Discussion Forum Leica S System Leica S (Typ 006) Next S sensor.. CCD or CMOS??
  • #4391
    RVB

    Hi all,If you had a choice of CCD or CMOS (with live view) in the next S which would you prefer ?

  • #4392
    Arif

    CCD, I like the S as is but would like a little higher ISO 🙂

  • #4393
    RVB

    Arif;5794 wrote: CCD, I like the S as is but would like a little higher ISO 🙂

    I agree,CCD has great colour and tonality at base ISO,a Dalsa sensor with 4microns (4microns on the S sensor gives +100mp) with sensor + and 13-14stops DR would be irresistible.. 😀 and a monochrome version..

  • #4394
    David Farkas

    I'd love to see a CMOS with live view and video capability, but currently there are no medium format sized CMOS sensors. Imagine the sensor performance of the M 240 with the resolution and lenses of the S…

  • #4395
    RVB

    David Farkas;5796 wrote: I'd love to see a CMOS with live view and video capability, but currently there are no medium format sized CMOS sensors. Imagine the sensor performance of the M 240 with the resolution and lenses of the S…

    David,a CMOSIS sensor is what I think will be in the next S,it needs to be 16bit and at least 60mp though.

    Live view is very helpful for achieving critically sharp focus,but it should also be implemented better than M live view which is limited compared to Canon live view,e.g.: can't move the focus point.

    Robert

  • #4396
    RVB

    David Farkas;5796 wrote: I'd love to see a CMOS with live view and video capability, but currently there are no medium format sized CMOS sensors. Imagine the sensor performance of the M 240 with the resolution and lenses of the S…

    One other reason for cmos would of course be high ISO improvements … with such a sensor there would probably be no need for a 35mm digital unless you shoot sports..

  • #4398
    peterv

    RVB;5795 wrote: I agree,CCD has great colour and tonality at base ISO,a Dalsa sensor with 4microns (4microns on the S sensor gives +100mp) with sensor + and 13-14stops DR would be irresistible.. 😀 and a monochrome version..

    +1 I'm quite happy with the colors and the IQ the S2 gives me and I'd like more MP's and DR.

    Perhaps CMOS would be a wise decision for Leica because on the MF forums there seems to be a high demand for better high ISO and live-view, so this could bring in new customers for the S. If Leica manages to keep the price of entry into the system a bit lower that would help a lot too.

    OTOH, I know of at least two high profile photographers who say they don't like the (colour-) rendering of the M240 sensor. I tend to agree with them from what I've seen floating around. Maybe if the upcoming S gets a CMOS, Leica should take a long hard look at other sensor manufacturers, besides CMOSIS. After all, we're talking about their flagship camera. Color and IQ should come first.

  • #4399
    RVB

    peterv;5800 wrote: +1 I'm quite happy with the colors and the IQ the S2 gives me and I'd like more MP's and DR.

    Perhaps CMOS would be a wise decision for Leica because on the MF forums there seems to be a high demand for better high ISO and live-view, so this could bring in new customers for the S. If Leica manages to keep the price of entry into the system a bit lower that would help a lot too.

    OTOH, I know of at least two high profile photographers who say they don't like the (colour-) rendering of the M240 sensor. I tend to agree with them from what I've seen floating around. Maybe if the upcoming S gets a CMOS, Leica should take a long hard look at other sensor manufacturers, besides CMOSIS. After all, we're talking about their flagship camera. Color and IQ should come first.

    Peter,I would agree that cmos should only be considered if they can produce the same colour and tonality,otherwise they should stick with CCD,or perhaps offer a CCD and CMOS version ,I think phase one are planning to offer both in the future..

  • #4400
    RVB

    On the subject of sensors this looks interesting.. http://www.cinema5d.com/news/?p=13673

    It's only a matter of time before we see 20stops

  • #4402
    peterv

    Rob, a CCD and a CMOS version may very well be a good idea. I've read somewhere that around the announcement of the S system Leica talked about bringing different S models. A high ISO CMOS reportage S camera should be interesting for documentary work, perhaps with a pancake 45 mm that Rolo was suggesting?

    David Farkas;5796 wrote: I'd love to see a CMOS with live view and video capability, but currently there are no medium format sized CMOS sensors. Imagine the sensor performance of the M 240 with the resolution and lenses of the S…

    Hi David, I wonder what kind of video you'd be thinking of?
    If Leica can make it work really well, not just as an after thought because of the CMOS sensor, I'd welcome such a move, but I have my doubts. How would they implement live view? (I know, with MLU, but how well would this work?)
    Would they use a good codec and a high bit rate? I don't think in 2014 (assuming a new S would appear at Photokina) ‘merely' HD would do, it would have to be 4K. Could a new image processor move all these data? Would there be AF for video, difficult with MLU … How would you focus? And what about sound? Etc, etc.
    A lot of work would have to be done still, to make an S with video work. Again, not just as an extra gimmick, but as a feature that would attract the moving image crowd.

    The larger sensor would surely make interesting video images, though pulling focus would be quite hard to do … Thoughts?

  • #4410
    RVB

    peterv;5811 wrote: Rob, a CCD and a CMOS version may very well be a good idea. I've read somewhere that around the announcement of the S system Leica talked about bringing different S models. A high ISO CMOS reportage S camera should be interesting for documentary work, perhaps with a pancake 45 mm that Rolo was suggesting?

    Hi David, I wonder what kind of video you'd be thinking of?
    If Leica can make it work really well, not just as an after thought because of the CMOS sensor, I'd welcome such a move, but I have my doubts. How would they implement live view? (I know, with MLU, but how well would this work?)
    Would they use a good codec and a high bit rate? I don't think in 2014 (assuming a new S would appear at Photokina) ‘merely' HD would do, it would have to be 4K. Could a new image processor move all these data? Would there be AF for video, difficult with MLU … How would you focus? And what about sound? Etc, etc.
    A lot of work would have to be done still, to make an S with video work. Again, not just as an extra gimmick, but as a feature that would attract the moving image crowd.

    The larger sensor would surely make interesting video images, though pulling focus would be quite hard to do … Thoughts?

