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Old 12th February 2012   #1
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Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Having used both for some time now I am convinced that both can produce stunning IQ.

The main difference - IMO - is the user interface.
AF vs MF
focus peaking vs rangefinder
OVF vs evf and display
buttons

Problem:
I constantly cant decide which one to bring
pro Nex:
I like the swivel display of the Nex for discrete shooting
I like the AF for fast shooting
its nice you can do one handed shooting and your are very quick
I sometimes like to have video

but then pro Leica M:
...the ovf of the M9 is so much better in bright light
...I am irritated by too many functions and buttons in the Nex while I can control my M9 during sleep

so what do you thin about the Nex vs Leica M user interface???
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Old 12th February 2012   #2
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

RF fans/users will not like to hear this.

AFAIC, RF, DSLR, etc focus aid based cameras are dead. Live view rocks!

That simple.
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Old 12th February 2012   #3
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Interesting,.......

I have not used an 'M' leica for many years and the last 35mm film camera I used was a Ricoh GR1,...this had the same drawback for me as leicas, namely a 'differance' between the v/f view and the recorded image. I always found this infuriating and ultimately a deciding factor in no longer using the GR1. Photgraphers work in differing ways and some people only need the v/f as an optical sight to 'aim' the image taking,....however, for me, the v/f has to be about accurate composing, even in fast photgraphy.

By contrast, my NEX 3 has become a favourite camera among all those of every format that i have used over the last 30 years, with the possible exception of my beloved Rollieflex.

Personally, I find the NEX to be an almost perfect blend between it's level of control and it's lack of intrusion in the picture making process. It can be set up so that a minimum of button pushing is needed (thanks to soft button customising) and the screen shows what the file will actually be rather than a guess thro' a slightly deforming window.

I will admit the screen view is difficult in bright light, but there ARE workarounds in the shape of magnifier hoods (must get one of these myself before the spring sunshine!)

I'm surprised that you did not mention the use of high quality leica lenses,...although It would be difficult to imagine how much better a 20x16 inch print would be compared to the Sony lenses (and my Canon FD glass) since there is NO visible image 'texture' anyway!
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Old 12th February 2012   #4
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

I carry the Leica when I want the larger format and when the way I want to shoot suits how the Leica works.

The rest of the time, I use the GXR-M.

And the rest of the rest of the time, I'll pull out the E-1, the M4-2, the Rollei 35S, the Minox, or (soon) the Nikon F. Depending on caprice and whim. :-)
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Old 12th February 2012   #5
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

t_streng S or M mode on the nex-7 doesn't simplify the controls for you enough? left dial for shutter and rear dial for ISO?
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Old 12th February 2012   #6
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

I can bring a Nex-7 with contax g and have the same quality pics without having to worry about losing 10k worth of lecia equipment.
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Old 12th February 2012   #7
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Particularly for street shooting , with a RF camera you can develop a sense of rhythm in focusing,composing etc that requires some hand eye coordination. This allows to shoot both rapidly and smoothly while maintain some discretion .

When switching between different systems (in my case say the Nikon focus points and the Leica M RF) ...it can take a little while before I can settle in . So sticking with one primary system allows me to grove my technique .

The other issue I find in switching is that the images tend to look different enough that blending them into a single collection ,book,slideshow etc. does t work well. You have heard the example that the bride prefers the images from the Leica over the 2nd shooters Canon. I think with the proper calibration and raw development presets ....some of this can be mitigated but its there until you pick a target rendering and develop to achieve it.

So unless the NEX is providing a worthwhile benefit over the M ....my preference is to standardize and not jump around.

While I had hoped for better ISO performance from the Nex 7 ....this does not appear to be a benefit . The ability to use longer lenses and leverage a APS-C size sensor for DOF do appear to supplement the LM . The other area my friends that have the NEX 7 rave about is the fill flash which is particularly helpful in family events etc. (why make it hard the birthday shots aren t being merged with the trip to Paris ).

I do agree that there are situations where the value of the equipment can be a factor and if photography is not your primary objective you might be better with the NEX.
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Old 12th February 2012   #8
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
When switching between different systems (in my case say the Nikon focus points and the Leica M RF) ...it can take a little while before I can settle in . So sticking with one primary system allows me to grove my technique .

The other issue I find in switching is that the images tend to look different enough that blending them into a single collection ,book,slideshow etc. does t work well. You have heard the example that the bride prefers the images from the Leica over the 2nd shooters Canon. I think with the proper calibration and raw development presets ....some of this can be mitigated but its there until you pick a target rendering and develop to achieve it.

Those two points I fully agree with.

