street photography : M9 vs GXR

Started Sep 21, 2011 | Discussions
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magneto shot Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
street photography : M9 vs GXR

http://marcuslowphoto.blogspot.com/2011/09/m9-vs-gxr-which-is-better-for-street.html

Just my personal review, since i have both system.
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still searching for the decisive moment!

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Harold66
Harold66 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,911
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Hello Marcus

with all due respect , you are missing MOST of the important points that are important to a photographer when shooting street photography with a Leica M

I don t know how long you have had the M9 but you clearly are missing major reasons to prefer a M over any other non rangefinder camera

Harold
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magneto shot OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Harold66 wrote:

Hello Marcus

with all due respect , you are missing MOST of the important points that are important to a photographer when shooting street photography with a Leica M

I don t know how long you have had the M9 but you clearly are missing major reasons to prefer a M over any other non rangefinder camera

Harold
--
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while there are definitely other points, but the main point of stressing that M9 is discreet and small and therefore perfect for street photography is only true when compared to canikon dslrs. GXR is one example of APS-C that trumps M9 in this area.

I did not buy M9 to cloud my head with emotion over facts. I love the M9 for what it is capable of doing , much better IQ than GXR and an acceptable package for FF, i am just highlighting the over-sold points on M9 as being more discreet and light is no longer significant if you take systems like GXR into consideration.

M lens of course is a totally different equation and points that i am not talking about.

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Artichoke
Artichoke Forum Pro • Posts: 12,183
read your comparison & enjoyed it

but I think Harold got this right
the two cameras are different tools & require entirely different approaches

I would learn your new camera better before making judgments about its capability

being able to use autofocus may not be such a large advantage once you fully learn the ways of the rangefinder
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magneto shot OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
Re: read your comparison & enjoyed it

Artichoke wrote:

but I think Harold got this right
the two cameras are different tools & require entirely different approaches

I would learn your new camera better before making judgments about its capability

being able to use autofocus may not be such a large advantage once you fully learn the ways of the rangefinder
--
--
pbase & dpreview supporter
DPR forum member since 5/2001
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"Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obtrusive" -- attributed to HCB

Perhaps you are not reading the article nor post as its intended to?
Btw, snap focus has nothing to do with autofocus.

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still searching for the decisive moment!

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anthony mazzeri Senior Member • Posts: 2,009
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,241
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

magneto shot wrote:

http://marcuslowphoto.blogspot.com/2011/09/m9-vs-gxr-which-is-better-for-street.html

Just my personal review, since i have both system.

You have an interesting take on this. The quality produced by the GXR+A12 28 is certainly very good and the M9 is certainly a lot bulkier. Whether that's the bottom line or not ... well, that's up to you to decide for your shooting.

My own perceptions differ a little, though ... the most significant difference between using an M and the GXR+A12 28 has to do with responsiveness and the ability to catch a momentary expression, not how unobtrusive the camera itself is. Unobtrusiveness with a smaller, quieter camera does help, but responsiveness is key to making the shot.

I've found the GXR+A12 28mm to be very good at street work provided you disable AF and work with SNAP or manual focus. (I combine this by setting Full-Press Snap to my desired zone and Spot AF to the center point ... when I have to move fast, I don't wait for the camera to focus. I also toggle it to manual focus often so I can set the focus zone dynamically with Spot AF and then hold that setting for a series of shots.) Its write speed lockout time is comparable to how fast I can wind on the next frame with my film M, but the M's shutter responsiveness remains a bit more immediate and natural to me. The digital Ms are a good bit bulkier than the film M but retain the same shutter responsiveness.

What I'm investigating now is how well the GXR+A12-M camera unit does. Manual focus lenses are more precise to set a focus zone with, the manual focusing aids provided in this combination make it very fast to focus actively if you set up the right options. Just how well the Skopar 21 and Ultron 28, my usual FoV choices for street work with APS-C format, do remains to be seen.

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Plakanina Contributing Member • Posts: 798
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

"Those who shoot using zoom lens is not street photography, its voyeurism." well said.
could not agree more.

I am a Pentax K5 user but am thinking, as an addition, the GXR. How is viewing in bright light? do you have a link to your photos?

