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M9 - How fast is it on from standby and from off, how about battery life
Old 01-17-2011   #1
krötenblender
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M9 - How fast is it on from standby and from off, how about battery life

Hello

I'm considering an M9 but there are some open questions for me. One of the most annoying things on my other digital cameras is the time, they need to wake up from standby and the time from pressing the power-button to the first shot.

Although they are fast, I miss the quickness of the old cameras like Canonet QL17, XA or Leica CL. They have no power-switch and no standby... I love it.

I have the R-D1, which is pretty fast on, but takes its time to wake up from standby. Most annoying is, that I forget most times, that it is in standby, and pressing the shutter-release wakes it up, but does not take the picture, an often the situation is gone... Not to mention the Olympus E-P2, which is a fine camera, if it is on...

Both have too short battery life IMHO, even with fresh original batteries.

So I like to know: How fast is the M9 on from off and from standby and how long is the battery life, if I switch standby completely off?

Thanks for answers.
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Old 01-17-2011   #2
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It is slower than Canon digital rebel Xsi, slower frame to frame time, battery life is horrible, around $200-250 frames,
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Old 01-17-2011   #3
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Standby to ready-to-shoot is about one missed shot. Battery life is such that two batteries is a requirement, not an option.
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Old 01-17-2011   #4
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If you switch the camera on it is ready to shoot by the time you have it up to your eye. Do you need it to be faster than that?

Battery life is good. OK, you should take two batteries for a day out, and any idiot should know to do that with any camera. But if you don't chimp all the time (set review for the minimum period if necessary), and you go out with a freshly charged battery (not one thats seems fairly well charged but you can't be bothered to fill it right to the top), then you can easily get 350 .dng in all conditions, even the cold. I recently was out for three hours at -16c with the camera switched on all the time and around my neck, made 258 exposures (exposure bracketing), chimped a bit, and the battery still showed just over 75% full when I got indoors.

So, the myths are, its slow to wake up, and the battery life is poor. Clearly even some lowly DSLRs can beat it in those parameters, but does that make any practical difference? No.

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Old 01-17-2011   #5
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I agree with Steve here.

Using my M8/M9 alongside my 1Ds III - possibly the fastest digital camera in the business, I don't find the reaction time of the M8 or M9 a problem at all. That said, I use the Canon on more demanding work regarding reaction time, like bird photography. But for the work I do with my M8/M9 - family shots, street, landscape etc. the reaction time is good enough, by far.

The battery of the M8/M9 is less than half the size & weight of the 1Ds III battery. If it is fully charged it will last a day, but I often carry a spare with me. Which is no hassle because of it's low weight and size. A battery will keep it's charge and function well past 10.000 exposures, which is, perhaps, slightly more than half the battery life of the battery in the 1Ds III. It is important to use fresh and relatively new batteries on digital cameras. I bought new batteries for my M8 recently, I have had the old ones since April 2007.
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Old 01-18-2011   #6
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Another problem to consider with the M9 is that it doesn't have any autofocusing. The time it takes to focus is definitely slower than the Canon Rebels. What's more, it lacks a flash.
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Old 01-18-2011   #7
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Another problem to consider with the M9 is that it doesn't have any autofocusing. The time it takes to focus is definitely slower than the Canon Rebels. What's more, it lacks a flash.
Now you are just being cheeky.
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Old 01-18-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel M.A. View Post
Another problem to consider with the M9 is that it doesn't have any autofocusing. The time it takes to focus is definitely slower than the Canon Rebels. What's more, it lacks a flash.
I you have your M9 pre-focused, it will be much faster than any camera set to autofocus first.

A M9 and a Canon Rebel are two very different beasts. Use each for what they are best and they will both excel.
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Old 01-18-2011   #9
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Now you are just being cheeky.
Moi?! Cheeky? Nah...
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Old 01-18-2011   #10
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Consider that the M8/9 has very little to no built-in automation, which will require you to think. With some people that will take a long,long time....
The difference to me between the Canon rebel and the M9 is that I use the M9 to take images now, whereas I tossed the Rebel into the dustbin six years ago....
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Old 01-18-2011   #11
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Thanks for the answers so far.

General response to some of your posts:

As you can see in my first post, I have experience witch rangefinders as well as digital compacts.I know, what rf means and I do not need autofocus at most times (in fact, it annoys me most time, because I have another idea, where the focus should be than the computer...) The Canon Rebell and similar are no option for what I want.

Of course I always have at least one extra battery in my pocket, when I'm out. Most times more than one. 300 images with one battery is plenty for me - I'm no serial shooter with a rf. Also I do not use the LCD for checking images normally. Either it's okay, or it's gone anyway...

I do not seek for high shooting rates. I would by a machine gun or a DSLR for that (I have the latter already and it's fast enough, but lacks the advantages of a digital rf).

I did not ask about flash, because I do not care about flash for what I want to do with a rf.

The Epson R-D1 is currently by far the most used and most loved camera in my collection, so the lack of automatisms, flash, autofocus etc. do not matter to me.

