Discussion Forum Leica S System S2 Suggestions for feature additions in future S2 firmware updates
  • #497
    David Farkas

    Leica has already added some nice features and optimized existing ones via firmware updates: key lock, long press mode change, overlay histogram, clipping definition, rear thumb button control options, long exposure settings, etc.

    What new features would you like to see in future firmware updates?

    To get things started, here's a few things I'd like to have:

    • A hyperfocal function that would automatically set the lens focus distance to achieve maximum DOF to infinity at any given aperture

    • Quick review delete option. Instead of pressing the Play button again to activate review, then deleting, I'd prefer to have a soft button enabled for quick delete. A double press would reduce the chance of accidental deletion.

    • Parallel writing of DNG files to both CF and SD cards simultaneously. Currently, this mode writes a DNG to the CF and a JPG to the SD.

    • ISO in third or half stops rather than whole stops
  • #498
    Mark Gowin

    Good suggestions David. I recall asking for a quick delete method back during my first demo of the S2 in the Fall of 2009. The true simultaneous write of DNG to both CF card and SD card is another feature which would be welcome.

    I have one other suggestion which may seem trivial, but it's something I would find helpful.

    * Provide an user option to change the direction of the thumbwheel for changing aperture value. Currently, the wheel direction necessary to stop down the aperture is in the opposite direction of my Canon dSLRs. This makes it confusing to switch from one camera to the other.

  • #505
    David K

    I frequently need to lock down my settings and use the DOF button for this purpose. It brings up the menu item which allows this but it's an extra and, in my case, unnecessary step. I prefer the way it works on the Nikon D3s. Don't know if this is firmware fixable or not…

    Also, I occasionally lose my custom functions when switching batteries or when the battery goes dead (I think). David and Josh showed me how to export them to the SD card and then import them when that happens. This really shouldn't happen under any circumstances.

  • #506
    Mark Gowin

    David, your post made me rembember another nuisance I would like corrected in future firmware. Allow the camera to remember the last drive mode when switching the camera off and back on. Currently the drive mode reverts to “single” when powered off and then back on

  • #507
    David Farkas

    Okay, here is a big one I left off that I've written about before…

    Dr. Zimmer, head of digital R&D, explained that noise could be reduced by either dropping the sensor readout from 24Mhz to 12Mhz or by using a dual readout vs. a quad readout from the sensor. Either of these options would cut the continous frame rate in half and double the time from capture to review, but also would deliver a one stop improvement in noise performance. He indicated that it should be possible to make these changes on the fly in firmware. So, here's my suggestion:

    Allow the user three modes to choose from:

    1. Regular
    2. Reduced noise
    3. Lowest noise

    The regular mode would operate like it is now.

    The reduced noise mode would cut the readout rate. ISO 1250 would look as good as 640, 320 would look like 160 and base ISO 160 might been look a little better, too. The trade-off is that the continuous shooting rate would drop to 0.75 fps.

    Lowest noise mode would cut the readout rate AND switch the sensor to dual output. The effect should a be 2-stop improvement in noise performance. An extended ISO of 2500 or even 5000 could be offered. ISO 2500 would look as good 640. The drawback to this setting would be a reduction in frame rate to 0.375 fps and probably a good half second to display on the LCD. Pretty slow, but could mean the difference between actually getting a shot and getting nothing.

    Compared to pixel binning options like Phase's Sensor+, this solution would offer full resolution not 1/4 res.

  • #508
    Jack MacD

    David the noise option would be very cool.
    There are times when a high frame rate is no big deal, so the optional tradeoff would be very nice. Glad to hear it can be done if Leica wants to do so.

    I also agree on wanting the option to switch the direction of setting f stop. My brain is programed the opposite direction, and there is no firmwear adjustment for my brain. So every time I turn on the camera, I have to remind myself.

  • #510
    Mark Gowin

    David Farkas;190 wrote: Okay, here is a big one I left off that I've written about before…

    That is a big one and one I would love to see implemented.

  • #513
    Al Tanabe

    +1 on the noise reduction!

    How about focus confirmation with the “dot” I know the are linked to the lens but at least a confirmation with non Leica lenses.

  • #514
    Kurt Kamka

    Wow … this would be a fantastic option. Seriously, how do we start our S2 user group Three Noise Mode Petition?

    Kurt

  • #525
    David K

    I haven't seen Marc post here yet so I'll take the liberty of passing along a comment he made on another forum relating to ISO settings. He feels, and I agree, that having more ISO settings would be a good thing. Something in between the existing options. This would be even more useful if the noise reduction firmware suggestion is implemented. Perhaps they could be bundled together in the next update…

  • #529
    David Farkas

    David K;216 wrote: I haven't seen Marc post here yet so I'll take the liberty of passing along a comment he made on another forum relating to ISO settings. He feels, and I agree, that having more ISO settings would be a good thing. Something in between the existing options. This would be even more useful if the noise reduction firmware suggestion is implemented. Perhaps they could be bundled together in the next update…

    David,

    I actually have this in my initial list. It is a big one for me, too.

    David Farkas wrote:
    ISO in third or half stops rather than whole stops

  • #536
    Doug Herr

    David Farkas;190 wrote: Dr. Zimmer, head of digital R&D, explained that noise could be reduced by either dropping the sensor readout from 24Mhz to 12Mhz or by using a dual readout vs. a quad readout from the sensor. Either of these options would cut the continous frame rate in half and double the time from capture to review, but also would deliver a one stop improvement in noise performance. He indicated that it should be possible to make these changes on the fly in firmware.

