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Leica M9 comparison shots added to dpreview database

By dpreview staff on Oct 11, 2011 at 22:12 GMT

We've just added Leica M9 studio shots to our comparison tool. As part of our forthcoming review of the Sigma SD1, we'll be comparing it to a range of large-sensor, high-resolution cameras, which meant including the Leica M9. The shots, actually taken with an M9-P, should not be seen as a signal of a full review of the camera but do help put its image quality in context against its peers.

Click here to see the Leica M9 compared to its full-frame peers

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Comments

Total comments: 149
12
apromedve
By apromedve (Oct 19, 2011)

Wow, you guys opened that bottle of Martini!

0 upvotes
Irakly Shanidze
By Irakly Shanidze (Oct 19, 2011)

I wonder why 2.5/75 Summarit was chosen for the test? Obviously, it is a professional-grade optics, but to prevent comparing pineapples to grapefruits it would make sense to use lenses that occupy comparable slots in system line-ups for all manufacturers.

Also, using portrait lenses for a test like that is somewhat questionable. If seeing how etching lines are resolved was the goal, why didn't you use macro lenses? Portrait lenses are for faces, not for shooting a newspaper page from ten feet away.

I could understand if someone on one of the forums posted a quick comparison test, but you guys have been doing this for too long to allow this sort of blunders. Honestly :)

0 upvotes
digby dart
By digby dart (Oct 16, 2011)

I am always fascinated by how small the Leica lenses are, for that matter how small their full frame camera is too. For all the hype the kit looks rather innocuous, take away the red dot and not many people would notice you, not like the attention a d3 brings. I saw a fellow the other day with an m6 decked out with a 35mm, just looked like a fancy instamatic, no one except me seemed to take much notice as he snapped away.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
love_them_all
By love_them_all (Oct 15, 2011)

Tells you without LV the M9 focusing is not consistence enough to compare at critical situations.

Canon, take notes. Bring out your best FF mirrorless please!

0 upvotes
f_stops
By f_stops (Oct 15, 2011)

Focus is inconsistent.

Look at the Queen of Hearts - Sharp with the Leica, fuzzy with the 5dII. Now move to the left - the tapestry is sharp with the 5dII, OOF with the Leica.

I have both these cameras (5dII and Leica M9). The M9 (at the same print size) compares well to the 5dII in terms of resolution. However, the M9 produces excellent results with minimal LR adjustments. The 5dII images need additional work and more sharpening to get to an M9 IQ. Pixel peeping does not really show the differences in IQ - you have to look at full size images to get the full story.

The real difference is in use, portablility and lens selection. The M9 is a 'faster' camera, with a better and simpler UI, but this takes practice. If objects are moving around, or object selection bounces around, the a/f gives the advantage to the 5dII.

The M9 and 4 lenses are ridiculously easy to carry. The 5dII and 4 lenses can be simply ridiculous to lug around.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
No Sideshow
By No Sideshow (Oct 14, 2011)

Its getting very difficult now to do these sorts of camparisons. And all that happens is that peoples prejudices come out.
The big debate now is at what point does FF sensor photosite density start to degrade high ISO capture. Its seems that its at the 25mp point on current technology.
Leica and Nikon would have you believe that its the quality of the individual sites that matters, especially at high ISOs. Thats why the M9 is 18mp and the D3s is 12.9. Recent discussions about the D3x and its brilliant low ISO performance will keep it in the studio.
Another respected commentator attributes the matching of the resolving power of M lenses being exploited by a weak anti aliasing filter on the M9, and Michael Reichmans assistant who removed the AA filter on his D3x and was astounded.
So where does that leave us? It all boils down to what use you plan to put your camera to. In the film days the variable was always just the lenses. Not any more.

0 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (Oct 14, 2011)

Totally pointless and useless comparison. leica lenses are mostly made to be used and excel wide open and certainly not at it's optimum at f16 (at least thats what the EXIF data says)

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Oct 13, 2011)

no point comparing to sd1, there is no match. nothing beats sd1 in pixel peeping whether its m9, nikon, canon whatever.

Here is a full size 100% example. (copy and paste to ur browser)
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6216/6229212384_8f4b54d9b8_o.jpg

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Oct 13, 2011)

Yeah, and sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I wouldn't know because I wouldn't buy the expensive m-f'er!

