Dynamic Range – Leica M9 vs Nikon D800
For anyone who has seen my recent work you will know that I have been using my new Leica M9 for both my model photography and wedding photography. You may have also seen that I have a thing for black and white and that I also normally use the in camera black & white JPEGs from both my Leica and Nikon D800.
I love the look of the Leica M9 photos but other than the rendering I couldn’t quite put my finger on why that was. If I compare my Nikon D800 vs. Leica M9 on paper the dynamic range of the Nikon D800 is an impressive 14.4EV vs 11.7EV for the M9 . This means the D800 it retains more details in the shadow and highlight areas of photos.
As I shoot JPEG format for B&W (+DNG for colour) I reviewed the dynamic range for the Leica M9 JPEGs. Leica M9 JPEGs have a dynamic range of 7.84EV so half that of Nikon D800 RAW files.
This may sound a poor performance by the Leica but for me it is what makes the B&W photos it produces. I like high contrast shots as above and I love the fall off of light for the blacks.
The D800 shots can often have grey-black shadow areas showing all the detail. I like the more old fashioned look black blacks myself.
Here are a few more examples using the Leica M9:
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica M9 Photography