Leica Fotos App

Most of Leica’s current crop of cameras can be linked to your mobile device of choice via wifi.

While I do not make use of the remote control features, being able to quickly download the photographs from my Leica M without having to take it out of its case, removing the bottom place etc, is useful.

We used to have an app for each camera but now Leica have released Fotos. A general gallery and remote control app that works with all their cameras.  With the latest firmware release for the Leica M, even creating an adhoc network became easier, as the camera just shows a QR on the back, which the app sees using the camera in your mobile device and your all paired and setup.  The app supports multiple cameras and is easy to use.

There is however an issue.  I could not get the app to download my photographs.  It turns out that the app has to create a custom album on you mobile device which must be called Leica.  I already had a album called Leica on my phone.  This the app did not like and kept crashing until I deleted my album.

Maximising Dynamic Range

The key to maximising dynamic range is to shoot at the base ISO of your sensor and nailing the exposure to protect what your really interested in.

Some scenes are too much for any camera so you have to pick and choose, protect the shadows or the highlights the choice is yours.  Picking the base ISO of your sensor seems the easy part.

Any exposure other then the base ISO results in reduced dynamic range and more noise.  We are used to cameras now with extremely high dynamic range and an extraordinary high ISO values and low noise, the problem is that camera manufactures now seem to think they know best and make adjustments, Sony seem to have the best high ISO performance but thats because of aggressive noise reduction that hides key detail.  It would be better to give the photographer the choice and leave the noise reduction to either a menu option in camera or for the photographer in post production.

Leica has a similar issue with the M10.  A number of users have reported blown high lights at the base ISO of 100.  At 200 the dynamic range seems better.  It turns out that the base ISO of the the sensor in the M10 is about 160-180 ISO.  Now 100 is not far off but it is a pull setting and using an ISO setting of 200 gives you better dynamic range.  Unfortunately the base ISO is inaccessible.


Photo of the Month – October – ish

iPhone X
iPhone 8mm f/1.8
8mm, 1/17 Sec at f/1.8,  ISO64
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic

I actually did very little photography in October so this was actually taken at just prior.  I have added it to the photo of the month as is a good example of what modern phone cameras can do.

In many ways its not a brilliant picture but, it was take at night under poor artificial lighting.  When you consider the conditions its amazing.

Leica S goes 64 Mega Pixels

The medium format Leica S was good, the S2 fantastic but still only 36 megapixels.  Photokina 2018 last month we finally got  a look at the new Leica S and is now 64 megapixels, with the cropped medium format currently at 50MP Leica needed an update and 64MP is a good size to go for.  Its still an SLR design, no mirrorless yet but I think that is to come.  What I would like to know is will the new L mount cope with medium format?

Nikon Z Lens Map

While we have adapters available to use our Nikon F mount glass on the new Z mirrorless cameras, Nikon have released a roadmap.  If your after a portable landscape system its the 20mm and that 14-34mm your going to be waiting for.

Adobe CC

I took a lunch time walk with the Leica and then later tried a bit of experimentation. After taking a few shots, I popped over to a local coffee shop and downloaded the shots via wifi to my camera to upload to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Once at my laptop I launched the new Adobe Lightroom CC.  I generally use Lightroom classic but this was an experiment.  After a few seconds the photographs appeared and I started to edit them.

The combination of wifi in modern cameras, mobile phones with Adobe CC installed enabling some quick editing.  Then being able to grab any internet connected PC’s and use the web based Lightroom or your own laptop with Adobe Lightroom CC you can get on and edit quickly.  For power users like me who sometimes do more complex edits we can then return to our desktops, launch Lightroom Classic and again the photographs are there with the edits we have already done.

I still prefer Lightroom classic and its an issue that the short cuts between the versions are different, but the new shortcuts are a little more logical.

The Giants have arrived: Canon R and Nikon Z Mirrorless

The last few weeks all the buz has been about the new mirrorless cameras on the block.  It was only a matter of time before Canon and Nikon entered the arena and both have come up with some good solid cameras.

Are these the new market leaders?  No, I cannot see any Sony, Fuji or Leica mirrorless users moving over.  What we have here are capable full frame mirrorless cameras but ones that appeal to their respective user bases.

A Canon user who has not got a mirrorless system yet would not go far wrong with the Canon R, and likewise Nikon with its two bodies have produced a nice starter that Nikon users can move to.

The Canon is no 5D, it has limitations but there is a lot to like.  With me being a Nikon SLR user I have paid more attention to the Nikon and like the Canon it appeals to its own base.  In many ways its a very brave option for Nikon to ditch the F mount but with adapters being available its the right choice.  Its a shame they are not opened up the lens spec to other lens makers and Nikon have been a little hit and miss with their glass sometimes.

The big thing I see here with the Nikon is the focus works more like their Compact P series and when working in live view mode in on its SLR’s, its going to be unfamiliar for the SLR users and some of the focus modes the SLR users are used to are missing.

I hope Nikon and Canon can be a bit braver; and I hope that the focus modes SLR users are used to come to Nikon, maybe take a note out of Fuji’s book and release some killer improvements with firmware updates.

What about Olympus and Panasonic, well I see no threat to MicroFourThirds.  It still has size advantages.  Optical physics and the rules of mother nature have not changed.  Its one of the arguments Leica have made with the SL, if your going mirrorless and full frame you may as well keep the bodies a decent size because a full frame autofocus lens is going to be big.

In fact its because of this you can make the argument for Nikon to bring back the Nikon 1, two bodies, cheap basic for point and shoot for those who want interchangeable lens and a pro model.  Pro features in such a small system would stop Nikon users buying MicroFourThirds.