To the last one: If I want to take a picture, I know what I want in advance, so there is no need to spend time on thinking... That is why I do not want to wait for the camera to be ready.

One more question: Have you ever tried (or is it possible at all), to turn off sleep mode completely? How long (hours) does the camera work, until the battery is empty?
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Old 01-18-2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
Consider that the M8/9 has very little to no built-in automation, which will require you to think. With some people that will take a long,long time....
One more to that: If I'm using a digital compact such as the PEN, the most time, I spend on thinking goes for the problem, how I'm getting the automatisms out of my way or work the way I want... I can't count, how often I'm thinking "Just take the damn picture you stupid camera!" when I'm pressing the button and the camera starts thinking...
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Old 01-18-2011   #13
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Yes, you can turn sleep mode off completely, the battery will probably last for 2-4 hours. But why should you? Start-up is 0.7 second.
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Old 01-18-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv View Post
Yes, you can turn sleep mode off completely, the battery will probably last for 2-4 hours. But why should you? Start-up is 0.7 second.
I tend to forget that the camera is in sleep-mode. When I'm pressing the button, and the camera wakes up I'm confused, why it did not take the picture. I simply don't like that...

4 hours would be enough for me with 2 extra batteries in the pocket.
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Old 01-18-2011   #15
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I can relate to that. It took me a few weeks to train myself to tap the shutter before getting the camera to my eye. Now it is automatic.
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Old 01-18-2011   #16
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Quote:
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I can relate to that. It took me a few weeks to train myself to tap the shutter before getting the camera to my eye. Now it is automatic.
I hope, I'm getting there. I'm trying, and already have some nice picture from the inside of my coat and shoelaces...
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Old 01-18-2011   #17
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The Epson R-D1 is currently by far the most used and most loved camera in my collection.....
Then you know what RF photography is all about.

Epson RD-1 is the only camera with any character & personality to be launched in the digital age. It is beond me that none of the camera producers picked up and developed that character, but instead gushes out all these shiny 'Panasony' dings.

Neither M8 nor M9 have this 'personality' as the RD-1. Leica makes a few shortcuts compared, which makes the whole package more boring. But it is the optics that makes the character of the pictures. The best cameras available today, technically speaking, to utilize the huge collection of optics available for the M-bayonette are the M8 and the M9.
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Old 01-19-2011   #18
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This is along the lines of 'how long is a piece of string'?

Answer to the OP: too long compared with a film camera, tolerable compared with most digis. I can live with it and I'm pretty damn' critical.

Cheers,

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Old 01-19-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olsen View Post
Epson RD-1 is the only camera with any character & personality to be launched in the digital age. It is beond me that none of the camera producers picked up and developed that character, but instead gushes out all these shiny 'Panasony' dings.
Yes, same here. What I really would like to have would be an R-Dx, mostly identical to the R-D1, but with modern CCD (the one from the M9 would do... ) and some updated electronics. But I guess, the market is too small for such a DRF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olsen View Post
Neither M8 nor M9 have this 'personality' as the RD-1. Leica makes a few shortcuts compared, which makes the whole package more boring. But it is the optics that makes the character of the pictures. The best cameras available today, technically speaking, to utilize the huge collection of optics available for the M-bayonette are the M8 and the M9.
Although I'm shooting film too, I'm more the digital type, but with many non-mainstream preferences, so the M8 would not be an option (I already have a bunch of film-RFs). The M9 seems to me the best option in terms of image quality, finder quality (although I think, the R-D1 1:1 finder is very hard to beat...) and others.

What is important: I do not need the M9 - but maybe I simply want it. It's a hobby. So money is not an argument here, just the fun-factor and some others. For the most of them I have answers already. But I'm picky about some details, and that is, why I'm asking such detailed questions. Where I live, there is no camera-store to test the M9...
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Old 01-19-2011   #20
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My Nikon D3 has no flash either. Big deal. Is there not a sync plug?

I do not believe a thinking person needs more than 100 photos per day unless he does wedding or sports.

Never forget the design criteria was sam size as an M camera. Very nearly achieved.
So you can fit in a battery only so big. If the camera were made bigger to acomodate a bigger battery, I can here the crying now.
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Old 01-19-2011   #21
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This is along the lines of 'how long is a piece of string'?
I can imagine the pointless holy online wars of metric vs. Imperial, and string vs. cable.

In some people's minds, there can only be one correct answer.
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Old 01-19-2011   #22
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Is the wake to ready time really not published anywhere? As a rough guesstimate, would you you all say it's over 1 second?
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Old 01-19-2011   #23
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Is the wake to ready time really not published anywhere? As a rough guesstimate, would you you all say it's over 1 second?
Thanks for being ontopic again...

I searched a lot through the web (hahaa! I did'n say "I googled"! - Oops...), but found nothing helpful. I think, the question doesn't really matter to the most people. It bothers me, so I did ask here, but obviously, most owners don't know either. The best answer, yet, was the 0.7 seconds wakeup-time.