    I just learned what my jaw sounds like when it hits the floor.

  • #538
    Mark Gowin

    Hey Doug, It is good to see you over here. I know you are into shooting birds and have a need for a telephoto lens. I have been been trying out a Pentax 400mm on the S2 and will make a blog post about the experience soon. Previously, I tried a Hasselblad 350mm CF on the S2 (thanks to Al Tanabe) down in the Everglades. Suffice it to say I too am in search of a telephoto lens for the S2 and can't wait for Leica to finally deliver the S 350mm.

    Pardon me for getting off topic.

  • #540
    David K

    Hey Doug… please don't tell us that you're giving up the DMR. You've been making such gorgeous photos with that camera and the 280mm for so long…and I never tire of seeing them. It may be a bit outdated and out-res'd by some of the newer stuff but it can still deliver the goods. Looking forward to seeing you share some images over here… whatever you shoot them with.

  • #541
    Pete Walentin

    Mark Gowin;181 wrote: * Provide an user option to change the direction of the thumbwheel for changing aperture value. Currently, the wheel direction necessary to stop down the aperture is in the opposite direction of my Canon dSLRs. This makes it confusing to switch from one camera to the other.

    +1

    Haha. Good to know that I'am not the only one. I ALWAYS turn into the wrong directions. It would be so easy to add.

  • #542
    Stuart Richardson

    David K;231 wrote: Hey Doug… please don't tell us that you're giving up the DMR. You've been making such gorgeous photos with that camera and the 280mm for so long…and I never tire of seeing them. It may be a bit outdated and out-res'd by some of the newer stuff but it can still deliver the goods. Looking forward to seeing you share some images over here… whatever you shoot them with.

    Yes, agreed! But did you watch that interview with Peter Karbe on Luminous Landscape? I liked the part where he suggested the performance of the 120mm at infinity would be on par with 280mm. It must be a staggeringly good lens…

    As for the firmware suggestions, the noise reduction function sounds ideal. So ideal, in fact, that if it was easy to implement I am sure they would have done so already. Did Dr. Zimmer mention why they had not implemented this? It seems to be an obvious benefit to photographers if it is something that is possible to put into firmware.

    Same goes for smaller steps in the ISO — I agree it would be a nice feature, but doesn't each ISO setting require individual tailoring in the camera firmware? I guess that is a lot of work. My suspicion is that they did not offer incremental values because it would have required more programming time, while not being a big issue for most photographers. I agree it would be very convenient, however…For example, I often shoot film alongside digital, and being able to synchronize the meters at 100, 400, or 800 is simply a little less confusing than having one camera at 100 and another at 160.

  • #548
    Doug Herr

    David K;231 wrote: Hey Doug… please don't tell us that you're giving up the DMR.

    Not until there's something better… which is why I'm following the S2 developments very closely 🙂 From what I can tell I'd have a hard time adjusting to the file quality of mainstream cameras.

    These suggested firmware tweaks do not reduce my lust for the S2 in the least, and I'm looking forward to Mark Gowin's long lens blog.

  • #549
    Mark Gowin

    Pete Walentin;232 wrote: +1

    Haha. Good to know that I'am not the only one. I ALWAYS turn into the wrong directions. It would be so easy to add.

    That makes at least three of us – You, Jack, and myself. Hopefully, there are more so Leica will seriously consider this firmware change.

  • #550
    David Farkas

    Stuart Richardson;233 wrote: Yes, agreed! But did you watch that interview with Peter Karbe on Luminous Landscape? I liked the part where he suggested the performance of the 120mm at infinity would be on par with 280mm. It must be a staggeringly good lens…

    I was sitting in the room during the interview. I am the voice to the right of the camera. 😉 I've also had private interviews and meeting with Peter on other occasions. He has repeatedly said that the S lenses are the best Leica has ever made. No small statement.

    As for the firmware suggestions, the noise reduction function sounds ideal. So ideal, in fact, that if it was easy to implement I am sure they would have done so already. Did Dr. Zimmer mention why they had not implemented this? It seems to be an obvious benefit to photographers if it is something that is possible to put into firmware.

    Same goes for smaller steps in the ISO — I agree it would be a nice feature, but doesn't each ISO setting require individual tailoring in the camera firmware? I guess that is a lot of work. My suspicion is that they did not offer incremental values because it would have required more programming time, while not being a big issue for most photographers. I agree it would be very convenient, however…For example, I often shoot film alongside digital, and being able to synchronize the meters at 100, 400, or 800 is simply a little less confusing than having one camera at 100 and another at 160.

    I'm honestly not sure why they haven't done the ISO steps yet. As to the more advanced sensor readout options, this is indeed fairly complicated programming and more core features have taken priority, like continual improvement of AF algorithms.

    Feedback on threads like this one are invaluable for making our wishes as users known. Leica product management has repeatedly asked us for user input and suggestions. So, keep 'em coming!

    David

  • #551
    Doug Herr

    David Farkas;241 wrote: As to the more advanced sensor readout options, this is indeed fairly complicated programming and more core features have taken priority, like continual improvement of AF algorithms.

