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Author Topic: DxO: The New Leica S test  (Read 13326 times)
Atina
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« on: February 28, 2014, 06:01:00 AM »
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Here is the test of the Leica S from DxO:

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Leica-S-sensor-review-Consummate-performer
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Manoli
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 06:34:45 AM »
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Click on your link, then, at the bottom, click on Conclusion > Best lenses for the Nikon D5200 !
Gremlin or hidden message ?
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Ken R
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 06:48:40 AM »
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The first comment on the bottom of the page is a bit harsh: "Great, m43 performance, just for 100 times more money (over Olympus E-PM2 with similar sensor performance).
You need to be a complete idiot to buy it over Nikon D800 or Sony A7r."

I handled the Leica S at a Leica event and looked at some files made right there in the studio. The camera handles like a dream, it oozes quality and feels superb in hand. The viewfinder is awesome (the unit I handled had a center micro prism / split screen great for manual focusing) and the shutter well damped. It is the best made medium format camera I have ever used. Same with the lenses. I looked at the files and they looked somewhat similar to 645D files from what I could see on lightroom. They looked really good at 100%. I am surprised that it tested worse than the 645D. I have seen high iso samples posted and they look as good or better than the high iso samples from a 645D. Of course if I compare at base iso the sensor in my PhaseOne IQ160 performs worlds better (resolution / DR / color) but from using the 645D for a few weeks I did not get a feel that the Kodak sensor had similar DR than the Canon 5D3, it had more. Oh well.
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torger
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 06:59:41 AM »
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Canon has noise patterns, which reduces the useful DR. MF cameras rarely have this problem, which make DR measurements a bit misleading. For two cameras without pattern noise issues the numbers are quite comparable though.

DR and noise numbers has most relevance for landscape/architecture and high ISO shooters, portrait photographers working in controlled light will always have well-exposed images and have no use from the latest and greatest in DR etc. Then it's much more about how the camera profiling is in the provided raw converter, skin tone rendering and such things, which DxOmark does not test.

So for the portrait and typical commercial photography photographer it's probably a great camera, and that is what it's designed for. I wouldn't be using this for landscape or architecture when comparing it with other existing options.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 07:03:49 AM by torger » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 07:05:11 AM »
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The camera handles like a dream, it oozes quality and feels superb in hand. The viewfinder is awesome (the unit I handled had a center micro prism / split screen great for manual focusing) and the shutter well damped. It is the best made medium format camera I have ever used. Same with the lenses.

I'd second that. It's a great camera and not just when you hold it. I haven't compared it to other MF solutions, but the printed output past a certain size - just shines. Incremental improvements have only made the camera better since launch.

portrait photographers working in controlled light will always have well-exposed images and have no use from the latest and greatest in DR etc. Then it's much more about how the camera profiling is in the provided raw converter, skin tone rendering and such things, which DxOmark does not test.

+1

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 07:25:36 AM »
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How generous of DxO not to have included a Sony a7r in this comparaison. Wink

More seriously, with the 645D II around the corner I am unclear why anyone would want to invest in a Leica S now.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
kers
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 07:48:03 AM »
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As a Nikon d800e owner i do not know more about the Leica S but what i read.
I like the dxomarks for they seem to make it possible to compare some points on a non objective basis, but i agree there are so much more qualities that makes a great sensor and a great camera. DXO does not test how subtle colour and differences are registered. And after that the software part plays an important role.
From a camera point of view i would love to have the viewfinder of the S in my d800e to be able to focus manually. But what i do not like of both is the image size being 2:3.
I would rather have 3:4 for compositions. Also it makes more use of the glasssurface and uses the better parts of the lens.
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Pieter Kers
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 08:06:36 AM »
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The first comment on the bottom of the page is a bit harsh: "Great, m43 performance, just for 100 times more money (over Olympus E-PM2 with similar sensor performance).
You need to be a complete idiot to buy it over Nikon D800 or Sony A7r."
I think that this is a good example of how the measurements of DXO (which I believe to be relevant and of value) can and will be "misused".

-h
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Manoli
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 08:16:11 AM »
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More seriously, with the 645D II around the corner I am unclear why anyone would want to invest in a Leica S now.

Bernard,
For your landscape usage, none. For studio - fashion, beauty etc - in two words:  tethering and 'feel'. Equally though , did I read in one of the threads that the H3DII-39 can now be bought for about $6,000 ?