I really like the quickness of old manual film-cameras and like to have that on a DRF after an hour or longer of not taking a picture. Sometime somethings pops up before my eye and then I just want to press the button without any wakeup-time. So I guess, when I'm buying a M9 or something like that, I also buy some spare batteries and switch power-save-mode off.

The R-D1 can't do that, after max. 20 minutes, it goes to sleep.
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Old 01-19-2011   #24
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So I guess, when I'm buying a M9 or something like that, I also buy some spare batteries and switch power-save-mode off.
Absolutely. If you are so hardcore that wake up time is a problem ( the time taken to half press the button while lifting the camera to your eye) just don't switch the camera off. Its all any sensible person would do in the same circumstance. In that .7 of a second I can't think what I'd be doing other than lifting the camera to my eye and then focusing the image, but you may be able to do it quicker than me. I often find focusing and composing take much longer than that, which makes the wake up time seem inconsequential. There are always good reasons not to buy a camera, maybe you found one that works for you.

Steve
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Old 01-19-2011   #25
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Is the wake to ready time really not published anywhere? As a rough guesstimate, would you you all say it's over 1 second?
It is in the official spec. 0.7 sec. The same for the M8, but that one keeps switching on stuff and blinking for some time after shooting readiness, confusing users and reviewers alike.
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Old 01-19-2011   #26
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It turns on faster than I focus. It's not as fast as an Ikon or 1Ds3, but it's fast enough for my real world use. I only notice it if I don't half press the shutter when I pick it up - that's annoying and I'm learning to eliminate the bad habit.
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Old 01-19-2011   #27
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In that .7 of a second I can't think what I'd be doing other than lifting the camera to my eye and then focusing the image, but you may be able to do it quicker than me.
No, I'm not, but with 15mm on f8 and shooting from the hip sometimes, I don't need time to focus. - If I take a slow picture with composing the frame and focusing, the wakeup-time wouldn't matter.

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There are always good reasons not to buy a camera, maybe you found one that works for you.
This issue is not the most essential for me (as I wrote, I love the much slower R-D1), but I'm interested, because the difference here between digital and analog RFs often seem so big to me.
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Old 01-20-2011   #28
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It is in the official spec. 0.7 sec. The same for the M8, but that one keeps switching on stuff and blinking for some time after shooting readiness, confusing users and reviewers alike.
but .7 doesn't seem that long? My dslr is .2 and it might as well be instant on. I know .7 is 3.5x longer, but anything under than a second seems fast-ish, right?

I would have thought it would be over 1 second for how much a few reviews seemed to harp on "slow" wake up time.

Last edited by videogamemaker : 01-20-2011 at 00:29.
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Old 01-20-2011   #29
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I would have thought it would be over 1 second for how much a few reviews seemed to harp on "slow" wake up time.
It is really slightly hilarious - for instance Michael Kamber hammered the M8 in his first "fieldreport" for slow wakeup time,and praised the M9 for being fast in his recent one on the M9. In fact the only difference is that on the M8 he insisted on waiting until the camera stopped blinking to use it -the times are exactly the same.....
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Old 01-20-2011   #30
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It is really slightly hilarious - for instance Michael Kamber hammered the M8 in his first "fieldreport" for slow wakeup time,and praised the M9 for being fast in his recent one on the M9.
I have to say, that I have read quite a few articles on the M9, but none of them said something about being slow or fast switched on. My question came from my observation with analog versus digital cameras. Except for DSLRs digital cameras have pretty long wakeup or ready-to-shoot-times compared to the old ones. - The issue will not keep me from buying a camera, when I really want it. I just wondered... And it's a small issue, that bothered me sometimes.

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In fact the only difference is that on the M8 he insisted on waiting until the camera stopped blinking to use it -the times are exactly the same.....
Well, from a technical point of view, there might be no difference. But if I'm holding a camera in my hand, that flickers like crazy after wakeup, I have the feeling, that it's not ready somehow. It doesn't pay full attention to me and my wishes and the blinkenlights irritates me. Whereas the same camera without light might be fast enough.

Reminds me at the times, when I used to carry wristwatches. They were mostly cheap digital ones. The first thing, I did with all of them after buying was to open them and cut the wires to the little piezo-speakers...
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Old 01-25-2011   #31
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For me, the M9's startup time is more tolerable than its shot-to-shot time. While it may be faster than shooting, manually winding, and shooting again on something like an M7 at least with the M7 I felt like I wasn't just sitting there pressing the shutter release like crazy waiting on the camera to do its job. I wish that the M9 had manual film advance/shutter cocking. It could lead to slightly better battery life and an overall quieter camera, too. I hate how it sounds like a point and shoot film camera.

The few times that I've used the M9 I'm down to about 25% battery about 300 shots in over a period of about four to six hours. Review is off and I turn off the camera whenever I can. It almost feels as if start up takes a disproportionately large amount of energy. And I feel that its standby mode is far less efficient than any current or even previous generation dSLR.
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