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The new Leica M as a filmmaker's tool - an interview with Leica's Jesko von Oeynhausen

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:21 PM

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Leica revealed their new M series camera at Photokina 2012. It marks the first time video has been implemented on a Leica M, with a brand new full frame 35mm CMOS sensor developed in Europe by CMOSIS.

EOSHD went along to interview Product Manager for the M-System Jesko Von Oeynhausen to find out what it means for filmmakers. Please note that the camera is at the moment a pre-production camera (firmware version 0.0.20.1) with an expected list price of €6200.

#2
richg101

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:00 PM

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nice interview Andrew. Their pixel averaging sounds good.

#3
tttulio

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:04 PM

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Nice one Leica, this is how Hybrid cameras should be.
Thanks for the interview.

#4
tony wilson

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

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now then now then now guy's and girls.....
the greatest camera house gets the video bug.
shame about them dumping the ccd sensor.
this company is masterful,expensive and bespoke but the stuff they make is superb.
very interesting project.
good interview andrew...
i think you need to keep in touch with jesko as this is the kind of company that does listen to serious folks.

the beauty of leica is the super tight integration small enough to adapt quickly but also rarely rushing things.
outsourcing expertise.always seeking the finest quality possible.
to be honest they are bespoke enough to do a camera biased to video as opposed to stills with video integration.
leica cinema camera ,same size same processor smaller mega pixel count sensor

shame about the coming wars and economic collapse.
but i will take this leica into any war zone with pleasure.

#5
P4INKiller

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:10 PM

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Looking good, especially Pocahontas.

As impressive as the video might potentially be on the Leica M, I'm not sure what person would plunk down €6200 specifically to shoot video with it.
I predict it'll serve more as a reason for people to request these features at lower price points. (pixel averaging, 4:2:2 subsampling, peaking)

#6
bwhitz

Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

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Sounds great! Way to go Leica! I simply refuse to buy any DSLR without even an option for 4:2:2 through HDMI now. With cameras like the BMCC shooting RAW and Prores HQ for $3000, 4:2:0 is a joke and scam. Go screw yourself sony, nikon, canon, and panasonic.

#7
FilmMan

Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:11 PM

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Andrew, thanks for posting.

1. 4:2:2 color space. Curious is it will be 8 bit or 10 bit?
2. 40 mbp/s with the possibility of higher.

Jesko: It is really nice, we don’t publish the results yet but we start shooting early next year. The image quality tuning is the thing we do last, we start with calibrating and developing the electronics then you begin to optimise image quality on the digital side. This has not yet been done but we know how it looks today, especially high ISO quality is so promising.

Leica is about quality. It'll be interesting to see the end product. If they get the video looking like the quality of their pictures then this could turn into the mini Alexa so desired! Exciting.

#8
MattH

Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:14 PM

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Cool interview. He answered everything extreamly well and to the point.

A bit irritating that the headphone adapter runs throug the evf connector. Maybe they can provide an EVF with a headphone socket, Or a stereo mic. (He says as if he can actually afford the thing)

EOSHD: There’s a coding on modern Leica M lenses for vignetting, is that compensation done in video mode on the new Leica M?

It won’t need it as the vast majority if not all vignetting will fall outside the 16:9 crop.

#9
richg101

Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

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shame about the coming wars and economic collapse.
but i will take this leica into any war zone with pleasure.


I just lol'd. Things are quite quiet for me here. I think a good bit of civil war would fill the time and do us all good.

#10
Chrad

Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

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I think you could put the headphone adaptor/stereo mic on the SCA adaptor and use it at the same time as the EVF in the hot shoe.

#11
tony wilson

Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:18 AM

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the great thing about leica is every customer counts.
it has to be that way with the price structure.
everything is in place for a superb compact motion picture camera.
pressure and ideas just need to be past on to Jesko Von Oeynhausen.
he seems like a slick clever guy well able to fight his corner.
we are seeing a rush to the bottom some people seem to expect imax quality cameras for 500 dollars.
leica have to be where they are price wise.
zeiss are already diluting a fine reputation by outsourcing to china.
i believe leica could make a pure movie camera with a more realistic dedicated sensor for 4500 euros.
they are bringing out a cheaper rangefinder camera next year as well 3000-4000 euros.
with this new camera they still have to work to the finicky old rangefinder user base.
so approach is overly conservative.
a dedicated cine/stills body rather than stills with cine would be the best method.

#12
TC

Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:17 AM

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Fantastic! The difference is clear between a company like Leica and the large electronic giants we all love to hate. This is their first ever video M and it has:
- focus peaking
- pixel averaging sensor readout
- 4:2:2 subsampling
- At least 40 Mbps codec and sounds like they will ramp it up as high as they can go

The live view and focus peaking options also mean that they may even start taking business in the stills market. Leica M + electronic EOS to M mount adapter? If that was possible it could be goodbye to Canon for good.

#13
eliasd

Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:27 AM

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today is Leica, tomorrow will be Hasselblad, the day after tomorrow will be ... who knows, great news guys!
the manufacturers of camcorders where are they?
mobile phones make great stills, dslrs shoots great video.

#14
riccardocovino

Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:00 AM

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I think a good bit of civil war would fill the time and do us all good.


No comment

#15
riccardocovino

Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

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40Mbps in MJPEG 4:2:2 is not so much.. MJPEG All-I requires a much higher bitrate than AVCHD to have same quality.
So if we hope for better results we should need something like GH3 72Mbps.

#16
ScreensPro

Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:23 AM

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The best part of that interview is that he was clearly concerned about dynamic range being lost at low ISOs. This seems to suggest they are taking DR very seriously. I could see this coming in at 12 stops over the 4:2:2 ... a bit like the C300.
  • bradleyg5 likes this

#17
simonfilm

Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

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EOSHD: And that is also due to the European tax issue?
Jesko: Yes that is true (29 minutes)

6200 € (8000$) and they are saving with recording devices tax?

Is that tax proportional to the price of the camera?

Simon.

#18
tttulio

Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:03 AM

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Oh yes, serious Photojournalists will enjoy the capacity to do video -as well- as stills if the quality is "good enough", by if the Leica M turns out to be a video beast, them many more people will flock to it.

>>As impressive as the video might potentially be on the Leica M, I'm not sure what person would plunk down €6200 specifically to shoot video with it.
  • johnnymossville likes this

#19
richg101

Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:26 AM

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Oh yes, serious Photojournalists will enjoy the capacity to do video -as well- as stills if the quality is "good enough", by if the Leica M turns out to be a video beast, them many more people will flock to it.

>>As impressive as the video might potentially be on the Leica M, I'm not sure what person would plunk down €6200 specifically to shoot video with it.


but, those looking at a 1DX as a dual purpose 50/50 camera in a high end fashion shoot studio environment might instead look at the leica if it made their videos look twice as good at the expense of the other more industrial still photography features being removed. or If I were an in house architectural photographer or similar acting as also a high end new media guy in a high end small company like that I think I may also look at this. 24mp in a full frame would be more than adequate for most work

#20
nigelbb

Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:44 AM

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EOSHD: And that is also due to the European tax issue?
Jesko: Yes that is true (29 minutes)

6200 € (8000$) and they are saving with recording devices tax?

Is that tax proportional to the price of the camera?

Simon.

The import duty on video cameras is 4.9% of the wholesale price (or rather the quoted value at import) so not that big really but if your market is 99% stills photographers it might be a consideration in keeping the price down. Of course if Leica manufactured this camera in Germany (or any other country in the EU) then it wouldn't be an issue as this duty is only levied on imports from outside the EU or EEA.




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