apply corrections like noise reduction in postprocessing. It is just a matter of the user group the cameras are intended for.

willie_901
10-29-2016, 06:35
It is a well known fact that Leica uses a minimum of in-camera processing in their M cameras, leaving it to the user to apply corrections like noise reduction in postprocessing. It is just a matter of the user group the cameras are intended for.

And the data supports your statements.

I was taught a basic tenet of information theory is one should never irreversibly manipulate original data. I am not surprised Leica engineers subscribe to that principle for the M camera line.

Ko.Fe.
10-29-2016, 07:54
Leica has absolutely nothing special. Canonikons have M mode and RAW file with no in-camera processing applied.

I'm still hoping what some actual users of M240 and typ 109 will share thier experience.

helenhill
10-29-2016, 08:19
Not to belittle the 109 (loved the X1, X2)
But it could not possibly compete with the 240 when Printing Large

For the Web and 11 x14 prints I'm sure it's a mighty machine Miss 109

All depends on One's needs. ;)

Ko.Fe.
10-29-2016, 08:36
Thank you, Helen!!!

I don't have needs to print anything after 8x10. I'd rather printing on 5x7 or smaller. And only few on 8x10. My consern is with ISO 3200 and ISO 6400. If it is as good as from m 240 on 23inch screen and on 8x10, it will be great.

jaapv
10-29-2016, 10:31
Leica has absolutely nothing special. Canonikons have M mode and RAW file with no in-camera processing applied.

I'm still hoping what some actual users of M240 and typ 109 will share thier experience.ALL cameras have in-camera processing applied to raw (not RAW ;)) files; you would not be able to get an image out of the camera otherwise. No standard postprocessing software can read a sensor dump.
Noise suppression varies, Nikon has the most (and best) algorithms, Canon somewhat less, Sony even less and Leica virtually nothing. I'm talking about the high-end cameras here. Lower specified cameras will have more aggressive noise-suppression.

Ko.Fe.
10-29-2016, 11:25
My Canon RAW files comes without noise supretion and no sharpening, saturation is choosable as well.
Sorry, to know my gear better. :)

rfaspen
10-29-2016, 12:24
I catch myself thinking of getting a smaller digital camera for the same reasons. I nearly picked up an older D-Lux on local craigslist, but hesitated too long and it was gone before I could make up my fickle mind.

Kostya, which camera are you considering (Lumix or Leica)? They have just a few differences, aside from price. For example, I noticed that the Lumix is lighter. Could that be body material (plastic vs. metal)? Lumix has a "grip" on the front, but is that important? The Lumix reportedly has more AF capability and it appears to be more video oriented too. I avoid video but others find it important. Then there's the X1 on the used market......no zoom, but what a nice lens and images I've seen look great to me.... Like I said, I'm fickle.

Ko.Fe.
10-29-2016, 12:46
I catch myself thinking of getting a smaller digital camera for the same reasons. I nearly picked up an older D-Lux on local craigslist, but hesitated too long and it was gone before I could make up my fickle mind.

Kostya, which camera are you considering (Lumix or Leica)? They have just a few differences, aside from price. For example, I noticed that the Lumix is lighter. Could that be body material (plastic vs. metal)? Lumix has a "grip" on the front, but is that important? The Lumix reportedly has more AF capability and it appears to be more video oriented too. I avoid video but others find it important. Then there's the X1 on the used market......no zoom, but what a nice lens and images I've seen look great to me.... Like I said, I'm fickle.

Something fishy going on with typ 106. In terms of sale and service. LX100 doesn't seems to have these problems.

jaapv
10-29-2016, 15:56
My Canon RAW files comes without noise supretion and no sharpening, saturation is choosable as well.
Sorry, to know my gear better. :)
Those choices are for processing the raw file which is not what I am talking about. It is a common misconception that a raw file is straight sensor data. It is not. There is a processing pipeline that comes before the writing of the raw file. That preprocessing includes the initial noise reduction and black point setting by which the noise level of the raw file is determined. Things like sharpening, colour settings, contrast etc. are done after the raw file is created, and that is what you are observing.

Richard G
10-30-2016, 06:28
And see this:

http://kristiandowling.com/blog/2015/1/31/leica-d-lux-typ-109-user-report-part-22

Santtu Määttänen
10-30-2016, 07:02
I've been shooting with Panasonic branded version of this (lx100) for some time now and it's one tiny beast of a camera. It certainly delivers. I love the controls, which to me feel intuitive and makes manual operation a breeze, which is something I haven't experienced with any other compact digital camera before. 16:9 raw files are a nice starting point to be cropped into true panoramas, with out loosing too much data. Also file size is enough for my usage in digital realm (mainly to make digital negatives for alt process printing. But it's something which varies a lot based on your use cases.

Only downfall I can see is flaring, but I cured that with a lens hood.

Ko.Fe.
10-30-2016, 07:40
And see this:

http://kristiandowling.com/blog/2015/1/31/leica-d-lux-typ-109-user-report-part-22


I have seen it in OP...

