OFFICIAL LEICA M 240 Samples posted – What do you think?


OFFICIAL LEICA M 240 Samples posted – What do you think?

OK everyone! Official Leica M 240 photos have been posted BY LEICA and they have JPEG and DNG’s to download. I have downloaded the JPEGs and DNG’s and messed around with the files and they are as expected. MUCH better in low light high ISO than any previous digital M but what do you think of the other shots? The color in the flower looks beautiful, but it appears there may be some of the crispness missing from the M9 files, but then again, maybe not. The sensor looks fantastic to my eyes. Overall though it appears to me that the M 240 will be just as capable, as is to be expected with a camera from Leica.

You can go download the official samples HERE

I took a look at the ISO 2500 shot and added some crops and EXIF. Looks comparable to the current crop of full frame cameras for this kind of lighting. The photo below was taken by resident Leica M tester, Mr. Jonathan Slack and you can see many more of his samples HERE at the Leica forum blog.


So go take a look and leave you comments here on what you think of the official samples from this new M, which is scheduled to hit the shelves soon. I have heard anywhere from end of Feb to mid April. I know I am on the list so we shall see!


a more of the samples..



and one with the 50 APO (which is available NOW at Leica dealers) – this is a OOC JPEG but go to Leica’s site for the full download and to grab the rest of the samples.


PS – A lot of people are writing me saying the samples are “lackluster”. I can say that I agree on that one but feel we can see the camera will perform. As a side note, I did offer to Mr. Kauffman a few months ago to take the new M 240 on a 30 day RV trip with 3-4 other Leica shooters to shoot the people of Route 66 and the old buildings. All at my expense. All they needed to do was provide a loaner for 30 days. That offer was turned down and ignored, which was fine with me. Saved me some cash but I do feel Leica should concentrate on putting out killer samples for something like this. They really confuse me with the way they do their marketing.


  1. This is a fine evolution, although I can’t really get behind the idea of shooting video with this camera, and, for the moment, I’m happy shooting my iiiF, Zorki, Ikon and M9. Plenty to keep me busy; I’m happy with the results. Maybe the next M in 5 years or so… but:

    I invite you all to check out Ming Thein’s assessment on his blog, and check out the superb images he shot & converted to B&W. Stunning. And he prefers it to the MM, which he has praised, for what he believes is a greater dynamic range.

    Ming is a gifted photographer and skilled post production artist — which most of us simply aren’t. But his photos will certainly give you an idea of what this fine camera can do.

  2. I do not drop a lot of comments, however i did some searching and wound up
    here OFFICIAL LEICA M 240 Samples posted – What do you think?
    | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS. And I do have a few questions for
    you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it look like some of the comments look like written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at other online sites, I’d like to keep up with anything
    fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all
    your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or
    twitter feed?

  3. I am sorry folks, image Quality is unfortunately still far from my D800.

    No matter what reason put on the table, IQ is the main priority not fashion. Having two systems where one is top notch but heavy and the other one light but subordinate regarding IQ, makes me think I will dust this M in the closet only.

  4. Looking at the 50mm snow landscape image; My Sigma DP2 Merrill is sharper (I think) 🙂
    Well, I would still love to have a Leica, for sure.

  5. Oh my my, how I wanted to love this camera, but the results are just putting me off.

    I took the sample image of the food, viewed it at 100%, and the only thing I’ve done to it was to click on “auto” when opening the DNG. This increased the exposure by 1.40 etc. Click on the link to see the settings and the image:

    Look at how the dark background is full of digital dots!!!! red, blue, green and other colors. Look at the vertical and horizontal lines. Holy macaroni! This is awful.

    And this is in 200 ISO! At 200 ISO it should be perfect, not with all these digital dingbats. Is this really the best Leica can do? Is this what a 7K body will get you? Please tell me that this is being repaired and the final product won’t be as lousy as this!

  6. Would you also be so positive about ford coming out with a new model T ford (using the same technology as they did in those days). Would you buy it for your every day use? I would certainly not, same for this “new” Leica. Old tech for old geezers with nostalgic feelings.

    • The sensor technology used in the M-240 was reversed engineered from the Roswell crash in New Mexico, and Leica’s main development headquarters is at area 51 aka “dreamland” The Germans have been working there for years with the Grey’s on the S camera. Why do do think Steve moved out west from Chicago? Hello!

  7. I kind of feel bad about this new M..from Leica.. It’s everything I ased for, and the M9 should have been in the first place.. Still, I am not sure if this new Leica is for me.. I am just getting back into building up my M system after dumping it all last year… Right now I a realy happy shooting with two Leica M2. and I dont even own a digital M. (I still think digital suckes LOL) .. What ruined it for me was the M9 failing to write files.. AGHHH It’s still makes me cring..

    I really hope Leica donst have the same types of problems with this camera..

    So as far as having Live View and video is going to be very cool on M glass.

    Not sure about the FPS, but I don’t see why it can’t do 9FPS like my OM-D ?.

  8. Having an M9 and curious, I downloaded 4 of the raws and imported to Lightroom. I can tweak the raws to look like my M9 files, and I can tweak the same raws to look like my Canon files. I can convert to b/w and make a raw look like a Tri-X neg processed in Rodinol 50:1. If you don’t get the “Rodinol” comment, you’re either too young, or you’ve forgotten the effort it used to take to reproduce any kind of image after you’ve played artist with your tool. At 2500asa, the M is waaayyy cleaner than an M9 file at 800asa. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the files from this new Leica.

  9. Are there any lawyers here?

    If I buy the “M” and don’t become a better photographer, can I sue Leica for breach of contract?

    At the prices they charge, I think I can reasonably expect more than just a photo out at the end. And that’s for them to sort out …

  10. I am so happy to read that so many people are jumping ship the M240 in favor of using their SLR instead… just based on these images. …just means less names on the wait list, so I can get mine sooner.

    I am enjoying the left/right battle that’s going on here. While I see it as healthy, what if this were the 1980’s, would this type of scrutiny be taking place on the look of images from that of both a Canon AE-1 and an M6? Again, it’s the machine as a whole we should care more about.. but that’s just me. I know that if I decided to get a Fuji Xpro1 instead of the M240 to accompany my M9-P, that I would have a beaten dead Fuji…just based on the abuse that my M9 has gone through.

    This is by far the most posting I’ve seen about any new Leica, and the critical debate that seems to keep fueling the fire tells me (as many have agreed here), that the camp is splitting. And based on these forum conversations, i can bet that there will be far less used M240 kits shortly after it’s release than there were M9 kits.. as it’s trending that less people will buy it out of curiosity, and sell it in favor of an SLR or 4/3’rds kit. If the M is not for them, it should not be something you get because it’s not the newest thing, you should get it if you need it.

    I personally need one, because M’s are all I’ve shot with daily for the last 10 years. The advancements of the M240 as a tool over the M9 are the most important to a photographer like me.. in that the frustrations of the M9 will be removed with the M240 (as a tool), and the image quality, no matter how much worse/better it is, is in the middle of my concerns, and by no means swaying me from my decision.

    So.. I can’t wait to read more posts of people cancelling their order! 🙂

  11. All the talk over image quality is now pointless to my mind,this new Leica and the M 9 and “even” my old M6 produce more than sufficient quality . What few of you seem to understand is that the quality of a Leica M is to get closer to LIFE.The form and function of the camera,it’s simplicity and its direct view of the world reward you with an unique intimacy with the scene and the superb lenses score that experience onto the film or sensor.A Leica records experiences not details… it better or worse than this or that dslr?’s not in the same game.
    I don’t blame Leica for chasing its new market ,it’s not a charity,but I’ve noticed that I no longer care to look at leicas website gallery’s that used to be such a joy,it’s. now a long search through the mundane to find anything interesting,this also I believe is company policy,to elevate the dross to being something more than it is,so no one feels let down by their expensive toy,to feel that they too are making. “Images”.