    Would cooling be a problem.. Wouldn't 4k recording generate a lot of heat?.

  • #4411
    peterv

    I guess if the blackmagic cam can take the heat, surely a body the size of an S could manage. Anyway, you're right, that's just one of many problems that would need to be solved.

    Like I said, video would have to stand out and be top notch to be worth the trouble. If the S line could produce high quality video, that would make quite a few heads turn. Fingers crossed …

  • #4412
    RVB

    peterv;5822 wrote: I guess if the blackmagic cam can take the heat, surely a body the size of an S could manage. Anyway, you're right, that's just one of many problems that would need to be solved.

    Like I said, video would have to stand out and be top notch to be worth the trouble. If the S line could produce high quality video, that would make quite a few heads turn. Fingers crossed …

    This got me wondering how long before we see digital imax…

  • #4414
    peterv

    Exactly, there seems to be a trend towards larger sensors in video/digital cinema:

    … Panavision unveiled a prototype for a digital camera that will have a sensor equivalent to 70mm…

    http://nofilmschool.com/2013/01/red-epic-dragon-arri-alexa-sony-f55-f65-panavision-70mm-camera/

    The diagonal of ‘regular' 65 mm (52.5 x 23 mm) film stock is 56,8 mm
    The diagonal of the 45 x 30 S sensor is 54,1 mm

  • #4417
    RVB

    peterv;5826 wrote: Exactly, there seems to be a trend towards larger sensors in video/digital cinema:

    … Panavision unveiled a prototype for a digital camera that will have a sensor equivalent to 70mm…

    http://nofilmschool.com/2013/01/red-epic-dragon-arri-alexa-sony-f55-f65-panavision-70mm-camera/

    The diagonal of ‘regular' 65 mm (52.5 x 23 mm) film stock is 56,8 mm
    The diagonal of the 45 x 30 S sensor is 54,1 mm

    It's only a matter of time Peter,there are also rumours of a Sony/Hasselblad alliance which is aiming to bring a new large sensor to the market with foveon type colour assignment..

    Sony are of course pretty big in the cinema world so I believe they would have a vested interest in bringing a digital imax sensor to the market,big studios would lap them up and in the movie game the price would be almost irrelevant.

  • #4460
    Paratom

    David Farkas;5796 wrote: I'd love to see a CMOS with live view and video capability, but currently there are no medium format sized CMOS sensors. Imagine the sensor performance of the M 240 with the resolution and lenses of the S…

    I am constantly fighting with the M 240 color. It just looks pinkish to me. I also tried custom profile I generated with x-rite. Slightly better but not perfect.
    I am even evaluating to go back to a M9p.
    By the way there are some cmos which looks fine to me. The A900, the K5 looks ok and the 5dIII is not that bad in regards of color.
    To me the “S” sensor still looks best in this regards. Thats why I hope Leica will stay with CCD in the S system.

  • #4461
    RVB

    [QUOTE=Paratom;5930]I am constantly fighting with the M 240 color. It just looks pinkish to me. I also tried custom profile I generated with x-rite. Slightly better but not perfect.
    I am even evaluating to go back to a M9p.
    By the way there are some cmos which looks fine to me. The A900, the K5 looks ok and the 5dIII is not that bad in regards of color.
    To me the “S” sensor still looks best in this regards. Thats why I hope Leica will stay with CCD in the S system.[/QUOTE

    The S kodak sensor is very good,lovely colour,I am also weary of the cmos colour,if the next iteration of the S won't have Kodak (true sense) then I would love to see a Dalsa sensor…

    Could the M240 colour colour change with a firmware update?

    I haven't used a pentax,but have shot Canon's for a while,the skin tones are nice but the D.R and banding is a weakness..

  • #4462
    Roger

    Paratom;5930 wrote: I am constantly fighting with the M 240 color. It just looks pinkish to me. I also tried custom profile I generated with x-rite. Slightly better but not perfect.
    I am even evaluating to go back to a M9p.
    By the way there are some cmos which looks fine to me. The A900, the K5 looks ok and the 5dIII is not that bad in regards of color.
    To me the “S” sensor still looks best in this regards. Thats why I hope Leica will stay with CCD in the S system.

    The pinkish tint maybe coming from IR contamination . The M240 sensor cover glass appears to be weaker than the M9 ….tests with IR filters are showing its slight IR contamination . I did not see much or any of this in daylight shooting but every so often I get a capture that defies color balancing . Some M users are just reverting to IR filters when they are shooting under conditions where it really matters .

    The trade off appears to be the performance of the wide angel lenses …thin glass …excellent wide angle performance …thicker glass …less IR .

    The biggest advantage of the M240 for me has been the performance at ISO 1600 where the M9 was just terrible and the M240 is excellent . ISO1600 and a 1.4 summilux and I can handle most situations . If I could shoot at ISO640 or less..I would keep using the M9 .

  • #4463
    Doug

    Roger;5932 wrote: The pinkish tint maybe coming from IR contamination . The M240 sensor cover glass appears to be weaker than the M9 ….tests with IR filters are showing its slight IR contamination . I did not see much or any of this in daylight shooting but every so often I get a capture that defies color balancing . Some M users are just reverting to IR filters when they are shooting under conditions where it really matters …

    Seems reasonable… The IR contamination can be subtle. I am treating the M240 the same as the M8, just leaving the IR Cut filters on the lenses.

    I'm told that the filters have a pretty sharp cutoff at visible red, yet some pinky-red is obviously reflected from the filter, like a red searchlight! There may be enough of that effect to noticeably reduce the small excess of magenta-red being recorded, in addition to the IR removal.

  • #4464
    RVB

    RVB;5931 wrote: [QUOTE=Paratom;5930]I am constantly fighting with the M 240 color. It just looks pinkish to me. I also tried custom profile I generated with x-rite. Slightly better but not perfect.
    I am even evaluating to go back to a M9p.
    By the way there are some cmos which looks fine to me. The A900, the K5 looks ok and the 5dIII is not that bad in regards of color.
    To me the “S” sensor still looks best in this regards. Thats why I hope Leica will stay with CCD in the S system.[/QUOTE

    The S kodak sensor is very good,lovely colour,I am also weary of the cmos colour,if the next iteration of the S won't have Kodak (true sense) then I would love to see a Dalsa sensor…

    Could the M240 colour colour change with a firmware update?

