Luminous Landscape Forum

Site & Board Matters => About This Site => Topic started by: bobtowery on May 10, 2012, 06:44:49 pm

Title: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: bobtowery on May 10, 2012, 06:44:49 pm
(http://www.luminous-landscape.com/articleImages/MR30/dress.jpg)

While I'm having one hell of a time tearing my eyeballs away from the right side of this image, say, isn't that the ghost of HCB there on the left?

Looks like a very interesting image making machine. As Michael intimated, one would have to be quite the dedicated B&W shooter. But to get (even more) superb B&W files from the M9 style would be a treat indeed.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 10, 2012, 07:01:24 pm
In a world of infinite money, I would buy one of these in a second.  Since that is not the world I live in, I guess I would take the same amount of money and purchase a Nikon 800/e and enough prime lenses to make me very happy.  I like what Leica has done here (as I shoot a lot of B/W) and it will be interesting to see what the unit sales of this are (it may be beyond niche, e.g. very low, but who knows maybe there are those that have the money to buy it).
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: bobtowery on May 10, 2012, 07:06:53 pm
Psssst: Michael. If that is a crop, we might want to review the uncropped version in order to take in the complete range of tonalities.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Michael LS on May 10, 2012, 08:02:02 pm
"Unreal Tush"...

Now THAT'S a photograph even Gary Winogrand
would've appreciated! (ala "Women Are Beautiful")

Or ZZ Top-
"Lord take me downtown, I'm jus' lookin' for some tuhhhsh!"

what camera was that again?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 10, 2012, 08:05:21 pm
Finally a camera with RAW histogram. Anyway, the comment about this being not possible in a colour capable sensor is not correct.
If your RAW data is not blown, it doesn't matter what white balance you select later, as long as you know what you're doing in post processing.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: alban on May 10, 2012, 08:37:45 pm
Manequin?  But of course
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: dreed on May 10, 2012, 08:52:24 pm
Please put your stories through a spell checker and include a custom dictionary if need be. The last two stories have been good examplws of why this is a good idea.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: JohnBrew on May 10, 2012, 08:52:51 pm
Once again Leica has put a premium price on a body with little advancement for photography. Yeah, I'd like to have it and I can afford it, but I won't buy it because Leica has become a boutique camera and caught up in their own mystique. Disclaimer: I do buy their lenses for use on other camera bodies, however  :).
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: LKaven on May 11, 2012, 01:02:12 am
D800 monokuromu desho ka?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Rajan Parrikar on May 11, 2012, 01:06:13 am
Make Mine Monochrome (http://pindelski.org/Photography/2005/07/07/if-all-else-fails-make-mine-monochrome/).
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Petrus on May 11, 2012, 01:26:37 am
I am amazed that the review does not mention one big drawback this monochrome Leica has compared to any color digital camera when producing B&W pictures: the inability to adjust the grayscale rendition of colors in post. Lightroom and PS both have a pack of infinitely adjustable color filters, while for the Leica you need glass filters applied at the time of shooting with no possibility of adjusting in post. This inflexibility alone makes the camera worthless for modern B&W photography. If "hate posts" are certain to appear in photo forums, this time there is a good reason.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: michael on May 11, 2012, 01:29:57 am
Please put your stories through a spell checker and include a custom dictionary if need be. The last two stories have been good examplws of why this is a good idea.

I couldn't agree more.

Michael
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: mtomalty on May 11, 2012, 02:01:56 am
Michael

How are deep,dark areas resolved with this camera/sensor at iso settings of 800 and higher?  What does it look like when dark
shadow areas are boosted?

After four months,I've recently dumped my M9.
The noise found in dark areas ranks among the ugliest I've experienced and led to constant
extremely disappointing resuts in challenging conditions.
Wen te files were 'on' they were a dream, when 'off', an absolute nightmare

Mark

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Chairman Bill on May 11, 2012, 03:19:16 am
Presumably, because no colour detail is recorded, we'd be back to using coloured filters, rather than applying the effect in post-processing. Personally, I like the options of varying my filtration after the fact, and the Silver Efex 2 that comes bundled with this M9 does that rather well. An option that will be superfluous with this camera, it would seem.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on May 11, 2012, 04:21:25 am
I wonder if they will be selling less summilux's now as you can't shoot them wide open outdoors anymore in daylight with that high a base iso. Not only colour filters but ND filters too.

Personally and Michael will have to forgive me, is that really the best Leica can do? It kinda screams 'this is the only way we will get better DR, high ISO noise and resolution in a Leica', a rather desperate engineering solution dolled up as nostalgia, while that screen in 2012....
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Aku Ankka on May 11, 2012, 04:39:45 am
There are yet again mistakes on technical details in the article. Michael, you may be a very good photographer, but you really are not proficient at writing about the digital technology. I enjoy reading bits of your articles, but when you start talking about self-proclaimed experts, you imply that you are an expert. You're not.

You write:
Quote
Among these is that since the luminance information is only being sampled from the green cells, there is actually less resolution available than one might think. About 2/3rds in fact

Luminance information is not sampled only from green cells, but from red and blue as well, unless one really wants to use some very simplistic demosaicing algorith. I don't know where you get the 2/3rds guestimate, as measurements disagree with that and give closer, or over 90% of Nyquist. By using the 2/3rds figure, you say that a Bayer CFA sensor only resolves as if it had 4/9th of the pixel count it has, ie. less than half. Or maybe you don't mean resolution when you talk about resolution, but pixel count?

You write on the monochrome sensor:
Quote
there is no possibility of either colour moire or related artifacting.
Moire is a form of aliasing and aliasing significant on this camera - it is visually more noticeable than in the regular M9 due to no color information fuzzying it to the brain.

You write:
Quote
Engineering a monochrome sensor equipped camera isn't simply a matter of removing the Bayer array. Though based on the M9 sensor, a significant amount of reengineering at the chip level was required.
This is utter nonsense. There is zero engineering required for the sensor to enable removal of the Bayer CFA. I am sure the Leica marketing disagrees, but it really is as simply as not installing it in the first place.

I do enjoy reading some of the articles on this site, but the technical ones tend to be bad. Considering that there are lots of people who treat large profile web sites as authorative, it is, in my opinion, irresponsible to write text which might just as well have been written by a copywriter for Leica merketing. This last paragraph is such a piece.

It is my opinion, that you should restrict yourself into writing subjective entries instead of technology articles. I am sure this article of yours was proof read by people around you, either "experts", or people who don't want to hurt your feelings, but when the result is almost every tie a bunch of factual errors, it's more harmful than helpful for the society as whole.

You're right on something as well:
Quote
niche product within a niche
This is very true.

This is also the reason why it's more expensive that the regular one. Those who really want it don't care how much it costs. Leica M-series digital cameras are quite obsolete when it comes to technology. They're all very, very much overpriced for what it costs to make one. What they are is a fashion item. It can be used as a tool, and in some very limited cases might even still be the best tool (considering the lenses), but the price is because of the brand.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: michael on May 11, 2012, 05:16:54 am
Aku,

Thank you for your comments. With all due respect, all I can say is that if I have to choose between the technical information I get from the scientists and engineers working at the top digital imaging companies in Europe, Japan, and America, or you, somehow I think you'll end up being the loser.

Michael
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: tom b on May 11, 2012, 05:47:38 am
So Aku Ankka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aku_Ankka) who are you? Surely not Donald Duck.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: sandymc on May 11, 2012, 07:09:50 am
Whoever Aku may or may not be, he or she is correct about luminance and about aliasing. Luminance is not just green! Something that anyone that ever used a lab color space should know.

On aliasing, any sampled digital system without a filter will alias if pointed at something with the right (or wrong if you prefer) characteristics. You could read "colour moire or related artifacting" to mean "color moire or color artifacting". In which case the article is technically correct, given that it's a monochrome camera, but the point becomes trivial.

Any "experts" saying otherwise - aren't experts.


Sandy
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: barryfitzgerald on May 11, 2012, 07:10:53 am
Makes me want to rush out and buy a Voigtländer and put some more Ilford in the freezer.
If you want the old school look, I think your best best is to do the old school stuff..the real deal the real thing b&w film  8)
You can get an awful lot of stuff for a lot less than this model.

I know Leica is a niche player, but I think this is a bit too niche even for them
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 11, 2012, 07:49:34 am
Quote
since the luminance information is only being sampled from the green cells
...With all due respect, all I can say is that if I have to choose between the technical information I get from the scientists and engineers working at the top digital imaging companies in Europe, Japan, and America, or you, somehow I think you'll end up being the loser.
I think this is the wrong way to face the discussion.

There are a number of perfectly understandable reasons why your idea of what some scientists and engineers thinks may not be accurate or the best explanation. They may have worked for some company that have invested in certain technology, they may have been drunk, you may have misread them, or (perish the thought) the scientists could actually be wrong. The best way to figure that out is to present the arguments and references, and/or to do a practical test.


I suggest you ask yourself this question: If a scene contains only monochromatic light (variation) at the far red or blue end of the spectrum (not exciting the "green" channel), does it contain no luminance? Would you expect that a bright blue light should be rendered as dark grey in a "neutral" B&W rendering?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luma_(video)#Use_of_luminance
Quote
Y = 0.2126 R + 0.7152 G + 0.0722 B
(Only offered as a rough guide as to how the standard red/green/blue channels contribute to luminance - any given camera will typically have somewhat different response)
-h
Title: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: BJL on May 11, 2012, 07:56:56 am
Although luminance information is not only green, there is a well documented loss of resolution caused by the spatial averaging involved in generating the two missing color values at each pixel. The dominance of the signal from "green" pixels (which in reality measure a wide spectral range across the middle of the visible spectrum) means that at a red or blue pixel, the luminance part of the demosaiced output depends more on the data from nearby green pixels than on the signal from that pixel itself. EDIT: a post by "h" quantifies this: even at a red or blue pixel, green accounts for about 70% of the luminance information, which in turn is what dominates our perception or resolution END EDIT.