    • The S app for ipad is still a joy to look at but you need a model, an MA and possibly an old ruined house to do the same. Actually, I think the guy who took the pictures got had… “Go out there and shoot stuff… You have no budget whatsoever though… just shoot and please do not explain anything, in Dubai they do not know that the snow is not blue in the shade”. My bad is that I did not link the flatness to High dynamic range… This is why the snow is blue. HDR tend to turn everything mid-tone. Basically, All he needed is a bit of budget to develop a story line and make a few shots along that line… Could be winter cruise in the south, could be winter cruise in Ireland, could be the cafe waiters series, at work, during the break… you ask them, you pay them (for the rightd to use the pics, not to pose) and you shoot them. If Leica does not make me travel to a world I don’t have access to or to a level of intimacy I would never dare to go with srangers, who will?

  12. Hmm my digital Leica lust is fading. These images do not look any more impressive than my Xpro. I’ll hang onto my M6 for when I’m craving that true rangefinder feel!

  13. M9 files have high contrast and awesome colours, they are sharp and require very little if any processing right out of the camera. This is what differentiates Leica M9 from any other camera. I do not see this in M240. I am going to continue shooting M9.

  14. Jono,

    Since you shot with both the M240 and the M9 and have indicated that you have side by side comparison shots but won’t publish them because the firmware of the M240 is not complete and the LR profile is not complete, the implication is that the M240 files are not as good as the M9 files but that you expect them to get better and be more competitive. While this isn’t exactly what you have said, it seems reasonable to infer and imply. On the other hand, if the files were clearly superior, even with the firmware not being finished and the LR profile not being optimised it would seem that one would want to publish such side by side comparisons as the argument would be it is better even in an unfinished state so imagine what it will be when finished. Is there a flaw in my thinking I am missing? It seems you and Chris have concluded it is better based on your observations but neither can share the objective (i.e. images upon which those statements are based) basis for those statements. By the way, I’m excluding high ISO above 800 as we all know that CMOS is capable of producing cleaner files at high ISO than CCDs using current technology. Above ISO 800 I would want to see a comparison against Nikon, Canon or Sony.

    Jono responded that he never publishes comparisons as it causes arguments on methodology and intent. He then went on to say that the M240 files are better in everyway except pixel to pixel sharpness where they are equal.

    What do other think. Should Leica have published comparative shots between the two cameras taken at the same time and under the same conditions? Perhaps not purely scientific but still instructive.

    • To answer your last question. Yes, comparative shots would make a lot of sense. But if Leica doesn’t do it, Steve hopefully will. I think we all know that the M9 sets the bar very high at lower iso, except for WB and DR under certain conditions.

      • This makes no sense. The M9 uses a 7 year old sensor design. Same as the M8, only bigger. Why would anyone actually believe that the M9 sensor is (technically) equally good?

        Plenty of people who just bought, or own a camera they payed USD 7000 for, will try to convince themselves that an M9 is better than an M type 240.
        For the casual observer this might prove very entertaining – as it is completely absurd.

        Digital technology evolves way faster than analogue film, people. Isn’t that how blogs like this one make money?

  15. The samples are very informative for people taking their time looking at them.
    1- The shot of the sunlit clear skin lady with the black dog shows the dynamic range the Type 240 can handle. we’re looking at two extremes of lightness and the sensor is still able to reproduce subtleties and tonal changes inside the blacks and inside the whites- This, the M9 could not handle at all. It used to burn the skin in such a situation.

    2- Yellow & Red are very difficult colours to reproduce in their tonal range- This picture shows how many hues of yellow the M is managing though it is sunlit and should burn much of the hues-

    3- The snow picture also shows an outstanding tonal range with extremes of white and black and still retains details in both extremes with all that comes in between.

    • I have three feet of snow in my backyard and on a sunny day it is not blue under my trees… Oh yeah, true, increased Dynamic Range. Then they need presets for joe schmoes like me who don’t want to PP everything. But as I said, once in the end of creative people, it will show what it is capable of and I am sure that it will astonish many of us. Until then, the NEX5 with Leica, Zeiss, Contax (zeiss) lenses still give a decent experience.
      Can’t wait to see and read more about it, once it ships for real. In the meantime, I will go fillup the snowblower with gas as we are supposed to get another 20 cm tomorrow.

  16. The lenses are the lenses. The chip is the chip.
    So why the difference in output sharpness/quality?
    AA or some other filter added? Different processing?

  17. These samples look like they could have come from any camera with a prime lens. There is nothing shown in these samples that separates Leica from the rest. In regards to the ISO performance, it’s only now achieving what the other manufacturers have had for years. I can’t quite grasp the hype. If it’s simply about photography, there’s absolutely no need to purchase this camera.

        • Well for instance …

          My Leica 35mm f2 Summicron 255g
          My Canon 35mm f1.4 580g

          My Elmar 21mm f3.4 279g
          The 24mm L from canon is 650g, my personal ‘equivalent’ is the 16-35mm – 640g

          My other regular leica lens will be a 50mm … the Leica one I will use is 300g, I wouldn’t buy a canon 50, so it would be up against my 24-70 at 805g

          For my choice of lenses, they are half the weight 🙂 … and really small too …

          I think the Leica f1.x lenses are significantly bigger, but not something I’d choose – or be able to focus 😉

  18. Funny thing, my first thought was that these images look like something I could take–with my M-2 and goodl old fashioned film!

    Is it my imagination, or do these shots look rather, well, “film-like?” There is a nicely “vintage” look to these captures, except with extraordinarily fine-grain, and exceptional high ISO perfomance.

    Perhaps this was the ultimate goal of the M-240, a more traditional look in the imaging. And considering some of the reluctant responses byLeicaphiles on various blogs to these sample captures, Leica engineers may be victims of their own success.

  19. I really cannot believe some of the comments being made on this subject on the basis of a very limited number of images viewed at low resolution over the internet. In my humble opinion, the only real way to be certain about a camera/lens combination is to make a decent sized print from a properly processed (preferably raw) file.
    I, for one, am glad that Leica have decided to “split” the M camp so to speak as there is a place for both what might be called the stripped down, basic version, such as the ME, and the more modern, for want of a better word, sophisticated version such as the 240. As someone who is past the first flush of youth, I also welcome the ability to use the superb M lenses of 75mm and longer without the guesswork which is involved in their use with a classic rangefinder, even one equipped with a viewfinder magnifier.
    Let’s applaud Leica rather than criticising them – especially before the camera is officially released with final firmware and a properly profiled RAW converter..!!

  20. The images look low-contrast. I guess that is the result of a improved dynamic range. Lots of potential to improve in firmware as well as in Lightroom. Things can only improve.

  21. I can not begin to express how disappointed I have been with the collection of Leica M type 240 images I have seen on the various sites. They do not at all resemble the images obtained through the M9.

    Leica was quick to hype the hardware of the new M which on paper is quite impressive and more comparable to modern DSLR in terms of specs but it truly seems that instead of maintaining the image quality that distinguishes Leica, they have only created a machine that produces Japanese DSLR type images in a Leica classic rangefinder body!

    I hope I will be proven wrong, and that the lackluster images are only a result of immature firmware, but I suspect there may be some underlying hardware issues here as well. I will not gamble $7000 on an unproven product as an early adopter. I am keeping my M-E, and have CANCELLED my order at B&H.