    As a potential S2 user the high ISO noise reduction option would be HUGE for me. I am unwilling to sacrifice low-ISO file quality for this feature but I'd gladly go without the faster frame rate for this capability.

  • #562
    David K

    I wish I had a better idea of what kinds of things can be addressed with firmware (vs hardware). Anybody out there feel like sharing some knowledge. For example, could Leica implement a 1 push 100% zoom feature.

  • #566
    Jeff Plomley

    Possibly a menu item which allows the user to input an autofocus calibration offset, not unlike that offered by Nikon/Canon and others. A friends Pentax 645D has this feature, and it has proven most beneficial.

  • #568
    Mark Gowin

    Hi Jeff, Welcome to the forum and congratulations on getting your S2 (I saw your thread on another forum). I think you made a great choice. Now back to your post – it is my understanding that each Leica S lens is programmed with its specific information which is communicated to the S2 when mounted. I can't imagine how or if it possibly works for autofocus calibration. Maybe David Farkas knows the answer.

    The autofocus on the S2 works a little different than some cameras in that focus point is not confined to the cross point. It extends into the area within the circle around the cross. The autofocus will pick-up on the highest contrast subject within the circle. At least that is what seems to be happening. For example, place the cross point on a long distance subject and autofocus. While keeping autofocus engaged (I use the rear thumb button) move the camera so that a high contrast and closer subject (e.g., tree branch or flower) comes into the circle area while keeping the cross on the distant subject. You will see the autofocus select the nearer high contrast subject. I haven't done extensive autofocus testing, but I have noticed the behavior I just described.

  • #569
    Mark Gowin

    David K;258 wrote: I wish I had a better idea of what kinds of things can be addressed with firmware (vs hardware). Anybody out there feel like sharing some knowledge. For example, could Leica implement a 1 push 100% zoom feature.

    I agree, it would be good to know what can be done via firmware although I am not holding my breath. Probably all we can do is create a wish list such as this forum thread and see how Leica responds.

    I like the 1 push 100% zoom idea. Usually, the only time I zoom is to check focus and I usually go to 100%. Since a short press of the wheel during image review gets you into zoom mode, then maybe a long press of the wheel when in image review mode could be used to go to straight to 100%. Or, simply add a menu option to skip the intermediate zoom steps and go to 100% when short pressing the click wheel.

  • #570
    fotografz

    David K;258 wrote: I wish I had a better idea of what kinds of things can be addressed with firmware (vs hardware). Anybody out there feel like sharing some knowledge. For example, could Leica implement a 1 push 100% zoom feature.

    +1 for this one click zoom feature (unless it's already there and I don't know about it).

    RE: Firmware: I also have a Hasselblad H4D/60, and they just issued a software/firmware update that added a bunch of new features to the camera and digital magazine … one of them is a one click 100% zoom feature … another is a LCD spirit level that also is viewable in the viewfinder under the viewing area when shooting hand-held.

    What is not clear is the H4D's double res LCD improvement with this recent update? My understanding is that the H4D/60 came with LCD hardware to allow this, but Hasselblad has recently stated that the latest improvements will also be implemented in all H4 cameras … the unclear part is whether the improved res will be included.

    To implement these upgrades, they changed the firmware for the back, camera, and viewfinder as well as the Phocus software.

    +1 for the 1/3 stop ISO selection. IMO, this is a very important step to increase the functionality of the S2 … which would allow fine control of sensitivity, especially when jumping from 640 to 1250 where it can really show a marked difference in noise, color and DR in poorer light.

    +1 for the increased ISO capability. However, I rather see a cap of 3200 and effort to make it quite usable at 1600 … with 1600 giving up as little IQ as possible. Most so-called high ISO cameras really start looking pretty poor beyond 1600 in low light, or are low meg, larger pixel cameras like the D700.

    +1 for dual parallel writing of DNGs to both cards. This feature is extremely important for professional usage as a back-up, and could be a key advantage over other current Pro spec MFD cameras … it was a real stress-relief when using either a Canon 1DMKIII/1DsMKIII or Nikon D3/D3X.

    Personally, I wouldn't rule out some form of Pixel-Binning. Consider this: if you could shoot at i8 meg 1/2 res, but increase the ISO, shooting rate, and DR … the need for a 35mm DSLR system would be significantly reduced (unless you are a sports shooter or need 400mm+). If the S2 had such a feature, I would dump my entire 35mm DSLR kit in favor of a 2nd S2 body and reduce the amount of gear needed for many of my jobs. For non-professionals it could also be useful for shooting kids, general work and street photography where 40 meg isn't needed … but higher ISO would be helpful in keeping the shutter speeds higher.

    -Marc

  • #639
    jrv

    Jeff Plomley;263 wrote: Possibly a menu item which allows the user to input an autofocus calibration offset, not unlike that offered by Nikon/Canon and others.

    I don't want to have to figure out the offset and then input it to the camera: have the S2 figure it out.

    Create a suitable target for focusing and post it on Leica's web site for people to print.

    The printed target can be taped on a wall and the S2 aimed at it on a tripod, then a focus calibration option activated on the camera.

    The camera uses normal phase detection focus to find the distance to the target.

    The camera then does contrast focusing with the main sensor via a series of exposures, just like a cheap P&S. Eventually a “true distance” is calculated.

    The difference between the phase detect distance and the contrast distance is saved for that lens and used whenever that lens is detected. Perhaps there could be an option to use one measured offset for all lenses without an individually measured offset (a per-camera vs.per-lens offset).