Or if you do not trust theory, just look at the resolution measurement for the X3 style pixels of Foveon/Sigma sensors, which roughly match a Bayer CFA with about twice the total pixel count, and so roughly the same count of locations at which green is measured.

On the other hand, those X3 sensors with no AA filters still show some aliasing artifacts, because there is indeed more to aliasing problems than color moiré, even though that is the most visible and famous aliasing problem. There are also some examples of "luminance aliasing" in discussions in this forum.

In defence of Leica, it is probably not in a position to avoid the deep, dark, dirty secret of CCD sensors --- the noise problems in very deep shadows and at high Exposure Index --- because adopting a better sensor technology would have extremely high costs relative to its very low unit sales. In particular, the Kodak sensors for M cameras have a special design with microlenses offset towards the optical axis, needed to deal with the highly off-perpendicular incident light delivered by some short focal length rangefinder lenses that have their rear elements amd exit pupil very close to the focal plane (no SLR lens does this). It could well be that even if a sensor supplier like Sony could do this, none except Kodak and Dalsa have developed suitable microlens technologies, and it is not cost effective to have a CMOS sensor supplier do it. Note that Kodak and Dalsa uses those offset microlenses in some other sensor too, like recent 44x33mm models, so that the cost is shared over more sensors, whereas a CMOS sensor maker would probably have only the Leica M cameras with a use such microlenses.

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Graeme Nattress on May 11, 2012, 08:32:36 am
Any decent demosaicing algorithm will derive some luminance information from the red and blue data where available. There are of course two factors that relate to the reduction in resolution from the pixel count to the measured amount, them being the mosaic pattern and subsequent demosaicing and the optical low pass filter.

Even if you look at the actual green pixels you have available (50% of the total), that gives you a linear resolution of 70% without having to interpolate at all. Any reasonably demosaicing will get that up to 80% or thereabouts and more if you remove the OLPF and allow for greater aliasing issues. Chroma moire doesn't come from the "guesswork" per se, but from the under-sampled nature of the red and blue compared to the OLPF which is generally set for the green pixels and their anti-aliasing needs. Chroma moire is not generally an issue and can be rapidly and adequately dealt with by superior demosaicing algorithms, whereas luma aliasing can not.

When designing new sensors, generally the first "slices" don't have the CFA dyes added and are indeed monochrome. This allows the sensor designer to test the pixels without having to concern themselves with the added complexity of demosaicing, and indeed early sensors of a new design will be monochrome. I don't see any added engineering work to get monochrome sensors, although it will impact the image processing pipeline in camera to deal with the monochrome data to make an image, but that processing will now be simpler than with a Bayer CFA and probably achieved by removing stages or using simpler stages (which may need extra development).

All this said, I love the idea of a dedicated monochrome camera, but I don't see it selling in enough numbers to warrant many manufacturers doing this. I had lobbied for a black and white sensor on the RED's (we wouldn't sell enough to make it worthwhile on the re-engineering of the pipeline and compression), but that was mostly just to answer the age-old question of "what is black and white and red all over?"

Graeme
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: BJL on May 11, 2012, 09:04:09 am
Graeme,
Thanks for your professional input. Your figure of the CFA reducing resolution by about 20%, plus the exta loss due to the AA filter that the MM also avoids, matches up very well with Michael's eye-ball estimate of 26-32MP: just removing that factor of 80% linear resolution would be comparable to increasing linear pixel count by 100/80, and so MP count going from 18 to 18*(100/80)^2 = 28MP.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Graeme Nattress on May 11, 2012, 09:21:33 am
Also, the OLPFs are generally specified a bit weaker in the digital stills world than we do in motion, which is not surprising given that to fix aliasing on one frame is a pain, but to fix it on a movie is deadly.

Graeme
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: michael on May 11, 2012, 10:27:30 am
Where did the straw man argument that green is only responsible for luminance come from? That's not what I wrote or have ever written. They are predominantly responsible in a Bayer array, but not totally.

I don't mind being pilloried for my mistakes, but not for what other people have said I said.

Real world a Bayer sensor produces about 75% of the resolution of the same sensor without a colour matrix, which means that the red and blue cells are contributing less than the greens to luminance and position information. The M Monochrom simply proves the theory, as anyone who has tested it against an M9 can verify.

Cheech.


Michael
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Alan Smallbone on May 11, 2012, 10:34:00 am
Well monochrome sensors have been around for a long time. Leica did not have to do any engineering in "removing" the Bayer array as a lot of sensors on the market are made without them. I have been using monochrome astronomy cameras for a long time, and use color filters in front on a filter wheel to provide color information. Since there is no Bayer array the resolution will be increased. As to sensitivity that will really depend on the sensor being used, many are not as sensitive in certain ranges of the color spectrum and respond differently so how much like film it will be will depend on the sensor design and whether or not the pixels have micro lenses, which are not to be confused with Bayer filters.

All in all it would be a nice camera to have if it were not so outrageously priced. IMO.

Alan
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 11, 2012, 10:34:56 am
Graeme,
Thanks for your professional input. Your figure of the CFA reducing resolution by about 20%, plus the exta loss due to the AA filter that the MM also avoids, matches up very well with Michael's eye-ball estimate of 26-32MP: just removing that factor of 80% linear resolution would be comparable to increasing linear pixel count by 100/80, and so MP count going from 18 to 18*(100/80)^2 = 28MP.

Hi,

That 80% is only for the Green filtered sensels. When the smaller contribution from the Red and Blue filtered sensels is also utilized, then luminance resolution can easily go up to more than 90% (93.6% as I've demonsrated here (http://bvdwolf.home.xs4all.nl/main/foto/bayer/bayer_cfa.htm)).

This is also confirmed when you plot the MTF curves for the R/G/B channels in the same chart, they are virtually identical when luminance variations are present. The only resolution challenge that exists is when luminance is low contrast, but chrominance is saturated Red and/or Blue. Then the demosaicing algorithm has to work a lot harder to get something useful from the undersampled colors.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Graeme Nattress on May 11, 2012, 10:39:41 am
"The green filtered cells are responsible for luminance information and the red and blue predominantly for colour information, which when combined with the green allows for full colour images to be derived", so although you say "red and blue predominantly for colour information" which does imply they have some impact on luminance resolution, but "The green filtered cells are responsible for luminance information" implies it's only green. That is where the discombobularity is coming from. I think 75% linear resolution is a bit low, and a lot of that is OLPF related rather than Bayer CFA related. What the information from the red and blue do is vastly increase the accuracy of the green interpolation.

Graeme
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Graeme Nattress on May 11, 2012, 10:45:17 am
That 80% is only for the Green filtered sensels.

I was including a decent OLPF in that 80% figure. I don't really think we can count excessive aliasing as resolution.

Graeme
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: JerseyT on May 11, 2012, 11:03:50 am
It would be interesting to compare monochrome images processed from the Nikon D800E to those from the Leica MM.  Seems to me that you should get similar resolution, while gaining the possibility of flexible post-processing filtering, at about 40% of the cost of the Leica.  Yeah, you wouldn't have Leica lenses but Nikon isn't exactly chopped liver, as they say.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: BJL on May 11, 2012, 11:22:35 am
Where did the straw man argument that green is only responsible for luminance come from? That's not what I wrote or have ever written. They are predominantly responsible in a Bayer array, but not totally.

Michael, you have got the important point right (like with the 26-32MP estimate) so the problem is just people jumping at some possibly poor phrasing: "since the luminance information is only being sampled from the green cells..." Maybe you should clarify that wording?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Petrus on May 11, 2012, 11:30:47 am
It would be interesting to compare monochrome images processed from the Nikon D800E to those from the Leica MM. 

There is so much Oohing and Aahing about this wonder camera in different forums that I am also extremely curious about a comparison of this new Leica to D800e and also 5D3. Both with unprocessed B&W from those traditional color cameras (D800 has a B&W setting if I remember correctly?) and tweaked conversions with Lightroom or PS. It is true that using the adjustment sliders in LR or PS to the max does not look pretty, but how many people really are going to use the Leica with maximum density red filters for example, as it was claimed that then it really shines? I am not convinced that there is so much resolution advantage in Leica Monochrom that it overcomes the lost possibility of tweaking the color mapping into B&W all digital color cameras give. Quality is not only the resolution, but also the artistic feel and translation into grayscale, which with Leica is fixed.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: theguywitha645d on May 11, 2012, 12:35:24 pm
The difference between a M9 and an M9M can easily be measure with a test target. Can't get more "real world" than that.

As far as Bayer interpolation making a big impact on resolving power, I don't have that experience. The two 100% images are taken through the same optics with the same camera that make an interpolated image or a real color image by shifting the sensor by a pixel length. You really need to look to see the difference.

The M9M seems to have a different exposure and/or signal processing going on, at least from the samples I have seen. I also don't know anything about the spectral response. But in evaluation B&W images, they can simply appear to have more resolution because of contrast and the elimination of color information. I also shoot monochrome cameras with filter arrays and the monochrome image always appears more detailed even though there is no difference in the resolving power of the system. Judging resolving power by comparing two "real world" images is pretty much a subjective call.