    If Leica can pull this product together, I’ll re-visit the issue a year from now while enjoying my M-E all the while. Call me crazy, but I believe a camera that one is willing to pay a PREMIUM for should be able to deliver PREMIUM images. The jury is not out, but I think there may be a serious deficit here that Leica is reticent to admit.


  22. It seems that Leica wants to improve M’s ISO performance.

    One way to keep with CCD sensors (which suffers with ISO) would incorporate a binning method (like some phaseone’s back, its “plus” series): when a high ISO is selected 4 photosites are combined in order to produce just 1 pixel. The image looses resolution (file size) by other hand will be noise cleaner.

  23. Hmm…just a thought but what if Leica produced the following ‘special edition’:

    A Leica M240 minus Live View/Video and using an M9 CCD sensor.

    Think about it…a decent quality LCD, blazing fast new processor, and world class M9 quality at ISO’s that I actually use. I bet it would be a winner…

    • CCD sensors are very slow (2 frame per second for M9). You don’t want a fast processor sit there wait and wait and wait….

      CMOS sensors are faster(4 to 10 frame per second). With the fast processor you can have live view, video capture.

  24. To be perfectly honest, I feel that these images are exactly what I needed to see. Even better that the DNG were made available so that I could work with them as they were my own.

    If they handed an M240 to E. Erwitt, and they posted those pics.. they would be images that in our wildest dreams, would not be able to capture and may even look past the actual quality of the images themselves. I for one am thankful that the images that Leica is putting up for us to see are pedestrian and mediocre, because lets face it, that’s what most of our images end up being.. unless you’re a Magnum photographer. 😉

    I am confident that when Leica pushes this camera to the world again, when it’s ready to be taken off the shelves and put in shipping boxes, the images they release will be sweet as candy. From a marketing standpoint, that is the model that works best. In true masterclass fashion, they want this to be right. I can only imagine that Leica is reading the barrage of feedback about every pixel and color value, as I do to make my product better. I hope.

    I will take delivery of a M240, and I will not retire my M9-P, as I have not done so with my M3. Every Leica, in my mind, has it’s own soul that you as a photographer bond with as a tool. I sling my M9-P with me everywhere. To every meeting, to every run to the market, and everywhere else in between. I have not come across another camera aside from my other M’s that are able to withstand this abuse…and I do mean abuse. The more visible brass, the better. So, even if this M240 records images that on par with my 5Dmk3, I will still be over the moon with it, because it be that little black box under my left arm for a very long time.. and not a gigantic SLR bulging at my side.. that can only handle about 50% of the abuse that my Leica can withstand.

    Each to his own.. and back to the point, The images were great to see, and so happy that the iso6400 image looks better than iso800 on my 9.

    Thank you Leica for releasing new images.. in that this little thread has given me something to do while I wait for my shipping confirmation email.

    ps.. Steve.. I would of LOVED to see a series of your travels with a M240… and I look forward to the report when you someday get to do so!

  25. Hi There everyone.
    I’ve read most of the posts carefully and all of them superficially. I think there are a couple of points worth mentioning.
    First of all these are not publicity shots – they are DNG and jpg samples straight from the camera – unprocessed. There have been, and will be photographs by lots of other photographers in the near future. These aren’t designed to show off the photographer either, but to give some examples of what files look like from the camera. It’s uncomfortable as a photographer, as, like everyone else, I’m used to presenting finished images, not digital negatives. Added to which these are not necessarily photos I’d have chosen.
    Whether you like my photography or not is hardly the point – and certainly not the reason the images were chosen – which was to display either high ISO, open aperture sharpness etc. etc.
    The larger dynamic range of the new M has the inevitable effect of making the unprocessed files a little flat – but of course it gives you much greater scope for post processing, and my experience with these files is that they are exceptionally malleable and will take a huge amount of PP . . . . the samples are designed to allow you to do that.
    Of course, you don’t have to like the images (it’s not the point) but rather than downloading an image and zooming straight in to 100% to check for moire (which is less than the M9 by the way). Why not try making something of them – if you think they’re bad, then take it as a challenge 🙂
    all the best
    Jonathan Slack

    • i guess your hands are tied as well! seems to be a lot of m240 action around london then. Good to hear from the photographer rather then everyone second-guessing. I wish Leica would make a dedicated high res. video camera as well..their own c300/red epic!

    • Thanks for the explanation BUT… Leica should understand that anything coming out at an early stage of the launch or prelaunch IS publicity photos. No need to PP like mad or make them perfect but the guy who takes them needs some means… Some pesos to be in the right setup to show off a bit. Anyone who gets his hands on one of these before the mere mortals becomes automatically a salesman for that camera and needs a marketing budget. Not to send you to the end of the world but to be able to create, put a dossier together that explains what we see and why we see it. HDR can become catoonish if too saturated or flat if contrast is not added. I need to be reminded that as I spent parts of my week to hear about cardiac valves and I tent to forget about some of the photography basics….
      Cheers, no offense, we are just talking for talking… I say that but I say nothing… Enjoy.

    • Thanks for clarifying the situation. I think more camera manufactures should do the same. Glossy brochure photographs are all very well but what you have done is give us something to review in detail.

  26. I think there are three camps
    a) people who are happy with M9 but it is limiting (ISO, macro, tele) for their usage. For them even equivalent performance of M at base ISO will be acceptable and rest of the features will be worth the upgrade.
    b) people who are happy with M9 but want even better performance at base ISO. They will possibly be disappointed since M9’s base performance is already superb.
    c) people who never had M and waiting for it. I agree with most of on this thread that these pictures fail to excite them.

    The point I am making is (I am not the first) that these pictures don’t show that camera is not good. It simply shows that they could not excite people which is bad for Leica wrt new customers.

    I am tired of having two different camera system to cover all of my usage (casual shooter covering family, nature, macro, tele… just like any other John Doe) and will be extremely happy to have only one system.

    • With the base of photographers available to leica, They could have done a muuuch better job. I rememeber the boxers in Cuba, the restaurant kitchen staff, the girl on the boat… This is what you expect from Leica, pictures that talk, picture that carry an emotion, pictures that carry a vibe. Ah, greta if they are technically perfect but if you only look at the package: FF, High MP for cropping and playing, good high Iso, access to M and R lenses, Electrionic VF, RF, liveview if your RF goes wrong in the middle of a trip. All it is lacking is a sensor moving AF to AF the M lenses (ok this is crazy). Now show me pictures, go get some people who are creative and can bring the OMG! factor back. What hese show is that when given to a guy like me, this thing can take pictures… Show me art.

  27. There is definitely something lackluster about these images. With previous M’s when you couple the camera with a Leica lens like the 50/2 you would get that certain crisp and creamy image rendering even in mundane shots.

    Personally, I think they spent their capital on the bells and whistles like video recording instead of focusing on their sensor and imaging software. The proof will be in the pudding, Leica isn’t just an expensive piece of neck jewelry for the rich, if there is a backlash from professionals this shift in focus could cost them the gains they’ve made in the marketplace.

    • + 1 These files won’t do much good for Leica. There is not one file, even not the one with the snow, that is as crisp as I used to know shots fromm other digital M’s. Also the moire (especially in the girl with dog pic) is very disturbing. Altogether not very impressive ….. I have been waiting for this camera, selling my M8.2 quite some time ago, but I afraid I also have to have a good look now at other cameras.