    If space in the camera for firmware is tight the code can be placed on a flash card, just like a firmware update, and the routine temporarily copied into the camera and discarded at the end of calibration.

  • #640
    jrv

    David Farkas;190 wrote: Okay, here is a big one I left off that I've written about before…

    Dr. Zimmer, head of digital R&D, explained that noise could be reduced by either dropping the sensor readout from 24Mhz to 12Mhz or by using a dual readout vs. a quad readout from the sensor.

    That's surprising: why would dual vs. quad readout make so much difference? My first thought would have been to add more readout channels and clock them slower, but he seems to imply that loses in the real world.

    It might be worth asking if the hardware can do single-channel readout. If anyone has ever detected banding a single-channel readout would eliminate it. But maybe banding is already a solved problem and no longer an issue.

    Either of these options would cut the continous frame rate in half and double the time from capture to review, but also would deliver a one stop improvement in noise performance.

    It may not be necessary to do readout in strict row order. Perhaps they could readout every tenth row first and display the preview quickly while doing the rest of the readout to write to the card(s).

    Compared to pixel binning options like Phase's Sensor+, this solution would offer full resolution not 1/4 res.

    binning may increase dynamic range considerably and improve chroma resolution depending on how the sensor works.

  • #641
    jrv

    Here's another idea: an option to enable “card readability checks”.

    Every so often when the buffer is flushed and the card idle, read back the first few blocks from the most recent images written to the card. Potentially check many images in case the card has a large RAM buffer: we want to read from the flash cells.

    The idea is to detect a failed card as soon as possible. I'm skeptical that a failed card will be a “silent failure” while shooting but maybe so, especially with cheap cards, and the sooner a failure is detected the better.

    In future cameras that support 90 MB/s cards perhaps the camera could compute a checksum of each file as it is written and write the checksums to the card too. When the buffer/card is idle whole files and checksums could be read back and verified, all in the name of telling the photographer ASAP that something is wrong.

    This is expensive in battery life to do, but a lot of people seem paranoid about card failures, and it only has to happen once to be a very expensive failure…

  • #659
    Mike

    David,

    “A hyperfocal function that would automatically set the lens focus distance to achieve maximum DOF to infinity at any given aperture”

    I believe this would be a great function to adapt to the current firmware. I utilize hyperfocal distance on my M9 kit regularily…

    Thanks,

    Mike

    David Farkas;180 wrote: Leica has already added some nice features and optimized existing ones via firmware updates: key lock, long press mode change, overlay histogram, clipping definition, rear thumb button control options, long exposure settings, etc.

    What new features would you like to see in future firmware updates?

    To get things started, here's a few things I'd like to have:

    • A hyperfocal function that would automatically set the lens focus distance to achieve maximum DOF to infinity at any given aperture

    • Quick review delete option. Instead of pressing the Play button again to activate review, then deleting, I'd prefer to have a soft button enabled for quick delete. A double press would reduce the chance of accidental deletion.

    • Parallel writing of DNG files to both CF and SD cards simultaneously. Currently, this mode writes a DNG to the CF and a JPG to the SD.

    • ISO in third or half stops rather than whole stops
  • #660
    Mark Gowin

    Just remembered another feature I would like to see.

    – Fix the auto bracketing feature to work like the M9 where it will fire off all shots in the sequence at the first press of the shutter. As it is now, the shutter button must be pressed for eacha ND every shot in the auto bracketing sequence.

    – Also, allow auto bracketing be biased plus or minus. As it is now, the auto bracketing sets the shots equally spaced +/- from 0 exposure compensation. Sometimes, I would prefer the bracketing to be from, for example, -3, -1, and +1 for a 3 shot bracket that is 2 stops between each shot.

  • #661
    David Farkas

    Mark Gowin;383 wrote: Just remembered another feature I would like to see.

    – Fix the auto bracketing feature to work like the M9 where it will fire off all shots in the sequence at the first press of the shutter. As it is now, the shutter button must be pressed for eacha ND every shot in the auto bracketing sequence.

    – Also, allow auto bracketing be biased plus or minus. As it is now, the auto bracketing sets the shots equally spaced +/- from 0 exposure compensation. Sometimes, I would prefer the bracketing to be from, for example, -3, -1, and +1 for a 3 shot bracket that is 2 stops between each shot.

    Mark,

    Wow, you beat me to this one! I couldn't agree more.

    Josh and I were just out on Sunday afternoon doing some ISO testing/comparisons and we had an M9 and S2 side-by-side. The M9 bracketiing was a piece of cake. Set to 2-sec self timer, bracketing on…. click, click, click, click. Done. Love it. The S2 was also set to 2-sec self timer but each shot had to be triggered by itself and the operator has to count off the number of shots already taken to make sure the sequence is complete.

    Also, the M9 allows you to set the order (-/0/+ or +/0/- or 0/-/+). The S2 only shoots +/0/-.

    For you last point, perhaps EV comp would do the trick for an offset.

  • #665
    Pete Walentin

    Mark Gowin;383 wrote: Just remembered another feature I would like to see.

    – Fix the auto bracketing feature to work like the M9 where it will fire off all shots in the sequence at the first press of the shutter. As it is now, the shutter button must be pressed for eacha ND every shot in the auto bracketing sequence.