As far as the M9M, it is rather a disappointment. It is funny that the Japanese get lambasted when they don't (seem to) update their technology, but the Germans get let off easily. I definitely get the rangefinder thing--my favorite type of camera. I get the appeal of a monochrome camera. I am just really underwhelmed by the "new" Leica. They could put a little effort into it.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Aku Ankka on May 11, 2012, 01:04:44 pm
Aku,

Thank you for your comments. With all due respect, all I can say is that if I have to choose between the technical information I get from the scientists and engineers working at the top digital imaging companies in Europe, Japan, and America, or you, somehow I think you'll end up being the loser.

Also with all due respect, you may well talk to all kinds of experts, but that does not mean that you are an expert in this field (digital imaging, including sensor operation). You are not. I just wish you could understand it and write your articles accordingly. Now they are filled with mistakes and no offense meant, you're quite arrogant in defending your writing by ignoring the criticism and praising your connections. This behavior is not too dissimilar to so called "fanboy" behavior which pollutes discussions.

Let me quote you again:
Quote
Engineering a monochrome sensor equipped camera isn't simply a matter of removing the Bayer array. Though based on the M9 sensor, a significant amount of reengineering at the chip level was required

This is absolutely false. If you knew what you are talking about, instead of just repeating what someone at Leica has told you, you'd know that. Of course, I would be delighted if you would tell of one single thing that would need to be reengineered (at the "chip" level - I assume you mean the sensor, but maybe something else).

And something else from your article:
Quote
Foveon technology, where the colour filter layers are stacked vertically
Your lack of knowledge is clear here as well - Foveon does not have any color filter layers. Instead it has a triple photodiode construction where modest color separation is achieved due photons of different energies penetrating silicon to different depths with different probabilities.

And when it comes to resolution, BartvanderWolf has demonstrated in this forum that your estimates are quite false. I have also done my share of measurements and the results have been significantly different than your guestimates. I prefer measurements and science anytime over eyeballing.

Anyhow, to me this new Leica is kind of like Pentax K-01 - a minimum risk new product with minum amount of reengineering required to make it. Pentax took a K-5, crippled it and put a new body around it and that's K-01, Leica took M9, used a CFA-less sensor and that's the new camera.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: Aku Ankka on May 11, 2012, 01:24:29 pm
Or if you do not trust theory, just look at the resolution measurement for the X3 style pixels of Foveon/Sigma sensors, which roughly match a Bayer CFA with about twice the total pixel count

Why should we trust a theory if it confirms your false assumption of Foveon resolving power? No sensor resolves beyond Nyquist, and Bayer CFA equipped sensors resolve over 90% of Nyquist. Even if we use the conservative 90% figure, it leads to Bayer pixel being worth 81% of a Foveon pixel in this regard. Not 50%.

Quote
In particular, the Kodak sensors for M cameras have a special design with microlenses offset towards the optical axis

Nothing "special" about that. All manufcturers have off-axix microlenses on mirrorless cameras, and possibly even in the DSLRs (though there the benefits would be significantly less).

Quote
elements amd exit pupil very close to the focal plane (no SLR lens does this). It could well be that even if a sensor supplier like Sony could do this, none except Kodak and Dalsa have developed suitable microlens technologies

Wrong. All manufacturers have this capability. Off-axix microlenses are standard technology. And to be even more precice, Kodak and Dalsa are far from being anywhere near the leaders of the pack regarding microlens technology.

Also, they are part of the "toppings", not integral to the sensor itself. Leica could make them themselves (though they don't necessarily have the tools inhouse and the expertise in this special field is certainly lesser than of Sony of other major players in image sensor bussiness).
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Rob C on May 11, 2012, 01:26:17 pm
From the perspective of someone who's interested but can't afford either type of new(ish)/new M camera (and thus without horse in this race) I can't see the rationale with this camera. Yes, it woud be nice to have something giving 'better' b/w results, but at the expense of the controls now taken for granted with Photoshop, it seems sort of perverse, as does the price, where for something that is giving you less (no colour possibility) you'd really expect, instead, to pay less, a hell of a lot less!

But that's what it means to be a legend: you get star status until your last flop and then you are right off the world's radar.

I think this thing is a mistake, if only because it should have been a lot less expensive than the cooking version of M9.

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: John R Smith on May 11, 2012, 01:31:45 pm
I think this thing is a mistake, if only because it should have been a lot less expensive than the cooking version of M9.

The snag is, Rob, the M9 and M Monocrom probably cost almost exactly the same to manufacture. But the Monocrom will sell in far fewer numbers. If Leica cut their margins and sold the Monocrom for less, would they gain enough sales to make a business case? Probably not.

John
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Bryan Conner on May 11, 2012, 02:16:04 pm
Also with all due respect, you may well talk to all kinds of experts, but that does not mean that you are an expert in this field (digital imaging, including sensor operation). You are not. I just wish you could understand it and write your articles accordingly. Now they are filled with mistakes and no offense meant, you're quite arrogant in defending your writing by ignoring the criticism and praising your connections. This behavior is not too dissimilar to so called "fanboy" behavior which pollutes discussions.

Let me quote you again:
This is absolutely false. If you knew what you are talking about, instead of just repeating what someone at Leica has told you, you'd know that. Of course, I would be delighted if you would tell of one single thing that would need to be reengineered (at the "chip" level - I assume you mean the sensor, but maybe something else).

And something else from your article:Your lack of knowledge is clear here as well - Foveon does not have any color filter layers. Instead it has a triple photodiode construction where modest color separation is achieved due photons of different energies penetrating silicon to different depths with different probabilities.

And when it comes to resolution, BartvanderWolf has demonstrated in this forum that your estimates are quite false. I have also done my share of measurements and the results have been significantly different than your guestimates. I prefer measurements and science anytime over eyeballing.

Anyhow, to me this new Leica is kind of like Pentax K-01 - a minimum risk new product with minum amount of reengineering required to make it. Pentax took a K-5, crippled it and put a new body around it and that's K-01, Leica took M9, used a CFA-less sensor and that's the new camera.


I do not understand why one person would choose to challenge the statements of an easily identifiable person while choosing to hide anonymously behind a fake name.  What do you have to hide?  Or, are you afraid of something?  You would gain a lot of credibility by being brave and come out of hiding.  Be brave young duck!   8)
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: bobtowery on May 11, 2012, 02:45:48 pm
Is it just me, or are there way more engineers (pseudo-engineers?) around here than photographers?  Does any of this discussion really matter? Would it change how you use the camera? "Excuse me, could you turn a little to the left? Due to the 70% ratio of green luminance and the inherent gain in linear resolution thus rendered, I believe my image will be slightly better. Thank you."

The camera is what it is. If you can afford it and like the way it works, go buy one.

If not, again, does it matter?

There. I feel better. I'm now going to take my Canon for a walk.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: LKaven on May 11, 2012, 02:51:07 pm
This camera would be very interesting with a color wheel.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: theguywitha645d on May 11, 2012, 03:11:15 pm
It is an interesting camera, but it is kind of like warmed up leftovers.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Petrus on May 11, 2012, 03:30:07 pm
The camera is what it is. If you can afford it and like the way it works, go buy one.

If not, again, does it matter?

I keep bringing up certain things, like the lost possibility to apply color filters in PS or Lightroom, when the camera produces B&W files, not color. I have a sneaking feeling that not all people realize or understand this major difference, not even all those who contemplate or dream about getting this camera. Understanding this should help them make a more rational decision. A consumer right of sorts...
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: john beardsworth on May 11, 2012, 03:37:50 pm
"lost possibility to apply color filters in PS or Lightroom"

That's a key point. Maybe one is expected to carry a colour M9 as well?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: michael on May 11, 2012, 04:19:09 pm
I am here in Berlin with some of the leading journalists from the photographic industry and top engineering people from several of the major European digital imaging firms (not just Leica. Many of them read this site.

Several have come up to me within the past 12 hours and asked – why do you put up with that crap – referring to this thread.

All I can say is – it's the Internet, what do you expect? Sigh.

Michael
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: PierreVandevenne on May 11, 2012, 04:19:17 pm
I do not understand why one person would choose to challenge the statements of an easily identifiable person while choosing to hide anonymously behind a fake name.  What do you have to hide?  Or, are you afraid of something?  You would gain a lot of credibility by being brave and come out of hiding.  Be brave young duck!   8)

Let me guess. :-) Technically he is 90+ % correct. Rethorically, he is 90+% rude. Observation number 2 is strongly correlated with anonymity on the Internet.

Anyway, the real culprit here is marketing. Was the same with "16bits" sensors, "patent pending" technologies bearing a striking similarity to good old binning, etc...
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 11, 2012, 05:27:20 pm
... that does not mean that you are an expert in this field (digital imaging, including sensor operation). You are not.

Dear Donald Duck,

I think we all know who Michael Reichmann is. What we do not know (and frankly, do not care) is who you are. Is MR an expert? Not in your view, but quite so in our. Do we care whether our definition of his expertise matches yours? Not at all. Again, we know who he is, with all his strengths and weaknesses, and we like him and respect just the way he is. In other words, he already has an enviable reputation. The only reputation you've managed to build so far is your ability to choose your anonymous handle on the Internet to match your apparent personality:

"Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligent speech and his mischievous and irritable personality" (Wikipedia)

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: LKaven on May 11, 2012, 06:00:04 pm
I am here in Berlin with some of the leading journalists from the photographic industry and top engineering people from several of the major European digital imaging firms (not just Leica. Many of them read this site.