  28. Reading all the comments I’m getting this overall translation:”Phew I don’t have to spend 7k for another camera, because this camera sucks by just looking at a handful of test shots! I don’t have to get the M to be the cool kid! My world is whole again!”

    Sorry couldn’t resist 😛

    • Lol…you are a mind reader it seems but I will do what the guy who posted above said, I will download the real pics….

  29. I go a lot of time waiting for these tests, since I am very interested in buying this camera. There are really disappointing the samples that they have done. If it does not improve very much. I believe that my option is Leica Monochrome.
    Best regards for a creasy mirrorless people!!!!

  30. Well… Point and shoot photos ?
    I guess not many readers have downloaded the original files on the Leica website to watch them in full resolution !
    I agree, those pics are pretty lame, but the technical quality is impressive. The peacock picture is stunning, and it was taken at 3200 Iso, a value that the M9 could not even reach !
    I will not regret my M9, the sensor broke after one year, it was replaced under warranty, but for me the “magic” of the CCD was destroyed by it’s fragility. And though the pictures taken with the M9 were great, they weren’t as “magic” as those taken with the M8 (which was clearly better in terms of “film” rendering, maybe because it had no IR protection).
    I will welcome the M 240 high iso sensitivity and I will also welcome the live view / evf : No more focus shift problems and the ability to use my R macro lenses and tele lenses !!!
    I guess, ever since the Leica M4 replaced the M3 many Leica fans have cried over the many qualities of the previous model… So we are there right now 🙂

  31. That’s all they could come out with? Not bad shots at all, but not better than what the average Joe does. I will do something I never did… Ask for a crazy comparaison with the rx-1. Especially the cropped mode. This will be very interesting as now you pretty much have an FF with 3 lenses in one coat pocketable device… For 7000 or 8000 less. I think the M is moving leica from pros and eealthy MDs who enjoyed nice objects to Rich people with questionable taste. Time will tell, it may end up being fantastic….

    • Regarding the “3 lenses in one coat pocketable device” please don’t forget that this is plain cropping. You can do that with the M, too and with the Tri-Elmar you’ll even have an optical “3 lenses in one” solution. For sure the RX1 is an interesting contender to compare with. Still, it’s a different concept and not everyone will like it, just like some people simply don’t like the rangefinders.

    • I think it’s 4 lenses(macro, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm) in one camera package for RX1. It has enough pixels to crop from.

      • I think it drops to 12 mp at the longer range. I agree that it is cropping but I think I read somthing that Steve wrote along the lines that there was somkind of processing to keep it sharp (intrapolation?). Anyhow It is just good in JPEG if I am not wrong. On the other hand, it is definitely easier to frame and compose than taking a wide picture and crop afterwards. I was planning to pull the trigger on that M (I will keep the dinero on the side just in case). Now I feel that the Rx-1 seems to be the embryo of something that could evolve quickly in a superb tiny sweet lill camera. Yes the tri-elmar is a nice option but the Sony solution keeps F2 at all 3 focal lengths. If I could see results that can be printed in 8X10 and keep a good quality, this is it… Light small, great IQ, good low-light, Sony’s peaking feature is great (I have it on my Nex-5). But I agree with you this feature should not make it or break it, I just find it an interesting solution.

  32. The OOC JPEG shot with the 50 AA at f/6.7 (or thereabout) is no too impressive in terms of sharpness, and at 16Mb for a JPEG file, it should not be too compressed.

    The DNG file shot with the APO Telyt shows a good level of pixel-level detail in the plane of focus, but depth of field is pretty narrow at f/3.5.

    What is for sure is that the M9 does not come close in terms of high-ISO IQ.

  33. I’ve recently renewed my interest in Leica and I’m on the list for the M … I don’t know much about the M9, but I’m interested in all of the comments relating to the ‘special’ quality of M9 images…

    I’ve looked at so called M9 Master Shots on … these seem to reflect the approach of the photographers more than a particular camera. Some I like, some I don’t ….

    Can anyone point me in the direction of any seminal M9 Raw files?

  34. Now don’t get me wrong. I’d take a freebie M240. Who wouldn’t?

    But think about this –

    For the cost of the M240 in the uk, you could buy a used M6 and a used 50mm summicron. Book yourself on a darkroom course run by an Ilford master printer, set up a second have dark room and buy your materials and book yourself on a photography course.

    A month down the line your photography will have improved and you’ll be nailing your own wet prints.

    Just a thought….

  35. Is it just me, or are there dust spots on then sensor in the snow scene? Just above the middle in the right of the sky area.

    Not the best samples overall, certainly not on a par with the M9 Cuba shots, but I’m sure the camera is more than capable.

  36. I’m not sure what sensations other people are looking for. I was expecting a camera that delivers state-of-the-art image quality at all relevant ISOs and the M seems to deliver. I’m looking forward owning one later this year, ok most likely muuuuch later :-). The wonderful tactile feeling of a manual M lens in conjunction with rangefinder style of framing and focusing is a virtue in itself. It makes the process of photography so enjoyable.

    Best regards,

  37. These photos remind me of the old Agfachrome or, horrors, GAF film from the 70s. (I mean that in a good way, of course!). That’s ok, apparently this is a pre-production model, and I assume there will probably be updates down the road. I’d rather have flat file out of the camera anyway.

    What concerned me a little was that in Jono Slack’s mini review he mentioned shutter lag. I have not used an M9, I use an M2 & M4-P.

    Steve, (or anyone else) can you please let me know your thoughts on the shutter lag vs film Ms.

    Thanks a lot

  38. Expectations are simply too high. There are meanwhile so many cameras and lens combos in the market with which one can produce technically convincing files, i.e. IQ is good enough. These M samples look good at high iso obviously bettering the M9, but I don’t feel and GAS. At low iso, we knew that the M9 still competes with the best.
    Technically, the M simply catches up in some aresa with competition and RF shooting can now be had with fewer compromises than with an M8/9 or MM (high iso, buffer, live view, lcd screen, long and wide lenses, macro, shutter noise). Whe the M9 was released it was celebrated as MF IQ in a coat pocket size camera and was the most compact FF offering in the market. The M technically tries to catch up to competition and does not set new benchmarks.
    And the RX1 starts to look like a real bargain.

  39. I make my living from my M9 and though I have ordered and paid for the new M240 already, the photos that Leica are releasing are truly pathetic. These are shots that can be taken with a iPhone or simple point and shoot camera. Though I do believe the camera will be an awesome addition to my work I hardly feel inspired by the images they are releasing.
    I just returned from walking through a food market in Kaohsuing Taiwan an hour ago and look at the images from my m9 this morning, I then look at the images Leica post, and think Leica you really need to up your game with press releases and get this camera into professionals that can do this camera justice. Plus why would you take images with deleted lenses? They should be using current lenses

    • IMHO

      Leica know for sure
      no matter how not maximal, the photographer they are hiring to make the samples

      Leica Lover will still get in line, queing, to buy it

      If I were Leica Marketing, I would love to send Demo unit to some of great online photographer (ex: Steve Huff, and some I know)… to make a great impact for the marketing

      but Leica dont even need to market themselves..
      people will buy it

    • Hi Bradley,
      Do you have a Flickr or blog that can share your M9 works at Taiwan.
      As a resident in Taiwan I would love to see thoses M9 shots by a visitor.
      Thanks !

    • The CCD is not what made them unique. Lots of cameras use CCD, including point & shoots and medium format. What made them unique is the rangefinder, the design of the body, the high quality lenses, and the compact size of everything (for a full-frame system). All of that remains in this new M. Recall that during the film era, Leica did not use any unique “sensor”; they used the same films as any other camera.