    They listened to you. Should be done with new firmware.

  • #668
    Jack MacD

    Let's see if they do the other suggestions as fast as they did the bracketing suggestion. That was turn around in less than five days? Gee David, what a powerful forum.:)

  • #670
    Mark Gowin

    Pete Walentin;388 wrote: They listened to you. Should be done with new firmware.

    I am glad they made this change, however, I can't take credit for it – it was so obvious I am sure many people requested it. Hopefully, Leica will incorporate some of the other suggestions on this thread.

  • #707
    David Farkas

    Another suggestion for future firmware:

    Currently 2 sec self-timer locks up the mirror immediately, then counts down. This is a huge plus for tripod shooting. Unfortunately, the 12 sec self-timer doesn't currently offer any big advantage. Once you press the shutter, the timer counts down from 12, then at the 2 sec mark, the mirror locks up. I would prefer that the mirror lock up immediately for both modes.

  • #778
    Mark Gowin

    I was out shooting today and came across an instance where I needed to focus bracket shots to get the depth of field I wanted. That is when it occurred to me that a great firmware improvement would be have an auto focus bracketing feature. The way I envision it working is that you set-up the camera and autofocus on the main point of interest. Then you go into a menu for auto focus bracketing where you enter the distance in front and behind the currently focused distance. Then the camera would calculate number of shots and focus steps needed to achieve desired focus range based on the lens, aperture, and focus distance.

    I know this kind of feature is sooo not Leica – they like to keep things simple (which is part of the reason I like Leica). However, the biggest issue I have had with the larger sensor in the S2 has been the more shallow depth of field. An auto focus bracketing option would make life so much simpler. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the shallow depth of field of the S2 most of the time, but sometimes its a problem.

  • #822
    Mark Gowin

    Here is another idea for future firmware which should be simple to implement. Allow the rear thumb button (which I use to trigger autofocus) to be assigned as a one click 100% zoom button when in image review mode. Most of the time, when I zoom in on an image I want to go to 100% to check focus. A one button approach would be faster and easier.

  • #928
    melantye

    Not sure if I missed this function in the menu or not… can we do multiple exposure?

  • #929
    David Farkas

    melantye;681 wrote: Not sure if I missed this function in the menu or not… can we do multiple exposure?

    There is no way to do multiple exposures in a single capture, but you can easily do this in Photoshop with layers, with far more control than doing so in-camera.

    See the following thread for an example where multiple long exposures of fireflies were easily composited against a single background:

    http://www.reddotforum.com/showthread.php/44-Challenge-to-Photoshop-Users?p=92#post92

  • #930
    Arif

    Mark Gowin;512 wrote: I was out shooting today and came across an instance where I needed to focus bracket shots to get the depth of field I wanted. That is when it occurred to me that a great firmware improvement would be have an auto focus bracketing feature.

    Mark,
    I agree with you on the usefulness of this one. I was trying to do a similar shot on a recent trip in Tuscany and went through the pains to do focus bracketing. It would be very nice to have.

    Thanks,
    Arif

    P.S. Not sure if it has been suggested but a dust off reference photo would also help in the field especially when traveling for a few weeks.

  • #931
    melantye

    David Farkas;682 wrote: There is no way to do multiple exposures in a single capture, but you can easily do this in Photoshop with layers, with far more control than doing so in-camera.

    See the following thread for an example where multiple long exposures of fireflies were easily composited against a single background:

    http://www.reddotforum.com/showthread.php/44-Challenge-to-Photoshop-Users?p=92#post92

    Thanks David!

    I'm a really lazy photographer:D Actually I've been thinking of using some kind of multi exposure with multi flash, to capture dancing steps. If the camera superimpose a single image for me, it would be much more convenient to check on site and make changes to setting errors.

    For stacking double or more still images I agree PS is so easy

  • #932
    David Farkas

    melantye;684 wrote: Thanks David!

    I'm a really lazy photographer:D Actually I've been thinking of using some kind of multi exposure with multi flash, to capture dancing steps. If the camera superimpose a single image for me, it would be much more convenient to check on site and make changes to setting errors.

    For stacking double or more still images I agree PS is so easy

    If your dancer(s) can dance in complete darkness, you could always do a multi-second exposure and trigger multiple flash pops from a strobe.

  • #941
    Mark Gowin

    Arif;683 wrote: P.S. Not sure if it has been suggested but a dust off reference photo would also help in the field especially when traveling for a few weeks.

    Great idea. Ever since accidentally scratching the the sensor in my S2 while cleaning, I have become very paranoid. A dust reference frame could be beneficial.

  • #1151
    Kurt Kamka

    David,

    I thought that I'd follow-up and see if you've heard any more about the possibility of this becoming a reality. Although I've been using a flash for more lower light situations, an extra stop or two would open quite a few more creative shooting options without the flash.

    Kurt

    David Farkas;190 wrote: Okay, here is a big one I left off that I've written about before…

    Dr. Zimmer, head of digital R&D, explained that noise could be reduced by either dropping the sensor readout from 24Mhz to 12Mhz or by using a dual readout vs. a quad readout from the sensor. Either of these options would cut the continous frame rate in half and double the time from capture to review, but also would deliver a one stop improvement in noise performance. He indicated that it should be possible to make these changes on the fly in firmware. So, here's my suggestion:

    Allow the user three modes to choose from:

    1. Regular
    2. Reduced noise
    3. Lowest noise

    The regular mode would operate like it is now.

