1st image samples from the new Leica M have been spotted!

1st image samples from the new Leica M have been spotted!Β 

There have been some sample images posted on a Hong Kong forum from the new Leica M taken with the Noctilux. So what do you think? You can see them by clicking HERE.Β There is also a peek at the new meaty battery on page 3. Looks like several higher ISO samples as well are posted. I can not wait to get my M..again, I am #1 on my dealers list so can not wait to get it and review it and see if it beats the M9 in overall IQ πŸ™‚

READERS: Thanks for the 8 e-mails this morning to alert me to this site that had the samples! You guys are awesome!

The new Leica M will be shipping in the 1st part of 2013. Some say Feb, some Say March and a fe Say January. At a cost which is the same as the old M9 price, $6950 Leica has kept it in range for most M users. What do we get for our $7 grand? A weather sealed digital M! Live view so when our RF goes out of whack we can still focus, a super crazy 24 MP SENSOR with up to ISO 6400 capability, new Maestro processor, 3″ high res LCD, 1080P video, and R lens capability with an adapter. Unlike any other M that has come before.

Dealers are now taking pre-orders..

B&H Photo

Ken Hansen – Email to khpny19@aol.com


Dale PhotoΒ 


  1. Not exif on those pictures—-> nothing proofs it’s coming from the new M.
    By the way, it’s impossible to find on the net any raw DNG file from the new Leica M typ 240.
    I prefer waiting for official pictures to be released before making any comment.
    Your website is great Steve !

    • Yeah Steve. Your site is always easily the MOST helpful in figure out Leica stuff (new or ancient) Thanks again.

    • What’s to moderate? People have a right to an oppinion, this is the comment section is it not? why are ppl offended when a leica has taken a blurry picture? surely this cant be the cameras fault but the people taking it, but that applies to every camera. Who cares really? When a couple of folks screw around with a camera and get sub sharp pics, every single leica fanboy here who probably couldnt do any better with the same camera themselves are all going into some kind of hissy hysterics.
      “ok at me, if i was using that leica, I could do better” Uh,who the heck cares, really? ppl dont come on this site to look at award winning masterpieces.there is so much leica PC it’s almost sickening. Who want a comment forum where everyone is saying – good day sir, your pics are lovely” – thank you kind sir, my the leica is quite sharp, indeed’ yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!” Gawd, some of you ppl need to chill and stop dreaming about the leica for a moment or two…there will be a world without leica.

  2. I’m guessing that Leica did not intend for shots like these to be published, or even for the people taking them to have seen them anywhere other than on the back of the camera.

    I suspect some super glue has come unstuck and the user has taken the opportunity to use their own card to take some snaps.

    I imagine even now emails coming from Leica to the guardians of the preproduction samples instructing a check of the superglue holding the cards in!

    It really is impossible to gather anything at all about the IQ of the new M from these pictures.

    Lets assume that you consider the M9 to be a camera capable of making some beautiful images with a suitable lens on the front – I have one and I can assure you that I can make it take some real stinkers with very little effort…!

    Looking forward to seeing some images when Leica feel they have a product that is ready to be judged.

  3. some pretty harsh comments here, which only underscores the problem with comment page- everyone has an ass!

    Anyway, I was there that night but at a different table and i dont know these guys. By the time the cameras came to our table the battery was dead. (thanks guys!) The event was held at a hotel by Schmidt Marketing and Leica, there were a couple of S, M, X2, d-lux 6, v lux 5 going around, and yes there were all you can drink champaign, wine, booz, if I were taking snaps with the ixus the images will come out blur.

    I actually took some shots with the S, but learning from the experience I don’t think I would want to share them openly. Besides, they are soft, oof, shakey, poorly composed, why would you want to see them?

    Bottom line, most of us here are just amateurs, if you think you can take better pictures, good for you! Now you can go work on your online etiquette and basic manner. To the guy with the ixus, send it.

  4. Hi Leica M fans dollars for doughnuts this is not a Leica shot this has to be a scam or drunk photo fans claiming some braging rights-not an expert but British ‘Tony’ RE: Airospace Techs (got some drop frames with a Arri 35mm Cine lens with what appeared to be a demo prototype of the next ‘Leica before M9 but these folks do things on the side thru Midland etc…)

    Have to agree with 24 but this is not up to leica quality background picture and blur-I can achive better results with Lumix-primes Pentax 1.4-Recent finds at a local second hand store.

    German Ziess Sonnar- two lens: 50-135 M42 thread for 40 cdn dollars of a stuck shutter camera (case and lens are close to mint working condition just add a K mount pentax Ashai also obtained from a local second hand shop and Poor mans leica M9. All we are saying is give primes a chance!