      • Very much true! – BUT this is also what I was missing here in the discussion, the larger size: M [240] is larger and more heavy – this is what I would like to feel in the hand before.
        Ciao Axel

      • Wrong Zlatko….the CCD sensor was definitely something that made the M8/M9 unique from an image quality perspective. This is not the 1980’s, whether you want to believe it or not the sensor is just as important to the final output as the lens used. If you think the Leica ‘look’ is just in the lenses, mount them on a Sony/Fuji and prepare for disappointment…and I’m not just talking about the crop factor.

        • You wrote “The 1 thing that made them unique, CCD is gone.” I disagreed because you didn’t write that the sensor is “just as important” (as you wrote in your reply), but that it was THE ONE distinction these cameras had. If that were true, then Leica lenses wouldn’t matter. And the rangefinder wouldn’t matter. And the design and haptics of the camera wouldn’t matter.

          I agree that the sensor is important. I am adding that the M cameras still have some distinctive and attractive qualities regardless of the sensor, as they did before the M8/M9. I am also adding that through most of the history of Leica cameras, from the beginning up to 2006, the idea of Leica quality or a Leica look was not based on any unique sensor but rather on the same sensor that everybody else had (film).

  40. it seems were getting farther and farther from the Leica filmic look
    which i thought was a great acheivement with the m8 and m9
    because they did have a different look than other digitals i personally am waiting
    too see if fuji comes out with a full frame i think they are going in a better direction
    this may just be sample photos which generally are pretty crappy nikons pics are usually
    crap if not its a wait and see and hope someone else comes out
    maybe leica just made this camera to do too much like fit old r lenses
    i think that was a mistake i would like a dedicated camera designed for my M glass only
    i know there is the Me but its butt ugly which may be shallow but i think most people agree
    for now im using a minty m8 and a fuji xe1 and they are just fine and dandy
    ramble on

  41. Where’s the magic? I don’t see any magic. My M9 CCD is full of mojo. I could care less about bells and whistles. I only require unique OOC abilities- especially for the price. They should have given Steve a camera. Maybe they should have asked Steve for some pointers on naming their new products as well. So…I guess the only GAS I’ll be getting from the Germans for now is from wienerschnitzel and beer.

  42. Right now if someone asked me “you are spending $7000.00 on a Leica”? I would start to have a hard time defending myself. I never felt this way about the M9. Unless something dramatically appears in some new samples, I can no longer justify this so called progress and will buy a ME or wait for Leica to respond with a different product….I can do this with my Nikon. I hope I am wrong! Show me Leica why a artistic photographer would want this for seven grand.

  43. After seeing several sets of photos (official and unofficial) from the M240 I think I should accept the fact that what I see now is what I will get and stop putting the blame on the photographers. Really, what can a perfectly composed artistic photo add to the already obvious colour, tone and rendering that I have seen so far that is different than the M9?

    If in the hands of a truly great photographer the DNGs can be made to look like (or even better) than the M9 due to PP then many will still be disappointed. I have both M9 and X2 (CMOS) and the colours, tone and rendering are different but I would not call the X2 inferior but just different. The colour, tone and rendering from the M240 I have seen so far slightly resembles my CMOS X2 than my M9. Could this difference be one of the reason why Leica did not discontinue the M9 (i.e. ME)?

  44. Personally..I think that no one has truly shown us the capabilities of the new M. I could be wrong about that …but with two false starts and not one technically AND artistically sound image… is disappointing.
    Where is the pride and the attention to detail that they put into their cameras with these image releases?

  45. hmmm

    not what I expected .. actually

    pardon me for my statement …
    but I enjoy more looking at RX1 results everywhere
    also I enjoy much more at M9 looks and even M8

    I guess its just me ..


  46. Interesting to see the approved images at last however they don’t seem to have the same ‘glow’.
    I hope I’m wrong .

  47. Is it really a Leica anymore or is it a Sony? I’m disappointed. They look just like any other Bayer sensor camera.

  48. The biggest dissapointment to my eyes is the skin color/tones. Look at the yellow-greenish smears and the reddish nose and cheek blobs. No smooth transitions and almost looks like streaks. The Fuji skin tones are much nicer on the XPRO-1 or XE-1. The lack of sharpness and sparkle to the eyes in the dog on the insert also leave a lot to be desired. Is this due to the high ISO, lack of focus or something else?

    • Would you spend $100K for a facial resurfacing job like Kim Kardashian did? Then you will see the smoothness like baby skin.

      With high resolution sensors, there is nothing you can hide. I heard the complains after I had NEX 5N.

      • I was not complaining about the skin texture but rather about the greenish/yellowish color bloches. I am not the only one that has noted this as several others on the Leica forum have also noted and tried to fix in PP. I tried in LR 4.3 and C1. I don’t have the 7.02 version of C1 but in the prior version the results are really really bad with a reddish cast. LR 4.3 had the best results but not really what I would call great. The cast is there in the picture and the sharp transitions rather than smooth transitions give a blotchy look. Just my opinion.

        • I downloaded the DNG file from Mr. Jonathan Slack web site and processed it on LR3.6. I just corrected the shallow, reduce exposure by -0.32,increase some contrast, increase noise reduction and reduce sharpness. The result wasn’t so yellow-greenish on the cheek and the nose wasn’t so red either. I don’t know how to paste picture on this comment. If you like I can send you the JPEG file I exported.

  49. Maybe I’m being a bit critical, but there was once a time where I would pick up a Leica brochure and be truly inspired. Every picture I’d see Leica promote would be incredible, and I’d never be so concerned about the image quality, because the ‘picture’ quality was so good, that you wouldn’t question it for a second. As of recently, I really don’t understand what Leica is doing. Maybe if their samples were amazing pictures, there wouldn’t be so much apprehension about the quality. I always believe that great pictures sell cameras more than any other factor…..guess I am wrong.

  50. no more Salgados, no more Webbs etc advertising their products. Perhaps a bunch of middle aged guys living in Dubai taking photos of their dogs, flowers, sunsets would be a more accurate representation of the market for Leica or people that are more interested in how sharp something is rather than taking a decent image.

    Hilarious in an era when Bew Lowy is getting the cover of time with an iphone shot with Hipstamatic – it is ONLY the weekend warrior amateurs that fixate about pixels and sharpness.

    The pros just use what they have to to get the job done, amateurs care about “how sharp”.

  51. Viewing the photos on a screen makes it hard to form much of a judgement, however Leica has managed to jam a lot into a small package, but I look forward to seeing some high iso shots and crops from this camera to see if it lives up to the hype.

    And Steve, love your honest, real world reviews, keep up the good work.


  52. Folks, you can’t tell anything about the camera from these foolish photos. These could have been taken with my point and shoot pocket sized Canon S95 (which is probably one of the best cameras I own by the way….). It’s silly to try to extrapolate from this what the camera can do in your hands. I mean really? Silliness.

    This camera will perform as well as or better than the M9. Do you really think a company like Leica would produce a poor quality product? Have they ever? Even the M8 with it’s quirkiness has awesome image quality. Is it better than my Canon? Nope. Just different. Be patient.

    • The M series cameras are of the highest quality, but I think you’re forgetting the rebadged, over priced Panasonics, v-lux etc.

  53. Well…
    I am not really feeling it I guess lol.
    Compared to the M9 the high ISO is great but that is to be expected from a CMOS sensor but compared to other cameras in its price range? Not really.
    It lacks the sharpness and dimensionality of the previous sensors.

    Sure, live view, R lenses, video and “higher” sensitivity are all good traits but I think they fell a bit short here.