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Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,241
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

I use SLRs also. The GXR's LCD is pretty good (good enough for framing for me, anyway) in fairly strong light but of course there's always a limit. You can also fit an optical viewfinder (my choice for quick shooting with A12 28 and 50mm lenses) or the EVF (great when working with subject matter where you need more precise framing and focusing control).

Since buying the GXR in late April, my SLRs have gotten less and less use.
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Plakanina Contributing Member • Posts: 798
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Thanks. That's good to know.

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Luis Sousa New Member • Posts: 6
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Thanks

Was a great Help

I am Waiting for GXR + M Module without viewfinder

If I will ned I will order thhe viewfinder

Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 29,703
Re: read your comparison & enjoyed it

magneto shot wrote:

Artichoke wrote:

but I think Harold got this right
the two cameras are different tools & require entirely different approaches

I would learn your new camera better before making judgments about its capability

being able to use autofocus may not be such a large advantage once you fully learn the ways of the rangefinder
--
--
pbase & dpreview supporter
DPR forum member since 5/2001
http://www.pbase.com/artichoke

"Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obtrusive" -- attributed to HCB

Perhaps you are not reading the article nor post as its intended to?
Btw, snap focus has nothing to do with autofocus.

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still searching for the decisive moment!

I agreed with your article Marcus, I saw it more as ""the GXR makes a good street camera and it works for me better than the M9 for these reasons". I did not see it as a negative finding on the M9 and wonder why it was necessary for others to be so defensive of that camera.

The earlier Leica RF cameras used for street photography have more of a "type" heir in the GXR by cost/effectiveness that the stratopherically priced, extremely good, but perhaps indulgent, M9 taking photographs of "real life".

Imagine Gary Winogrand with an M9? ... Now C-B, well maybe ...

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Tom Caldwell

Harold66
Harold66 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,911
well my point was

Tom Caldwell wrote:

m

The earlier Leica RF cameras used for street photography have more of a "type" heir in the GXR by cost/effectiveness that the stratopherically priced, extremely good, but perhaps indulgent, M9 taking photographs of "real life".

Imagine Gary Winogrand with an M9? ... Now C-B, well maybe ...

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Hello Tom
I am not quite sure if I understand your post.

what is obvious to me , and to everyone that has ever used a M for street photography is that the GXR is a completely different animal

My initial point is that the "article " posted is not very well documented in the sense that it misses several of the key reasons why the M is the ultimate tool for street photography

One can be politically correct that every article is interesting but I beg to differ

Now on your comment , It might be that it is more competent digital cameras than most of its competitors, the fact remains that the closest digital camera to a M film is a M9.
I do not think that one can sensibly denies that point

Harold
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magneto shot OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

@ godfrey

ah, ur the master of GXR, u should know

@ tom

I am just saying that the GXR works better on those 2 points. Those are the points i see being trumpet around on M9 when owners switched from dslr. So instead of parroting the same thing when i own it, i decide its only fair i write what is true, for me at least.

@ harold

chill. the m9 is a great tool. I am sure i have a lot more to learn about street photography with the m9, although by now i could shoot from the hip quite accurately even indoors. Again, its just 2 points that GXR scores better there. M9 isn't the greatest just bec its expensive, we all agree on that, right?

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anthony mazzeri Senior Member • Posts: 2,009
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

Nope, the A12-M which has an electronic shutter mode as well as a physical one (1/8000 max speed vs 1/4000 as well).

magneto shot OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

anthony mazzeri wrote:

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

Nope, the A12-M which has an electronic shutter mode as well as a physical one (1/8000 max speed vs 1/4000 as well).

I think u misunderstand the whole posting. M9 is not M module. When i said the shutter is louder than GXR, i am referring to M9.

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anthony mazzeri Senior Member • Posts: 2,009
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

Nope, the A12-M which has an electronic shutter mode as well as a physical one (1/8000 max speed vs 1/4000 as well).

I think u misunderstand the whole posting. M9 is not M module. When i said the shutter is louder than GXR, i am referring to M9.

Nope again. You refer to the GXR physical leaf shutter in your blog post:

The leaf shutter on the GXR is so quiet that snapping it like a distance of 1 meter away in a normal environment and even a bookstore is easy.

So I was merely asking if you tried the electronic shutter option for total silent operation.

Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 29,703
Re: well my point was

Harold66 wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

m

The earlier Leica RF cameras used for street photography have more of a "type" heir in the GXR by cost/effectiveness that the stratopherically priced, extremely good, but perhaps indulgent, M9 taking photographs of "real life".