The other bits, Nah!
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Old 12th February 2012   #9
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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Originally Posted by ken_vs_ryu View Post
t_streng S or M mode on the nex-7 doesn't simplify the controls for you enough? left dial for shutter and rear dial for ISO?
I am an A mode shooter, on allmost every camera I use (except those which dont offer it).
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Old 12th February 2012   #10
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

In some ways I wonder if the NEX-7 is the best camera I've ever owned! So far I really like the EFV, the Tri-Navi controls and focus peaking. I really could care less whether the finder looks like the Ginza skyline at night or is a minimalist frame: I am not there to admire the pretty view, I'm there to take photos, and tools like a live histogram are great assets.

For some landscape photos, the M camera can be more convenient, because if everything I shoot is going to be at infinity, why not just set the lens there and forget about it? This is particularly true of cloud photos, which are a favorite subject of mine. However, the lack of a histogram display in the viewfinder means I need to "chimp" in order to determine the best exposure, and White Balance controls aren't especially convenient. And the Set menu is rather poorly implemented, with menu selections being either white (for the active item) or medium-gray characters.
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Old 12th February 2012   #11
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
RF fans/users will not like to hear this.

AFAIC, RF, DSLR, etc focus aid based cameras are dead. Live view rocks!

That simple.
. . . . .except when you find yourself on the top of a snowy mountain in the sunshine, and you absolutely cannot see either the EVF or the LCD - really, no possibility of composition or of manual focus.
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Old 12th February 2012   #12
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
RF fans/users will not like to hear this.

AFAIC, RF, DSLR, etc focus aid based cameras are dead. Live view rocks!

That simple.
Vivek, even if I often have a different opinion I am impressed by your clear statements. Sometimes I wonder if you mean what you write or if you like to "heat the fire".
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Old 12th February 2012   #13
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Thomas, I really stand by it regarding live view ( I do need an integrated EVF/flash connections and don't like half blind cameras).

I chose to soldier on with the G1 since it came out despite having had many other better options.

Primarily, for me, the ability to see and focus in Infrared and Ultraviolet is not possible without live view. So, RF/DSLR and every other focus aid is dead, AFAIC.

Once camera companies put serious efforts in to making systems (it is beginning now, still have quite a way to go) these will get better.

Here we are discussing which camera is better when we have more cameras (NEX-3,5, C3, 5N and 7- three more are rumored this year!!) than primes for a "system".
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Old 12th February 2012   #14
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
Having used both for some time now I am convinced that both can produce stunning IQ.

The main difference - IMO - is the user interface.
AF vs MF
focus peaking vs rangefinder
OVF vs evf and display
buttons

Problem:
I constantly cant decide which one to bring
pro Nex:
I like the swivel display of the Nex for discrete shooting
I like the AF for fast shooting
its nice you can do one handed shooting and your are very quick
I sometimes like to have video

but then pro Leica M:
...the ovf of the M9 is so much better in bright light
...I am irritated by too many functions and buttons in the Nex while I can control my M9 during sleep

so what do you think about the Nex vs Leica M user interface???
To me it isn't about IQ or user interface except in regard to simplicity.

IMO, the main difference is the shooting experience itself, and what you shoot with a camera like this.

An optical rangefinder forces attention on content with the least amount of distractions ... what the image is about as opposed to what it will look like. A very direct relationship to what is going on around me, with the least amount of "camera presence" between me and that. Effect of focal lengths are absent and are intuitively grasped.

Others, like a NEX. EVF/live-view/or DSLRs insert the aspect of what the image looks like between me and that relationship with the subject. You see what you get ... which, for the type of work I do with this type of camera, is of little or no interest to me.

Personally, while I can shoot subjects of this type with any camera, I never seem to do it as well and as consistently as I do with a M rangefinder.

-Marc
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Old 12th February 2012   #15
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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An optical rangefinder forces attention on content with the least amount of distractions ... what the image is about as opposed to what it will look like. A very direct relationship to what is going on around me, with the least amount of "camera presence" between me and that. Effect of focal lengths are absent and are intuitively grasped.

Others, like a NEX. EVF/live-view/or DSLRs insert the aspect of what the image looks like between me and that relationship with the subject. You see what you get ... which, for the type of work I do with this type of camera, is of little or no interest to me.

Personally, while I can shoot subjects of this type with any camera, I never seem to do it as well and as consistently as I do with a M rangefinder.

-Marc
I quite agree - Excellently put - Of course, there are times when it's good to see what you're going to get But, like you, I take better pictures when I'm concentrating on the content, rather than concentrating on the result.

I think perhaps that Tom has got to the same place as well - and like him I often find it hard to decide which camera to take - especially when I'm not going out with any particular intent.

There are a couple of observations I'd make as well:

First of all, although the output from the NEX7 is really excellent, it certainly has better high ISO than the M9, and probably better DR. However, looking at the files in Aperture, I still feel that the M9 files have an additional presence and sparkle. Whether it's the lack of an AA filter, the CCD (as opposed to CMOS), my imagination or simply purely subjective I don't know - but I definitely do like the M9 files better.