    I haven't used a pentax,but have shot Canon's for a while,the skin tones are nice but the D.R and banding is a weakness..

    I never used an M,but what I read about it on Diglloyd says that it shows in the blacks.. Would shots taken with/without IR cut off filters determine if it's IR contamination?

  • #4494
    RVB

    The medium format world has been given an injection of vitality in the last few days with the announcement from Hasselblad (and allegedly phase one too) that CMOS camera's are about to be released..

    Lets see how Leica responds to this..

  • #4503
    fotografz

    50 meg 1.3X crop frame MFD is now a reality. H and P1 have announced it. Others are sure to follow.

    Personally, I'm firmly in the CCD camp, and really not all that interested in going beyond 40 meg.

    It would be great if Leica were to produce a higher meg S camera for those that actually need it, while maintaining a more “usable” S camera like the S2/S.

    IMO, a CMOS S camera wouldn't necessarily suffer from the same color issues that the M240 has exhibited because it wouldn't have to deal with wide angle lenses so close to the sensor.

    However, I've yet to see a CMOS camera from anyone that exhibits a distinctive look and feel in the initial files … like the S2/S and M9 do. While it can be argued that this leaves it up to artistic interpretation, it then requires a degree from MIT and knowledge of color therory beyond the scope of most photographers. Simplicity does have its merits when working in post in the same valued manner it does with camera operations.

    What I am far more interested in over yet another expensive S camera body, is more refinements of the one I've already invested in.

    It'd be far more valuable IF Leica were to issue firmware that improved the higher ISO capabilities of the S2/S cameras. In past, Hasselblad did exactly that. They issued firmware that increased the sensitivity of existing H cameras a full stop. So the H3D/31 went from a top ISO of 800 to 1600 … which made 800 like 400 and 400 like 200 in IQ.

    These are VERY expensive cameras, and the growing crop of far less expensive high res smaller formats are breathing down the MFD category's back. While it is a bit easier to jettison a $2,500/$3,500 camera for the next generation, it is a monumental financial task to do so with cameras costing 10X as much. IMO, demonstrating on-going value with your existing MFD camera should be an integral part of the ownership equation. It keeps owners in your camp and less likely to bail for alternative choices.

    – Marc

  • #4504
    Jack MacD

    Marc,
    Two points:
    The Sony sensor is so close to the size of the S I assume they asked Leica if they would buy some. I suspect that the sensor is actually 45mm not 44. ( Worse case Leica does a 2% crop ) So then the issue is frame ratio. Leica stays 3×2 and the others closer to 4×5. The fact that the competition has gone with a crop factor to a sensor size right on where the Leica S is shows that Leica was correct in selecting a sensor 50% larger than full frame. Going forward, Leica lenses are set for this size and the competition has lenses bigger than needed. Going forward, in a sense, Leica chose the right size sensor, and if all medium format cameras use the same sensor, we are back to the days of all Medium Format cameras use the same “film”. If this sensor is used by all makers, that gives huge economy of scale in a tiny market. Good for all of us. Then you choose a camera's form and handling, as well as lenses. Leica wins.

    The second point is do you and I need this? You are shooting strobes so higher ISO may not be necessary. A 14 stop dynamic range catches my attention. Do I need live view? For focus stacking it would be handy. I don't need such an upgrade, but need is different than want. Leica does need this sensor. If the completion has it, they will need to match it. A next Leica S is not necessary for existing owners, it's a requirement to attract new users to the system. However I would expect the old sensor to be sold too. Hey, one can still buy the S2 now.

    I traditionally skip to every other model improvements. I expect I will go for this depending on price. In the meantime, I buy desired lenses. I sure hope the price isn't as much as the Phase price!

    Jack

  • #4505
    RVB

    fotografz;5992 wrote: 50 meg 1.3X crop frame MFD is now a reality. H and P1 have announced it. Others are sure to follow.

    Personally, I'm firmly in the CCD camp, and really not all that interested in going beyond 40 meg.

    It would be great if Leica were to produce a higher meg S camera for those that actually need it, while maintaining a more “usable” S camera like the S2/S.

    IMO, a CMOS S camera wouldn't necessarily suffer from the same color issues that the M240 has exhibited because it wouldn't have to deal with wide angle lenses so close to the sensor.

    However, I've yet to see a CMOS camera from anyone that exhibits a distinctive look and feel in the initial files … like the S2/S and M9 do. While it can be argued that this leaves it up to artistic interpretation, it then requires a degree from MIT and knowledge of color therory beyond the scope of most photographers. Simplicity does have its merits when working in post in the same valued manner it does with camera operations.

    What I am far more interested in over yet another expensive S camera body, is more refinements of the one I've already invested in.

    It'd be far more valuable IF Leica were to issue firmware that improved the higher ISO capabilities of the S2/S cameras. In past, Hasselblad did exactly that. They issued firmware that increased the sensitivity of existing H cameras a full stop. So the H3D/31 went from a top ISO of 800 to 1600 … which made 800 like 400 and 400 like 200 in IQ.

    These are VERY expensive cameras, and the growing crop of far less expensive high res smaller formats are breathing down the MFD category's back. While it is a bit easier to jettison a $2,500/$3,500 camera for the next generation, it is a monumental financial task to do so with cameras costing 10X as much. IMO, demonstrating on-going value with your existing MFD camera should be an integral part of the ownership equation. It keeps owners in your camp and less likely to bail for alternative choices.

    – Marc

    Good points about the flange distance Marc,I have never had these issues with wides myself but I have read about a lot of these problems with ray angles,Surprising that the M240 has this..I thought these issues were only with M glass used with other systems with adaptors,A7R for example.

    Having seen some of the images from the IQ250 I would also prefer the look from the CCD and hope Leica stay with CCD(or continue to offer both,the exmor shadow detail and D.R is useful)),regarding resolution the only reason I would like more (60mp) is that the lenses are so sharp they out resolve the current sensor with ease,(Peter Karbe said they can resolve 2um)

    I totally agree about the price of the body,it is substantial and not an amount that one would want to spend every two years,I would rather spend it on glass,firmware can improve iso response but technology changes and we cant do anything but accept that,still as you say,a commitment from Leica to continually improve existing bodies helps.