    And what is with their marketing strategy?
    I guess we will wait and see but if that is what they are releasing as samples…

  54. The snow shot is nice. Does not look like it was taken with $14,000.00 worth of equipment. If I was Leica, I would at least make sure my sample images were taken with a clean sensor.

    I got a great deal on a new M9-P the day they announced the new cameras. Absolutely no regrets.

      • I ordered mine from Classic Connection the day they announced the M last year. Dale got a few in after I got mine. Looking now, it appears every one had the same idea. I don’t see any anywhere.

    • Exactly my statement. The snow photo with the new ultra expensive 50 wiht more dust spots than I ever had on a sensor – and believe me – the Sigma DP2 Merrill for about 1.000 bucks is much and I mean really much sharper! This small cam has many other short comings but picture quality is stunning. A Leica with a kind of Foveon sensor and I would hurry into the next shop although high iso still ends at 400 ISO.

      • Completely agree with you on the Sigma DP2 Merrill. IQ is out of this world, just came back from Ecuador and Peru and I have some fantastic images with it. I believe it’s even better than my M9.

        “A Leica with a kind of Foveon sensor and I would hurry into the next shop…” +50 on this one

        But i do disagree on the 400 ISO. If shooting RAW i go to 800 easily and 1600 when needed. The grain on those images is just like film 🙂

  55. Honestly these pics are ok. Just ok and do not even slightly encourage one to spend 8k.
    I could point to a legion of photos taken with OMD, Nex 7, D600, 5D Mark 3 and so on that are much more convincing and make me want to have one of those cameras.
    Again I think it is not the tool here but rather the carpenter that sucks.
    Put this M in the hands of a real photographer and the potential of the new camera will be revealed.

    • I wouldn’t call Chris Tribble a non-real photographer. That cityscape btw looks (almost) as good as my D700 with any top quality Nikkor or Zeiss would achieve in that light.

      • Very true. Still, I don’t think it’s necessary (let alone civilized) to disqualify photographers in the harshest of terms just because you (not you Robert) don’t like the images published here.

  56. I am left baffled by the comment here, what did you exactly expect from a sensor? If it was was a new type of film, i would greatly agree, but this is a sensor it has to be universal to let the images be processed later (digital “darkroom”).
    For my eyes, the colours are looking good, the white balance some times might be off (the first image is at ISO 2500!) but that is a different question all-together. I dare you to tell apart two images of the same object done with M9 and this one.

    • edit: ” I dare you to tell apart two images of the same object done with M9 and this one.” under the same conditions and minimum ISO. Thought this statement is a bit bold and contradicts my point a bit, but considering how good M is in the high ISO range i would say it is a clear winner still.

    • What comes out of the back of my M9 or my old M8 has higher IQ than these without processing. The only thing better is the high ISO which obviously blows both preceding cameras away.

      There is some really funny aliasing in the fine detail of the tree shot, maybe this is a firmware issue but I can’t believe Leica released these as samples.

  57. I think Leica has made a self trap with M9. It got almost the excellence in IQ at base iso, so it is difficult to push the bar again, otherwise it is very difficult to please Leica fans, as they expect an unusual, freaking, blowing mind, huge improvement at IQ.
    I am going to my first Leica M, and still don’t know if I go to new M, M-E ou M9-P.
    I am a noob at Leica world, but I think the new M samples don’t show that Leica look that convinced me to save cash for a year. The new M-E color scheme is ugly! and that matters! or aren’t we photographers? I won’t buy something that expensive to regret. What comes after? M9-P…
    Just thoughts…

  58. VERY DISAPPOINTED!! As an M2, M8 and M9 owner, I was very optimistic about the new M, but if the sample images continue not to render the unique Leica colors and characteristics then I will definitely remove myself from the wait-list. Maybe Leica shouldn’t have spent so much of its efforts on adding video, LiveView, and even GPS to their M system….they should have put more of that energy foremost into creating a camera that was historically built for people who worshiped image quality above all other gimmicks. Perhaps it was cursed from the beginning when they removed the numerical sequence from the M, maybe they lost a little bit of that Leica magic when they lost that perfect “10”. A few more weeks and we will all find out if the “elves” still have any magic left to share. Good luck, Leica!

  59. I’m not worried – I know I’ve made the right decision to order this camera. The most important thing is what this camera will do in my hands with my eye behind it.

  60. I agree – this doesn’t inspire me to get off my seat and WANT the camera. They need to do what they did when the original M9 was introduced – go to Cuba and show some awe inspiring photographs.

  61. I’ve never had M9 in my hands, but everytime I saw good photographer’s images made with it, they were special. Like Zeiss optics have very catchy 3D-pop effect, M9 with Leica optics has it’s clear, look-alive, transparent, extremely detailed, but in the same time smooth look. M240, as I see, has absolutely nothing in common – a bit moody look – reminds me more Digilux 2 than M, just with increased dynamic range.
    Just my opinion.

  62. These photos look quite ok, but there’s nothing special there in my opinion. For that kind of money there has to be something that differentiates the images from much cheaper competition, otherwise it’s hard to justify the cost.

  63. I really think the “image samples thing” is widely overblown. Each and every camera manufacturer puts out lackluster sample images. They reflect little about the camera or its capability.


    • Sean I partially agree….but it’s just baffling that a camera maker that defines itself as as luxury/top tier manufacturer would represent itself with such lackluster/amateur photos.

      Do you think Ferrari would release a brochure with a bunch of snapshots of their car…of course not…they would hire a pro.

      At any rate…there’s no doubt that in the right hands we will probably see some impressive images. That said, the images don’t have that crisp feel of the M8/M9.

    • Actually, the “lackluster” pictures are honest. Given time, a pro can make any camera look good. This shows what the M can do and it is very good. Certainly better than the M9.

    • I think most of the people commenting about how lackluster the images are, and they are, are over looking the fact that these are not marketing images, they are test images. Once the internal firmware and image processing software get finalized I expect that cameras will be made available to a select few photographers with the task of creating the real marketing images.


  64. I am not that impressed with the photos for the cost of the camera, also the autofocus is rumoured to be quiet slow

  65. Hi: I’ve been shooting film (for 30 years) and digital (digi for the last 10 years). Shoot with Canon and recently a full M9 kit, which I love. By-and-large the image quality of the Leica exceeds the DSMKIII except for max resolution and high-iso. The M would put the Leica over the top of the Canon. I will say however, this Leica crispness? Straight out of camera, raw-for-raw, the Leica files do look more contrasty and have an “edge” about them. Work my Canon files in Lightroom or C1, and they can look very similar.

    The M will be beneficial in low light. Right now the “6-year-old-technology” of the Canon MKIII smokes the M9; having cleaner “grain” at 3200, than the M9 at 1000.

    The M is a step forward and I feel the move to CMOS, tied to superior Leica glass, was needed to bring Leica into the Canikon camp of professionals.

  66. Interesting (in that they were chosen), but not inspiring photos. At this point I would more likely keep the M9 and consider a Monochom rather than the 240. Just me. One thing keeping me at bay from buying any more Leica at the moment is the fun I’m having with the OMD….

  67. They don’t need to market. They’ll sell as many as they can make.

    Had this been out a couple of years ago, it’d have been killer. Now… to be honest I prefer the output of my D800 with good glass up front.

  68. I heard from an industry friend that going forward, Leica is no longer giving samples to bloggers. They will only be working with professional shooters working on real jobs or with published work.

      • Oh dear. Back to late twentieth century (& a poor version, at that) marketing practice. This “blog” is a perfect place to target for Leica. Extremely web visible, highly frequented by active Leica buyers and considerers. Absolutely dumb to boycott it with a no sample policy.