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Oct 19, 2011)

ROTFLMAO!

0 upvotes
JohnTanner
By JohnTanner (Oct 12, 2011)

I have to confess that I don't understand some of the "M9 not sharp" comments - how about looking at the Queen's head? To my eyes, the M9 is clearly sharper at all ISOs, although up at the top of the range it's arguably noisier as well.

0 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 13, 2011)

The cameras tested in these studio shots are NOT being focused on the same point in the scene.
This makes the whole comparison of captured detail pretty cumbersome.

This systematic problem concerns all other cameras too, not only the 4 linked above.

6 upvotes
JohnTanner
By JohnTanner (Oct 13, 2011)

I guess that what it also shows is that with a lens of this focal length, the depth of field is pretty small even at f11.
Have DPR ever published the actual geometry of their studio setup? Ie camera distance from front and rear of the subjects?

1 upvote
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 13, 2011)

As much as I know they only provide a general distance to the setup.
Anyway, as long as the focal plane isn't centered on exactly the same point of the scene with every camera tested, the whole idea of comparing detail is moot.
The problem of different DoF with cameras of different sensor sizes could get solved relatively good by adjusting the F-number. So let's say f/5.6 for mFT, f/7.1 for APS-C, f/11 for FF and so on. It's not absolutely perfect this way and leaves out compacts but I think at least it would be a lot better than it is now. That should about meet the sweet spot for the respective sensors too anyway.

But as it is now, it's only good for compairing noise, unfortunately not detail too. And that's too bad.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Shelly Glaser
By Shelly Glaser (Oct 12, 2011)

Is it my eyesight, or you haven't added the D3X photos to the data base yet>

0 upvotes
Mauro.B
By Mauro.B (Oct 12, 2011)

The M9-P rangefinder is probably off. Or the M9-P was misfocused. If the Summarit was not dropped or misused, I assume that is ok (Summarits are perfectly coupled to M9 / M9-P sensor-to-flange distance).

If the rangefinder is off, perfect focus cannot be achieved at any distance.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Oct 12, 2011)

Gotta love the Nikon D3s and feel bad for all them Leica posers.

1 upvote
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Oct 13, 2011)

I've got both and actually prefer using the M9. (The D3 blows it out of the water at high ISOs, though.) I never realised that simply preferring the experience of using a rangefinder over that of a SLR made me a poser - thanks for enlightening me.

I'll be sure to get all my photographic enjoyment solely from high ISO noise and pixel peepeing in the future, rather than going out with the M9 and enjoying the whole process of actually taking pictures. I hope you'll find that acceptable.

7 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Oct 19, 2011)

Everything you're saying makes perfect sense, as a choice, accept the price.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Oct 12, 2011)

SO.... there is no disadvantage to the AA filter after all.

5 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 12, 2011)

dpreview, your studio comparison shots are in general a very welcome addition.

But why don't you uniformly focus on a specific spot with all cameras alike? The focal plane is always somewhere else, which makes comparisons of the captured detail quite difficult. This is not related to different sensor sizes as the problem also arises in the same sensor size category.
E.g. the queen card on some cameras is in focus, on others completely off.

First recognized this when I couldn't believe that the Pentax K-5 shots were so soft. But at closer inspection it's just focused way on the back of the scene, about on the queen card so the whole rest of the scene is out of focus. The same is true for a whole lot of other cameras too.

7 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Oct 13, 2011)

Completely agree. Dpreview should do something about it. m43 cameras typically misfocus the queen of hearts which is one of the common bits to compare. Either that or they just use a too wide aperture. I already know that and I usually avoid using it for accessing sharpness but most people don't know that.

1 upvote
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Oct 12, 2011)

Can anyone explain to me why the M9 body is so fat? Why does it look like it could still house 35mm film.. At 590g, this thing is neither compact or light-weight..

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Rangefinder mechanism takes a lot of space.

0 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Oct 13, 2011)

There are many issues with the M9, but as it is the smallest full frame digital camera ever, I think size is probably not its main weakness! What equivalent cameras are you comparing it to?

(By the way, the size is nothing to do with the rangefinder mechanism - the MP is thinner. I agree it's too thick by the way, but I'm sure Leica will make it thinner when technology allows.)

