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New Leica M with 1080p out in the wild - and first look at video quality

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http://vimeo.com/61304882

Catch the EOSHD interview with Leica's Jesko von Oeynhausenand and hands-on with the Leica M type 240 here

The new Leica M (dubbed type 240) has a CMOSIS full frame sensor, and a first for a Leica camera - video. Not since the Leicina 8mm camera (EOSHD article) has a Leica product been viable for cinema.

The Leica M of course is primarily a photography tool, but it is interesting to see if Leica have taken the same no-compromise approach to image quality in video mode as they have always done with stills.

Furthermore Leica are a company with no high end cinema camera range or video camera market share to protect from themselves (yes - never did make sense that did it?)
 

earnesync and Ratguity like this

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A company that has such a legacy as Leica probably looked at the wrong company to follow: Canon.  LaForet made the video that changed the landscape forever, but does lightning strike twice?  What is it with companies letting still photographers test out video?  And then all they do is bitch about it?  I'm disappointed with this, and I think Leica should know better with all the failures out there.  We are over 4 years from the 5dmkII and they can't overcome the problems?  Moire, Aliasing, poor codec?  And of course they'll charge some astronomical price for this.  I wonder how long Leica can convince their customers to continue to support their inflated pricing for cameras that really aren't up to par with Nikons, Canons, etc.

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Thanks for the viewpoint which I understand from a video viewpoint. If you e-mail me at thorsten@overgaard.dk we can find out to send you an original video file from the video and/or do some additional video in daylight and with other lenses for someone competent to edit and add to the article. 

 

The point of doing this video was first and foremost to see how it works with the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

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Yeah, this is a bit of a laughable effort. Hope a real film maker gets their hands on it soon. 

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downloaded the original file from vimeo.  It's 10Mbits/sec H264, and it shouldn't look that bad in the darks and the macroblocking garbage.

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Thorsten has some point there but i think the review was pretty one-sided. I would be interested to use it to capture B-Rolls, though. filming with dslr is not as stealthy anymore, filming with a rangefinder might, when we need to be really low-profile.  

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That was poor.  I think Leica's marketing department have to take the blame here.  Why did they give the camera to a stills photographer who openly confesses to hate video?  And one who clearly has no experience of shooting or editing video at all.  That is not the way to promote the video features of your new camera. 

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Anyway, for me the significant thing about the new M (the M10) is that it adds liveview and focus peaking for the first time on a Leica body.  As it has a short flange distance, with the right adapter you can now use pretty much any lens which covers the full 35mm frame for stills (or video, but the sample here suggests you might not want to) on this camera.  And it is a 24 megapixel sensor in a Leica!  That is a very tempting proposition for me.  

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Ay Caramba. Lovely and very expensive (worth it?) stills camera...looks like a total video fail though. The Nikon D5200 Andrew reviewed recently shoots far better video unless there was some problem rendering the Leica footage or etc. Why Leica chose Mr. Overgaard (who has an open hatred of video) to shoot this is a bit of a mystery indeed. He does seem to embody the attitude one encounters with a lot of devoted Leica shooters: ALLERGIC TO MOTION. I know Nikon shooters who are the same way, but Nikon seems to be rapidly catching up in the video department...their next generation might give Canon and Panny real competition...and more choice for us!

 

With the relationship Leica has with Panasonic, wonder if they consulted with Panasonic engineers on the video aspects of this camera? Seems unlikely. But then again my anecdotal impression is that most Leica shooters don't give a damn about video anyhow. 

 

Perhaps Leica should stick with stills. But hell...$seven grand for a body is out of my league anyhow. I'll stick with my hacked GH2 for now...or maybe GH3 in the near future. Even the D5200 might be an interesting cam for a different flavor and a lot of bang for the buck.

 

Thanks again Andrew for all the work keeping the blog going. Look forward to your GH3 review! 

nahua likes this

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Thanks for the viewpoint which I understand from a video viewpoint. If you e-mail me at thorsten@overgaard.dk we can find out to send you an original video file from the video and/or do some additional video in daylight and with other lenses for someone competent to edit and add to the article. 

 

The point of doing this video was first and foremost to see how it works with the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Thanks, I'd be interested in doing that. You will have mail soon.