    The reduced noise mode would cut the readout rate. ISO 1250 would look as good as 640, 320 would look like 160 and base ISO 160 might been look a little better, too. The trade-off is that the continuous shooting rate would drop to 0.75 fps.

    Lowest noise mode would cut the readout rate AND switch the sensor to dual output. The effect should a be 2-stop improvement in noise performance. An extended ISO of 2500 or even 5000 could be offered. ISO 2500 would look as good 640. The drawback to this setting would be a reduction in frame rate to 0.375 fps and probably a good half second to display on the LCD. Pretty slow, but could mean the difference between actually getting a shot and getting nothing.

    Compared to pixel binning options like Phase's Sensor+, this solution would offer full resolution not 1/4 res.

  • #1334
    David K

    Thought it might be good to bump this thread after David and Josh attended Photo Plus to see which of the many suggestions here are getting Leica's attention..

  • #1336
    David Farkas

    Josh and I met with S2 product managers Stephan Shulz and Toni Felsner at Photo Plus and discussed many of the points raised on this thread regarding firmware. I will be posting a summary of that conversation when I get back to Florida. Right after NYC, we headed up to Rochester, NY to give S2 training to students and faculty at RIT. Please stay tuned….

  • #1339
    David K

    Thanks David…looking forward to the report.

    Can't recall if I mentioned an issue that I've run into with locking down my manual settings and losing that lock when the camera goes to sleep or is turned off.

  • #1415
    allegretto

    How about a true RAW histogram that actually tells us what we are shooting pre-shot?

    I assume most here use RAW/DNG wherever possible. I am further assuming that the current histogram is for a .jpg deriviative not true RAW

  • #1417
    David Duffin

    How about a true RAW histogram that actually tells us what we are shooting pre-shot?

    Of course the shutter must activate to capture a raw for analysis — do you envision this action being assigned to a function button?

  • #1420
    allegretto

    David Duffin;1225 wrote: Of course the shutter must activate to capture a raw for analysis — do you envision this action being assigned to a function button?

    what a wonderful idea! 😉

  • #1443
    David Duffin

    allegretto;1228 wrote: what a wonderful idea! 😉

    Not so sure. An evaluation mode might be more practical where the shutter would be used simultaneously with another assigned “do not store” button. A resulting test image would be displayed on the LCD without a timeout so that histogram, focus, framing could be evaluated in the usual fashion without the image being written to the card.

    It seems a shame to clutter the S2's relatively clean user interface with additional functions that may not see mainstream use. But I think I'd use such a feature often to ensure that EV is set satisfactorily, especially in conditions where the light is subject to change.

  • #1445
    Stuart Richardson

    Why wouldn't you just take a photo and then delete it? It seems like it would accomplish the same thing, only without any buttons or special features.

    As for a true RAW histogram, have you seen any deficiency in the regular histogram that makes this necessary? I am curious to hear about any particular issues, because I have not noticed any problems with using a jpeg RAW…I would guess that chewing through a 70mb raw file to generate a raw histogram would slow down the camera substantially.

  • #1449
    allegretto

    Stuart Richardson;1253 wrote: Why wouldn't you just take a photo and then delete it? It seems like it would accomplish the same thing, only without any buttons or special features.

    As for a true RAW histogram, have you seen any deficiency in the regular histogram that makes this necessary? I am curious to hear about any particular issues, because I have not noticed any problems with using a jpeg RAW…I would guess that chewing through a 70mb raw file to generate a raw histogram would slow down the camera substantially.

    very difficult to evaluate DR and detail from a shot on the preview screen.

    as far as a function… there are several functions on the current unit that I don't use but that does not mean they should not be there. With such potentially open architecture, why not make it available to those who want it? Certainly the camera's processor could handle it. Many pics I take with mine are not spur of the moment and I have time to consider ideal factors.

    But, whatever…

  • #1450
    David Duffin

    Stuart Richardson;1253 wrote: Why wouldn't you just take a photo and then delete it? It seems like it would accomplish the same thing, only without any buttons or special features.

    Stuart,
    The whole point of this would be to avoid having to delete images, either from the card or from hard disk after import. A new button would not be required — the function would either be assigned to one of the five existing buttons, or alternatively whichever button you have assigned to EV might be used. (In the latter case, activating the shutter while the EV button is pressed would take a test shot, convert to jpeg for display on the LCD, generate a histogram etc. but skip the write cycle).

    I'm always reluctant to delete images in the camera because of prior experiences with file structure corruption on the card. At least for me, such a function would be a timesaver.

  • #1451
    Stuart Richardson

    Ok, thank you for the explanation. I am not trying to say you or allegretto's suggestions are not valid, I was just trying to understand them, as I could not see any reason why they would be needed. For example, deleting an image is not something I would ever worry about…conversely, I would rather have the test shot on the card just in case the first shot winds up being the best!

    Allegretto — do you think it is difficult to tell DR and detail on the preview screen because the preview is a jpeg? I always assumed that it was because the screen was not up to the task of displaying the image since it is only 400,000 pixels or so. Have you found the jpeg histogram and clipping functions limited? Again, not trying to be dismissive, just curious, because it is not something I have had a problem with, but I have only had the camera for a few weeks now.

