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Author Topic: S007 Now or S3 later  (Read 3950 times)

peterv

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S007 Now or S3 later
« on: March 07, 2019, 12:13:20 pm »

Hi everyone,

I have the opportunity to go from an S2-P to an S007 now, or wait another year or so and go for an S3. My question is not about what would be the wisest investment or whether these cameras are worth their money. I would just like to know what fellow S-users expect the difference in image quality will be between the two CMOS S cameras.
 
I just read this interview with Toni Felsner, product manager for the Leica S3, and the following text caught my eye:

Conventional wisdom says that as resolution increases and pixel size decreases, dynamic range and high ISO performance suffer. Is this the case with the new sensor in the S3?

Absolutely not. We stayed at 37.5 megapixels for as long as we did in order to focus on delivering maximum image quality. Top DR. Excellent high ISO. But, sensor technology has evolved and we are now able to achieve both an increase in resolution and, at the same time a two stop improvement in noise performance, and even greater dynamic range than the S007.

Wait. Better dynamic range than the S007? With over 15 stops of range, the S007 is incredible. It’s changed the way I approach landscape shooting.

Yes, we are going to be able to offer even more. Wait until you see it.
 
That’s incredible. Any other cool tech on the sensor side?

So the sensor features a dual gain structure, which allows us to maximize higher ISO performance. In our test shooting, ISO 6400 looks super clean. Almost no noise whatsoever. And, the noise profile on the files at even higher settings looks less like noise, and more like grain.

Also, we implemented a new color filter array, which is going to offer really amazing color. We will tune the output for skin tone, but it will work extremely well for a wide variety of applications like landscape, architecture, fine art, etc. You’ll especially see an improvement in the red channel, which has always been challenging for digital photographers when photographing bright reds, like automotive paint, or flowers in the sun.

 
This sounds pretty confident that the S3 is going to be a nice, meaningful upgrade as far as image quality is concerned.
 
What do you guys expect from the IQ improvement in the new S3?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 03:24:57 am »

Hi,

Hard to say, the S3 will have a new sensor, probably from TowerJazz. It belongs probably to the same family as the sensors in the new Panasonic S1r.

Dual gain conversion improves DR, above some ISO setting. It does not help with Signal/Noise ratio.

Reducing pixel size doesn't really matter, true each pixel can capture less photons but there are more pixels and that compensates with regard to shot noise (what you can see in mid tones). DR may suffer a bit, doubling the number of pixels would reduce DR a bit, like 1/2 EV, but smaller pixels have often lower readout noise.

It is hard to know how good the new sensors are.


Best regards
Erik
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eronald

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 08:26:30 am »

Hi,

Hard to say, the S3 will have a new sensor, probably from TowerJazz. It belongs probably to the same family as the sensors in the new Panasonic S1r.

Dual gain conversion improves DR, above some ISO setting. It does not help with Signal/Noise ratio.

Reducing pixel size doesn't really matter, true each pixel can capture less photons but there are more pixels and that compensates with regard to shot noise (what you can see in mid tones). DR may suffer a bit, doubling the number of pixels would reduce DR a bit, like 1/2 EV, but smaller pixels have often lower readout noise.

It is hard to know how good the new sensors are.


Best regards
Erik

Erik, Have you factored fixed pattern noise into your thoughts about the effects of pixels size?

Edmund
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 05:31:11 am »

No Edmund,

I have not.

You are most welcome to elaborate.

Best regards
Erik

Erik, Have you factored fixed pattern noise into your thoughts about the effects of pixels size?

Edmund
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peterv

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 04:53:29 pm »

Yes please do, I’d like to know more about dual gain structure sensor technology and its advantages and or disadvantages.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 05:23:24 pm »

Hi,

Much simplified, a pixel has photodiode that converts incoming photons (particles of light) into free electrons. These electrons are contained in a capacitance. The voltage over the capacitance is the charge / capacitance.

So, a small capacitance yields a higher voltage, which is good to reduce readout noise. But we also want to be able collect as many electron as possible, as long we have plenty of light, as high electron count gives good signal to noise ratio (SNR). SNR is simply the square root of the number of electrons collected at high exposures.

So, high capacitance -> god SNR in good light, but noisy read out.

But if we raise ISO, we will not capture so many photons, which means that we cannot use the full capacitance. Aptina has patented a solution where part of the capacitance is disconnected using an extra transistor. So, that reduces readout noise, normally visible as a small bump in the DR vs ISO plots.

Best regards
Erik


Yes please do, I’d like to know more about dual gain structure sensor technology and its advantages and or disadvantages.
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peterv

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 04:02:28 am »

Thanks for the clear explanation Erik, much appreciated!
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BAB

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 07:54:30 pm »

Don't know about IQ improvement overall but I expect great things in the new release of the S3 why don't you think it will be this year? The new expected SL looks more promising for IQ and future features.