1 upvote
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Oct 13, 2011)

"Rangefinder mechanism takes a lot of space."

No it doesn't

0 upvotes
Tanngrisnir3
By Tanngrisnir3 (Oct 12, 2011)

Well, one thing's for sure. This sure brings out the True Believers in the religion of Leica, and all the usual nonsensical articles of faith.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Oct 12, 2011)

Of course the IQ difference is dubious, that is not the question. The whole point of the Leica is the shooting experience and discretion. I don't have an M9 but I would if I could. My manual-transmission BMW gets me to the same place as an automatic WRX, only slower, but I enjoy driving the BMW more.

3 upvotes
Tanngrisnir3
By Tanngrisnir3 (Oct 12, 2011)

I understand where you're going with that, but to me IQ is everything. The only 'experience' important to me is how the shot actually looks after I take it and PP it (or don't).

A camera to me is a tool. Can it do what I need it to do, correctly, and at what cost?

Leica loses every single time by that measure.

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Then maybe take a look on good Leica photos and not on some studio comparison. Cause this is pretty far from reality..

0 upvotes
Tanngrisnir3
By Tanngrisnir3 (Oct 12, 2011)

Yeah. I have done that. That's why I'll never be a big enough sucker to by anything by Leica and pretend there's some magical, pixie-dust quality that it can achieve that others can't.

2 upvotes
WayneRT
By WayneRT (Oct 12, 2011)

@JackM
There's not such a thing as an automatic WRX, and if there was, who would buy an automatic WRX?

1 upvote
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Oct 13, 2011)

@WayneRT

There have been multiple versions of the WRX automatic. Clearly enough people bought the original 4 speed auto for them to keep the auto option in the current model.

(FYI - Put-downs generally work better when they're not completely untrue. 5 seconds on Google can help with this.)

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Oct 13, 2011)

Tanngrisnir, it is a feeling of control and being fluent with and connected to your camera. It also depends on what you shoot. If you're shooting people candidly, the discretion of a Leica or a small camera is invaluable. People confuse DSLRs with weapons.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Oct 12, 2011)

DPR mneeds to include D3x. D3s is not same market. And D3x, in the original samples, had the best overall IQ of any camera DPR had tested, including 1Ds3 and 5DII

3 upvotes
digby dart
By digby dart (Oct 12, 2011)

Excellent comparison dpreview, especially against the d3s, quantity verses quality at its finest. That infamous Leica look lasts to iso 400 in these samples at a pixel level, thereafter one cannot swim in the Kodak models eyes. From iso 800 the Nikon low light performance strides ahead, all be it with a continuing sterile brisk walk.

Leica continues to be beautiful gear, mockingly simple and effective - my Mercedes may not be as fast as a Subaru WRX, though its still wonderfully timeless to drive her and feel the rich ambiance along the way. I had similar feeling viewing this compassion between the Nikon and the Leica offerings.

1 upvote
ksgant
By ksgant (Oct 12, 2011)

Thanks for posting this. I had the M9 loaded in the shopping cart at B&H and was a split second away from hitting "buy" when I saw this post. You just saved me $7K and countless thousands for lenses.

Seriously though, for $7K I was at least expecting parity with image quality. I understand the "feel" of the camera and how well it's put together and the look of it and all, and if you're a long time Leica shooter, this may make sense to you. But I'd be interested in seeing how many new adopters that Leica gets now a days in relation to people just staying with the system because they have so much invested in lenses.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Great, another M9 nub user less.

1 upvote
digby dart
By digby dart (Oct 12, 2011)

lol... Arrogance at its finest.

1 upvote
ksgant
By ksgant (Oct 12, 2011)

I was being sarcastic about buying the M9...thought my snarky comment was pretty obvious.

I don't own any Leica gear. I've admired it when I was shooting film, but even then I couldn't afford it. And as for Leica lenses being so great, I can't argue that...but only if there were some sort of adaptors to use them on lesser expensive camera's that have better sensors....hmmm...someone should do that.

Yeah, was being sarcastic there too.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Someone will, Ricoh probably. They did APS-C now and its decent. When and if they make FF, it will be really interesting..

0 upvotes
jcbenten
By jcbenten (Oct 13, 2011)

Adapters are available to use Leica lenses on the Nex system.