    As for the rest of us Mortals (inde artists with limited cash flow) it’s not the cost its what you can do with what you have. My hunting for deals and only buying what I need and look for quality-I swear by MLHS
    Canton Main for my leica Main man YY…Love my refurbished M4 with prisim-viewer from a beater M3 SS 1957!- FN shame about acurate skin tones and fabric detail thats- code for hurry up and wait for
    Sony-Pana leica what ever works oh yeah Hi to all the APUG users out there props to D for low light but dont forget the gallery quality of fine art photo paper and just for the fun and thrill of darkroom work sure-Our human vision is not in HD and 1.4 or lower if good for lens in low light high asa in film is possible but can’t campare agianst digital can someone prove other wise I hope you can read something about buying high asa film or infrared and special dev chem for darkroom to compensate normal photo dev. can anyone elaborate-most film prime lens have orange on lens Pentax for infra red so I know this is possible.

    I won’t say no to a bargin M 8.2 but if my last name was rocafeller or Mc Cartney hands down a BW leica camera with the lens that would make most bank managers shiver.
    Great site steve and Happy shooting folks-stay warm.

  5. These remind me of the song “Absolute beginners” (David Bowie). You hand a, by all accounts, potentially great camera with a great if special lens to absolute beginners, this is what comes out.

    Oh well (Fleetwood Mac).

  6. Come on guys, we are not professional photographer, we are just a group of Leica Fans from Hong Kong.
    These photos are not a test sample, they are just the casual party snapshot, please don’t take it serious.
    Welcome to join http://www.HKLFC.com and share your great photo if you have. B regards

  7. Even though it was from a video, the best photos I’ve seen taken with the Leica M (so far) are from John Dooley. The colors were fantastic, it still had that Leica “3D pop” we all love. This is also one of the reason I pre-ordered within a day of it’s announcement.

    Hopefully these photos of the chinese site are just bad examples of what we can expect from the Leica M. I would rather have the color look more “Canon like” than “Nikon like” but I would much rather have the Leica M8 look, or something similar than either of those.

  8. Leica = man-bling. And men say women are vain for buying cosmetics. Ooooh…my lens is sharper than your lens by 5 %! Ooooooooh.

  9. Come on haters! it’s just casual snaps from a dinner gathering, what do you expect to see from it?? it make no difference whether these were captured by a leica s2 or a Leaf Aptus 80MP digi back, these are all casual snaps after all!

    and for Victor, they did actually take a picture with an iPhone to show how dim and dark the actual environment was. Now take a look at that iPhone pic and tell me which pics do you prefer? iPhone’s or the Leica M’s? hahaha!!

    hope all the other haters could kindly spend a minutes and read this article and i hope you enjoy it as much as i am. wakakaka!


  10. i was under the expression that the SD card was glued onto the pre-production cameras. how did they get the JPEG to post on the web?

  11. Poor Men have fun with Nikon/Canon/Olympus – rich Men have fun with Leica so what ?
    A lot of Men own big Cars and dont can drive them……………..buy some and get over it.

  12. I was at PDN Photo Plus in New York last week. I played with the new M.
    yes, of course it felt nice, the LCD finally looked decent on a camera that costs about a new car when you add a lens to it πŸ™‚
    but in my super honest opinion, I’d rather see some 5000-10000 ISO samples here because my pocket size Canon S95 or the X100 takes really good shots at 1000 ISO, I have photos from X100 at 6400ISO really useable.
    This summer I got a D4, don’t even compare with anything.
    the bottom line is, I liked the mirrorless Sony very impressive at high iso.
    Hope to see some “real” high iso photos from the new M

  13. The photos may be decent, bad or utterly horrible. But don’t forget that it is often the case that a Noct and camera could simply require calibration in order to have good focus.

    • Dude , i it was real M then it would have LV so this shots could be focused on screen and sharp regardles calibration. The fotos are not taken with latest M. It`s scam.

  14. Come on! These are just some footage shots taken with the Leica M by a couple of participants of a Leica launching dinner event organized in Hong Kong. The place was very dark. Each person only had limited time to play around the camera to get a feel of it. The photographers did not say that those photos are serious testing pictures.

    Morever, this is just a pre-production copy of the camera and the 50/2 APO.

    Take it easy guys. Respect.

  15. What a shame that these are the first images we get to see from the new Leica M Type 240. All I can think of now is the following:
    1. Do not shoot with max aperture just because it gives you miniscule depth of field if you cannot actually focus properly
    2. Do not shoot with max aperture just to get outrageous foreground and background bokeh if the result is simply to make your subject look like they’re disappearing into another dimension consisting primarily of candy vomit
    3. When you introduce a new, top of the line, $7000 camera to the world, try to find something more interesting than a dinner party from which to get your first public images. Why on earth would we want to see a dozen images of the same three guys, especially when the pictures do absolutely nothing to tell us what the camera is capable of?