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peterv

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 04:06:41 am »

I too expect great things in the new S3, that's why I'd like to buy it, the reason why I think that won't happen this year for me, is because I don't expect to be able to afford one as soon as the S3 hits the market, which is expected to be somewhere during the spring. The price of the 007 on the other hand seems to be within reach, hence my question.
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peterv

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 01:16:00 pm »

Thanks BC, you're absolutely right, there's always something new just around the corner. As a matter of fact, the announcement of the S3 is the reason I started looking for an S007. I figured the S007 price would be coming down this spring and I have been using an S2-P now for six years and I think I'm ready for a new S system camera.

I have just finished testing the S007 for one week and I was quite pleased with the results I got and it really is a completely different camera. Not in the way it handles ergonomically, that is all very familiar, but once the S007 is in your hands you feel that this is the second, much more sophisticated iteration. The mirror and the shutter are a lot quieter than the S2 and they sound like they were made for hundreds of thousands of effortless exposures. I love my S2-P but the mechanics of this newer S007 feel and sound much more reassuring and the same goes for the autofocus which is noticeably faster.

When it comes to colours, I too have a feeling that the out of the box colours from the CCD sensor are more friendly to my eyes than the newer CMOS 007. For instance in my test shots blue skies have a tendency to be some more cyan-ish on the S007 than the S2-CCD. Maybe that's just my eyes, I don't know, but there was nothing going on color-wise, that could not be easily corrected or altered to taste in Lightroom, the files are extremely malleable.

You mentioned your wish for a little higher ISO, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised by how good 3200 ISO is. I am used to the look of the high ISO shots I make with the Sony RX1M2 which I use for reportage work and that camera has the same 42-Mpix full-frame CMOS sensor as the Sony A7R II, but the noise on the Leica S007 looks a whole lot more friendly and grain-like.

As for for the choice between an S3 and an S007, I (try to) sell fine art prints of my work and I'd really like to be able to make larger prints and that's where the 64MP from the S3 will come in very handy, the reason why I am a little bit on the fence right now about which camera to choose. And although I must say that I think I could be very happy with the S007 because it is really a big step up from my S2-P, the extra 26,5 megapixels would be nice to play with. And at the moment there are rumors (just rumors I need to emphasize) that the all new S3 will not be as expensive as the first S system cameras when they came to market because of the strong competition from Hasselblad and Fuji, around 10 to 15 thousand. So right now I'm leaning towards waiting for just a little bit longer to find out what the price difference will be.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 04:28:19 am by peterv »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 08:09:21 am »

As for for the choice between an S3 and an S007, I (try to) sell fine art prints of my work and I'd really like to be able to make larger prints and that's where the 64MP from the S3 will come in very handy, the reason why I am a little bit on the fence right now about which camera to choose. And although I must say that I think I could be very happy with the S007 because it is really a big step up from my S2-P, the extra 26,5 megapixels would be nice to play with. And at the moment there are rumors (just rumors I need to emphasize) that the all new S3 will not be as expensive as the first S system cameras when they came to market because of the strong competition from Hasselblad and Fuji, around 10 to 15 thousand. So right now I'm leaning towards waiting for just a little bit longer to find out what the price difference will be.

The competition from the 100mp Fuji will be a major threat indeed.

Fitted as it will be with a good EVF, IBIS, a probably superior 100mp Sony sensor, an integrated vertical grip great for portrait,... the Fuji seems much more appealing than the Leica unless you have existing S lenses.

Cheers,
Bernard

faberryman

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 09:06:40 am »

If you already have the S2, then you have the lenses to go with it, which tilts the balance to the S3.

Balafre

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 05:35:14 pm »

Erik, thank you, your description of advancing chip architecture was lucid and brilliant.

My gripe is how journalists pander unthinkingly to PR and insult us with ridiculous statements disguised as questions.

"Conventional wisdom says that as resolution increases and pixel size decreases, dynamic range and high ISO performance suffer. Is this the case with the new sensor in the S3?"

Humbug! What a patsy question scripted by some PR goof to let Leica launch into a sales spiel! Maybe for older CCD's, but these are irrelevant from 2016+.  Phase One's IQ3 100 which I use and now the IQ4 too, are just one leading manufacturers latest steps in a product line that have successfully obviated this supposed 'convention'. So, it's not conventional at all, as the exception dis-proves the rule, and it's hardly wise either because it bespeaks of ignorance of every step forward since 2016.

I respect Leica deeply so why do they fall prey to this foolery?



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BernardLanguillier

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 06:54:26 pm »

I know nothing about the fuji medium format camera, but I doubt that most photographers shopping for an S series would be comparing them to the Fuji.  Maybe a Phase One, or a Hasselblad, especially this one.

Why would they not if they are indeed photographers (and not just people looking to been seen with a big Leica)?

The Fuji is pretty much superior in every way, IMHO starting with the lenses... and those are a lot cheaper.

Besides you can use C1 Pro to convert the Fuji files.

Cheers,
Bernard

eronald

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 11:19:04 pm »


Last week I was at Wex's flagship store in London (think of it as a smaller B+H) and I was talking to the salesperson as we were standing next to the Fuji display.   I asked how well are the Fujis selling and he said very well.  I said that's good for medium format and he replied no not the larger fuji, the aps C cameras. 