0 upvotes
ksgant
By ksgant (Oct 14, 2011)

I'm so sorry, i keep assuming sarcasm translates over to posts but it's clear that it doesn't.

I was trying to be cute by saying "if only there were some sort of adaptors". Of course there are, with the Leica M mount probably having the largest amount of adaptors on various cameras new and old. You can get them for Canon, Nikon, Sony NEX, etc etc. The problem with all those digital cameras is they all contain AA filters and the resolving power of the Leica's get kind of lost a bit. But this may just be subjective.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

If DPreview wants to be fair with M9, then they should re-shoot with 35 or 50mm lens. Cheap options are Zeiss/Voigtlaender, both have some plenty sharp lens.

If there are some problems with accuracy of focusing, Leica is able to match lens+ body focusing accuracy for desired F-stop.

2 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Oct 12, 2011)

Are you saying that Leica's $1600 75mm f2.5 lens used at f11 can't image detail as well as other lenses? Why would a 35 or 50mm lens be sharper than a 75mm lens? The image looks to be accurately focused.

Did you not read that DPReveiw tests full frame sensors using 75-85mm lenses in order to have similar reproduction ratios as APS cameras using 50mm glass?

Besides this test represents controlled shooting. In the real world usage one is not always focusing perfectly and camera and subject movement also come into play?

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

I have quite a lot of M9 photos and on pixel level they really dont look like this, so something is wrong. I dont argue about high ISO, DR or anything else, but in real life photos are sharp enough that you dont need to sharpen them up (cause no AA).

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1049533/0

This is what Leica means and can do (in right hands). I would recommand visiting that guy personal web, its very enlightening about "why would anyone buy Leica".

There are few ways to get similar look, but its not cheap or easy..

2 upvotes
Tanngrisnir3
By Tanngrisnir3 (Oct 12, 2011)

I see nothing in particular in those shots (while they're nice) that I couldn't get with a 5D or higher end Nikon

3 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 12, 2011)

Some very nice captures indeed.

But e.g. Carl Rytterfalk can do comparable shots with a 150 bucks DP1/2. So again, it's 95% the photographer and not the tool... ;)

Anyway, a M9 or whatever Leica is sure nice to have.

1 upvote
ksgant
By ksgant (Oct 12, 2011)

Nothing there you couldn't get on another camera. The cost just isn't justified in the final image. No matter how you spin it, the final image is what cuts through everything.

Now, if using the Leica "inspires" the photographer to do better in his mind, that's something that can't be measured. But this camera falls short in just it's basic imaging compared to other full frame cameras. Sorry if that's a bitter pill to swallow, but there it is.

3 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

While DP1/2 are from that few cameras that Sigma did right, you certainly cant print same size as from 18 mpix FF.

And otherwise, if nobody is able to see difference, then I guess that how ppl see photos is really very individual.

0 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (Oct 12, 2011)

I answered to your links of web sized M9 pictures showing "what Leica means and can do".
Those links are nice, but they show nothing that can't also be done with, let's say a DP1/2 and shown in web sized samples of similar resolution.

Of course no question that the M9 files can be printed a lot bigger and still remain decent.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
1 upvote
come shine come rain
By come shine come rain (Oct 12, 2011)

A Leica M9 is for romantics. You struggle with an M9, but kind of love the struggle.

It's rather a piece of jewelry some need, others like.

OK, there's the glass, unbeaten, but then again, some take better shots with an iPhone.

1 upvote
Killerfact
By Killerfact (Oct 15, 2011)

i dont struggle with the M9 and its not a piece jewelry...cheer up.

0 upvotes
Killerfact
By Killerfact (Oct 12, 2011)

In my opinion some folks are missing the M9 point. The way the camera handles is superb, the process of actually taking a photograph is a much better experience that shows in the pictures.
The M9 doesnt feel like a computer.. and that for me has reawakened my love of photography. Oh and the quality of the pictures from most of the lenses is almost mystical.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
kanzlr
By kanzlr (Oct 12, 2011)

I actually owned the M8 for quite a while and altought I loved rangefinder focusing, everything else in terms of ergonomics is horrible. The boxy body, the menus, the controls, aweful. A rangefinder camera with an ergonomic grip and modern menu system would be something...