  69. Steve,

    The reason why you didn’t even get consideration from Leica’s CEO is that you called him “Mister Kaufmann” as opposed to what he is used to, i.e.: “Doktor Kaufmann”.

    Ach, wie schade …


  70. I’m sorry for Leica, but for the first time I find the IQ very disappointing. The M shots lack the bite of the M8/M9 files. Yes, they are very detailed, but the bite is gone (which might be due to the higher resolution).
    Then look at the the facade shot at night at ISO 6400 (it’s not shown on Steve’s blog): Even without scrutiny you’ll detect severe banding issues, that easily compete with those known from the age-old Olympus E-5. I have never seen that kind of mess from a Leica shot before (ok, there were not many bodies that reached ISO 6400), and I would expect a banding-free performance from a Leica up to the highest ISO number.

    I love my simple, pure, and excellent M-E.

  71. The skin tone in the first photo is awful, but that’s probably just lighting/white balance. The second is just boring….. Not sure why they’d use that as a promo image…the city shot and the snowy trees shot both look stunning though!
    I agree with some other commenters though, they need to hire a consummate professional to take sample photos…

  72. Wish I was impressed.

    So far, using the Fuji with the Leica adapter – seems a better choice to me. Don’t think I would give up the M9 for the “M”. However, it is only a step in that direction. We will have to see once it is released.

    BTW: Up for Rt. 66 once the camera is released. I’ll even buy the beer!

    • Giving the benefit of doubt to Leica, these are early days and lousy pre-release photos seem to be commonplace from all makers. No doubt it’ll be a nice body to put great lenses on it.

      Who spends thousands on M lenses with the objective of only ever running them on APS-C sensors, anyway? Probably some, but I bet many end up wanting a full frame body for their M glass sooner or later, or they move on to other systems.

      If one is spending thousands on lenses designed for full frame, they really do deserve to be shot on a full frame body. You lose a lot of their character, character you pay dearly for, by running them on a crop sensor.

      The Ricoh GXR/M remains the only currently shipping non-Leica camera expressly designed to run M lenses and it does so exceptionally well without any of the edge issues the Sony NEX-7 or Fujifilm X cameras have Too bad they haven’t released a full frame version. I bought one as a stop gap measure, expecting that one day M9 prices would drop to reasonable levels, but it is the new M-240 I really want but I’ll never spend 7K on a 135 format digital body.

  73. I totally agree with al the previous commend “that extra bite”
    Had several chances to switch to Leica but the price is absolutely ridiculous.
    Technically the M series miss the Fuji viewer, crisp and bright, easy to see.
    S series is absolutely my thing but way out my budget.
    For any Professional results I stick to full frame Canon or in my case Nikon.
    Just hope Nikon will come with a MX full frame series like the D600
    All the other 1/1.8 and 1/2,3 or whatever are just amateur fun camera’s.
    Still can’t understand the Big boys marketing strategy. “Full Frame mirror less, boys !”

    • I disagree with you on that. Each type of camera has it’s purpose. A decent photographer can make beautiful pictures with almost any modern camera. I don’t believe in the extra special ‘look’ of any camera brand or type, especially Leica. There is a difference, but I don’t think one is exceptionally better then the other. People really need to get over this.

      I just use what I can afford and what I think is the best camera for my hard earned money. Of course there’s a difference in build quality, but personally I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a camera body and then a couple of thousands more on some simple manual focus lenses. No matter how good they are supposed to be.

  74. The photos lack M9 crispness and transparency. They look like those from R-lenses on Canon or Nikon bodies, i.e., they have Leica color w/o the bite. I will hang on to my M9.

    • Only one of seven pictures was shot with R lens(60mm Macro F/2.8). The peacock is shot with 50mm F/1.0. The others were not mentioned. There is no R lens with F/1.0. So If you expect to use M lens with this camera to gain better than these results, you maybe disappointed.

      These pictures are very similar to other CMOS-sensor cameras(especialy when mated with Leica M/R lenses). The only advantages Leica M have are Form Factor, build quality, 24MP FF, interchangeable lens camera that can use Leica M/R lenses to gain better results(not much beter so far. IMHO).

      • BTW, the color on those OOC JPEG pictures are good. The DNG file looks OK before processed. They may become better after DNG files are supported by the editing softwares.

        • I went to Mr. Jonathan Slack’s web site and downloaded more JPEG and DNG files. Some JPEG file were edited in Lightroom some were in camera JPEG.

          Well need to see the production release and more reviews to figure out.

          • I know most of them are M-lenses. My comments are to say that photos taken with M lenses on this camera do not distinguish themselves from photos taken with R-lenses on Canon or Nikon. From your comments, I think you probably agree too.

          • That is true. Leica M lens on other CMOS-sensor cameras(Nikon, Canon, Sony,Fuji,etc.) all look very similar to the R lens results. Why should Leica M be different?

            Leica should know better than anybody else in this world they can’t play any magic tricks on CMOS sensor to make it better than CCD sensor. All camera maker know this fact. The only trick is to increase the resolution to compensate the inferiority of CMOS sensor.

          • Better is a subjective term. On the other hand pointing out technical superiority removes the subjective perspective entirely. This comes down to what individuals want or need. I think Leica needed to give the world a digital camera that performs in the ways that Canon and Nikon’s best imaging engines perform. There really isn’t easy ways of putting into language or writing. High ISO capability being the exception. It’s easier to describe the M9 files ‘look’ (harsh, over dramatic) than it is to describe the professional standard looks of both Nikon and Canon pro gear which are inoffensive and pleasing by contrast. People talk like Leica is trying to now put lipstick on a pig by pushing an inferior CMOS sensor on us. But many of us dreamed of this day.

          • I downloaded the DNG files from Mr. Jonathan Slack’s website and processed them in LR3.6. The results are not too bad. You can try that yourself to your own liking and make new assessment.

  75. No doubting the boost in ISO performance is good. But to be fair I’ve always thought that the high ISO noise on my M9 is just like film grain anyway. After having dabbled in film and self processing recently I have no problem with the high end of the ISO range. It looks better than the grain I was getting from Tri-X 400 with my M6. I’ll wait until midyear before I decide if an upgrade is worth it.

  76. We will just have to wait until the final firmware is completed and productions models are actually available to purchase. Then we will see what the files can really do. Also, I think I read somewhere that Adobe hasn’t finished their soup mix yet either on rendering the Raw files.

    Plus, since I just got an M-E I’m not in a hurry to jump on this one. Plus even if it was available I’m sure if I put my name on a list I wouldn’t see one for a long time.

  77. These pics are better ‘samples’ than what has been released thus far…but come on, this is Leica! Quit being cheap and hire a pro to provide you quality ‘samples’. Really it’s embarrassing how poorly this aspect of the M 240 has been handled IMO. Even if for some bizarre reason they didn’t want to spend the money on a ‘pro’ in literally 2 mins on Flickr/500PX you could find dozens of photographers who could actually make Leica look good and would jump at the opportunity.

    Rant over.

    As for these samples….they’re lacking the crispness I loved from my M8 and what I’ve seen from the M9. To me that was part of the Leica ‘magic’, not just the great lenses.

    • I do appreciate these are real world samples rather than hired a professional to shot the markering photos. But you are right I love my M8 better!

    • If this were a film Leica, the “magic” would entirely be due to the Leica glass. Leica’s look was built upon the quality of their lenses. I’m content with Leica using the best CMOS sensor they can find and letting their glass strut its stuff. Personally, I prefer the lush tonality of the best CMOS technology over the look of CCD, which appears too harsh to me.