    Rob

  • #4506
    RVB

    Jack MacD;5993 wrote: Marc,
    Two points:
    The Sony sensor is so close to the size of the S I assume they asked Leica if they would buy some. I suspect that the sensor is actually 45mm not 44. ( Worse case Leica does a 2% crop ) So then the issue is frame ratio. Leica stays 3×2 and the others closer to 4×5. The fact that the competition has gone with a crop factor to a sensor size right on where the Leica S is shows that Leica was correct in selecting a sensor 50% larger than full frame. Going forward, Leica lenses are set for this size and the competition has lenses bigger than needed. Going forward, in a sense, Leica chose the right size sensor, and if all medium format cameras use the same sensor, we are back to the days of all Medium Format cameras use the same “film”. If this sensor is used by all makers, that gives huge economy of scale in a tiny market. Good for all of us. Then you choose a camera's form and handling, as well as lenses. Leica wins.

    The second point is do you and I need this? You are shooting strobes so higher ISO may not be necessary. A 14 stop dynamic range catches my attention. Do I need live view? For focus stacking it would be handy. I don't need such an upgrade, but need is different than want. Leica does need this sensor. If the completion has it, they will need to match it. A next Leica S is not necessary for existing owners, it's a requirement to attract new users to the system. However I would expect the old sensor to be sold too. Hey, one can still buy the S2 now.

    I traditionally skip to every other model improvements. I expect I will go for this depending on price. In the meantime, I buy desired lenses. I sure hope the price isn't as much as the Phase price!

    Jack

    Hi Jack

    I wonder if the S image circle allows for 44×33 without cropping,I agree its likely that Sony offered them to Leica.

    I think Leica made the right decision regarding sensor size for the S system,a system that offers fast lenses that perform wide open,A 645 sensor at these apertures would have D.O.F that would be almost unuseable,but 645 FF will endure for the real eatate and 4×3 format which many MF users prefer.

    Some people don't consider the S to be a true medium format camera because of its 45x30mm sensor,but that's subjective.

    This new exmor may be just the beginning of Sony's desire to dominate the sensor market,a 645 could be on the horizon for hasselblad and phase.

    “Do I need live view?” It would be nice and would add appeal to the system.

    “Leica does need this sensor. If the completion has it, they will need to match it” Absolutely,offer it along with CCD option.

    “I traditionally skip to every other model improvements.” Can't argue with that,I'd rather be buying a 90-250 Zoom than another mega expensive body..

    Best

    Rob

  • #4507
    Doug

    RVB;5996 wrote: Hi Jack

    I wonder if the S image circle allows for 44×33 without cropping,I agree its likely that Sony offered them to Leica. …
    Rob

    Pentax uses a 44×33 CCD from Kodak which has a 55 mm image circle. Our 30 x 45 CCD has a 54.1 mm circle. Not much difference.

    Doug

  • #4508
    RVB

    Doug;5997 wrote: Pentax uses a 44×33 CCD from Kodak which has a 55 mm image circle. Our 30 x 45 CCD has a 54.1 mm circle. Not much difference.

    Doug

    Photokina is going to be interesting.. 😉

    Although I would be more excited by a summicron portrait lens..

  • #4512
    David Farkas

    Rather than going with the same Sony 44×33 CMOS sensor, perhaps Leica will work with CMOSIS to develop their own in-house solution, as they did for the M240.

    There hasn't been too much discussion around it, but the CMOSIS/Leica chip in the M is actually the most advanced CMOS sensor design to date. The pixel well depth is significantly thinner than anything from Sony or Canon, and has a newer conical microlens shape that is better suited to “catching” high angle of incidence light rays. This variance in design is clearly evident from the performance difference between the M240 and the Sony A7r when using the same wide angle M lenses.

  • #4514
    rsmphoto

    This would be my hope. With all the time they're putting into fine tuning the M240 chip why reinvent the wheel?

    Richard

  • #4515
    RVB

    As long as the I.Q is up to scratch it won't matter too much where they source it but CMOSIS seems like the logical step given that they are already involved,I think another benefit could be that it helps Leica avoid a homogeneous look that could if three MF manufacturers use the same chip.

  • #4524
    Theodoros Fotometria

    It is possible (and perhaps sensible) that Leica would consider having two versions of the S camera, one with Cmos sensor and the other with CCD on it… This could provide a better alternative to the high end FF DSLRs where people pay much of attention at higher Iso performance (Cmos), while the other (CCD) could possibly compete best with the tradition of MFDBs at near basic Iso…

  • #4530
    fotografz

    Jack MacD;5993 wrote: Marc,
    Two points:
    The Sony sensor is so close to the size of the S I assume they asked Leica if they would buy some. I suspect that the sensor is actually 45mm not 44. ( Worse case Leica does a 2% crop ) So then the issue is frame ratio. Leica stays 3×2 and the others closer to 4×5. The fact that the competition has gone with a crop factor to a sensor size right on where the Leica S is shows that Leica was correct in selecting a sensor 50% larger than full frame. Going forward, Leica lenses are set for this size and the competition has lenses bigger than needed. Going forward, in a sense, Leica chose the right size sensor, and if all medium format cameras use the same sensor, we are back to the days of all Medium Format cameras use the same “film”. If this sensor is used by all makers, that gives huge economy of scale in a tiny market. Good for all of us. Then you choose a camera's form and handling, as well as lenses. Leica wins.

    The second point is do you and I need this? You are shooting strobes so higher ISO may not be necessary. A 14 stop dynamic range catches my attention. Do I need live view? For focus stacking it would be handy. I don't need such an upgrade, but need is different than want. Leica does need this sensor. If the completion has it, they will need to match it. A next Leica S is not necessary for existing owners, it's a requirement to attract new users to the system. However I would expect the old sensor to be sold too. Hey, one can still buy the S2 now.

