meland: The only thing Leica are perhaps guilty of is in bothering to send their press release on the X Vario to DPR and in doing so exposing themselves to the ridicule of people who have little understanding of Leica's real business and who naively think their opinion on photographic minutiae actually matters. It's a bit like trying to market a Riva launch to someone who lives in a council flat. This camera will probably sell quite well to its intended market. It's just that it's intended market isn't most of you, however some of you are unable to appreciate that.
70/6.4 is not impressive, but it's not a deal breaker. I have many shots at higher F stops.
F/3.5 is disappointing, because on a fixed lens camera, I want at least one FL with a wide aperture to get some low-light shots with a fast enough shutter speed to stop motion blur, without pushing iso too far. Still not a deal breaker.
But take these two extracts from the press release:
"..combined with its fast and precise autofocus offers even the most demanding photographers maximum creative freedom – for spontaneous shots.."
"it allows photographers to concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation"
These press my buttons; important things I lost when moving from DSLR to smaller cameras. It must be a really impressive new AF to achieve all that. Very exciting.
If genuine they may have me even @ F3.5-6.4 / £2KIf false, they're deceitful snake oil sellers.
First reports found oil. Perhaps guilty of more than you think.
Najinsky: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.
It's that last bit that's giving me issues.
Take the bare faced lies of marketeers, abusing the hard earned reputation of a once great brand, with the sole aim of seducing and milking those guilty only of trust.
Is that something I can change or can't? Should I even try to get involved, if people want to buy it, it's their money.
"fast and precise autofocus"... "allows photographers to concentrate completely on composing their subjects... decisive instant... any situation."
Yet reports say 'reasonable'. Reasonable CDAF means, sometimes it locks, sometimes on the subject, but maybe the background.
Is this not deceitful? Are DPR complicit in this?
Should marketeers have to prove they are not trying to deceive buyers before DPR gives it free coverage?
Is that something we could change?
Should announcements be moderated?
Here's a specific example for you.
Ricoh is known for their respect of their customers, designing the features they believe their customers truly want, not half-cocked features just to to grab headlines.
This shows in their press release:
For sure is has some hyperbole, but they make an effort to qualify things with figures, "can focus in 0.2sec", or footnotes.
And clearly there will always, for all brands, be a marketing spin on things where they may focus a little too much on what they set out to achieve rather than what they managed.
But for me, the Ricoh GR announcement is acceptable and doesn't cross the boundaries of customer respect.
This Leica one I find has too many customer-disrepecting barefaced lies. It crosses the boundary of intentionally deceitful in some areas.
If you didn't publish any, perhaps they'd learn to tone it down somewhat.
I appreciate you are in some ways between a rock and a hard place. Ad supported, owned by Amazon, yet also one of the top photography sites for consumers, so you have a tricky balance to strike.
But as far as I know, Amazon don't care which brands they sell, so long as they are selling. Amazon is hugely convenient for buying and I spend a lot with them.
But to figure out what to buy, that's the trick, and that's where you guys fit in. And don't take this the wrong way, but the speed you get through your reviews, makes it somewhat of a lottery whether I have a review or just a press release to go on.
I'm sure Amazon want to see more customer satisfaction and fewer returns. Isn't that why they bought DPR, so buyers can make better informed decisions, hopefully achieving both aims.
If not you, who can make a stand against this nonsense?
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.
Some people will buy this camera just because others can't afford to, but would never dare use it, for fear of being reminded of their lost humanity.
It's alarming here how many people just don't get it.
And before you retort about the price, remember, everything is negotiable.
I ordered all five and managed to negotiate a free digital IXUS so I can photograph them once they are in the display case.
Not laughing now are you!!
Najinsky: I glanced at nearly all the comments and don't understand why I seem to be the only one concerned about focussing manual focus glass. That's what the rangefinder part of the M is for.
So take away the rangefinder, and you get a camera that takes manual focus lenses, without the part that helps you focus?
Let's hope it comes with some stellar focus confirmation aids.
@T3 - You have picked up on the wrong emphasis. It's not about the removal of the rangefinder, or rangefinder quirks, it's about what focus confirmation aids WILL be included. That's what will peak my interest in using this camera.
If you're truly happy with FP and magnification, I'm happy for you and good luck with your shooting.
But I don't understand why you try to turn it into an argument or debate. Your personal preferences will not be influencing my decision one jot.
I'm assuming the sensor and ergonomics will be great; the three important unknown factors are performance, size and how quickly and accurately I can achieve focus. So I'll be hoping for something a notch up from the current standards of FP and magnification.
@T3 I've used focus peaking on my Ricohs and Sony's so no need to look it up, and while I'm a fan I don't see it in its current incarnation as something to rely on for every shot, all the time. Too many false positives and a bit of luck needed to nail critical focus.
We really need something much better than current standards of FP.
I can't believe you are serious about magnification, I find it useless for anything other than static product photography. I hate losing sight of the composition.
The Fuji X100S split view focus using PD sensors looks interesting on the DPR demo, but I haven't seen how well it works in practice.
I glanced at nearly all the comments and don't understand why I seem to be the only one concerned about focussing manual focus glass. That's what the rangefinder part of the M is for.
Najinsky: @DPR: Did these get edited?
In the linked article and website the images have a softer palette and tone, more like the image bottom right.
But on this site the first two look a lot more saturated and contrasty. Were they edited for display here or is there another reason for the difference?
Thanks for the response. I'm using Safari 6.0.4 on OSX 10..8.3 and a calibrated Retina display. I don't usually experience colour management issue with the browser. Perhaps the other sites aren't including the colour profile in their image display.
Based purely on personal preferences, I think the first image looks much better on this site and benefits from the additional contrast, although some of the other images do suit the lower contrast appearance I see on the other sites.