0 upvotes
Kwick1
By Kwick1 (Oct 12, 2011)

If you already have the preview as well as the studio shots, why on earth can't you take the time to finish the full review?

4 upvotes
chiumeister
By chiumeister (Oct 12, 2011)

These results are with 4 different lenses in addition to the bodies.
To be fair to the Leica, it uses the 75mm summarit, not exactly the sharpest in the M optics line. At $1595, it's one of the cheapest. of course, it's still considerably more than the canon 50 1.4 used, but equal in cost to the Sony Zeiss 85 1.4, which is probably the sharpest lens used in the tests.

considering all this, the results of the fujifilm x100 with the cheap built in lens is quite good even up against the full frame players.

1 upvote
AlanG
By AlanG (Oct 12, 2011)

Do you really think a more expensive Leica 75mm or 50mm lens will be significantly sharper when used at f11? Doesn't this test push the M9's sensor and image processing up to or very close to its limits? In real world shooting you will have to be pretty locked down to achieve this.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
keithinmelbourne
By keithinmelbourne (Oct 12, 2011)

Interesting. Placed against current developments in camera processors, sensor technology and lens design, I suspect that the Leica has become nothing more than a technological curio. There is nothing that a Leica can do as well as FF cameras half its price.

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Except having no AA, CCD based sensor with its pros/cons and being rangefinder.

And able to use Leica M lens, which unlike this black sheep they used for test, are best of FF lens (or same as Zeiss).

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Oct 12, 2011)

Apparently the AA filter stuff is overblown. Consider that the M9 also has more color aliasing on fine straight edges that degrades resolution a bit. This is like a slight color moire which can be corrected in some software such as Capture One. But it still won't give the M9 the ability to resolve more than the 5DII.

Tests by Erwin Puts show the Summarit 75 to be a fine performer that is actually crisper than the Summicron at f11.

"Summarit and Summicron 75
Wide open the Summicron at /2 has better overall definition than the Summarit at /2.5. The Summicron offers a half stop advantage above the Summarit and holds this advantage till f/4.0 and from then on the Summarit has somewhat crisper imagery. The Summicron has very even performance till the far edges and corners, whereas the Summarit drops slightly in performance at this part of the image."

See his report:
http://www.imx.nl/photo/leica/lenses/lenses/page83.html

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Tom Bird
By Tom Bird (Oct 12, 2011)

compare Fuji X100 at any iso with leica m9, canon 5d m2, nikon d3s. surprise, surprise

1 upvote
jackpro
By jackpro (Oct 12, 2011)

Na x100 is not as good as M9 let alone a 5DII

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Its APS-C, its fixed focal length and lens on that are just "decent". It cant match certain Canon L lens, or Nikkor G, not even thinking about Leica or Zeiss M.

X100 is a toy, it usefull for some things, but mostly its just a toy..

0 upvotes
Mr Lumière
By Mr Lumière (Oct 12, 2011)

I see people who paid a premium being hurt in the butt by the x100 performance for the price... a toy sure...

I don't own one but I would have to be blind not to appreciate the very high IQ of the x100.

Now that they announced their system, I couldn't be happier, it sure will challenge even the best FF currently in production if not run over them. Look at the result they get from an aps-c, now imagine a larger sensor... ouch.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Yea with ton of quirks that Fuji always has...

Tho Im very curious about what they will do next, from what they said it will be 1.3x crop and regular lens mount, plus some pretty speical sensor. That will be interesting for me. And hopefully they will make camera operation bit less confusing. :D

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Robert Hoffman
By Robert Hoffman (Oct 12, 2011)

Compare the manual focus capabilities of the X100 to the above cameras and get back to me.

0 upvotes
sillette
By sillette (Oct 12, 2011)

The Sony 5N shows the leica a clean pair of heels, albeit with an adaptor Sony lens. Big price difference.

0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (Oct 12, 2011)

5DII kicks butt in the price to performance race & if you remove the AA filter definitely woop-ass

0 upvotes
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (Oct 12, 2011)

An utter disappointment.