What I want to see here is comment like this - no, it is not good on ISO 3200 and on ISO 6400. Or, yes it is true.


Kiitos, Santtu.
Yes, I know which controls camera has, looks handy and which crop factors it does, I don't need it. But I still have specific question here without straight answer... Could you tell me if LX100 ISO 3200, 6400 files are good for prints? Please!

Santtu Määttänen
10-30-2016, 07:58
Depends on your personal preferences. No they ain't perfectly clean, there is noise. Yes they are perfectly usable for me up to 11x16 " prints in black and white. I haven't tried to print them in colour, because I rarely print anything in colour. Much depends on your particular desires on looks and how you postprocess those lovely raw files.

Santtu Määttänen
10-30-2016, 08:05
And I haven't shot with any digital leicas so can't compare them. I did compare to Nikon D700 and there LX100 / d-lux 109 is very similar in high iso values. Haven't done direct comparisons since haven't felt the need. But in the dark I would be equally happy / unhappy with both. Besides I don't rely on high iso in my workflow. If there ain't good light, there ain't good light to photograph anyway :) And longer shutterspeeds work just fine with tripod and static subjects (which I mainly photograph).

user237428934
10-30-2016, 08:27
When you nail exposure with the M240 at 3200 then you have sharp pixel information and some noise above. I don't have the 109 but the LX100. If you use ISO 3200 I already see some smearing. So the noise my be comparable but the sharness is not.

The main difference is the usable time. If I use both cameras on ISO 1600, I can't go below 1/60 with the M240 if I want a good hit rate of sharp images. Already at 1/30 I have a 50% chance of blurry images. With the LX100 I can go to 1/15 and have sharp images because of the stabilizer.

jaapv
10-31-2016, 02:24
Exactly. Most of the noise problems people are having originate from underexposure at low light levels, often caused by the light meter being fooled by specular highlights.

Exposing to the right will even produce excellent high-ISO shots on an M8, let alone an M240. The histogram is the tool to use.

willie_901
10-31-2016, 05:57
Exactly. Most of the noise problems people are having originate from underexposure at low light levels, often caused by the light meter being fooled by specular highlights.

Exposing to the right will even produce excellent high-ISO shots on an M8, let alone an M240. The histogram is the tool to use.

Exactly!

Sometimes all we think about is the 'noise' (which we can't control) instead of the 'signal' which we can control by optimizing exposure.

jsrockit
10-31-2016, 06:08
I would read some Panasonic LX100 reviews for some non-biased reviews that aren't shaped by the red dot.

ferider
10-31-2016, 06:29
The main difference is the usable time. If I use both cameras on ISO 1600, I can't go below 1/60 with the M240 if I want a good hit rate of sharp images. Already at 1/30 I have a 50% chance of blurry images. With the LX100 I can go to 1/15 and have sharp images because of the stabilizer.

But: (since the OP has another thread going on about which 50 to buy) one can put an affordable lens on the 240 that is a full stop faster than the lx100. Plus, I like portraits below 1/30s, here with the 1.1 Nokton:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Picture-a-Week/2016/102420-16/i-jmJJnds/1/XL/L1000218-XL.jpg

Roland.

jaapv
10-31-2016, 06:51
Exactly!

Sometimes all we think about is the 'noise' (which we can't control) instead of the 'signal' which we can control by optimizing exposure.
Which leads to the following thought: It may well be that the light meter of the 109 exposes differently from an M at low and/or contrasty light levels. It certainly works differently. This alone can cause huge variations in noise performance. Even if we set exposure manually the T-stops of the lenses will be different.

Ko.Fe.
10-31-2016, 07:26
Of course, I was asking about what is in the correctly exposed ISO 3200 and 6400. And Tom gave clear answer: "When you nail exposure with the M240 at 3200 then you have sharp pixel information and some noise above. I don't have the 109 but the LX100. If you use ISO 3200 I already see some smearing. So the noise my be comparable but the sharpness is not".


Thank you tom.w.bn, Santtu Määttänen and jsrockit! It all makes sense to me :)

MikeMGB
10-31-2016, 08:00
Not to belittle the 109 (loved the X1, X2)
But it could not possibly compete with the 240 when Printing Large

For the Web and 11 x14 prints I'm sure it's a mighty machine Miss 109

All depends on One's needs. ;)

I print up to 4 feet wide from my 109, on a professional plotter with a high end RIP, the results are far better than you would expect from the camera.

noisycheese
10-31-2016, 15:45
I print up to 4 feet wide from my 109, on a professional plotter with a high end RIP, the results are far better than you would expect from the camera.

What is the viewing distance involved? Just curious.

As an M-P 240 owner/shooter, I can't imagine trading off the M-P and its 24x36mm sensor for a 109 with a 17.3x13mm sensor, even for improved IQ at ISO 3200 & 6400. :confused:

While I haven't printed large from an M-P file shot at ISO 3200, they look pretty good on a large screen with a minimum of noise reduction applied.