    I traditionally skip to every other model improvements. I expect I will go for this depending on price. In the meantime, I buy desired lenses. I sure hope the price isn't as much as the Phase price!

    Jack

    All good points Jack.

    We have to remember that Hasselblad and Phase One/Leaf now have one CMOS model and many other CCD backs. I doubt multiple models is a luxury Leica will have … except maybe a transitionary phase of existing stock CCD S-Type cameras. So the risk is greater.

    It'll be interesting for Leica to watch and learn from Hasselblad and Phase One's experiences with CMOS sales. I suspect that the H5D/40 1.3X crop CCD camera will go bye-bye if their CMOS 50c outsells the 40 (which I strongly believe it will based on how the H5D/40 is used). What remains to be seen is the Hasselblad 50c Multi-Shot version they have hinted at. It may well be that the CMOS 50c and its' Multi-Shot version will become the main MFD backs from Hasselblad in future, with 1.1X CCD backs fading out.

    However, in the rush of technology, I think we have to “be careful what we wish for.”

    The current S2/S2P/S cameras are sublime tools capable of incredible imagery and subtile nuance. As many S owners have mentioned, the files have a remarkable resemblance and synergy with those from the M9 in terms of sheer presence and impact. Personally, I've been pretty open about my disappointment in the M240 files in that regard … and I am not alone in that assessment.

    A few suspicions: As some cameras have increase their dynamic range, processing has become more and more challenging. The files tend to be flat, and there are so many interdependent aspects that are affected as one mucks with contrast and various other techniques in post, I honestly wonder if it is worth it for the few shots where dynamic range is so important?

    It sometimes feels like the tail is wagging the dog. DR a nice claim to make, but is it really worth all the trouble on 98% of the remaining shots where it is a non-issue? BTW, this is the reason I sold my Nikon D3X and moved to a Sony A900. I also took note of this when using the Sony A7R and M lenses … at normal ISOs, the M9 files have way more presence and impact. Resolution isn't everything.

    Anyway, I'm sure Leica will go CMOS, and probably with Cmosis if they can pull it off. I wouldn't mind a good ISO 3200 from an S and 6400 in a pinch … and would hope for an improved AF solution … then I could dump all my 35mm DSLR/SLT stuff.

    – Marc

  • #4535
    Al Tanabe

    As technology evolves, the “new normal” is established. Older photographers remember a certain “look” that Kodachrome – the original, had before the “new” EPA friendly Kodachrome, was introduced in the 70's and lamented the loss. But the “new” Kodachrome then became the standard for a new generation of photographers who never saw the original.

    It is the same with digital technology, CCD to CMOS, but in this case, the market is driving the vendors for high ISO – low noise which is not feasible with CCD. For those that use and like CCD, me included, will one day say “remember when . . .” after CMOS takes over the imaging market share. And one day in the future, a new, new, generation of photographers will also commiserate about the loss of CMOS.

    -Al

  • #4543
    David Farkas

    Good points, Marc and Al.

    It's funny that so many people ask for increased dynamic range, then complain that the files from new cameras with increased DR look “flat” or “have lost the magical look of X”. As you point out, this is just learning a new set of processing techniques.

    I get around the flatness that comes with increased dynamic range by applying a preset upon import so that all my files have a baseline contrast and tone that I like (much more shadow contrast and deeper blacks). From there, only minor adjustments are necessary and I don't have to monkey with each and every file to see if it will work or not.

    Al, perhaps you are right and we will just adjust to the “new normal”.

  • #4545
    anGy

    Really interesting discussion.
    I also think that you can have too much of a good thing.
    My Sony A7r files are processed in C1 with a black point at +7 as a starting point. With other settings to balance this effect I find the files a bit closer to the S2/medium format look.

    The flatness of the medium tones of the D800 was the main reason I've sold it.
    The A7r I think is better in that regard but still doesn't come close to the S2 in overall presence.

    From some users comments I was expecting some issue with the reduced DR of the S2 but, after 3 months of use, I'm convinced it's a key element in the wonderful way it renders light.

  • #4546
    Paratom

    David Farkas;6076 wrote: Good points, Marc and Al.

    It's funny that so many people ask for increased dynamic range, then complain that the files from new cameras with increased DR look “flat” or “have lost the magical look of X”. As you point out, this is just learning a new set of processing techniques.

    I get around the flatness that comes with increased dynamic range by applying a preset upon import so that all my files have a baseline contrast and tone that I like (much more shadow contrast and deeper blacks). From there, only minor adjustments are necessary and I don't have to monkey with each and every file to see if it will work or not.

    Al, perhaps you are right and we will just adjust to the “new normal”.

    Hi Marc,
    I understand why more DR can in a way lead to flatter images.
    However I also believe there are also good examples for cameras with a lot DR which still apply a tone curve and color very pleasing.
    Many digital backs are the best example IMO.
    In case of the M vs M9p I think its mostly a question of color. I have been using both now for some time and have not yet mad up my mind.
    I was nearly sure to like M9 skin tones better but now got a tip to use C1 instead of LR.
    However if there will be a CMOS S it will probably not be supported by C1 so yes, I am also one of those who is not sure yet if a CMOS S would give us the same image character which we like so much.

  • #4547
    Paratom

    anGy;6078 wrote: Really interesting discussion.
    I also think that you can have too much of a good thing.
    My Sony A7r files are processed in C1 with a black point at +7 as a starting point. With other settings to balance this effect I find the files a bit closer to the S2/medium format look.

    The flatness of the medium tones of the D800 was the main reason I've sold it.
    The A7r I think is better in that regard but still doesn't come close to the S2 in overall presence.

    From some users comments I was expecting some issue with the reduced DR of the S2 but, after 3 months of use, I'm convinced it's a key element in the wonderful way it renders light.

    could it be that optimizing DR for a certain sensor means that there will be less “in between” tonal graduations. I heard somewhere else that there is often a compromise between optimizing a sensor and software for high ISO low noise and DR for the price getting worse color.
    I dont know if it is true.

  • #4548
    anGy

    Take a rope and use it to draw a S. Then extend the base from the top to make a longer S. Applied to an histogram you'll get deeper blacks and more highlights but also flatter medium tones.
    At least on DSLR it's my dummy understanding on how I see the images rendering evolving with the new sensor generations.