Several have come up to me within the past 12 hours and asked – why do you put up with that crap – referring to this thread.
Because you're a reasonable guy, not an authoritarian.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: BJL on May 11, 2012, 06:27:43 pm
Why should we trust a theory if it confirms your false assumption of Foveon resolving power? No sensor resolves beyond Nyquist, and Bayer CFA equipped sensors resolve over 90% of Nyquist.
Aku, relax a bit; we are not in violent disagreement. My 2:1 pixel count ratio was a rough rule of thumb, not a precise measurement: it would be absurd to propose a single precise number for all CFA cameras with their varying demosaicing algorithms and OLP filters. In terms of linear resolution, my 2:1 corresponds to the Bayer CFA approach having about 70% of the linear resolution or a non CFA sensor. I am happy to refine that 70% up to about the 80% figure suggested by Graeme Nattress (whose job at RED includes things like designing demosaicing algorithms, or so I have been told). And as I noted elsewhere, that 80% figure reduces my 2:1 rule of thumb to about 1.6:1. Even express in the more reasonable unit of linear resolution, the gain is 25%, which seems worthwhile.

But note: when I talk about resolution, I am not referring to the extinction level at which things are barely distinguished (and beloved of film zealots trying to prove the inferiority of digital to film) or measures with high contrast black-and-white test targets. I am instead talking about useful levels of retained contrast, like a MTF of 50% or better, and by that standard, 90% of Nyquist seems over-optimistic.

As to off-set micro-lenses; I had not heard of them being used other than in Kodak CCDs, but am happy to learn of progress on that front: do you have some references of them used in CMOS sensors for DSLRs or mirrorless systems?  It would be nice if Leica could use a CMOS sensor with such technology to move beyond CCDs someday soon. Note though that the modern mirrorless systems do not need to work so hard in dealing with off-perpendicualr incident light, because their new lens designs can have a high exit pupil and have a chic ray that stats reasonably close to perpendicular even at the corners of the frame (Having rear elements near the focal plane does not always mean a low exit pupil, though that is true with more classical near-symmetric lens designs.)
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: BJL on May 11, 2012, 06:48:55 pm
This camera would be very interesting with a color wheel.
I have a dream: astronomers and some other scientists also have uses for monochrome sensors, often used with various filters, and indeed most models of sensor in the Kodak product list are monochrome. So might Canon or Nikon or Sony or Panasonic or (microscope maker) Olympus produce a "scientific/astronomical camera" with a monochrome CMOS sensor and Live View? This could also be of interest for monochrome artistic photography. (Though I personally would sacrifice a bit of resolution for the option of changing the filtering after the fact.)

Right now, the obvious fantasy item would be an Nikon 800M, or maybe soon a "Sony A99M" with similar sensor.

For bonus points,
- no IR cut filter, so that normal imaging would require one in front of the lens, but it could be removed for IR imaging with vastly better sensitivity and resolution than IR film ever offered.
- an EVF option for composing with Live View, maybe as a hot-shoe accessory for a DSLR or maybe making the jump to a "post-SLR" design.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: Graeme Nattress on May 11, 2012, 07:00:35 pm
But note: when I talk about resolution, I am not referring to the extinction level at which things are barely distinguished (and beloved of film zealots trying to prove the inferiority of digital to film) or measures with high contrast black-and-white test targets. I am instead talking about useful levels of retained contrast, like a MTF of 50% or better, and by that standard, 90% of Nyquist seems over-optimistic.

I'd be happy to talk MTF50% especially in low alising/moire cases! I routinely plot MTF for testing demosaic algorithms and filtration. If you relax on the aliasing, MTF50 is easy enough to achieve, but getting it good while having low aliasing is where, for me, image quality lies.

Graeme
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: dreed on May 12, 2012, 01:25:00 am
Quote from: dreed
Please put your stories through a spell checker and include a custom dictionary if need be. The last two stories have been good examplws of why this is a good idea.

I couldn't agree more.

Michael

Oh, I was trying to draw attention to one of the words in this story that got through and stuck out like a sore thumb to me, maybe I failed...
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: John R Smith on May 12, 2012, 04:10:38 am

There seems to me to be a crucial question here which has not so far been addressed.

Are B/W images from the M Monocrom significantly "better" or just different in a pleasing way -

Than the same scene and subjects taken with an M9 and the same lens under the same light, with the image then converted to B/W from the colour file using the 'V' key in Lightroom? (no after-the-fact colour filtration allowed).

Because if there is no worthwhile gain in a 16x12" print, then there is no point in buying one.

Tests, gentlemen, please. Inquiring minds want to know  ;)

John
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: john beardsworth on May 12, 2012, 04:55:40 am
Quote
Are B/W images from the M Monocrom significantly "better" or just different in a pleasing way - Than the same scene and subjects taken with an M9 and the same lens under the same light, with the image then converted to B/W from the colour file using the 'V' key in Lightroom? (no after-the-fact colour filtration allowed).

Little more than moot if you deny the possibility to fine tune the B&W mix.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Jim Pascoe on May 12, 2012, 09:43:39 am
Also with all due respect, you may well talk to all kinds of experts, but that does not mean that you are an expert in this field (digital imaging, including sensor operation). You are not. I just wish you could understand it and write your articles accordingly. Now they are filled with mistakes and no offense meant, you're quite arrogant in defending your writing by ignoring the criticism and praising your connections. This behavior is not too dissimilar to so called "fanboy" behavior which pollutes discussions.

Let me quote you again:
This is absolutely false. If you knew what you are talking about, instead of just repeating what someone at Leica has told you, you'd know that. Of course, I would be delighted if you would tell of one single thing that would need to be reengineered (at the "chip" level - I assume you mean the sensor, but maybe something else).

And something else from your article:Your lack of knowledge is clear here as well - Foveon does not have any color filter layers. Instead it has a triple photodiode construction where modest color separation is achieved due photons of different energies penetrating silicon to different depths with different probabilities.

And when it comes to resolution, BartvanderWolf has demonstrated in this forum that your estimates are quite false. I have also done my share of measurements and the results have been significantly different than your guestimates. I prefer measurements and science anytime over eyeballing.

Anyhow, to me this new Leica is kind of like Pentax K-01 - a minimum risk new product with minum amount of reengineering required to make it. Pentax took a K-5, crippled it and put a new body around it and that's K-01, Leica took M9, used a CFA-less sensor and that's the new camera.


Perhaps it is just my sensibility, but when people use BOLD TEXT in their posts it comes across to me as shouting.

Michael Reichman is an expert by the standards of most of the readers of this forum, I certainly find his writing is aimed at a good level for me as a photographer.  Note the word 'photographer' here.  There are a large number of 'tech heads' joining in to give their own expert opinion on various subjects.  When you have been reading the forums for quite a while one starts to get a feel for those who are just photographers, those who are also quite well versed in the technology, and then those for whom the technology is far more important than the making of photographs.  In fact some of these experts probably just take pictures to test the gear itself.  None of that matters if thats what they enjoy, but long-term LL readers can easily make their way around the various opinions and make up their own mind.  If someone new joins in and believes as gospel anything that is written here - more fool them.

Michael does get things wrong sometimes, and usually someone gently points this out and all is well.  But it is uncalled for an anonymous reader to chip in and try to make the site owner look a fool.  Even experts sometimes disagree.  Perhaps Aku is a sensor designer for a large camera manufacturer, or has a PHD in sensor design.  Perhaps we will never know, but in the meantime Michael Reichmann tells me what I need to know as a photographer.

Jim
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: John Camp on May 12, 2012, 10:04:20 am
+1
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: Hans Kruse on May 12, 2012, 10:58:22 am
Aku, relax a bit; we are not in violent disagreement. My 2:1 pixel count ratio was a rough rule of thumb, not a precise measurement: it would be absurd to propose a single precise number for all CFA cameras with their varying demosaicing algorithms and OLP filters. In terms of linear resolution, my 2:1 corresponds to the Bayer CFA approach having about 70% of the linear resolution or a non CFA sensor. I am happy to refine that 70% up to about the 80% figure suggested by Graeme Nattress (whose job at RED includes things like designing demosaicing algorithms, or so I have been told). And as I noted elsewhere, that 80% figure reduces my 2:1 rule of thumb to about 1.6:1. Even express in the more reasonable unit of linear resolution, the gain is 25%, which seems worthwhile.

To me the 80% of Nyquist would mean that 80% of the linear resolution of the sensor is the true resolution. This means that in terms of megapixels 80%*80%=64% of the sensors megapixels correspond to the true resolution of the sensor. This is pretty close to what Michael wrote on the article (2/3). This again means that the true resolution of the sensor in the monochrom(e) Leica is 18*3/2=27MP.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: theguywitha645d on May 12, 2012, 10:59:32 am
I have a dream: astronomers and some other scientists also have uses for monochrome sensors, often used with various filters, and indeed most models of sensor in the Kodak product list are monochrome.