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as the owner of 3 leicina specials,leica m5 and noctilux i am a leica fan boy
the great thing about them is they are small compared to panasonic canon etc.
they will be stung if people are vocal about defects in design.</p>
they will be embarrassed about cameras costing a fraction of the cost doing video better.
let us see proper tests not bullshit man grabbing his jacket leforet shit.
this could easily be a camera mode or post import export issue.
if the cameras video is a disaster leica will fix it.
they chucked a few million at the sensor for the m9 and now chucked a lot more for this new sensor.
i think they should of stayed with ccd myself fuck this cmos shit : )
they also should leave the flagship camera pure rangefinder and have a dedicated cine /stills with the smaller ccd sensor from the leica m8.
that would be a low cost option as all the infrastructure is in place.
leica have to listen to customers so contact them through the press dept give them both barrels
the important thing is leica have live view in a product
whatever happens if the video is bad or ok rejoice.
as the shit song goes things can only get better.
because leica cannot afford to be shit or 3rd division.
it is up to people who shoot moving pictures to tell them what is wrong.
in this regard sometimes 17 year olds have a better understanding of moving picture requirements than a magnum stills foto guy.
tell them it is shit or it is great believe me it will get passed along to the proper people.
if the criticism is valid

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The point of doing this video was first and foremost to see how it works with the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

0.95 on full frame is extremely really narrow as you know - 4 times more than what most people here ever experimented, if not more. You probably had a lot of difficulty to focus at the same time that you were manipulating the camera - almost every shots are really soft. Maybe an experimented follow-focuser could drive it doing just that

 

Even though the leica noctilux is the best extremely fast lens, I would stay far from it for video - besides some visual effects that you may want to create.

 

You should use the Summilux, or even better, the Summicron most of the time.

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This has the potential to be great - there's something about full frame (longer focal lengths) that you just don't get with Super35/APS-C.

 

I hope Leica takes as much care with the development as they did with the Summilux-C cinema primes.

 

I love the full frame feel here but the video itself does not show off video capabilities - whatever happened in compression the Leica creaminess is lost and the rolling shutter is really bad!

 

Looking at the careful launch of their first motion picture products it's hard to believe that this is the same company ....

 

 

khs

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It's becoming harder for full frame photographic cameras to compete with dedicated video cameras.

 

Once F0.95 on full frame was unique for video.

 

Now with the Metabones Speed Booster I am shooting with the FS100 at F1.0 on an almost full frame imaging circle.

 

I think Leica need to be careful - if the video quality is sub-par then it shouldn't be on the camera AT ALL. Don't just bolt it on because they can. Leica's whole business depends on delivering the best possible image.

 

Video is very hard to get right on such a heavily photographic orientated product. The sensor and image processor just don't seem optimised for both.

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i think they should of stayed with ccd myself fuck this cmos shit : )

 

Talking with the Ikonoskop guys yesterday, an interesting observation came up.

 

One of the reasons CCD looks so film like is that the noise pattern is completely randomised.

 

On CMOS it is uniform and you can always notice the fixed pattern of noise imprinted on the image.

 

A CCD sensor has grain like film and it moves in the same way as film grain.

 

Leica should be careful with this sensor - the DXOMark results don't look good (putting it below some $800 cameras).

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You are talking about the fixed pattern noise that appears at the lowest shadows. They should actually be clipped. Professionals cams feature "black balance" that helps you clip that. It's not "noise". CCD's will have them too if you just dig in deep into the shadows. It just depends on the implementation.

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I downloaded the original file. Looks fine to me, other than that the whole thing was shot at .95

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Downloading the "original" from Vimeo, it's so heavily banded and compressed it looks like a GIF, so I think it's been exported from the NLE at very low quality.

 

Will need some files out of the camera to pass final judgement i reckon...

Andrew Reid likes this

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Downloading the "original" from Vimeo, it's so heavily banded and compressed it looks like a GIF, so I think it's been exported from the NLE at very low quality.

 

Will need some files out of the camera to pass final judgement i reckon...

 

You're right.

 

We've had some emails back and forth and he kindly uploaded the original files. They're much better.

 

A follow up article is in the works...

jgharding likes this

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You're right.

 

We've had some emails back and forth and he kindly uploaded the original files. They're much better.

 

A follow up article is in the works...

 

I look forward to this.  I don't want to bash Leica because it's clear the lens that Thorston is using is very good.  But as a test for the camera, it does fail miserably.  And let's face it, there are many full-frame options out there already.  I wish Leica would send you the camera for a proper test! 

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You're right.

 

We've had some emails back and forth and he kindly uploaded the original files. They're much better.

 

A follow up article is in the works...

 

 Awesome, I can't wait to see it, I wonder if he'll upload the originals to WeTransfer for us? Would be great to try out some straight from camera...

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He FTPed me some files. I'll see if I can share the originals. Will ask him!

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Great follow-up article thanks!

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Considering this forum is focused on video, my original statement stands.  I think Leica should have just done a great stills cam rather than add video because they changed to a CMOS sensor.  And no, I don't think lightning strikes twice.  Canon is already going downhill, and Leica follows their lead?  I find it very confusing to say the least.  They may tout that they have video, but the times have changed and now every camera shoots video and are much more mature products.  I have no doubts about their lenses, but their cameras are sorely behind.  I wish them well really.  But there's nothing unique here and nothing that says we should fork out $$$$ when other cameras do much better, both stills and video.

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