For sure, this year should be interesting re MF. I don't think anyone is standing still and I expect Leica may well surprise us yet.

All best,
M

ps and off topic:
Don't get me started on the A7r - despite all the criticism and the vibration issue - can't put it down, although I did cave-in and ordered the 55/1.8. Perhaps in another thread ..
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craigrudlin
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 09:33:55 AM »
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I just returned from Iceland where I shot "landscape", "intimate landscapes", macro, in both full daylight and in complete
darkness (northern lights), outside and in ice caves.  The Leica S2 functioned flawlessly, but more importantly, the images
exude a three dimensionality, a tonal quality, a micro-contrast that exceeds what my fellow photographers were obtaining
with Canon and Nikons.  I was shocked at the low light capability given that my highest ISO is 640 !!  My northern lights images
were obtained with only 2 - 5 sec exposures and had little noise.  The texture, sculpturing, reflectivity of the different forms
of ice within the ice cave were captured in exquisite detail, depth and tonal quality.  Personally, comparing to the images from
my D800E, I was shocked by the DX0 findings-- the Leica S2 certainly does not function as having less DR. 

Perhaps the CCD vs. CMOS has something to do with the different look of the images, I cannot know this for sure.

What I do know, is that you buy the Leica S for the LENSES, not the body (although the body is fantastic ergonomically).  The
Leica lenses have a look that I cannot obtain with other brands. 

I do not do studio photography, only "landscape", "nature", "abstract", "urban decay" and I can assure the person who stated above that the
leica is not for landscapes, that it is indeed excellent for this use.

The Leica is heavy.  The lenses are heavy.  I was carrying between 30 and 40 pounds.  Climbing up a mountain side, I would wonder
if it was worthwhile.   Should I switch back to my Nikon, or perhaps get the Sony A7R.   Then, I would download the images,
and any doubt evaporated-- back to the gym to build more strength, because it is worth the effort.

What I will now question, is whether I could achieve the same image using Leica lenses on the Sony A7R.  This remains to be
seen and proven.  I do not tend to use wide angle lenses, so I may not have the issue with color cast and vignetting.

If you want to see some examples with the Leica, please visit my website, go to galleries, portfolios, and then choose
iceland, or carrie furnance, or old trucks, or old cars, etc.

www.rudlinfineart.com

Thanks
craig
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 12:02:52 PM »
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You are certainly an exceptional photographer.  Whether it's the Leica in the end I am not sure, but your great images certainly speak volumes and lend trust to your claim. 
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 12:09:19 PM »
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How generous of DxO not to have included a Sony a7r in this comparaison. Wink

More seriously, with the 645D II around the corner I am unclear why anyone would want to invest in a Leica S now.

Cheers,
Bernard


Well, let me clear it up then. The lenses. The lenses. The lenses. The lenses. The Lenses...
Then the simplicity and well thought out controls and menus. The increadable viewfinder. The ability to use Hasselblad and Contax lenses (yes, more great lenses). The wonderful quality, feel and ergononics of the camera (miles ahead of anything else I've ever held). And the files it puts out. Yes, that old sensor delivers wonderful files.
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Theodoros
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 03:15:25 PM »
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I have yet to see my D800E's advantage of 2 stops for DR or colour with respect to 5Dmkiii….  Huh I wonder what they smoke in DXO….  Angry As with their findings with MF sensors (that compare with some compacts in their findings), ….it looks like they have find the testing method which proves that Sun sets at the east!  Shocked
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eronald
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 03:25:42 PM »
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Leica are about making cameras that are fun to own and use and take great pictures, Phase One are about making backs that users will hook up to (something?) and write files second to none.

No one has noticed that the "open" model has its issues: Hasselblad and Leica can make a clear case for cross-subsidies between back, body and lenses while Phase cannot. Nikon and Canon system bodies were indestructible behemoths, because the profit off lenses, motors etc paid for an overengineered body. In the same way, $6000 Leica lenses can pay for better mirror damping and AF in the S.

