I sold my M8 to buy the 5D2, so I haven't directly compared, but my eye tells me that the 5DII produces a much more detailed (ie: high-res) image, irrespective of the presence of the AA filter or inferior (to Leica) Canon lenses. The files will are also 'smoother' . This is a comment on the texture of the image as a function of noise processing. Canon has always had a smooth look -- and here I pass no judgment on this aesthetically. By contrast, I found that, even at ISO 160, the Leica produced more texture in the file. I actually liked this. While not truly filmic in quality, this characteristic of the files was visually pleasing to me. I liked how the camera looked at ISO 320 as well.
I'd be interested in what James' view on this is, given his much greater use of (and affinity for) the camera.
We tend to judge photographs, at least on technical forums in very different and somewhat strange ways.
I'm not sure what an inferior file is unless I pull it up on a screen at 300% and then kind of go huh, who looks at a photo at 1/100th of a crop at 300%.
This is going way off the original topic, (or maybe not, depending on how you are predisposed), but in my view, digital has changed the way we look at a photograph.
I know this forum is more about equipment than the actual photo, but last night my wife and I had a drink at the Joule Hotel in this library bar. There was a few pocket sized books, one of photographic masters.
The books are small, but well done, simple and really is just about the photograph. One image stood out to me and it was a Rolling Stone shot Annie did of the Blues Brothers. It was film so it was raw, way un retouched, kind of off color and nothing special in technique, other than it was just really amazing and so much different than what she does now, or for that matter what most of us do now.
No over retouching, no pixel peeping, no smoothing down noise/grain until the image looks like a painting, just a very interesting photograph with very interesting colors in the raw, in the flesh with all the humanity attached to it, scars, pimples and all.
Now how this pertains to the M-8 is to me the leica is kind of like a film camera. I've never shot an image with it I wanted to over retouch, or mask, or modify to the point that the humanity is washed off of it. In fact I rarely take the lcd off the black and white setting, though I run a lot of color images from the camera.
To me, it's almost the perfect camera because I don't expect much out of it. I like the noise/grain, the somewhat off colored look, the slightly surprised framing.
I love the fact it has f stops on the lens, has a real shutter dial that actually has shutter speeds printed on it. I like that the light meter in the camera is for s*&t because at this stage most of us should be able to look at the light and have a damn close idea of what the exposure should be.
I also like the fact the camera weighs more than a few ounces, doesn't fit in a pocket, but doesn't require a tripod or a rolling case.
It's not film, sometimes looks like film, sometimes doesn't but it's not a camera that you buy today, just hoping for the next upgrade tomorrow. In fact I like the strange color so much, (especially with studio flash) that I've resisted even updating the firm ware because I don't want to loose the look I get from it.
Everytime I use this camera I think I'll just buy another one as backup and never use another camera again. Just let things fall as they should. If it's noisy at high iso, then good, that's life, or if a few frames are out of focus, fine because focus can be way overrated, but then like most of us I start thinking about not have 20, or more megapixels, or a clean 1000 iso, or the ability to tether 30" across and then think naw, I might get in trouble.
It's probably just me, but I do love this camera and maybe I'm fooling myself and I've been seduced by the red dot.