0 upvotes
jimread
By jimread (Oct 12, 2011)

Just goes to prove that the whole IQ thing is just a joke. Try comparing some of the small sensor cameras, the difference is 1/2 a Gnats knacker. Especially as 99.999% of pics are used on the web at 800 x 600 and 72 dpi.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Oct 12, 2011)

Even at 800x600 small sensor compacts are very obvious at ISO1600, m4/3 sized and above not so much.

I've put 3 cameras with different sensor sizes side by side (compact, m4/3, M9), who'd like to guess which is which? http://i.imgur.com/41xUL.jpg

0 upvotes
grafli
By grafli (Oct 12, 2011)

compact
leica
m4/3

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Oct 12, 2011)

1st is of course a compact
2 leica
3 4/3

0 upvotes
jimread
By jimread (Oct 12, 2011)

And the difference obviously is 1/2 a Gnats knacker!! :-) Are they bonkers, do they mean us, well yes they do and have done since the first photographic one-upmanship magazine was published.

0 upvotes
bjawasa
By bjawasa (Oct 12, 2011)

It would be nice to have Nikon D700 in the list

0 upvotes
Mato34
By Mato34 (Oct 12, 2011)

At least there is the D3 with same IQ.

0 upvotes
Bill Spencer
By Bill Spencer (Oct 12, 2011)

Very nice tool. Thank you guys for doing this. A valuable service!

0 upvotes
Austin101
By Austin101 (Oct 12, 2011)

hum... is money tight at the DPR office? whats with using the cheapest Leica lens you could find and whats the reason for shooting it at f11.

why not something middle of the road like a 50mm Summicron or an ASPH lens

4 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Actually you dont need to spend that much money on lens. No problem with using Cosina made lens (Zeiss/Voigtlaender). Sure it lacks Leica rendering, but Zeiss has its own and Voigtlaender to certain degree too. And they are sharp, really sharp..

0 upvotes
PB123456
By PB123456 (Oct 12, 2011)

very bad work. Look at Queens card. It is in focus others not. Look at Mickey - out of focus others OK. Very unprofessional or .....

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jono Slack
By Jono Slack (Oct 12, 2011)

HI There
I must say, it seems to me that varying focus points make comparisons pretty difficult - as you say, this is focused much further back than some of the other cameras.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Oct 12, 2011)

Thanks for these. The low ISO looks really good, however no better than Nikon D3S. ISO 1600 is surprisingly close to 5D MKII.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 12, 2011)

For about the same money, you can get a D3x, the SD1, an M9 or a 645D.

If I was ever going to pay that kind of money for a camera, it would be either the 645D or M9.

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Oct 12, 2011)

For about the same money you'll pay for a Ferrari, you can get 20 Yaris, and go at the same speed both in the city and on the highways. Yet, I'll drive a Ferrari if I could...

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Oct 12, 2011)

Because you're insecure and want to be seen in it?

4 upvotes
Tom Bird
By Tom Bird (Oct 12, 2011)

and you have an internet account instead of writing on paper because your are insecure and want to tell every one?

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 12, 2011)

Appearances matter, like it or not. The guy driving the Ferrari gets a second glance, if for nothing else. No one remembers seeing the Yaris. Brands, labels, and logos are hardly less potent than music, incantations, idols, drumbeats, or libido. All are magic to incite the passions. But you pay to play, and no one who pays will easily admit that a Yaris or Corolla make more sense.

0 upvotes
bentheoandrews
By bentheoandrews (Oct 12, 2011)

Yet someone driving, say a Fiat 500 or a MINI also gets a second glance - even a Citroen DS3 does. Three good looking and handling cars. Something doesn't have to be the most expensive just to be both capable and desirable.....
Enough of the car analogies.

0 upvotes
Jason Butler
By Jason Butler (Oct 12, 2011)

"The shots, actually taken with an M9-P, should not be seen as a signal of a full review of the camera..."

Why not? You obviously have one in the studio. Many of us would love to see a full DPReview of the M9...

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 12, 2011)

And of course they know that. So perhaps "contractual obligations" are to blame?

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Oct 12, 2011)

What on earth does that mean? Contracts with who that say what?

This is supposed to be an independent review site.

2 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Oct 12, 2011)

If I had a dollar for every time someone suggested we're on the dole of company X to criticize or not review a product from company Y, I could retire and live very well on an island in the Mediterranean.
The answers are just not as nefarious or intriguing as you suggest. In this case, we had, I repeat, had the M9 for about a week.