The scientists in my microscope lab use monochrome cameras with color filters all the time. Dream come true. The last 4MP monochrome camera we purchased was $14,000.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: BJL on May 12, 2012, 12:36:48 pm
This again means that the true resolution of the sensor in the monochrom(e) Leica is 18*3/2=27MP.
Agreed on the numbers as an adequate indication of sensor resolution, but I would avoid the often abused adjective "true". What we have here is yet another rough equivalency that I am sure will be much debated: the "Bayer CFA sensor equivalent pixel count". Add this to the "36x24mm format equivalent focal length" (as a FOV measure) and the even more controversial "36x24mm format equivalent aperture" (as a measure of DOF, and maybe of light gathering speed).
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: cmi on May 12, 2012, 01:38:46 pm
Mr. Reichmann has the eloquence to communicate technical details in an intuitive manner, and especially this makes these articles stand out. This is what good teaching is about. Absolute details are not neccessary in this context: informative, insightful articles about photography.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 12, 2012, 01:40:39 pm
To me the 80% of Nyquist would mean that 80% of the linear resolution of the sensor is the true resolution. This means that in terms of megapixels 80%*80%=64% of the sensors megapixels correspond to the true resolution of the sensor.

Hi Hans,

Unfortunately a simple and objective testshot of a testchart will demonstrate that it's not the 'true' resolution, but something subjective and that makes it a hard to use metric for comparisons (a bit like the Foveon X3 claim, not based on reality).

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Hans Kruse on May 12, 2012, 02:34:08 pm
So what is the true resolution of a Bayer filter camera compared to a non Bayer filter camera? ;)
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 12, 2012, 03:03:09 pm
So what is the true resolution of a Bayer filter camera compared to a non Bayer filter camera? ;)

For luminance, Bayer CFA or not, close to (90-99% of) the Nyquist frequency (which is determined by the sensel pitch), and for chrominance it's the same or down to almost half (depending on the actual colors and their luminance contribution). The exact limiting resolution also depends on the subject contrast.

If you want the actual number, that varies and depends on how a particular lens and sensor (with or without OLPF, and/or microlenses) interact. The resulting system MTF curve will reveal that, and can be derived from a suitable test target (such as the one I proposed here (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13217), but there are also others). The test (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=65927.msg523733#msg523733) with the D800 versus the D800E confimed that, as did other tests (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=58661.0) (first lens tested there resolved 95.8% of Nyquist, on a Bayer CFA filtered sensor) here on LuLa with that test target. The Raw converter one uses also makes some difference.

In general, the non-Bayer CFA camera could have a benefit of a few percent, only a few (given how much a CFA filtered camera can resolve).

Cheers,
Bart
Title: CFA costs 3.5% to 30% of linear resolution, depending on how you define it!
Post by: BJL on May 12, 2012, 03:04:27 pm
So what is the true resolution of a Bayer filter camera compared to a non Bayer filter camera? ;)
Taking numbers from posts in this forum, the answer is that the use of a Bayer CFA reduces resolution to between 70% and 96.5% of what you would get without, depending on how you define and measure "resolution". (Unless you are a hard-core Foveonist using red-blue resolution test patterns, in which case the one true answer is 50%).

With the various ways that resolution can be quantified, (such as 50% MTF or the visible limit of seeing any contrast on the image of a high contrast test pattern, which is more like 5% MTF), saying anything more precise will draw criticism from one side of the other.

Given the imprecision, and the utter unimportance to artistic photography  of being more precise, I will go with 4/5ths of the linear resolution, 2/3rds of the effective pixel count. I like these small, simple fractions because they avoid the false veneer of precision given by percentages and numbers cited to three decimal places.

In fact, photography has a wonderful and familiar unit for measuring fractional changes in aperture size, sensitivity and such: the "stop", for a linear factor of 1.4 and area or time factor of two. So I declare that use of a CFA costs about 1/2 stop of resolution.

P. S. Bart is, I believe, using the "barely visible on a test pattern" criterion, which gives the upper end of my numerical range, minimizing the resolution loss cause by the CFA.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: dreed on May 12, 2012, 03:04:34 pm
So what is the true resolution of a Bayer filter camera compared to a non Bayer filter camera? ;)

I think what people are trying to say is that...

For bayer, "effective MP" = 2/3(bayerMP)
For B&W, "effecitve MP" = "MP"

And the other way is if...
if a camera has x MP in a bayer array and another camera has x MP in a B&W sensor, then the B&W sensor is equivalent to 3/2(x) in a bayer matrix.

So a 36MP bayer is more realisticly a 24MP sensor, or at least produces the same amount of detail as would a 24MP B&W sensor.

I think I got that right :*)
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: lenelg on May 12, 2012, 03:19:57 pm
And back in the 70´s, my extreme audiophile friend would plug his new amplifier into an oscilloscope instead of a loudspeaker, and fall into rapture watching the beautiful waveform, not bothering to listen to the music..
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: prairiewing on May 12, 2012, 04:54:42 pm
Mr. Reichmann has the eloquence to communicate technical details in an intuitive manner, and especially this makes these articles stand out. This is what good teaching is about. Absolute details are not neccessary in this context: informative, insightful articles about photography.

As a photographer I completely agree and thank you for stating it so well.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Ray on May 13, 2012, 02:31:58 am
There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread about what's true or not, and what's exaggerated or not, and who's an expert or not.

Let's get down to basic principles. A red pixel in the Bayer type system has to block both green and blue light. The green pixel has to block both blue and red light, and so on.

If there were no overlap between the 3 primary colors, as much as 2/3rds of the light impinging upon the sensor would be blocked. However, there is an overlap, so the net effect of removing the color filter array is probably about one stop more light reaching the sensor with any given exposure.

If one were to remove the CFA from any Bayer type sensor, I therefore presume the manufacturer could raise base ISO by one full stop, yet still retain the same SNR and DR.

If the D800 were not only offered with an option of no AA filter, but also the option of no CFA filter, then the CFA-less version (D800BW) would have 14 stops of DR at ISO 200, instead of ISO 100, and would have greater resolution by a degree which exceeds the difference between the D800 and D800E.

Anyone care to dispute that?  ;D
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: sandymc on May 13, 2012, 05:58:50 am
There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread about what's true or not, and what's exaggerated or not, and who's an expert or not.

Let's get down to basic principles. A red pixel in the Bayer type system has to block both green and blue light. The green pixel has to block both blue and red light, and so on.

If there were no overlap between the 3 primary colors, as much as 2/3rds of the light impinging upon the sensor would be blocked. However, there is an overlap, so the net effect of removing the color filter array is probably about one stop more light reaching the sensor with any given exposure.

If one were to remove the CFA from any Bayer type sensor, I therefore presume the manufacturer could raise base ISO by one full stop, yet still retain the same SNR and DR.

If the D800 were not only offered with an option of no AA filter, but also the option of no CFA filter, then the CFA-less version (D800BW) would have 14 stops of DR at ISO 200, instead of ISO 100, and would have greater resolution by a degree which exceeds the difference between the D800 and D800E.

Anyone care to dispute that?  ;D

For a practical sensor, no, that's probably not right. It assumes that a monochrome sensor would not have a filter, which is probably wrong. You could have a "naked" sensor, but there are at least two reasons why there probably would be a filter: (a) varying sensitivity to wavelength of the sensor itself (usually corrected for by the matrix in raw processing of a CFA sensor, but there's no matrix here). Also (b) human's perception of luminance differs by color. If you don't filter to get the sensor output to conform to what us humans perceive as luminance, the images will appear "muddy" or "wrong".

So you would probably need a single color filter (versus a 4 color bayer filter) on a mono sensor. It should certainly pass more light in total than a bayer array, but not 100%. This would be a design trade-off for the manufacturer - more sensitivity versus a more natural color response. You would also hopefully have a IR filter, else you'd end up with out-of-focus IR contamination blurring your otherwise beautiful high-res image.

In fact, somewhat ironically, the most important characteristic of a monochrome sensor is probably its color response. So, I certainly hope that the M Monochrom has a filter of some sort. Hopefully Leica have tuned the M Monochrom to be similar to some of the classic B&W films. Sad that this aspect was entirely missed in the review.

This, BTW, was probably what Leica were alluding to when they talked about it being the M Monochrom being more than just a M9 without the bayer array.

Sandy

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Aku Ankka on May 13, 2012, 06:38:55 am
I think what people are trying to say is that...

For bayer, "effective MP" = 2/3(bayerMP)
For B&W, "effecitve MP" = "MP"

And the other way is if...
if a camera has x MP in a bayer array and another camera has x MP in a B&W sensor, then the B&W sensor is equivalent to 3/2(x) in a bayer matrix.

So a 36MP bayer is more realisticly a 24MP sensor, or at least produces the same amount of detail as would a 24MP B&W sensor.

I think I got that right :*)

The problem here is that the 2/3 guess is significantly wrong as it should be about 80% or more.
Nitpicking? Maybe, but when dealing with numbers, having proper numbers is better than the wrong ones, especially since we humans tend to round in a way that suits us and after a few such roundings the figures are way off...

Anyhow, using megapixel equivalents is a bit weird IMHO.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Aku Ankka on May 13, 2012, 06:49:09 am
I do not understand why one person would choose to challenge the statements of an easily identifiable person while choosing to hide anonymously behind a fake name.  What do you have to hide?  Or, are you afraid of something?  You would gain a lot of credibility by being brave and come out of hiding.  Be brave young duck!   8)

Sorry, I'm a coward and I do have a valid reason for hiding under an assumed name.

And I for example pointed at Barts test results which are scientific evidence.