Secondly, I had become perfectly reconciled to the idea of an EVF - a couple of weeks in Cretan sunshine had convinced me that it was workable in all conditions. . . . . and then we went skiing. In snowy sunshine the EVF is pretty much as useless as the LCD - one's pupils have turned into such tiny pinpricks that it's impossible to get enough light in! Of course, the M9 is fine in such conditions.
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Old 12th February 2012   #16
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

I've really been enjoying using M lenses on the 5N. I've got no issues with menus, with plenty of customizable buttons, and I'm finally at a place where I'm happy with my prime lineup. Whenever I feel a little detached from reality with the LCD/EVF, I'll throw on my Leica 50mm or 24mm external OVF and do some zone focusing with the best OVFs around, but I find myself going back to the EVF pretty quickly. I've personally not had any issues with the 5N EVF and bright sunlight, but it may have to do with the fact that I have a pretty deep brow ridge and I shoot the EVF at 45 degrees.

At this point, I'm all in with small manual lenses on some kind of small, EVF based camera. For me, it's the perfect combination of usability, IQ and fun...although I wouldn't kick an M9 outta bed, either.
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Old 12th February 2012   #17
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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I've personally not had any issues with the 5N EVF and bright sunlight, but it may have to do with the fact that I have a pretty deep brow ridge and I shoot the EVF at 45 degrees.
Try it at an altitude of 3000 metres with sunshine and snow - it's not about deep brow ridges and angles, just that the ambient light is so incredibly strong that your own aperture is too small to let in enough light!

Interestingly, I suspect that the Olympus VF2 is better from this point of view.
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Old 12th February 2012   #18
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

Ah, I see what you mean now. I'm a terrible squinter in the sun, so I still managed in Denver last month, but I can see that it could get worse. Am I correct in assume a brighter option in the EVF would help it?
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Old 12th February 2012   #19
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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Try it at an altitude of 3000 metres with sunshine and snow - it's not about deep brow ridges and angles, just that the ambient light is so incredibly strong that your own aperture is too small to let in enough light!

Interestingly, I suspect that the Olympus VF2 is better from this point of view.
Jono,

Here a manual lens on adapter is advantageous as you are able to set focus manually or use zone focus and at least return with landscapes at hyperfocal distances. Otherwise a darkcloth and pretend you are a LF shooter.

I realize this is not your preference nor is it mine as it limits the ability to capture those intimate details in the landscape.

Bob
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Old 13th February 2012   #20
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

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I quite agree - Excellently put - Of course, there are times when it's good to see what you're going to get But, like you, I take better pictures when I'm concentrating on the content, rather than concentrating on the result.

I think perhaps that Tom has got to the same place as well - and like him I often find it hard to decide which camera to take - especially when I'm not going out with any particular intent.

There are a couple of observations I'd make as well:

First of all, although the output from the NEX7 is really excellent, it certainly has better high ISO than the M9, and probably better DR. However, looking at the files in Aperture, I still feel that the M9 files have an additional presence and sparkle. Whether it's the lack of an AA filter, the CCD (as opposed to CMOS), my imagination or simply purely subjective I don't know - but I definitely do like the M9 files better.

Secondly, I had become perfectly reconciled to the idea of an EVF - a couple of weeks in Cretan sunshine had convinced me that it was workable in all conditions. . . . . and then we went skiing. In snowy sunshine the EVF is pretty much as useless as the LCD - one's pupils have turned into such tiny pinpricks that it's impossible to get enough light in! Of course, the M9 is fine in such conditions.
I said (and meant) that I like the IQ of both, but I really can not see that ISO advantage-at least up to ISO1000 Iprefer the output of the M9 and find it less noiy than that of the Nex7 which can get pretty noisy. If you go even higher the Nex takes the lead being still usable while the M9 gets really bad.

I have done a little side by side shooting - and even in sunny /contrasty light conditions when you can still see the EVF the OVF is quite a bit better and easier to see. Precise framing with a rangefinder is a different thing and something which needs a little time to get used to.

Focusing speed and accurancy its on par in my experience-maybe in good light a bit faster with the Nex, and bad light with the M, and when shooting with large DOF plus for having the distance scale on the M-lens.

Built in flash is a nice to have.
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Old 15th February 2012   #21
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Re: Nex vs Leica M ...besides IQ

I use both as the mood strikes me - periodic changes in pace and interface actually help my shooting style (as long as I've mastered the mechanics). I carry both and use one to backup the other.

The most interesting things about the Nex 7 (to me) are that the manual focus actually works reasonably well (once you get used to it) and that IQ is in the same ballpark as the M9. A really good alternative for those who already have M mount lenses.

I'm mildly astigmatic which shows up more as my pupils dilate in poor light, making rangefinder focusing more challenging. I have no difficulty focusing the Nex.
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