    Never had to fight with the cursors to try getting richer medium tones with my Phase One IQ back although it's DR is quite huge also. Maybe because MF systems are using extensible ropes :confused:

  • #4549
    fotografz

    Paratom;6080 wrote: could it be that optimizing DR for a certain sensor means that there will be less “in between” tonal graduations. I heard somewhere else that there is often a compromise between optimizing a sensor and software for high ISO low noise and DR for the price getting worse color.
    I dont know if it is true.

    Not sure what it is … however, like many other photographers, more than any other CMOS based 35mm DSLRs, I still prize the files from the Sony A900 which isn't exactly known for its' higher ISO performance. Even the A99 that replaced it with higher ISO performance lacks in comparison to the presence of A900 files. This seems to at least partially verify your speculations.

    Also, the D3X I replaced with the A900 used the same Sony 24 meg sensor, but was optimized for a different S curve that resulted in much flatter files and anemic color tonality and separation, less intense shadows and a bit more DR in the highlights. As a wedding photographer, I hated that camera for all the post work it caused me … and no presets solved it due to different lighting situations.

    The moral may be that if you are getting great images with what you use and how you shoot, do not assume the next thing will be better. A newer camera/sensor may deliver better files in certain situations (ISO), but not equal what you already have in other situations.

    IMHO, MF digital backs are a different gestalt. Most are optimized at ISO-50 and get dicey at 400 … it would seem that operating with-in those narrow boundaries it would be easier to control DR and color fidelity (?)

    Personally, I need to see a lot more real world evidence of how the CMOS MF sensor works at the higher ISOs in all sorts of lighting situations. Other than LV, without ISO 1600 to 3200 that looks great, what would be the point?

    – Marc

  • #4550
    RVB

    David Farkas;6003 wrote: Rather than going with the same Sony 44×33 CMOS sensor, perhaps Leica will work with CMOSIS to develop their own in-house solution, as they did for the M240.

    There hasn't been too much discussion around it, but the CMOSIS/Leica chip in the M is actually the most advanced CMOS sensor design to date. The pixel well depth is significantly thinner than anything from Sony or Canon, and has a newer conical microlens shape that is better suited to “catching” high angle of incidence light rays. This variance in design is clearly evident from the performance difference between the M240 and the Sony A7r when using the same wide angle M lenses.

    David,I think that CMOSIS will be the best bet,Leica will have more control than they would with a sony sensor and can make the sensor work perfectly with the S glass.. and synastry is important when looking at a complete system..

    Rob

  • #4745
    RVB

    peterv;5826 wrote: Exactly, there seems to be a trend towards larger sensors in video/digital cinema:

    … Panavision unveiled a prototype for a digital camera that will have a sensor equivalent to 70mm…

    http://nofilmschool.com/2013/01/red-epic-dragon-arri-alexa-sony-f55-f65-panavision-70mm-camera/

    The diagonal of ‘regular' 65 mm (52.5 x 23 mm) film stock is 56,8 mm
    The diagonal of the 45 x 30 S sensor is 54,1 mm

    Peter,this showed up this week…http://www.digitalcinemasociety.org/news/new-3d-imax-dual-sensor-65mm-4k-used-transformers

    Rob

  • #4747
    peterv

    Thanks for that link Rob, interesting stuff. I passed it along to a friend of mine who's going to shoot his new film in 3D, next month. He'll be shooting on Reds, I guess IMAX 3D is going to be big budget Hollywood movies only.

    Anyway, on a new Leica S, it's interesting that there are absolutely no rumours yet. With Photokina less then three months away, all we have is our own speculations. Either Leica and beta-testers are very tight lipped, or perhaps the new S is not ready for presentation in september. But then, why the $5.000 rebate?

  • #4749
    Bob Moore

    peterv;8431 wrote: …why the $5.000 rebate?

    To keep the flock in the family?

    Worked for me….

    Bob

  • #4750
    RVB

    peterv;8431 wrote: Thanks for that link Rob, interesting stuff. I passed it along to a friend of mine who's going to shoot his new film in 3D, next month. He'll be shooting on Reds, I guess IMAX 3D is going to be big budget Hollywood movies only.

    Anyway, on a new Leica S, it's interesting that there are absolutely no rumours yet. With Photokina less then three months away, all we have is our own speculations. Either Leica and beta-testers are very tight lipped, or perhaps the new S is not ready for presentation in september. But then, why the $5.000 rebate?

    Something has to pop up soon,the only question is who makes the sensor ?Sony or STMicroelectronics? Sony are really making waves in the sensor world..did you see this > http://www.photocounter.com.au/2014/digital-imaging-breakthrough-from-sony/

    I'm more interested in the Glass,I would like to see an f2 portrait lens,a wide TS and maybe a longer 70-200 (in 35mm) equivalent zoom.

    Rob

  • #4755
    peterv

    Yes, Sony said some time ago that they wanted to be disruptive and innovative. I welcome that, but for us poor guys and girls who've invested in an interchangeable lens system, a curved sensor is most likely not going to be in the cards. Though I wouldn't mind a pocket-sized MF RX1 😎

    http://nofilmschool.com/2014/06/sonys-curved-cmos-sensor-sharper-faster-lenses/?hvid=6rKd5

    The other day I red – I think it must have been on some Leica forum – that CMOSIS makes ‘better' sensors than Sony. I find that hard to believe. Especially given the R&D budgets of these respective companies. And what means ‘better'? For us S users what matters most is the look and quality of the file the camera system produces.

    Fingers crossed for a new and popular S, because I wouldn't mind if the S system became a bit more widely used. A broader user base would make me feel more secure about the longevity of the system. Especially with technology moving forward so fast.