Besides, since when the name or person of the author has been relevant to the factuality of the content? Or is is only content one doesn't like that can be dismissed unless the person reveals his real identity? I could just as well use an alias which would sound like a real persons name - you'd not be able to critizice the content because of the anonimity, but would that be more honest from me?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: lumpidu on May 13, 2012, 08:16:18 am
Hi,

independent on the theories of some experts, I read here: German Article On Heise-Photo.de (http://www.heise.de/foto/meldung/Leica-bringt-eine-Monochrom-M9-und-die-X2-1573052.html), that new base ISO of 320 of the M9M to be the real hint at how many photones the Bayer Array takes away. They stated ~50 %, as those transmission curves of the Bayer array overlap. This would explain the increae of the base ISO from ISO 160 to ISO 320 from the M9 to the M9M.
There was also a hint on the same page, that Leica uses in fact "filters", so I suppose these are U/V and/or I/R filters.

Michael: what about tests for IR/UV responsiveness of the M9M? Any hints about that from your sources ?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Bryan Conner on May 13, 2012, 09:02:43 am
Besides, since when the name or person of the author has been relevant to the factuality of the content? Or is is only content one doesn't like that can be dismissed unless the person reveals his real identity? I could just as well use an alias which would sound like a real persons name - you'd not be able to critizice the content because of the anonimity, but would that be more honest from me?


Yes, facts are facts.  But, when I read comments from a person who does not believe in himself enough to stand behind his own information with his own name, then why should I believe in what he says.  Credibility is questioned in the beginning...in a very big way.  I do not generally believe everything that anyone says.  I will do varying amounts of research for myself depending on the credibility of the source.  I definitely trust Michael Reichmann's information much more than I trust an anonymous source calling himself a Finnish translation of Donald Duck.  As far as the information goes, this nitpicking over numbers is not important to me.  As a matter of fact, I have already forgotten the numbers.  But, I do remember and value the basic gist of Michael's article.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: BJL on May 13, 2012, 09:29:26 am
If one were to remove the CFA from any Bayer type sensor, I therefore presume the manufacturer could raise base ISO by one full stop, yet still retain the same SNR and DR.
Basically yes, except that it is a matter of definition not choice when it comes to doubling the ISO saturation based sensitivity (what is so often refered to as base ISO, but I prefer to use the proper wording as in the ISO's documents, like ISO12232).

1. The CFA does indeed cause a rough halving of the amount of light reaching the photosites, the Quantum Efficiency, as can be seen for Kodak sensors similar to those used by Leica in Kodak's online spec documents. EDIT: some sensors like the KAF-8300 even come in both color and monochrome versions, so the QE specs are highly comparable.
Short form: http://www.kodak.com/ek/uploadedFiles/Content/Small_Business/Images_Sensor_Solutions/Datasheets(pdfs)/KAF-8300ProductSummary.pdf
Log form with graphs of QE vs wavelength of light for the color version:
http://www.kodak.com/ek/uploadedFiles/Content/Small_Business/Images_Sensor_Solutions/Datasheets(pdfs)/KAF-8300LongSpec.pdf


2. Thus, doing without the CFA gives saturation of wells with about half the exposure (e.g. half the shutter speed at equal aperture with the same lighting) and this by the ISO:12232 definition of saturation based sensitivity would double that so-called base ISO speed.

Indeed this is what is seen with the Leica MM: its base sensitivity is 320, compared to 160 for the M9, with exposure index on the MM being a "push", overexposing and losing one stop of highlight headroom in exchange for better shadow handling.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Petrus on May 13, 2012, 10:34:26 am

Indeed this is what is seen with the Leica MM: its base sensitivity is 320, compared to 160 for the M9, with exposure index on the MM being a "push", overexposing and losing one stop of highlight headroom in exchange for better shadow handling.

It seems, from looking at he published DR graphs of digital cameras (have not seen one from this B&W sensor yet), that there really is only one "real ISO speed" and high ISOs are manufactured by underexposure and sacrificing DR. Just underexpose a picture at base ISO about 4 stops and correct in LR and PS. It will turn out looking just about the same as one shot at 4 stops higher ISO. This Leica has only 10000 as the highest ISO, so does that mean that the sensor DR is quite small, as they do not dare to raise ISO higher than that? I have not seen any proper tests of resolution and DR yet.
Title: ISO sensitivity definitons give a range of "safe" exposure index choices
Post by: BJL on May 13, 2012, 10:51:53 am
It seems, from looking at he published DR graphs of digital cameras (have not seen one from this B&W sensor yet), that there really is only one "real ISO speed" and high ISOs are manufactured by underexposure and sacrificing DR.
There is a lot of ambiguity in the phrase "ISO speed", which is why I try to refer to the multiple different measures of sensitivity and exposure index in the actual ISO standard 12232.

With film, the familiar speed measure was roughly the maximum exposure index (minimum amount of light delivered to the film) that gave adequate shadow handling (loosely: noise floor four stops below the mid-tones).

The closest counterpart to that in the ISO standard for electonic sensors is the two noise based measures of maximum usable exposure index, S40 and S10. These are, roughly, the exposure index settings at which the Signal to Noise Ratio in the midtones is 40:1 and 10:1 respectively. Looking at the DXO graphs of SNR 18%, those measures are up in the thousands for good modern sensors. [See note added below.]

However, those measures are rarely used: instead most attention goes on an almost opposite measure: the saturation based base sensitivity, which is the minimum recommended exposure index below which there is inadequate highlight headroom. With modern sensors using microlenses and color filter arrays, this is in the range about 100 to 200.

I would like to see the sensitivity of a sensor decribed in the way that the ISO standard recommends: giving a range from a minimum (highlight saturation based) to a maximum (noise based, like S40). Reducing a complex mixture of sensor characteristics and performance goals to a single sensitivity number can be misleading.


P. S. The DXO graphs of SNR 18% in the "screen" mode (per pixel) give a rough reading of the ISO noise based upper limits on exposure index. Those graphs in fact have a red line at 20dB, which is a SNR of 10:1, considered as "barely acceptable" and in fact quite visibly noisy. The stricter SNR 40:1 standard is a common guideline for excellent noise levels, and corresponds to 26dB. Looking at some of the current state of the art sensors for noise levels, the 5D3, D800 and D4, I estimate ISO S40 maximum recommended exposure index values of
D800: 1600
5D3: 2500
D4: 3200
Of course, if one is satisfied with downsizing to DXO's "print" normalised 8MP , as is probably fine for most normal prints sizes from these low light extremes, the SNR goes up. The wonderfully simple result is that the ISO S40 limits become about 6400 for all three sensors.

This equality is, I believe, because in that comparison it is the fundamentals of photon shot noise at work. To partially confirm that, photon shot noise alone should give a 4/3" sensor an S40 speed in that 8MP normalisation that is reduced in proportion to sensor area (to get equal photon count per down-sampled pixel) so 1600: and that is exactly what I see for the two best 4/3" sensors tested at DXO so far, those of the G3 and GH2. The same argument for Canon's 1.6x smaller EF-S format suggests scaling down by (1/1.6)^2, to an ISO S40 speed of 2500 --- and again, this is what the DXO measurements show for the 7D.

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on May 13, 2012, 08:30:49 pm
"Raw Histogram
(...)
This has not been possible till now because with the raw file from a colour capable sensor the white balance is indeterminate. Depending on how the raw file is subsequently processed one of more of the colour channels might be blown. But because the MM has no white balance a true raw histogram display is possible."

Michael, with all respect, since no colour RAW histogram has been possible till now according to the article, I must then be the first human being plotting a real colour RAW histogram (Canon 350D):

Here in linear scale (not very useful to the photographer):
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/histogrammar/historaw1.gif)

And here in stops (very intuitive for a photographer):
(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/histogrammar/historaw2.gif)

Also a representation with some gamma curve (http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/gamma/gamma2.2.gif) applied over the linear data would provide useful RAW histograms.

This is perfectly possible in any colour digital camera working with RAW data, it's simply that camera makers are not interested to introduce it on their cameras.

Regards

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Ray on May 13, 2012, 10:58:26 pm
Michael, with all respect, since no colour RAW histogram has been possible till now according to the article, I must then be the first human being plotting a real colour RAW histogram (Canon 350D):

But you are unusual and special, Guillermo. ;D Most of us are not concerned with such finer technical points, and what may be technically possible if we take a lot of trouble, especially when such achievements have certain disadvantages, perhaps in respect of the attractiveness of the review image on the camera's LCD screen, for example.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 14, 2012, 01:38:28 am
Where did the straw man argument that green is only responsible for luminance come from? That's not what I wrote or have ever written. They are predominantly responsible in a Bayer array, but not totally.
I see now that you have corrected that part of the review. Excellent.

Might I humbly suggest that whenever people question the accuracy of your articles (and I do know that not everyone do so in the most polite manner), the proper reaction is to figure out what they are talking about, and why it may be wrong. Jumping to the "I know more scientists than you do" argument is only slightly more mature than the classic "my dad is bigger than yours" argument.

"..straw man argument.."
"..if I have to choose between the technical information I get from the scientists and engineers working at the top digital imaging companies in Europe, Japan, and America, or you, somehow I think you'll end up being the loser.."
"...it's going to be depressing to read some of the online forums over the next few weeks, where self-proclaimed experts..."

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on May 14, 2012, 03:07:59 am
repeated............
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Guillermo Luijk on May 14, 2012, 03:09:46 am
But you are unusual and special, Guillermo. ;D Most of us are not concerned with such finer technical points, and what may be technically possible if we take a lot of trouble, especially when such achievements have certain disadvantages, perhaps in respect of the attractiveness of the review image on the camera's LCD screen, for example.

