So... I got my hands on a Leica by Saurav Chowdhury

Last Thursday when shooting the Room 6 show, I had my chance to get my hands on a  Leica M with a Summilux 50mm f/1.4 courtesy of Shahi. It was a first for me using a range finder like that. let alone one of such prestige and I definitely wanted to shoot the gig later that night with it to see how well it shot in low light but first I had to try it outdoors with it still being light outside.

First I'd like to apologise with some of the photos because I didn't realise that the ISO was set to something like 1600, and I was trying to shoot at golden hour at f/1.4 so naturally the images were overexposed and I had to compensate by dropping the aperture (which is buttery smooth to use as the lens de-clicked) to f/2.8-f/4 which really didn't help when I wanted to get a taste of that bokeh.

Canon 5D MKIII and the Leica M

Canon 5D MKIII and the Leica M

On top of the loss of DOF I lost a tonne of dynamic range and colour from the higher ISO so bad quality images was on the part of me not knowing how to change ISO till later, not the camera and then trying to correct for it.

The focusing is very difficult to get a hang of due to it being a range finder with a single centre focus point but after a couple of minutes I got a hang of it (definitely taught me to be greatful for complaining about my Canon 6D's single cross type), my only issue with it being in direct sunlight the focus point flaired out making it impossible to focus with. The 50mm lens has a nice throw to it which allowed me to cover the entire range without shifting my hands at some weird angle as most videographers can vouch for with long throw lenses, but the de-clicked aperture ring made it very easy to bump it and change the DOF when you're not being careful.

The camera is very quick to respond, mainly because it doesn't have to wait for focus confirmation and definitely fun for journalism or day to day use, but highly not recommended for waist level street shooting unless you're okay with a tonne of out of focus images.



Quick review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S5 camera by Saurav Chowdhury

So my dad got an upgrade to the Galaxy S6 and very quickly locked himself out of it by messing up the fingerprint scan, forgetting (or forgetting to add) the emergency password and then disappeared off to Wales for the rest of the weekend. Yay...

As a result I am now stuck with what has been hailed as arguably the best phones on the market and unable to use any of it's features apart from the limited use of the camera. This is going to be quick because I have some revision to get back to, and I'l get an image quality test out as soon as my dad somehow unlocks the phone. I'll be comparing this to my own S5.

Start Up

Fast. Stupidly fast. From the lock screen I can open the camera, focus and take a picture under a second either by using to double-tap home or swiping up the camera logo similar to an iPhone. I actually started my S5 camera, gave it a moment and then opened the S6. The S6 took a photo before the S5 had even finished opening.

Focus Speed

Accurate in all conditions, and as mentioned above, in good lighting a sharp picture is possible under a second. My biggest problem with my S5 is that it honestly sucks at focusing especially macro, generally it straight up refuses to focus at times unless really well lit (the Facebook messenger app actually REFUSES to focus but that's probably the apps fault).


Stunning near DSLR quality (especially with it's f/1.9 aperture for shallow DOF and 16MP sensor). My only issue with it is that it overexposes in low light leading to worse noise performance than my S5 and underexposes backlit subjects compared to my S5, so I'll have to say terms in the lowlight noise and "extreme" exposures, the S5 comes out ahead.

*Edit: Gone back to the cameras again to test them and actually they've now swapped around in the low light field with the S5 giving a brighter exposure, washed out and more grain and the S6 exposing properly with intense colour and contrast, I'll have to test this again later tonight. Backlit subject exposure remains the same for now.

The rear facing (face) camera is a great improvement also, cleaner looking images both with "Beauty face" turned off and with them both set to 2 and 4. My only issue is that the noise reduction hear can make it look as if someone painted my face as it has that soft baby faced and unrealistic look. 

Overall feel of the phone

It's slippery as anything (left it on my wallet and it slid right off, something my S5 has never done that can be attributed to the glass construction. Word of advice, if you don't like cases but want to keep it grippy, get a Dbrands Skin, I like the look of the carbon fibre personally, but I may mix it up with wooden front. The glass construction also makes it an INSANE fingerprint magnet in every colour

Anyone who winced at the exposed lens of the S5 will cringe at the sight of this as it has a far steeper bezel and is slightly longer which may take knocks a little harder making it prone to damage.