2 upvotes
amangupta
By amangupta (Oct 12, 2011)

The sensor quality looks comparable to Nikon D7000 or Sony NEX 5N.

1 upvote
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Oct 12, 2011)

---"so why then did you use a 50mm on the 5DMKII"---
Ahhh, excellent question. One we are investigating.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 12, 2011)

The answer is that we didn't - the EXIF reveals they were shot with the 85mm F1.4 (as fits our standard practice). The data had been incorrectly entered into our comparison tool and should now be correct.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Oct 12, 2011)

Couple of points to save some of you from digging through hidden replies.
1. The EXIF data from the M9 does not report the correct aperture. As stated in the Camera Settings pop-up at the bottom right of the crop window for the M9, the scene was shot at f11.
2. With full frame sensors we typically shoot in the 75-85mm range for consistency against other sensor sizes. That is why we shot the M9 with the 75 Summarit.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Austin101
By Austin101 (Oct 12, 2011)

so why then did you use a 50mm on the 5DMKII

5 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Cause Canon 85mm f1.2 isnt good enough? :D Seriously doubt that, its excellent lens.

Unless they used 50mm macro on 5DMK2 or 50mm f1.2 L, then they hurted Canon performace, cause rest of their 50mm is crap..

0 upvotes
brittonx
By brittonx (Oct 12, 2011)

Nice to hear the M9 studio shots were added.
Whatever the result, I'm looking forward to the SD1 review and the studio shot comparison.

0 upvotes
Anadrol
By Anadrol (Oct 12, 2011)

That was about time !

I still wonder if I am drunk or it's the reality.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 12, 2011)

Since you also have Nex-7, plans to add that too? (preferably with the emount 50mm 1.8)

0 upvotes
luigibozi
By luigibozi (Oct 12, 2011)

Hi guys, I will buy a Pentax K5 for sure. I checked the upper corners (left and right, at 200 and 1600 ISO), the dark side of the box containing those threads too, and the K5 is consistently awesome. yup. THIS will be my first camera.

3 upvotes
Austin101
By Austin101 (Oct 12, 2011)

the K5 samples look like mush, is anything even close to being sharp or detailed in those sample shots

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Oct 12, 2011)

"the K5 samples look like mush, is anything even close to being sharp or detailed in those sample shots"

Yes, the K5 focus appears to be on the red queen in the background, which is sharp. Compared to the 5D MkII red queen which is out of focus. So who is going to declare that the 5D MkII sample looks like mush compared to the K5?

As pointed out in a few other posts here, the focus point isn't consistent between some of these samples which makes it difficult to accurately use this studio scene feature as intended as a direct comparison.

2 upvotes
Scott Greiff
By Scott Greiff (Oct 12, 2011)

Good to hear the SD1 review is coming.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 11, 2011)

Why has the A77 been removed from the tool?
Reshot with a later firmware?

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 12, 2011)

They should be restored - no one here is quite sure why they had disappeared.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 12, 2011)

Suspense...

0 upvotes
Jono Slack
By Jono Slack (Oct 12, 2011)

Perhaps they were taken away so that they could be reshot with the focus a bit close to the front (only the queen card was truly in focus with the old shots).

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Oct 11, 2011)

The Nikon won that IMO

0 upvotes
Threlly
By Threlly (Oct 11, 2011)

Am I seeing excessive chroma noise at high ISO ?
Say it ain't so Leica.

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 11, 2011)

CCD sensor from Kodak, thats why..

Otherwise, its usable up to ISO 1000, if you dont pixel peep. Chroma noise isnt much issue, luminace noise is..

0 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Oct 11, 2011)

I've been rolling on the floor laughing since I read that dpreview is going to compare the SD-1 to the M9. I've only paused long enough to type this.

I shall now resume laughing.

Thank you.

5 upvotes
YetiYeti
By YetiYeti (Oct 11, 2011)

Sorry for my ignorance, but what is supposed to be so funny about that comparison?

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Oct 12, 2011)

nothing funny. i own an m9 but its hard pressed to expect any camera to beat Sd1 in these comparison at 100% pixel peep

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Oct 12, 2011)

I'm still laughing, only much harder now. The nice men in the white coats will arrive any minute now to haul me away...