Ray, there is no problem at all in having a beautifully white balanced review image on your LCD (camera's JPEG for instance), and a RAW histogram and clipping/underexpose warning on it. The image display is never RAW, it has to be demosaiced for instance, there is no need to have greenish images:

(http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/evf_para_alvar.gif)

So we have the best of both worlds: a natural looking image, and accurate exposure information. This IS possible, and this IS easy to achieve; camera makers simply don't have a focus on the fine RAW shooter. If you are not concerned with accurate RAW exposure, then you are simply not a fine RAW shooter.

Anyway I just wanted to point that RAW histograms are possible, no mater if the sensor is CFA or monochrome.

Regards
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: grzybu on May 14, 2012, 05:34:54 am
I would love to have RAW histogram in camera. Even if its available only in review mode.
RAW developers can show RAW histograms and it should be really easy to code, especially if you leave 4 colors with two different greens. I don't see reason why it's harder than making histogram from jpeg file. WB is not important, because I want to see RAW data histogram, and this are just numbers.
It's just producers are lazy and they don't want to see how users struggle with UniWB, etc. to get something closer to RAW histogram.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 14, 2012, 05:50:06 am
I would love to have RAW histogram in camera. Even if its available only in review mode.
Agreed
Quote
RAW developers can show RAW histograms and it should be really easy to code, especially if you leave 4 colors with two different greens.
I tend to think that the gain of the two green channels is a complexity that I dont want to think about when using my camera. If there is some slight deviation, I'd rather see them bundled together in one histogram.
Quote
I don't see reason why it's harder than making histogram from jpeg file. WB is not important, because I want to see RAW data histogram, and this are just numbers.
It's just producers are lazy and they don't want to see how users struggle with UniWB, etc. to get something closer to RAW histogram.
They are selling in-camera JPEGs to the most customers, for low-end to medium-end products, that functionality is probably the most important one, and re-using this functionality for high-end products is basically free. Canon and Nikon seem to be putting a lot of R&D and marketing effort on producing the "best" jpeg files, meaning that they are unlikely to jeopardize their investement.

Any raw feedback would (probably) have to be developed especially for niche cameras, and for a niche audience. Soccer-mums might think that the additional flexibility clutters the user interface. So while the requested functionality might be real simple, it might not make sense for the major players to include it - especially as long as the lu-la readers & friends continue to purchase products despite the lack of raw histograms.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: dreed on May 14, 2012, 07:20:18 am
AgreedI tend to think that the gain of the two green channels is a complexity that I dont want to think about when using my camera. If there is some slight deviation, I'd rather see them bundled together in one histogram.They are selling in-camera JPEGs to the most customers, for low-end to medium-end products, that functionality is probably the most important one, and re-using this functionality for high-end products is basically free. Canon and Nikon seem to be putting a lot of R&D and marketing effort on producing the "best" jpeg files, meaning that they are unlikely to jeopardize their investement.

Are photographers at the Super Bowl or Olympics going to be interested in raw histograms or fiddling around with raw conversion?

When you're in a situation where seconds matter in getting a picture out of the camera and onto a web page, JPEG is always going to be part of the answer.

Similarly, if you've just been out to a gig or a party and you get home with a camera full of photos that you want to upload to facebook, etc, do you want to mess around with raw conversion?

Quote
Any raw feedback would (probably) have to be developed especially for niche cameras, and for a niche audience. Soccer-mums might think that the additional flexibility clutters the user interface. So while the requested functionality might be real simple, it might not make sense for the major players to include it - especially as long as the lu-la readers & friends continue to purchase products despite the lack of raw histograms.

Do you count landscape and street photograph as "niche"?
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 14, 2012, 07:57:20 am
Are photographers at the Super Bowl or Olympics going to be interested in raw histograms or fiddling around with raw conversion?
Most of them: no. That was what I was trying to say in my post.
Quote
Do you count landscape and street photograph as "niche"?
Not necessarily, but I count those who care about ETTR as a minute niche compared to all of the Japanese and Germans purchasing expensive cameras to take snaps of their pets and family and occasional holliday trips using AE and jpeg exclusively.

Do you think that all landscape and street photographers work in raw format and obsess about the noise levels found in the darkest parts of their images? I dont. I am sure that you could find any number of photograpers producing more interesting images than myself who havent got the faintest idea what ETTR is or how many stops of usable DR her camera has.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: grzybu on May 14, 2012, 08:12:45 am
Most of EVIL cameras has live histogram, but it's only luminance so it's not perfectly usable. I don't think socker mums are enabling this to take snapshots, but it's available for others who care. The same could be with RAW histogram in review mode. Just let users to enable this and let them take responsibility for the results ;)
It won't cost much more to add such feature and won't make camera worse.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: dreed on May 14, 2012, 11:51:32 am
Most of them: no. That was what I was trying to say in my post. Not necessarily, but I count those who care about ETTR as a minute niche compared to all of the Japanese and Germans purchasing expensive cameras to take snaps of their pets and family and occasional holliday trips using AE and jpeg exclusively.

Do you think that all landscape and street photographers work in raw format and obsess about the noise levels found in the darkest parts of their images? I dont. I am sure that you could find any number of photograpers producing more interesting images than myself who havent got the faintest idea what ETTR is or how many stops of usable DR her camera has.

I'd always assumed that they would ... I suppose that's rather silly of me.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: image66 on May 14, 2012, 12:32:51 pm
So much of this discussion is centered around the resolution issues involved with the Bayer array. But in order to give quantifiable numbers for comparision, we really do need to be VERY specific about the demosiacing algorithm being used.

In a handful of algorithms, green is what is used to determine luminance. In others, each one is used for that pixel location. Yet in others three pixels are averaged together, while once in a while an algorithm actually used four.

Since we photographers here on Luminous Landscape are the smartest kids in the classroom, I personally would prefer that when we toss these numbers out that we identify just which conversion algorithm we are using. It's the little things like this which make a big difference in backing up our conclusions.

We ARE the smart kids, right?

Ken N.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Rob C on May 14, 2012, 12:47:38 pm
So much of this discussion is centered around the resolution issues involved with the Bayer array. But in order to give quantifiable numbers for comparision, we really do need to be VERY specific about the demosiacing algorithm being used.

In a handful of algorithms, green is what is used to determine luminance. In others, each one is used for that pixel location. Yet in others three pixels are averaged together, while once in a while an algorithm actually used four.

Since we photographers here on Luminous Landscape are the smartest kids in the classroom, I personally would prefer that when we toss these numbers out that we identify just which conversion algorithm we are using. It's the little things like this which make a big difference in backing up our conclusions.

We ARE the smart kids, right?Ken N.




Nope; it's the docs, dentists, lawyers and even accountants are the smart kids... photographers are those too dumb to do anything else. (So I was led to believe shortly before I took it up.)

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: joofa on May 15, 2012, 12:31:53 am
Quote
Michael wrote:
Engineering a monochrome sensor equipped camera isn't simply a matter of removing the Bayer array. Though based on the M9 sensor, a significant amount of reengineering at the chip level was required
This is absolutely false. If you knew what you are talking about, instead of just repeating what someone at Leica has told you, you'd know that. Of course, I would be delighted if you would tell of one single thing that would need to be reengineered (at the "chip" level - I assume you mean the sensor, but maybe something else).

Several differences can be mentioned here. I shall only list two, among others, that I have encountered personally during the making of digital cameras. There are no claims that they have any relevance to Leica camera, but does answer your query to provide a single difference, which I interpret as that the state of affairs should not change if you substitute a monochrome sensor for a color sensor: (1) A sensor typically has more pixels than the quoted resolution that is output. There are several uses of having a slightly larger grid than announced resolution. Among other things it can let one move around the rectangle that is output a little for several benefits that I won't go in here. However, on a monochrome sensor one can just offset the grid by a single pixel. However, on a color Bayer sensor, if you offset by one pixel then you change the order of BGRG pattern. A camera firmware must take the corresponding action to account for that. (2) Many sensors provide analog gain that can be different numbers for R, G and B. On a monochrome sensor you have a single number. Again, the firmware has to account for accordingly.

Admittedly, these are minor differences, and the overall design of a camera should not change a whole lot between a color and a monochrome version. But, again you asked for a single difference, however small that may be.


Quote
Your lack of knowledge is clear here as well ...

It is quite easy to pick on many (most??) articles for technical correctness. Guessing by the tone of your attack, I went back and read Michael's essay. To me the points that you have mentioned are quite minor to detract from the overall message of the essay. The aim is to get the overall gist correct on an informal Internet forum, in the context things are written. I shall give you two examples again.

(1) On LL, DPR, and elsewhere, how many times have "knowledgeable" people mentioned that to get the overall system MTF one multiples the MTF of lens, sensor, this, and that, and what not. However, technically, that is incorrect, unless properly accounted for. Because, to multiply MTFs in such manner the system should be shift-invariant, which the "MTF" of the sensor is not. Of course, people have realized that the sensor response is not shift-invariant, when you see stuff such as the sensor output to alternating thin-enough white and black lines depends upon the registration of the lines with the pixels. On certain displacements you can get white falling on a single pixel and black on the next pixel giving you a contrasty image. However, with a slight displacement, say half a pixel, you get part of black and white lines on each pixel, giving a less contrasty or more uniformly gray image. This is layman speak for the phenomenon of non-shift-invariance of the sensor response as mentioned above.  That is, the MTF itself is a function of the displacement in this scenario. So, while such an effect is realized by people, it is many times not incorporated into the definition and determination of MTF, which it is possible to do so. So one might attack making the "product of MTFs" assertion done without proper qualification.