  16. why so much anger ? lol guy got his hands on a preproduction camera with a beta firmware, shoots an casual dinner evening.

    thats basically what happened. No, no master piece is going to coming out from that nor does these picture mean alot since its a pre production camera.

    just relax ppl gosh..

  17. Great ! I can keep my Lumix GF1.
    Seriously, if Leica wants us to be remotely interested in investing, maybe a proper test with workable subject matter and a vast array of shooting conditions and lenses (35mm Summilux anyone ?) would be more appropriate. The John Dooley demonstration was in a sense more informative : http://vimeo.com/49464083, even though more of a commercial stunt.
    Also look at the GH3 video produced by Lumix with a real panel of talents. That gives us, at least on the video side of things, an idea of what the gear will be capable of, and then some for stills.
    Btw, I will be more than happy to test an M if Leica wants to send me one, and probably will skip the dinner shots with my friends. Lol. How does one gets on the lucky panel btw ?

  18. Meh why would leica m be out there in this situation ? Although I too liked the black and white shot
    Show us the real thing leica c’mon were ready

  19. I attended the event on Tuesday night, no cameras were handed around until eveyone was seated and enjoying their dinner, you can see in the images that dinner is yet to commence. I suspect these are not from the M. The exception is the black and white and the guy holding the event photographers camera with flash.

    • yeah, ahh… little comment sense please, so I’m like at a by invitation-only event and there are the new S and M coming to my table, so I thought, hey I know, I’m going to take some snaps with a canon and a 50 1.0 to fake a new M.

  20. Let’s hope that are fake pictures – due to missing EXIF informations and not that LEICA would really assume that such published photos are representative for the IQ of the upcoming M240.


  21. I am surprised that Leica lets people post images from such an event. When you launch a new flagship you want it to make a great first impression. Keep the cameras tight until the firmware is ready and let pros do the first shots. I know that the Asian market is key to Leica’s success but I would just hand out sealed cameras until you have everything ready to be published. Letting people walk away with bad snapshots on their SD card is just not good marketing.

  22. Low shutter speed, camera shake, out of focus image and slightly under exposed. Plus these are resized JPGs… It’s possible out of the camera JPGs are a bit soft. I’m also convinced the photographer doesn’t know what he is doing, but hopefully he will prove us wrong.

    Ashwin is right the f/1 Noctilux isn’t known for it’s sharpness either. All of these factors combined, show below average results. I would like to see photos that are in focus with higher shutter speeds and another lens.

    • I’m in the same boat but see that most digital cameras now trounce film in low light. Someday, I might make the jump.

      These samples don’t to much to further the case. With ISO set from 1000-2000 and shutter speed from 1/15-1/45 @f1, we’re still in film territory. Based on the title of his post, he should have thought to stop down a bit and shown how it performs with higher ISO.

  23. I got to say I have to agree with other comments on the Canon look. It just reminds me my 5dIII with the 85mm f1.2. I got the M on order but I hope the final result will be different than my Canon.

    • well if it is the same look, but it weighs 275 grams less than the canon. so it is fair that it costs 2x as much because is smaller than canon.

  24. Elitist snobbery. That’s what I’m seeing in these comments, with people saying they could take better photos with an iPhone or a point-and-shoot. These photos are perfectly FINE for what they are: casual snapshots from a party. They’re not intended to be masterpieces of composition and lighting. IMO, this isn’t much different from Steve’s “real life” shots. I mean, come on, how many times have we seen shots of Steve’s tree in his backyard? Is anybody really gonna say that test shots like that have more artistic merit simply because they were taken by Steve, or because the camera had a CCD sensor instead of a CMOS one? And maybe these shots hold a personal value to the shooter, or to the attendees in the photos. To disparage them is a disservice to the poster, because he shared these photos out of good will for those of us who are curious about the image quality of the new M camera. So far, I see good white balance and a decent JPEG engine. But if you wants of works of art, wait for Leica’s official samples or, better yet, take your favorite camera and do it yourself.

    • Except that the complaints are of the subpar quality, not the content. For such a premium priced camera, wouldn’t you expect more?

      • Lets assume Leica has nothing to do with the posting.. When you see the work they release on the S magazine for example, it gives an idea of the level of photographers they actually choose to publish. None of that poorly shot party in there.

    • I love how someone uses a Leica for happy-snaps at some party. Kind of like using your Ferrari to hall manure!

      If someone is truly passionate about PHOTOGRAPHY, they would use the camera that achieved the best results.

      Should have used the iPhone

      • Not so. One can use the Ferrari to go get groceries. What’s wrong about it? Actually, Ferrari cars are used on roads limited to 65 mph, and according to your saying their habitat should be only track or some German roads. What’s wrong in using a Leica as a snap camera or a snap camera to do art, like Moriyama does, for instance, with a Nikon PS9100?