  • #4757
    David Farkas

    peterv;8441 wrote: Yes, Sony said some time ago that they wanted to be disruptive and innovative. I welcome that, but for us poor guys and girls who've invested in an interchangeable lens system, a curved sensor is most likely not going to be in the cards. Though I wouldn't mind a pocket-sized MF RX1 😎

    http://nofilmschool.com/2014/06/sonys-curved-cmos-sensor-sharper-faster-lenses/?hvid=6rKd5

    The other day I red – I think it must have been on some Leica forum – that CMOSIS makes ‘better' sensors than Sony. I find that hard to believe. Especially given the R&D budgets of these respective companies. And what means ‘better'? For us S users what matters most is the look and quality of the file the camera system produces.

    Fingers crossed for a new and popular S, because I wouldn't mind if the S system became a bit more widely used. A broader user base would make me feel more secure about the longevity of the system. Especially with technology moving forward so fast.

    Peter,

    I think the “better” terminology is referring to the more modern CMOS design that Leica and CMOSIS employed in making the MaxCMOS sensor for the M (Typ 240). It has a much shallower pixel well depth as well as a new microlens shape that negates any ill effects of high incidence angle lenses. I recall reading an article in a semiconductor industry magazine that the CMOSIS sensor in the M is the thinnest CMOS ever made by any company.

    As can be seen in the many user reports of putting anything wider than a 35mm M lens on a Sony A7r, high incidence angle (non-retrofocus) lenses have serious when used with Sony's sensor. The sensor was designed to be used in DSLRs like the D800 with highly telecentric retro-focus designs, not a short throw mirror-less system. Yes, Sony's own lenses have a more tele-centric light path and/or correction algorithms that work around this design limitation. This is little consolation to those that figured the A7r would be a great platform to use wide angle M lenses.

    Leica often gets credit for making stellar lenses, but few acknowledge how advanced they have become in digital technology. Leica co-designed the MaxCMOS chip with CMOSIS, wanting to control the process – something that wouldn't happen if they had just used an off-the shelf sensor. If a CMOS sensor does make its way into an S camera, I'm sure that Leica will go their own way, which is a good thing.


    Standard CMOS sensor


    Leica MaxCMOS sensor

  • #4758
    peterv

    Thanks David, I'm happy for Leica that they were able to accumulate so much knowledge about building sensors that work quite well with their M lenses. I don't have an M anymore so I don't follow the M-line as closely as I did in the past, but I thought there are still some problems not completely solved with the CMOSIS sensor, like magenta corners with some wide angles and the Italian flag phenomenon.

    Why people ‘blame' the sensor in the Sony A7 series for not working optimally with Leica M lenses, is beyond me.

    Better is all relative of course, but I'm sure you're right that the design that Leica and CMOSIS employed is a better solution for M lenses.

    Whether they can make a new sensor for the next S that would come out with better test results (color response, signal/noise ratio, etc.) than the Sony MF sensor, we'll find out sooner or later. I still have my doubts and I just hope for the sake of the S system, Leica makes the right choice.

    I understand of course that test results don't tell the whole story and that look and feel of the photo is what it's all about. We'll have to wait and see.

  • #4759
    PebblePlace

    The CMOSIS sensors has its plus' and minus'. My recent cameras have included – Canon 1Ds Mark III, Phase One P65+ and Leica S2. The M-240 has the most dynamic range (at base ISO) and the shadows are very clean. When it comes to sharpness and definition, the M-240 is well defined at 100% views, but something happens in the down-sizing process where things can get muddy. I don't think it's a CMOS vs CCD thing because I don't have this issue with the 1Ds3. It's just something about the M-240's files. At base ISO – I'd still rank the Phase One P65+ as the best. I loathe Phase One DF camera body, so that system is long gone. But I still look at those files and bow to its supremacy 🙂

    The M-240 as a camera behaves very differently than the S. I would say the Type-006 meters more towards the shadows, thus tending to over-expose. The M-240 meters more towards the highlights and with its added DR, tends to come across as dark. The S/S2 color rendition is more like the M8. The M-240 is more like… well, it's its own thing 🙂 Definitely not M9 colors. Long story short, it's really hard to put a “label” on the M-240's sensor. I'm very impressed with it at times, more often than I was with the M9. So on the whole, I'd say it's better – but different.

    As for the issues… sigh… there are some. Magenta and italian flag has been a non issue for me. I use all Leica M lenses, so maybe built-in lens profiles are hiding issues (from me). But then again, that means all is working well. Lenses include – 21 Lux, 21 SEM, 28 Cron, 35 FLE, 50 Lux ASPH, 75 APO, 90 APO and 135 APO. My number one issue is lock ups – and that is associated with LV and/or the EVF. The heat issues have been brought up many times, and it can happen to me indoors at a comfy 78º F within the first several minutes. Outdoors in Texas summers – just forget it… If the camera is used as a “M”, meaning no LV, then all is good. Leica and/or CMOSIS haven't cracked the LV nut yet.

    Having also owned a D800e and making a leap of faith that the Sony 44×33 medium format sensor is similar, honestly, I do prefer the CMOSIS sensor. I'm not a fan of the files from Sony sensors – the greens always seem off, blues are too baby-blue, there is an inherent noise pitch or grit at base ISO, the DR is over hyped. Extrapolating some more, if CMOSIS does the sensor for the S and –

    1) They get the heat issues sorted and the S has rock steady LV performance
    2) The same DR or better than the M-240
    3) Upper ISO is 1 to 2 stops better than the M-240, effectively a very good ISO 6400
    4) Find a balance between the M-240 and M9 colors

    Then I think the S would be one heck of a camera. I'm also assuming the price does NOT go up. And if WiFi was included and I could stream Live View to the iPad, that would be awesome. If the CMOS sensor brings that expanded functionality to the S, then I could do alot more with the S. Looking back, I don't miss the M9's sensor, so I'm guessing I wouldn't miss the Leica S' CCD sensor either.

  • #4778
    RVB

    Just had a chat with a Leica dealer in Germany.. they said that the current S will remain in the line up and that the CMOS will be significantly more expensive than the current camera.. Start Saving guys… 😉

    Rob

  • #4779
    PebblePlace

    Well, that stinks. With Ricoh putting the 645Z on the street for $8495, it's kind of difficult to believe that the new CMOS S is costing more to make than the Type 006. I realize that Leica may be opting for a CMOSIS sensor (or someone else's) instead of Sony. But geesh…

  • #4780
    RVB

    PebblePlace;8485 wrote: Well, that stinks. With Ricoh putting the 645Z on the street for $8495, it's kind of difficult to believe that the new CMOS S is costing more to make than the Type 006. I realize that Leica may be opting for a CMOSIS sensor (or someone else's) instead of Sony. But geesh…

    I was also hoping the price would remain the same but I guess the new sensor and its R&D cost (which i'm guessing is stmicroelectronics) is pushing the price higher..