(2) Open almost any book, Internet article, etc and stare at the xyz chromaticity diagram. Do you see what is wrong? I shall leave that as a homework exercise  ;D.

Quote
Also with all due respect, you may well talk to all kinds of experts, but that does not mean that you are an expert in this field (digital imaging, including sensor operation). You are not.

I hope you get the point by now.

Sincerely,

Joofa
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 15, 2012, 03:46:01 am
Several differences can be mentioned here...
Aku claimed that there were no re-engineering changes needed on the sensor level. Your reply talked only about changes needed on firmware level. I don't see your post disputing any of Akus claims?

I am guessing that any trivial change may lead to all kinds of extra costs. A "new product" might have to be certified for electrical hazard, RFI. If might need a rewrite of user manuals and redesign of packaging. Any change to the GUI/firmware could mean re-staffing of software developers and changing source code that may not have been used or tested since the launch of the M9. Purchasing an even smaller batch of specialized image sensor might not be easy to negotiate. And in the end, Leica does not do this to be kind, but because they believe that the difference between their costs and what the selling cost makes it worthwhile.
Quote
It is quite easy to pick on many (most??) articles for technical correctness. ...
I think it is important that _if_ some photography reviewer wants to talk about sensels and other technical details, he/she should get it right. If they don't want to talk about nitty-gritty technical details, that is fine too.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: joofa on May 15, 2012, 03:55:49 am
Aku claimed that there were no re-engineering changes needed on the sensor level. Your reply talked only about changes needed on firmware level. I don't see your post disputing any of Akus claims?

You can try to be a smart alec, and find all sorts of ifs and buts. The point, as I see it, is that Micheal implied some differences in monochrome and color cameras can have an effect on the availability, timing, etc. You can try to narrow it down to a sensor and firmware difference and nit pick. For the cameras we have designed, firmware was mostly on the cameras. So, for me, in broader sense, the question is the difference between color and monochrome camera design and not necessarily between color and monochrome sensors.

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 15, 2012, 04:17:34 am
You can try to be a smart alec, and find all sorts of ifs and buts.
Not trying to be anything except discuss the matter at hand. I suggest you do the same. Michael said "something". Aku interpreted this as "A", and claimed that "A" was false. You claimed that "B" was true. B != A.
Quote
The point, as I see it, is that Micheal implied some differences in monochrome and color cameras can have an effect on the availability, timing, etc. You can try to narrow it down to a sensor and firmware difference and nit pick. For the cameras we have designed, firmware was mostly on the cameras. So, for me, in broader sense, the question is the difference between color and monochrome camera design and not necessarily between color and monochrome sensors.
So if Michael had more generally stated that a monochrome version of a CFA camera may be more expensive and complicated to manufacture than what one might initially think, both me and you would agree to that. Claiming that "a significant amount of reengineering at the chip level" was required is more concrete.

I do believe that Aku should have phrased his objections differently.

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: joofa on May 15, 2012, 04:31:27 am
Not trying to be anything except discuss the matter at hand. I suggest you do the same. Michael said "something". Aku interpreted this as "A", and claimed that "A" was false. You claimed that "B" was true. B != A.

No, there is no Boolean (or any other) algebra involved here. From your response, I take it that you have seem to have never been involved with a camera design. Even simple logistical reasons could make "A" false. I shall give you a personal example again. Some of the monochrome and color cameras that we have produced, that otherwise used the same "public consumption" specs such as resolution, pixel size, form factor of the sensor, etc., were based upon the availability of sensors from the manufacturer that differed in stuff such as the number of output channels to read on the sensor, which to the consumer doesn't matter. You can read on all sorts of camera experts on LL and DPR who think that a camera has few parts other than a sensor and an ADC, but at least for us, there were other chips that provide timing and control signals to a sensor among other things. Only a difference in the number of readout channels made us design things differently. Again, you can go ahead and nitpick that why didn't we used a monochrome and color sensor that have all stuff the same including the read out channels as mentioned above. However, as I said before, we don't live in a world of armchair sensor and/or camera design experts for whom everything is possible on paper and pencil. Logistics and availability of certain sensor types was enough of a reason for us.

Sincerely,

Joofa
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: sandymc on May 15, 2012, 05:36:58 am
I think there's a certain amount of missing the point going on here.

What got people excited - anyway, what got me to respond above - was not the inaccuracies in the original article. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody that writes has to simplify occasionally to get the message across. Sometimes that simplification means that what gets written is mostly true, but not true in every possible condition. The "problem", if you will, was Michael's response (message #16) where he apparently defended the absolute accuracy of what was written, and did so not on the facts, but by reference to nameless experts. Yes, Michael was provoked by language that shouldn't have been used, but you have to separate the facts from the emotion.

Sandy

Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: Jim Pascoe on May 15, 2012, 06:09:13 am
I think the problem is that Michael is trying to write articles that are aimed at the 'informed, intelligent' photographer, and not at scientists.  Listening to Michael talking on his various tutorials he comes across to me as a man who knows he has limitations on the deep scientific and engineering side of photography (as do almost all of us), and is trying to understand as much as is necessary to get the best out of cameras as tools.  The article in question was billed as a "Hands on First Impressions Report", and went into just enough technicalities to point out the differences between the M9m and the M-Mono.  It was never meant to be a treatise on the chip level engineering involved, and to be quite honest I interpret engineering to involve hardware and software anyway.
The thread started out with a few points about the article until Aku's rude posting questioning Michael's credentials as a technical writer.  Well if you want to discuss the fine points of sensor design perhaps you should post on a forum aimed at technical writings, or at the very least have the decency to start a new thread on LL entitled "M9 sensor engineering", and then start out in manner not designed to antagonise the author.  Of course Aku is much cleverer than Michael and is obviously quite keen to make sure we all know this.  As this is primarily a website about photography perhaps he would be good enough to post a link to a gallery of his work so that we can all have a look and judge for ourselves.

I'm sure Michael must be a lot thicker skinned than me, but posts like this would make my blood boil.

Jim
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: hjulenissen on May 15, 2012, 08:29:42 am
No, there is no Boolean (or any other) algebra involved here. 
I am not a camera designer, and have never claimed to be one.

Aku talked about sensor, you responded with a talk about firmware. You may now claim that sensor and firmware really are the same, or that it is difficult to draw the line, or that camera design is far too complex for us mere mortals to ever understand. Fine. My point was that your initial post was a very poor counterargument to Akus post. Insinuating that my motivation for participating in the discussion is any less honorable than yours does not change my view (lines such as: "smart alec", "go ahead and nitpick", "armchair sensor designer").

-h
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 15, 2012, 08:45:51 am

(2) Open almost any book, Internet article, etc and stare at the xyz chromaticity diagram. Do you see what is wrong? I shall leave that as a homework exercise  ;D.


Since I'm very interested on this subject, could you please explain what is wrong?

Regards,
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: joofa on May 15, 2012, 03:43:58 pm
Insinuating that my motivation for participating in the discussion is any less honorable than yours does not change my view (lines such as: "smart alec", "go ahead and nitpick", "armchair sensor designer").

Sorry for the harsh tone. To be honest the "armchair designer" comment was not oriented at you at all, because, I know that you are among the few on LL and DPR that are usually technically correct and have a sound background. I had some other people in mind  ;D but lets not get into that. While I did feel that Aku and you were needlessly picking on a technical point that perhaps does not deserve that much attention, lets bury the hatchet and move on.

Since I'm very interested on this subject, could you please explain what is wrong?

Yes, the diagrams are usually drawn that give an incorrect notion of distance in the color space, IMHO.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: FranciscoDisilvestro on May 16, 2012, 04:35:13 am

Yes, the diagrams are usually drawn that give an incorrect notion of distance in the color space, IMHO.

Ok, Thanks, they are not perceptually uniform and one can draw wrong conclusion. Anyway this is too OT, so I'll leave it.
Title: Re: Leica M Monochrom review
Post by: joofa on May 16, 2012, 02:29:22 pm
Ok, Thanks, they are not perceptually uniform and one can draw wrong conclusion. Anyway this is too OT, so I'll leave it.

Irrespective of the perceptual uniformity the diagrams have a fundamental problem, IMHO. But, you are right, that is too OT here.
Title: Re: Resolution loss to Bayer CFA demosaicing, aliasing is not only moiré, why a CCD
Post by: ripgriffith on July 23, 2012, 04:13:58 pm
Why should we trust a theory if it confirms your false assumption of Foveon resolving power? No sensor resolves beyond Nyquist, and Bayer CFA equipped sensors resolve over 90% of Nyquist. Even if we use the conservative 90% figure, it leads to Bayer pixel being worth 81% of a Foveon pixel in this regard. Not 50%.

Nothing "special" about that. All manufcturers have off-axix microlenses on mirrorless cameras, and possibly even in the DSLRs (though there the benefits would be significantly less).

Wrong. All manufacturers have this capability. Off-axix microlenses are standard technology. And to be even more precice, Kodak and Dalsa are far from being anywhere near the leaders of the pack regarding microlens technology.

Also, they are part of the "toppings", not integral to the sensor itself. Leica could make them themselves (though they don't necessarily have the tools inhouse and the expertise in this special field is certainly lesser than of Sony of other major players in image sensor bussiness).

Please go away!