  • #1456
    Mark Gowin

    I set the clipping warning limits in firmware to something more conservative like 5 and 250 just to give me a clue when I am close to the limits. Sometimes, this is too conservative and I blow the limits intentionally. The highlight limits are the most difficult to control in my opinion.

    I don't know if a histogram based on the raw image would make a difference. It may be worth testing with a setup to shoot the same scene with one shot going to a card and another shot to Lightroom. Then, compare the histograms.

  • #1471
    constable

    I would like to add my request for user choice over SD or CF as the first used storage medium. Note that I am not asking for parallel processing, simply a user choice. The reason is simple .. one less piece of equipment to take with me when travelling with my MacBook Air which has a built in SD card slot.

    Not really much else I want at the moment.

    Maybe a decent wireless release or better compatibility with commercial systems (hardware and firmware respectively I suspect)

    Ed

  • #1475
    David Farkas

    constable;1280 wrote: I would like to add my request for user choice over SD or CF as the first used storage medium. Note that I am not asking for parallel processing, simply a user choice. The reason is simple .. one less piece of equipment to take with me when travelling with my MacBook Air which has a built in SD card slot.

    Not really much else I want at the moment.

    Maybe a decent wireless release or better compatibility with commercial systems (hardware and firmware respectively I suspect)

    Ed

    Ed,

    You could just use only an SD card in the camera when you want to shoot to SD. Take the CF card out and the camera will certainly write to SD only.

    Wireless release is no problem. We modify Leica's remote release cord to be modular and extendable by using a miniphone connection in the middle. You can either keep the cord together as is and have a short cabled release, extend the cord with a mini-to-mini cable in the center, or remove the button end and plug the cable into a Pocket Wizard (or any other radio trigger). Works very well.

  • #1660
    David Farkas

    Thanks for all the feedback. We took all of the suggestions in this thread and discussed each one with S2 product managers Stephan Schulz and Toni Felsner when we met with them at Photo Plus Expo in NYC. I've posted the result of this discussion here:

    Photo Plus Expo 2011: A Discussion with Leica S2 Product Managers Stephan Schulz and Toni Felsner

  • #1673
    fotografz

    Sorry, it seems like a lame excuse regarding the finer ISO selections.

    The M8 has the same ones as the S2, then the M9 added more, making the M9 much easier to refine metering while adding the least amount of noise possible for each exposure need.

    -Marc

  • #1674
    stephan

    what i really need is a more intuitive way to select the ISO-setting

    and another suggestion (even if probably complicated to implement):

    I need a limitiation of the focus-range for the 120 macro. As the lens don't have such a limitiation, it screws all the way through the focal range, which takes much time. So a limitation from 2-5 m for example would be nice (for portraiture, for example)

  • #1687
    fotografz

    stephan;1500 wrote: what i really need is a more intuitive way to select the ISO-setting

    and another suggestion (even if probably complicated to implement):

    I need a limitiation of the focus-range for the 120 macro. As the lens don't have such a limitiation, it screws all the way through the focal range, which takes much time. So a limitation from 2-5 m for example would be nice (for portraiture, for example)

    Why not just manually focus to the near range and then go from there? That's what I do.

    -Marc

  • #1688
    constable

    fotografz;1513 wrote: Why not just manually focus to the near range and then go from there? That's what I do.

    -Marc

    I usually use MF or do the same as Marc

    Ed

  • #2272
    melantye

    This post seems be abandoned for a while…

    So users here really want 1-click zoom, which is yet to be implemented. Today I am thinking of the annoying way to pan/scroll when reviewing an image. Even after 6 months I still cannot get used to it, it's just not intuitive.

    I have an idea: in review mode, we can use a long push on the 4 buttons to zoom directly to the corresponding image quarter/quadrant (upper left, upper right…). You can check focus this way on anywhere of the image in <= 3 steps. This is superior because the point you want to check is always on the screen. Of course, whenever focus is in the center of the current crop, just zoom in using wheel.

    This is easy to implement in software as well and it doesn't affect current mapping of the keys.

  • #2276
    andyc

    just had this reply from Germany after finding a bug in the last firmware update that causes the OLED top cover to default to medium brightness with the Multifunction Grip attached

    Dear Mr Cole,
    Thank you very much for your message.

    Please be informed that our technical department was able to reproduce the issue as you described.

    It seems that this it is really an unreported bug. We thank you very much for your reporting.

    Leica's dedicated technical team will identify the issue's root cause and will fix this in one of the next firmware updates. end

    !! not many of you use the Grip then ??? :):

  • #2390
    PebblePlace

    +1 FOR ISO:

    On the Phase One backs with Sensor+ the ISO steps as such: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 200+, 400+, 800+, 1600+ and 3200+. It's quite simple and easy to know when you are or are not in Sensor+ mode.

    If Leica could implement the same with the reduced read speeds & channels, that would be amazing – and maybe they could add pixel binning as well. Theoretically the combination of two might allow for a 3-4 stop improvement (2 stops due to read out changes + another 2 stops for binning). A S2 with a top ISO 10,000 would really put the S2 at the forefront of the digital medium format for handheld shooting.

    +1 FOR 100% QUICK ZOOM

    Maybe when the image review comes up, one of the corners acts as a hot button for a quick zoom? This seems like a very easy to feature to implement.

    +1 ISO IN THE VIEWFINDER

    This is a no-brainer and especially important when auto ISO is enabled; I want to know when the ISO has jumped up a stop.