    Its also supposed to have a new Auto focus system which sounds interesting…

    Either way I'm happy enough with my S and have a 30-90 on order which is my priority over a new body!!

    As for the Pentax..its really nice but glass is no match no S glass… and no leaf shutters either,it's limited to 1/125th sec flash sync.

    Rob

  • #4781
    Arif

    RVB;8486 wrote: I was also hoping the price would remain the same but I guess the new sensor and its R&D cost (which i'm guessing is stmicroelectronics) is pushing the price higher..

    Its also supposed to have a new Auto focus system which sounds interesting…

    Either way I'm happy enough with my S and have a 30-90 on order which is my priority over a new body!!

    Rob

    I agree, if it is significantly more expensive, then a no-go for me. Am very happy with the S2 and the 30-90 but was hoping for a clean 3200 ISO to make the move.

  • #4783
    RVB

    Arif;8487 wrote: I agree, if it is significantly more expensive, then a no-go for me. Am very happy with the S2 and the 30-90 but was hoping for a clean 3200 ISO to make the move.

    Arif,If the M240 sensor is a reference for the new sensor then I think ISO is going to be pretty good,I don't own an M but of the files I have seen it has great Dynamic Range and a decent iso3200,

    This is subscription only but great source of info and the ISO 3200 looks veery good,I expect the new S to be as good http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/LEICA/LeicaM9/M240-vs-M9P-ISO.html

    Best

    Rob

  • #4790
    Arif

    RVB;8489 wrote: Arif,If the M240 sensor is a reference for the new sensor then I think ISO is going to be pretty good,I don't own an M but of the files I have seen it has great Dynamic Range and a decent iso3200,

    This is subscription only but great source of info and the ISO 3200 looks veery good,I expect the new S to be as good http://diglloyd.com/prem/prot/LEICA/LeicaM9/M240-vs-M9P-ISO.html

    Best

    Rob

    Thank you Rob, you are right it does look quite good so maybe the temptation will be stronger 😉 Somehow every new camera Leica puts out is tempting and just a little more expensive than what I wished it was.

  • #4808
    fotografz

    Apparently those pining for a S f/2 portrait lens won't have to wait long.

    Lightroom 5.5 now has a lens profile for a Leica SUMMICRON-S 1:2.0/100mm. A portend of what is to come at Photokina?

    Can't imagine what that is going to cost, especially in CS version that I'd demand. At F/2 it will be the fastest S lens, and the DOF will probably be similar to a 75/1.4 (or even shallower?)

    I'm still very satisfied with my “old” S2-P (except for some trips to Germany). Had I stuck with the Hasselblad H system rather than switching to the S, I probably would be shooting with a H5D/50C today. The higher ISO images I've seen from that camera are very good, and Hasselblad has managed to preserve at least some of the image characteristics of previous non-CMOS camera … albeit still different.

    Since semi-retirement, and a serious down tick in pro earnings as a result, the S system has truly become a “Luxury Item” … so, paying a longer dollar for a more expensive new S CMOS body is less than likely.

    IMO, the handling, dual shutter feature, and CS lenses that are second to none, (and much better than most), remain the over-arching reason for the S being my numeral uno camera for which I would sacrifice anything else photographic I own to keep … and that includes any M stuff.

    Personally, I haven't bonded with, or come to favor, a camera like this S2-P since my love affair with my now long gone Hasselblad 203FE and fast aperture Zeiss FE lenses from the film days of yesteryear.

    While I am a deeply vested Sony owner, I remain unimpressed by anything they make, and use their products strictly for utilitarian business purposes … which are now waining making them even more unimpressive. The rumored Sony MFD solution would have to take a totally different direction from their current video-game mentality to even make a blip on my radar … and I expect the lenses for it would be unimpressive in comparison to S optics. The much touted Zeiss FE 55/1.8 bores me to tears despite all the reports by “Chart Number Fanatics” and big-shot bloggers. If my Sony A7R were a candle, my S2-P would be a lighthouse in comparison … LOL!

    – Marc

  • #4810
    PebblePlace

    Marc, with regards to your S' repairs, you might try a new Type 006. There are some good deals on new bodies and it comes with a 3 year warranty. I find the AF markedly better. The S2 was accurate, but mine hunted and stalled alot. The Type 006 is much better – even with the 120S. Also, at ISO 100 the noise pitch is less. It's not revolutionary better (than the S2), but it is improved.

    A CMOS S sounds nice, but it's going to take alot more than just CMOS to get me to upgrade. It needs some bells & whistles too, like –

    1) Multipoint AF focus (I hope this true)
    2) Built-in WiFi for streaming LV to an iPad
    3) No lame @ss live view that only magnifies the center
    4) Really good high ISO – like a very clean 3200 and usable 12800
    5) No heat issues (like the M-240 has in LV / EVF mode)
    6) I'd like 100% viewing on the rear LCD to look sharp

    And even if Leica dots those i's and ups the value proposition, a price increase is really hard to swallow. I'm definitely in a wait and see mode.

  • #4884
    WPalank

    fotografz;8519 wrote: Apparently those pining for a S f/2 portrait lens won't have to wait long.

    Lightroom 5.5 now has a lens profile for a Leica SUMMICRON-S 1:2.0/100mm. A portend of what is to come at Photokina?

    Can't imagine what that is going to cost, especially in CS version that I'd demand. At F/2 it will be the fastest S lens, and the DOF will probably be similar to a 75/1.4 (or even shallower?)

    – Marc

    marc,
    I'm hoping by now you have read the most Current LFI issue. leica states that due to the small size of the lens, in order to get better ergonomics, there will be no CS Version. Still, mine is on order and I can't frankly wait for it.
    All the Best,
    william

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