2 upvotes
osage_archer
By osage_archer (Oct 11, 2011)

For me the Panasonic G3 sure looks good at all ISOs against the Leica M9 which costs over $6000 more!

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 11, 2011)

Plenty of cameras are good against M9 when you think about higher ISO than base one. But only few are good against M9 at base one, tho thats mostly because lens and no AA.

1 upvote
Sosua
By Sosua (Oct 12, 2011)

This is what i've come to expect although it isn't demonstrated in this comparison - the M9 looks no sharper than the 5D2.

Quite possibly because they shot the Leica at F16?

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

F16 is over diffraction limit for M9 (cause no AA, diffraction kicks in sooner, tho its not like its "sooner" but more likely its simply visible sooner than on sensors with AA). And seriously, shooting this on F16 is plain stupid.

Plus they really should choose different lens (50mm Summicron at least, cheaper way would be Zeiss, its plenty sharp too).

M9 photos are way sharper than those samples..

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Oct 12, 2011)

Mescalamba, I agree that shooting at f16 would be a problem which is why we didn't. We shot at f11 as it states in the Camera Settings pop-up at the bottom right of the image crop. As I have already stated, the M9 does not provide accurate EXIF data from the lens. In fact, if you have a robust EXIF reader you will actually see two fields for aperture values. One says f16 the other says f8. Neither are correct.
And saying that 'M9 photos are way sharper than these samples', would hold more meaning if you had actually ever shot our studio scene. Perhaps what you really mean is that in real world use, the M9 with a 75 Summarit is plenty sharp. And I would not disagree.
As has been pointed out, we typically shoot full frame cameras with a 75-85mm focal length for consistency against other sensor sizes.

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Oct 12, 2011)

set the iso in the test above to 1600, then move the selector to the queen face in the card.
Now...look at the leica. It did well.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 11, 2011)

It would be nice to see the D3x samples to :)

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 11, 2011)

You would be hard pressed to find difference between studio shot from D3X and A900.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 11, 2011)

Well there will be a big difference at high ISO no doubts about that but I am curious about low ISO res. deference between D3x and the rest of the bunch including a900 (also new A77) and as you say I will be pressed to find the difference but still it would be nice to be able to

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 11, 2011)

Agree, why 5D Mk II but no D3X? Inquiring minds what to know.

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Oct 11, 2011)

Having shot the D3x, A900 and 5Dmkii, I strongly disagree with the notion that they are the same. The D3x files have clarity and detail beyond the other two. I chaulk it up to less noise than the other two and what looks like either an over-strong (or maybe just cheap?) AA filter or maybe some NR being performed in camera on the raw files on the A900.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

NR disabled and RAW only is mandatory with A900, otherwise it simply doesnt work as it should. D3X has around 1/3 eV advantage of A900, which really isnt much..

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 12, 2011)

In SNR but in DR D3X is about step better

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

Step that you wont be able to use unless you know how and most ppl cant. You can squeeze same DR from A900.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 12, 2011)

People who buy (not me) this camera probably do
To me good camera it's about choice, with D3x you have more room for pp so more choice

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Oct 12, 2011)

They have same room for PP. D3X and A900 have identical sensor (no, this one isnt designed by Nikon and made by Sony, but both made and designed by Sony). Only difference is CFA (Nikon has one optimized for SNR, Sony has for colors) and RAW denoising, which Nikon has better, but at expense of details. On other hand Sony A900 RAW denoising is unusable, but if you disable it, you get more per-pixel quality.

Those differences are very very small, and in real life, those cameras are pretty much identical in performance. Real difference is made by lens.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Oct 12, 2011)

...my experience has been the opposite. I've never gotten as much detail out of A900 shots at any NR setting. More than the CFA, I think the A900 uses too strong of an AA filter. Then again, I've hit moire with the D3x at times, so it's a trade off. I prefer the extra detail in the D3x files, since that's when I'm looking for when using it in the first place.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 12, 2011)

Mescalamba
DPR states that you can't turn off a900's NR for raws
also for DPR and IR (for my eyes to) D3x is clear winner for IQ
and I can't understand how can you squeeze 1 step of DR difference just by applying RAW NR

1 upvote
Total comments: 149
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