Many discontented Leica aficionados argued that the new (M240) couldn’t match the image quality from the M9 and attributed the regression to the CMOS sensor of the newer model being inferior to the older CCD sensor in the M9. Note that the same sort of argument were levelled at the M9 as it hit the stores (not a match for the M8, the M8 is the only true digital Leica …)
This gave me the idea for this whacky but not so dissimilar contest between a 4-year-old Nikon D80 (not D800 ;)) donning a Leica R Summicron R 35 and my daughter’s Sony NEX-5r and kit 16-50 OSS lens.
Technically, it isn’t even close. The NEX thrashes the old trooper in every way that matters (dynamic range, noise, resolution …). But that also means I had much more work to get the clouds as dark in the second photograph. Version 1 is almost straight out of camera (apart from some colour warming and contrast enhancements and noise reduction and framing. Almost OOC ;))
It’s hard to make a scientific comment, particularly after I tampered with the files via post processing. However, apart from stronger global contrast enhancement on the bottom file, both were processed almost identically. What do you think of the results ?
To me, the differences are there and plainly visible. I see a more digital look at the bottom, with much greater local contrast and clarity but a less painterly look (the lens might be playing a big role here).
I think what’s more important here is that the Nikon has a viewfinder and the Sony doesn’t, which resulted in really crappy framing from yours truly …
But let’s end this with the real insight : technology is unimportant, the test was just for fun. It was the glorious light that really made these two images sing.
But in the end, which version do you prefer ?
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