IMO

BC

The Fuji MF series are selling steadily is my impression, especially to the landscape and travel crowd.

Fuji tell their fans to buy them for image quality, and Fuji have a lot of fans :)

Obviously, no one with a functioning high end Leica or Phase setup will want to convert, but if you are running a crop-factor Phamiya setup then moving to Fuji will give you a modern EVF body with good fast focus, the same sensor as a Phase 50MP, and keep you working with C1, at below $10K for a body and 2 or three lenses. The only missing feature seems to be central shutter. There's a Fuji Facebook group and one can see that people are doing perfectly good work with these. Leica they are not, but I guess they are now the Nikon of MF.

In my opinion, selling a Phamiya body and back and lenses and moving to Fuji is now almost a no-brainer for anyone who wants to stay in crop-MF and enjoy an EVF and CMOS sensor. This could change if Phase re-entered the market with mirroless.

On the other hand, the new Canon is rumored at 70MP, so maybe the crop MF party is gonna be over soon. I guess the A7R2 also killed a big chunk of the market a couple of years ago - at some point enough pixels are just enough pixels.

Edmund

PS I have a Fuji X100, and it is a camera with a distinct personality, not a generic. I think this is something Fuji are very smart about, this feeling of tailored design. Contrary to companies who thrive on secrecy, Fuji shop mockups and prototypes around from photofair to photofair and get them into people's hands, and it does show in the final product.  There's a video around of a Fuji demo in Dubai, and what is amazing is the way they exhibit and pass around these mockups and prototypes, even lenses, whatever the risk of damage or design theft. You can see how people's hands fit around the bodies, and I am sure that is what the designers really watch.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 11:35:10 pm by eronald »
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pschefz

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2019, 05:55:02 pm »

Why would they not if they are indeed photographers (and not just people looking to been seen with a big Leica)?

The Fuji is pretty much superior in every way, IMHO starting with the lenses... and those are a lot cheaper.

Besides you can use C1 Pro to convert the Fuji files.

Cheers,
Bernard

this

i love that leica still tries to compete, in a way the S was the first step in the niche that the fuji and hasselblad now entered....
but it is not a competition at this point, the fuji is  just so much better in every regard and so is the X1D which should also satisfy the "want", "brand", "jewelry" itch.....
even if the new S is a major step up from the last model, it might at that point compete with existing fuji and hapselblad 50mpix models....
but with the GF100? 100mpix? PD AF? IBIS? a sensor that is being pushed hard from all sides and directions in terms of DR, high ISO by upcoming FF models at much lower price point? i don't see the S coming close anywhere....

i find it funny that the first Q review(s) are coming out, i always thought the first Q was the best digital leica and a real contender all around....so i was really excited about this one....the sensor is (finally) actually competing across the board but now it just looks like that the weak point might be the (the horror!) leica lens....


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eronald

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 11:32:25 pm »

now it just looks like that the weak point might be the (the horror!) leica lens....

Another demonstration that everything can happen once  8)

Edmund
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Balafre

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2019, 09:54:32 pm »

Bernard, sorry, I was not mocking Leica for advancing their technical quality, simply that they chose as their blinding entrée something that has been currency for a long time. (ref, "..convention says...") When convention for the last three years at least has stopped saying that!
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BJL

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S007 Now or S3 later: how much size advantage for 44x33 vs 36x24?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 07:55:07 pm »

On the other hand, the new Canon is rumored at 70MP, so maybe the crop MF party is gonna be over soon. I guess the A7R2 also killed a big chunk of the market a couple of years ago - at some point enough pixels are just enough pixels.
You keep ignoring the possible benefits of a larger sensor (and in that comparison to an imagined future Canon 36x24mm sensor, both larger pixels and likely better pixel technology (Sony vs Canon) along with their being more of them). Are you convinced that the size gap from 36x24 to 44x33 is insignificant for IQ? I find that strange, since it is about as big or bigger than:
- 4/3" to "APS-C" (especially Canon's smaller version of "APS-C")
- 44x33mm to 54x40mm (from the "crop MF" that you disparage to "full frame MF")
- 645 to 6x6
- 6x6 to 6x7, and even
- 645 to 6x7.
In all those cases, there have been plenty of people arguing that the larger format has a significant advantage due to that larger size, and even putting there money where their mouths are.
The size gap 36x24 to 44x33 is more so for photographs in "vertical/portrait" shapes like 5:4 or 4:3, which require cropping away a larger fraction from the image recorded by the more "horizontal/landscape" oriented 36x24 format.

P. S. I also find strange Cooter's suggestion that people interested in the 3:2 shaped 45x30mm Leica S series would be more interested in that fictitious square format Hasselblad mockup/vaporware camera that an actual 4:3 format camera!
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JV

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Re: S007 Now or S3 later
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2019, 11:32:40 am »

The Fuji is pretty much superior in every way, IMHO starting with the lenses...

You said a similar thing about the Leica SL lenses a while ago...

May I ask on what your opinion is based? 

Did you ever try any Leica S or SL lenses?
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