    MY INFO SCREEN

    The S2 menu options are quite long. I would like to create a consolidated screen with 4 to 6 of my somewhat common uses. I already have the soft buttons set up for – ISO, EC, Metering Mode and Focus Mode. They “My Info” menu would be 100% customizable in the same way. My selections would be:

    – FEC Adjustment
    – Drive Mode
    – Format
    – MLU
    – Time / date (handy for when changing time zones; critical for GPS syncing)
    – Card write options

    Everybody's list would be different, those are just examples of what I would select.

    CAMERA OVERVIEW SCREEN

    When the menu is turned on, we get the four quadrants. I would like to see that slightly reworked and add in some the info we have on the Leica M9, such as:

    – Bar graph showing how much battery charge left
    – How many shutter actuations on the current battery (handy for tracking battery life)
    – Bar graph showing the memory card status

    INPUT FOCAL LENGTH

    When manual lenses (like the Mamiya 645M's), it would be nice to be able to enter the focal length and max aperture. Maybe we could create a list presets and when we attach a manual lens, we select one of our presets.

    META DATA

    This has probably been mentioned, but I missed it. The ability to enter photographer name, copyright, rights, website.

    JPEG SIZES

    When writing DNG + JPEG, I'd like to select maybe 18 MP or 9 MP JPEG. I'd really like to have some small that I could get onto an iPad easily.

    CAMERA SHUTTER COUNT & LENS SHUTTER COUNT

    I don't understand why this data is hidden. For leaf shutter lenses this info is very important. This info could be listed in the firmware info screen.

    GPS BUILT INTO THE VERTICAL GRIP

    This doesn't really fit in this list, but I would love to see GPS added into the vertical grip.

  • #2415
    stephan

    do your S2 hang after the last firmware-update? I had this during a shooting but it was quickly resoved by removing the batteries (not so fast when the grip is used)

  • #2423
    PebblePlace

    I've taken around 250 pix with S2 since the firmware update and haven't had the camera lock up.

  • #2471
    stephan

    I had no lock up either since then, so maybe it was something else.

    Nevertheless, I have two other wishes for an eventual firmware-update:

    1) Since the last firmware update, it appears that the lens goes back in the last position after shutting down the camera. What may look as a good idea first, brings some problems for me: I have manually to screw down the focus to put the lens cap on (with the 120 mm), and when I switch on the camera, the lens cap is blown away.

    2) Zhis has nothing to do with the firmware-update, but I think the camera uses the camera-battery first (or more) when using the grip. This means that you have to remove the grip and the battery when charging battery. It would be usefull to use the battery in the grip first, as it is much more simple to change the batteery from the grip than from the body

  • #2472
    David Farkas

    stephan;2423 wrote: I had no lock up either since then, so maybe it was something else.

    Nevertheless, I have two other wishes for an eventual firmware-update:

    1) Since the last firmware update, it appears that the lens goes back in the last position after shutting down the camera. What may look as a good idea first, brings some problems for me: I have manually to screw down the focus to put the lens cap on (with the 120 mm), and when I switch on the camera, the lens cap is blown away.

    Because of this behavior of the 120mm, I'd suggest using a 72mm front cap, not an 82mm. Problem solved.

    2) Zhis has nothing to do with the firmware-update, but I think the camera uses the camera-battery first (or more) when using the grip. This means that you have to remove the grip and the battery when charging battery. It would be usefull to use the battery in the grip first, as it is much more simple to change the batteery from the grip than from the body

    With the grip attached, the battery in the grip is drained first, not the other way around. This way, you can just change out the grip battery without having the remove the entire grip itself.

  • #2477
    stephan

    With the grip attached, the battery in the grip is drained first, not the other way around. This way, you can just change out the grip battery without having the remove the entire grip itself.

    really??? Referring to the battery-indicator on the camera, it seams to be the other way round. Strange, but I will check again. This indicator is so small I cannot read it without glasses 🙂

  • #2481
    Stephan Schulz

    It is always the battery with more remaining energy in charge of supplying the power. That means, at the end are both batteries empty, in the camera as well as in the handgrip.

    But might be difficult to see that in real life, because S2 is running very long with 2 batteries…. 😀

  • #2482
    David Farkas

    Stephan Schulz;2437 wrote: It is always the battery with more remaining energy in charge of supplying the power. That means, at the end are both batteries empty, in the camera as well as in the handgrip.

    But might be difficult to see that in real life, because S2 is running very long with 2 batteries…. 😀

    I stand corrected. 😮

    Thanks for the clarification, Stephan.

  • #2483
    Mark Gowin

    Welcome to the forum Stephan. I am happy to see your post here. Thank you.

    It is encouraging to see the Leica S2 Product Manager getting involved in this forum as it is always good to get info straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. I know all of my personal conversations with you regarding the S2 have been very informative. For example, I have learned that some things I think should be simple to fix or implement are not always as simple as they seem.

  • #2484
    David K

    I'll add my welcome as well Stephan. Your presence on the forum speaks well of Leica's continued commitment to answering it's customers questions and addressing their concerns.

  • #2486
    Pete Walentin

    David K;2441 wrote: I'll add my welcome as well Stephan. Your presence on the forum speaks well of Leica's continued commitment to answering it's customers questions and addressing their concerns.

    +1

    Hallo Stephan. 🙂

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