Imagine Gary Winogrand with an M9? ... Now C-B, well maybe ...

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Tom Caldwell

Hello Tom
I am not quite sure if I understand your post.

what is obvious to me , and to everyone that has ever used a M for street photography is that the GXR is a completely different animal

Apparently Marcus has tried - Not this boyo - he does not have any Leica bodies.

On the other hand as the GXR was in fact a different animal Marcus found it more suited to his own personal purpose and stated why.

My initial point is that the "article " posted is not very well documented in the sense that it misses several of the key reasons why the M is the ultimate tool for street photography

Listing some of the key reasons would be helpful to the debate - I am not in a position to define them.

One can be politically correct that every article is interesting but I beg to differ

One also can be politically correct to immediately jump to the defence of the M9 when it seemed never under attack.

Now on your comment , It might be that it is more competent digital cameras than most of its competitors, the fact remains that the closest digital camera to a M film is a M9.
I do not think that one can sensibly denies that point

Harold
--
http://www.harold-glit.com
http://www.modelmayhem.com/haroldglit

Yes - you are right the M film became the M9 eventually and Leica went to a great deal of trouble to make sure that the essence of the earlier RF cameras - not sure what they called them then. I mentioned Gary Winogrand and there were many others including the elegant Cartier-Bresson and the Russian Rodchenko (who used a German Leica instead of a Russian clone).

I know that a Leica RF camera was always on the expensive side of other equipment but not that much that relatively poor working journalists could not afford to make it their everyday camera of choice. Gary Winogrand's output was phenomenal and an attestation to the longevity and reliability of his camera.

But it might be possible to say that perhaps today's Leica M9 is not used as an everyday camera by working journalists although some might chose to do so.

I don't think the article cast any doubts on the quality of the M9 as a camera - Marcus has both the M9 and a GXR - he stated why he chose to use the GXR in preference. Seemed logical to me. If others choose to use a M9 as the "ultimate" street camera then so be it, perhaps it is.

Seems that he cannot make a statement without "proof" - so how do you prove personal preference?

I presume that he is now regretting mentioning that anything can be more useful (not better) under any circumstance than a M9. Me also.

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Tom Caldwell

Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 29,703
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

Marcus - I think they thought you were using the M mount module which has a silent electronic shutter mode to back up it's focal plane shutter. Obvious you were not referring to the m mount module when you talked about snap focus because manual lenses have to be pre-focussed and there is no "snap focus" available with the M mount module.

Therefore the GXR-M with a suitable manual focus lens pre-focussed has to be an even better street photography tool

@ godfrey

ah, ur the master of GXR, u should know

@ tom

I am just saying that the GXR works better on those 2 points. Those are the points i see being trumpet around on M9 when owners switched from dslr. So instead of parroting the same thing when i own it, i decide its only fair i write what is true, for me at least.

@ harold

chill. the m9 is a great tool. I am sure i have a lot more to learn about street photography with the m9, although by now i could shoot from the hip quite accurately even indoors. Again, its just 2 points that GXR scores better there. M9 isn't the greatest just bec its expensive, we all agree on that, right?

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still searching for the decisive moment!

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Tom Caldwell

anthony mazzeri Senior Member • Posts: 2,009
Re: street photography : M9 vs GXR

Tom Caldwell wrote:

magneto shot wrote:

anthony mazzeri wrote:

Marcus, have you tried the electronic shutter yet? Others here are reporting they don't even know if they've taken a picture, let alone the subject being aware!

Maybe u are referring to X1? M9 does have some mode that takes the picture way before u full press, but sooner or later the shutter needs to cock. M9 provides a way to delay this, which is excellent.

Marcus - I think they thought you were using the M mount module which has a silent electronic shutter mode to back up it's focal plane shutter. Obvious you were not referring to the m mount module when you talked about snap focus because manual lenses have to be pre-focussed and there is no "snap focus" available with the M mount module.

Therefore the GXR-M with a suitable manual focus lens pre-focussed has to be an even better street photography tool

D'oh! Smacks myself on the forehead. My apologies Marcus, I was assuming this was a comparison with the A12-M as Tom correctly points out, and skimmed over the specs at the beginning too fast saying it was the A12-28. So sorry about my confusion. I should read more carefully.

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