  25. I am not impressed, sorry. Many photos OOF and skin tones look muted for a $7k state of the art camera, perhaps the effect of high iso. I am eager to be impressed and I’m sure I will be at some point. But this ain’t d pin it for me.

  26. Who shot thos images? I’d like to donate my old Canon IXUS 860 IS to the person so that he or her can start with a piece of gear that they actually can produce some decent results with.

    • I think I know those who took the pictures during the Leica event in Hong Kong. May I know what further information you need so that you can ship your Canon IXUS 860 IS to them?

  27. Images taken with the 50 cron a little later are at least in focus but skin detail and fabric detail is no where to be seen. Looked like smoothed over Canon images.

  28. I got to shoot one at photoexpo in NYfor about 10min. Build was great, liveview felt a little laggy on the shutter release and the overall operation has increased in complexity due to the liveview and video features so there will be a learning curve involved for sure. However the images look alot like the images from my nikon d700 in color response and tonal gradients. This isnt a bad thing considering the nikon is a world class camera. I do have to wonder if this cmos look is going to homoginize the digital image world and somehow make the leica camera stand out less from the other manufactures. I have to point out though that the models i played with were prototypes. The m9 continues to b more of an attractive camera to me due to the purity of the m system ethos and the amazing and rich kodak ccd sensor.

  29. Because the new M isn’t for sale anywhere yet I have to assume Leica gave a pre-production M out to get feedback on the camera – but why Leica put their most important new camera release in the hands of this ‘photographer’ is a head scratcher. The images are underwhelming, soft, out of focus, and have poorly rendered white balance.

    I have literally seen better images produced by an iPhone, but I’m willing to bet its not the M’s fault …. for Leica’s sake, I hope not.

  30. I think it’s a little too early to talk about image quality a couple of months before the official release or shipping date. They show thin DOF because it’s the Nocti, great! πŸ˜€ But I don’t like to see Party-Pictures to be used for the first IQ discussions. Like the others said. It shows that owning the new M doesn’t mean you are taking better photographs πŸ˜‰ That’s a strong statement!

  31. Gosh, it’s hard to tell from those images. The lens used appears to be a Noctilux, from the look, and wide open, that’s a rather soft lens. The images were shot as JPG’s, and were downsized for web presentation. The only thing I think is telling is that the colors look a bit different, almost like a Canon 5D camera. These are not RAW files or high quality TIFF converts There’s a pic of a guy holding the new new M in that series of images, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were legit. but the images don’t sway me in either direction.

    I’m hoping that some of the real beta-testers out there can eventually share RAW files, as was done for the MM. This is what really swayed me towards that camera, and it would be a huge decider for me with regards to this camera.

    • The colors do look 5D ish for sure and yea, the Noctilux is a soft one wide open. The good thing is I am sure that soon there will be some damn good images coming from the new M. These, if they were shot with the new M are typical of almost any camera in low light, high ISO and soft f/1 lens.

  32. Steve,
    Leica Rumors is expressing concern about the veracity of these beingnshot with the new Leica M because there is No Exif Info attached to these images. I just wanted to kick that out there for folks to be aware of. Still lovin your site!

  33. If I was Leica I wouldn’t be too pleased at the moment – they should have samples out there now shot by people that know what they’re doing!!
    AND yes mine is ordered – number 13 at my dealer – lucky for some!

  34. Those are the worst Leica photos I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing that such expensive equipment can produce such poor results. Even your cheapest point-n-shoot would do better than that. Whoever took those photos should just get the latest iPhone and call it a day.

    • Hi Victor

      Your are not there and didn’t know how dark the place was, you can see we set iso to 1000 and 2000, @f1.0, shutter speed from 1/15s to 1/45s handheld without any tripod, most of the photos are in jpg mode, I think the image is still acceptable.

    • agreed! they look so absolutely unspectacular! the images just have zero pop! maybe CCD sensors are needed for the pop? if CMOS at this price, better to just wait for the sony NEX fullframes mirrorless that will be 1/3 the price?

      • That would be an economical and a very viable alternative, provided that the Sony sensor is designed to render similar (Leica’s) tone curve (some like Canon’s, some like Nikon’s, some like Leica’s). I love my Leica M9-P and the newly acquired M Monochrom, but would not hesitate to buy a Japanse camera with its superior electronic technology and design when one is actually available that can fully utilize my Leica M lenses. As for lenses, I still find Leica’s the best money can buy. ( I also have Nikon D800E and its top of the line lenses. I still pretty much prefer 75% of the images I have taken with my M9-P.) We have not seen enough images from Leica M yet to determine its quality, however, for those who were trying to compare Leica M with iPhone5, I suggest that they get themselve a nice pair of glasses for their eyes or get a decent computer monitor.

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