Edmund
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Rory
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 10:16:15 AM »
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I have yet to see my D800E's advantage of 2 stops for DR or colour with respect to 5Dmkiii….  Huh I wonder what they smoke in DXO….  Angry As with their findings with MF sensors (that compare with some compacts in their findings), ….it looks like they have find the testing method which proves that Sun sets at the east!  Shocked

Interesting you should say this.  I just purchased a 5DIII and tested it against my D800E, photographing neighbourhood houses in bright sunlight.  The exposures, at base ISO, were identical for the shadows.  I was able to make a highlight adjustment to see the siding detail on a bright white house in the D800E image, but not with the 5DIII in Lightroom 5.3.  I took a range of exposures with the 5DIII, and lo and behold, it took a 2 stop under exposure before I could wrest detail in the siding.  As a result the shadows were 2 stops darker, and opening them up resulted in more noise.  I find this pretty consistent with the DxO report.  However, for the majority of my photography I do not find this to be a major impediment and I do like the 5DIII files, but the DR is definitely less than the D800.  I have noticed that the Canon evaluative metering is more conservative (tends to under-expose) vs the Nikons. 
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Ken R
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2014, 10:33:45 AM »
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Leica Should put the new 50MP Sony CMOS sensor in the Leica S ASAP. That should make any argument against it moot. It is the only thing the camera is missing to make it really appealing for a much wider range of customers. Not that the current sensor is horrible. But a lot of people that are on the fence will shy away from the camera because of it. And just like they did with the M9 they should still offer a model with the CCD sensor for those who want it.

PhaseOne was very smart in quickly releasing and making available the IQ250.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2014, 10:42:09 AM »
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Hi,

I guess that Phase One were capable to release the IQ-250 early because they have designed a flexible architecture. There may be some other factors of course.

But I agree that Leica should have the Sony sensor in a S-series camera, unless they "develop" their own.

Best regards
Erik

Leica Should put the new 50MP Sony CMOS sensor in the Leica S ASAP. That should make any argument against it moot. It is the only thing the camera is missing to make it really appealing for a much wider range of customers. Not that the current sensor is horrible. But a lot of people that are on the fence will shy away from the camera because of it. And just like they did with the M9 they should still offer a model with the CCD sensor for those who want it.

PhaseOne was very smart in quickly releasing and making available the IQ250.
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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2014, 02:00:08 PM »
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Leica Should put the new 50MP Sony CMOS sensor in the Leica S ASAP. That should make any argument against it moot. It is the only thing the camera is missing to make it really appealing for a much wider range of customers. Not that the current sensor is horrible. But a lot of people that are on the fence will shy away from the camera because of it. And just like they did with the M9 they should still offer a model with the CCD sensor for those who want it.

PhaseOne was very smart in quickly releasing and making available the IQ250.

There's one other thing that keeps it from being "really appealing", that's the fact that it doesn't tether well.
For fashion/editorial work it's not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have. So, if they could fix that I don't see anything holding it back from the professional market (advertising, editorial market).
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Theodoros
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 02:09:38 PM »
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Interesting you should say this.  I just purchased a 5DIII and tested it against my D800E, photographing neighbourhood houses in bright sunlight.  The exposures, at base ISO, were identical for the shadows.  I was able to make a highlight adjustment to see the siding detail on a bright white house in the D800E image, but not with the 5DIII in Lightroom 5.3.  I took a range of exposures with the 5DIII, and lo and behold, it took a 2 stop under exposure before I could wrest detail in the siding.  As a result the shadows were 2 stops darker, and opening them up resulted in more noise.  I find this pretty consistent with the DxO report.  However, for the majority of my photography I do not find this to be a major impediment and I do like the 5DIII files, but the DR is definitely less than the D800.  I have noticed that the Canon evaluative metering is more conservative (tends to under-expose) vs the Nikons. 
Didn't say that D800E's DR isn't better… I said "I've yet to see its 2 stops advantage"… If you have, you are a better tester than me… I see no more than half a stop.
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Theodoros
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2014, 02:29:31 PM »
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Hi,

I guess that Phase One were capable to release the IQ-250 early because they have designed a flexible architecture. There may be some other factors of course.

But I agree that Leica should have the Sony sensor in a S-series camera, unless they "develop" their own.

Best regards
Erik

Cmos in Leica S? …I guess it being a "not detachable back" camera it does make sense, but I don't see how Sony's sensor could possibly fit in 30x45mm size, or them sharing a sensor not dedicated to S. There is nothing stopping them having "dual" versions of the S though sharing only the body… one CCD and another Cmos could advance them further in the MF market… then there is Sinar too… surely a self contained back should be expected from them! Never the less, there is strong suspicion that Leica & Cmosis have teamed together against solutions for all the rest in MF...
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