@DPR: Did these get edited?
rocklobster: Pity that there is a pop-up flash where an EVF should go. But I suppose that if you really want an EVF then you should buy an E-M5 and anyway I prefer the ergonomics of the E-M5 with the two control dials that readily fall to the thumb and forefinger of my (albeit) small hand.
Also, I would hope that the in-built flash performs better than the clip-on 'kit' flash.
I guess we're all different. The dial placement of the EM-5 is its absolute worst feature. Still bugs me now after nearly a year shooting with it, and the E-P5 looks no better.
My thumb is a good 1/2 inch too short to turn the rear dial from the shooting grip. I have to take the weight of the camera with my left hand and then move my right hand up from the shooting grip to reach the rear dial with enough purchase to turn it.
With both my Ricoh GXR and Canon DSLRs, I could operate both front and rear controls from the shooting grip, holding the camera in one hand, with no danger of loosing my grip on the camera.
Try holding the EM-5 in one hand above your head (like shooting over a crowd with the swivel screen for framing). Then try to quickly and accurately turn the rear dial with your thumb. I bet most normal thumbed people would drop the camera!
I'd like to see a youtube video of someone managing to operate it. That would be one big flexible thumb!
Anepo: One of his photographs on his website can literally be called a pedophile photograph, it is an underskirt photo of an underage girls bloodied underwear, an EXTREMELY inappropriate photograph that screams "call the cops".
Excellent solution. Call in the authority to protect the people the authority already failed to protect. I see it so clearly now.
I originally interpreted the photo as "sanitary products are hard to come by when you illegally ride the freight train", and I don't think that's a pleasant situation whether you're 12 or 40.
But if you wan't to give it a pedo meaning, I'd go with "escaping the 'protection' of authority".
So first I wake up inexplicably early this morning, and now it looks like my girlfriend has drugged my coffee.
I'm hallucinating that DPR have posted rumours and pictures of a camera they'll almost certainly have under NDA, if not today then a few days before it's release next week.
Are NDA's retroactive? Can you still sign them if you've done the D'd?
Can't wait for the drug to wear off and see what story I really posted this against.
Najinsky: Sigma are the real maverick.
They make some stunning glass, especially under this new Art series banner. The announced 18-35/1.8 could be a transformation lens for APS-C.
But they've made some real dogs too!
I just hope the 'A' isn't just for show when it comes to the M4/3 versions and that they deliver the performance to back it up.
With both Zeiss and Sigma targeting the NEX (and Zeiss backing Fuji's X mount too) m4/3 is in danger of losing a key advantage over other mirror-less systems, it's range of lenses.
Still, things are hardly standing still in m.4/3 land, so I'm not losing sleep just yet. The OM-D and a selection of excellent glass is serving me very well.
But for the future, with Sony holding a pile of Oly shares, the excellent sensors, ridiculously compact bodies for the features, and now a growing range of compelling glass, it doesn't take a hugely warped imagination to think of a wall with some writing on it.
Maverick - "An unorthodox or indépendant-minded person".
Sigma is a family owned business and the largest independent lens maker.
But unpredictable; you never know what you are going to get. A stunning optic at half the price of a competitor or a bit of a turkey.
A compact camera with Medium Format IQ, taking an hour or two to focus.
And don't mention sample variation.
Last year they made a commitment to customers and quality. Not just with words, but with a new quality verification system and a revamp of their product line.
So far they've delivered.
So I'm hoping it's all for real and they take m43 seriously and deliver a high quality optic at a competitive price.
But currently, their m43 line up / announcements suggests they see m4/3 as the low end of the scale. Reserving their higher quality offerings for APS-C and FF bodies.
I don't see that as in m4/3's favour. NEX is already outselling m4/3 despite its lens offerings. These high quality lenses can only help NEX further.
Sigma are the real maverick.
alfredo_tomato: Will Ricoh be using the body/sensor for a line of fixed lens cameras like we see with Sigma?
I don't think so. Their stated intention is the GR will have a 2 year product cycle with new features to be added via firmware updates.
All digital GRs have been 28mm.
Najinsky: The test scenes don't look that good to me. A little soft in places and the reds are too pale, tending to pink.
However the test scenes for the GR at imaging Resource, look absolutely stunning. Tack sharp, excellent colour and a great balance between soft textures and fine detail.
It's confusing to see two vastly different results. If I hadn't seen the IR test scenes I'd be having a few doubts about the IQ now.
If the intention was to use out of camera JPEGs, then for some purposes (where the chroma noise didn't matter) then the Nikon might be better. But personally, I prefer the approach taken by Ricoh to minimise the chroma noise.
However, I won't be judging these cameras on out of camera JPEGs at ISO6400. That's of very little interest to me. I shoot raw with my own NR workflow, and try to keep as close to true base ISO as possible. Hi ISO is for emergency use only.
Differences I see:
The Ricoh image is 14MP, the Nikon 16MP. Odd. They are both reported as 16MP Cameras.
The Ricoh at 1/640 vs 1/800 means the Ricoh received MORE light and should therefore have LESS noise.
In respect of the results. I would find the Ricoh more usable. The Nikon appears to have better saturation but it also has more false colour in its noise (more chroma noise). The Ricoh while having less saturation, has no remaining chroma noise, only luminance, which is more akin to grain. The absence of chroma noise means the saturation can easily be boosted without boosting noise.
The easiest place to see this is the purple napkin. Superficially, the Nikon looks better as it has retained more saturation. But on closer inspection, you can see it's now a patchwork of false colour with various shades of blues and reds making an appearance. The Ricoh retains an even colour and even when the saturation has been boosted, it retains a much more even colour and texture.
The test scenes don't look that good to me. A little soft in places and the reds are too pale, tending to pink.