      • I’m with you, David, and I’ve said as much for the last couple of years. I think I can and will have a happier time making great photography, I hope, with the M ultimately than I might have had with the M9 and now am having with the M-E, which I own and now love. But I have faith in Leica, I’m never surprised by the decisions companies make that baffle the rest of us. Yes, they could do better in terms of samples. Everything has been underwhelming. But I think people will have some adjustments to make in their expectations based on having their eyes and taste adjusted by the dramatic and often overly dramatic look of the CCD sensor. If you want that, buy an M-E. If you want both, buy the M to go with it.

        The complaint by the venerable Max (much respect) that Leica no longer has the pro users at their disposal to showcase the new M, well, honestly, I might suggest that’s because of the M9 and the look of the CCD and the color issues et al. It’s a difficult look to escape while trying to produce professional images for the purpose of journalism or just about any other purpose. I AGREE that they’ve likely lost a lot of pro users. It can get old trying to dig standard usable color out of an M9 file that doesn’t scream ‘M9’ and call attention to itself in that way.

        So I think these images and the 240 might HELP bring back photographers who have abandoned ship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Leica hadn’t heard a lot of feedback from those pros that moved them to go in a different direction. I’ll give you one example. I’m not a wedding shooter but I’ve shot a few and I plan on shooting a lot more in the future. Wedding images have to have a pleasing look, not look like publicity stills from Walking Dead. From what I’ve seen from the 240, mediocre photography and all, it looks like the 240 will be a camera that can actually be used for weddings. It doesn’t scream M9 or Leica digital. Let the lenses and the photographer and the events make the drama. The image file doesn’t need to.

        • And I should add that maybe the exodus of pro users from Leica also has a great deal to do with the lagging ISO capability of the Leica flagship M9. It’s hard to imagine a pro who needs everything he or she can get from a camera’s ISO not balking at the noise, and the look of the M9 noise in particular, when compared with other pro-level gear. The 240 seems to actually address these issues. But that’s just the way I see it. What do I know?

          • It’s still too soon to adequately assess the M 240. This latest batch of samples is better than the mediocre snapshots we were presented with earlier, but they’re still not good enough to give us a clear idea of what this baby is capable of.

            But like you, Donald, I have faith in Leica. No one knows better than they what’s at stake with the M 240–nothing less than the reputation of the Leica brand. You can bet they’re going to tweak and re-tweak this thing until they get it right, before they release it.

        • I shoot commerically, industrial & architectural and also happily shoot about 25 weddings/year. For the wedding work aobut 30% of the files are shot with the M9, the remainder with my DSMKIII and 7D. I feel the file quality of the Leica is hands down better than the Canon, except in 2 areas; file size (which isn’t realistically a quality issue), and high ISO noise. For my commercial work, exec portraits and especially architectural, the M9 files are great. For most of the wedding work, I love shooting with the M9 over the Canon’s, but sometimes the CCD’s issues are a negative, especially with skintones and moire in fabrics. I setup a custom brush filter in Lightroom to mitegate skintone issues that sometimes rear their ugly head, and Lightroom has a filter to handle the moire issue. Both fixes are quite time consuming if you’re looking at hundeds of files. I welcome the new M, and hope I have the funds sometime this year to continue building my M system. If I didn’t think I could “make” money using it, I wouldn’t shoot with it.

  78. I have some 10-15 year old Leica sales brochures right in front of me now. Sorry to have to say it, but the pictures were much, much better then; Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Capa, Salgado, Halsmann and Gibson, just to mention a few of the photographers whose pictures were used by Leica then.

    • Well, you nailed it, and that pretty much sums up the “state of the art”. Leica is simply chasing sales and their core market, their supporters, are no longer professional photographers of that caliber.
      My suggestion for those who can resist tinkering with new toys, is always the same. Buy a cheap camera and spend the other $8000 on a few serious workshops. This is a Leica, but at the end of the day, it’s just another camera.

    • I totally agree. I was flipping through the Magnum 50th anniversary book and even just a few years ago the images were so compelling.

      Salgado is supposedly shooting his entire Genesis project on medium format film and the early results are absolutely lovely.

      • unfortunately thats not true actually , he started genesis using film but changed to digital part way through. although his digital workflow is very unique.

        As for these images, i agree with some of the above statements though, these shots look ‘ok’ for digital, but in the end they look very stale and devoid of personailty. They look clinical and lifeless. Whereas film made the world somehow even more beautiful than it is, digital seems to make it bland and dead.

  79. These are light years ahead of the first batch of samples. Very impressive. I much prefer the rich smooth tonalities and the apparent broader dynamic range of the M 240 to the harshness I see in images from the M9.

  80. I miss the M9 bite in the shots. I don’t know if it’s just because of these shots, but I’m glad I got the M9. Hope for Leica, that the M can do better than this… high iso ist quite good.

  81. I like them and I will go for it as soon as it’s available for a few months and user reviews are positive. I was a bit shocked when they announced it, but I like the improvements they made. I like that you can still shoot like a classical rangefinder without getting noticed and with liveview, video and better IQ it becomes for me a perfect camera for travel reportage and everyday shooting. You can stage shots, make your adjustments and lighting before you press the shutter and don’t have to review every shot until you’re there.
    Those files look pretty good and we might see a few improvements until the final firmware is installed on those units that are already built. Hopefully they will be ready to ship by the end march as a Leica representative told me.

  82. I’m impressed with the IQ Type 240 puts out, especially those iso2500 shots. Yes it’s a little different from M9 or DMR which I used to own, but it has its own unique characters.

    Can’t wait to receive mine!

  83. i think they are taken by Jonathan Slack…would agree missing that “zing” of M9 but low light is damn good.

    I still haven’t got my money’s worth out of M9…so keeping on to it for some time yet…but think about it Leica will 4*digital M’s on the market at same time soon (m9, m-e, mono., 240) excl. the P’s and special editions….which is awesome for choice!

    • Yes!

      I just saved myself at least $7000 but not buying an overpriced camera that takes photos that really don’t look any better than an entry level DSLR. In fact, I’ve seen better pics coming out of a P&S. Go figure.

      • +1
        for that amount of money I would rather give up the rangefinder feel and go with something way cheaper and way better (features wise and IQ as well). We all know there are a LOT of options.

      • Find me a point and shoot that can replicate that rose shot for me and I’ll buy it for you. Reality is that most of these shots are a example of the shortcomings of digital photography as a whole and not just the M. Digital sensors still can’t resolve detailed artifacts at distance in a pleasing way. Where film dissolves detail from far away into a nice abstract grain, the digital sensor is still trying to make sense of something so far in the distance not even our eyes can perceive its detail (the cutaway of the skyline shot) therefore you get a shot when zoomed in that looks like every other digital shot,choppy and pixelated. Of course every digital camera can shot a landscape fairly well but if you want to see this camera sing take some portraits or any shot that’s in talking distance and you’ll see the difference between it and a cheap DSLR

      • I’m not immediately overwhelmed by the files, either, but will wait to see what they look like with more careful shooting and processing. Some of the monochrom files are looking astounding after folks initially saying they were flat, etc. So we’ll see.

        Otherwise, I think there is validity to all the comments. Film still does a lot of things better than digital.

        The real problem is the lack of actual photography as equiment progresses. Most of us here are producing basically crap and talking about producing it. That’s kind of sad.

        The most inspiring piece on this site lately was from Daniel Zvereff, and he’s still burning through tri-x like a good boy and using pen on paper. Maybe we could learn from that.

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