Leica M (Type 240) Video Overview – Very 1st look, Menu System, Shutter sound and more


Leica M (Type 240) Video Overview – Very 1st look, Menu System, Shutter sound and more

As promised! My very 1st look at the Leica M Type 240! The video below is indeed the very 1st time I have touched the new M camera. You will experience the 1st look with me. In the video I show the unboxing, the menu system, and the shutter sound. I also share my very 1st early thoughts after shooting a few frames with the camera. I have not been out of my house with the camera and as I type this the massive battery is on the charger getting juiced up. Most have been asking me to do M9 vs M240 comparisons. I WILL do this, but later on. First I have to get to know the new M as it is a little different than the M9 in it’s settings and image quality rendering. I will be doing the whole range of comparisons and even some with the RX1. BUT I can state right now that the Leica M is a Leica. It does not feel like a new system or too complicated. While it is not as simple minded as the old M8 and M9 it feels…mature in the way the menu is set up and presented. The LCD no longer looks like it came from the 90’s and is gorgeous. I will have SO MUCH more to say in my review but patience my fellow camera geeks..I will have to shoot this camera before I review it. 🙂

Watch the video below and I go over the unboxing, menu system, and the shutter sound. More videos with more details will follow soon…

So far after just a few test shots outside and inside I have found the AWB to be improved, the shutter is sooo much nicer (no grit and it has a thump quality, very nice – see video) than the M9 and the electronic framelines are taken from the M9 Titanium and I welcome them. I have had ZERO issues using a basic Sony 32 GB SD card. So in the 1st few hours it has been bug free, as any camera should be. The RF may be a teeny bit off as the focus is not dialing in like it did on my old M9-P, unless that is some of the crispness I am missing.

What I am seeing is that the new M files are a bit smoother than the M9 and I remember saying that about the M9 coming from the M8. The M8 had a super crispness and film like rendering and the M9 lost some of that but still had incredible file quality at lower ISO. The new M has pushed it a little more into smoothland but the heart of ANY Leica is the lenses and when you use some of the best like the 50 Lux ASPH, 35 Lux ASPH FLE and 90 Cron APO you will get the Leica look regardless as it has not been lost in CMOS. It appears the files are rich, hardy and have more DR than the M9. But this is just VERY early thoughts and in no way final so be sure to check back for my review and photos to see where I stand in a couple of weeks.

Yes my friends, Stay tuned for much much more on the new M 240 including some REAL photos instead of silly test snaps. 🙂

BTW, if you are one of the jealous, bitter, and angry individuals that are upset that I received an M before you..get over it. No need to go cry to forums about it 🙂 I was on the pre-order list on day 1 with Ken Hansen (khpny19@aol.com)

One quick backyard test snap (remember, I have had this new M in my possession for 3 hours and it took 2 to charge the battery)  – click it for larger view and 100% crop


Quick test snap of my bastard cat at 1.4 – click for larger


Using live view on the LCD to focus..worked great and was easy to dial it in and more accurate than using the RF – click fort larger


50 1.4 at 1.4


50 1.4 at 1.4


3D POP test


click for larger!


Quick ISO 6400 test shot in my office at night – click image for full size OOC file


ISO 500, 1.4



  1. According to Loyed Chambers @ Diggiloyd, the M240 is the most unreliable camera he has used in 6 yrs. Some of the issues with the expensive Leica can be possible addressed in a Firmware update, but one would expect a better performance at this price point?!

    Most disappointing to have to remove the battery at inconvenient moments, and then loose the light, and the shot(acc to feedback/report on 28/06/2013, @Diggloyd)

    I love my film M2 & M6, but Leica has seemingly lost the plot

    • Well Lloyd must have gotten a lemon or something has happened to his as the two I have owned, including my current one has had no problems. My 2nd body already has battle scars from my last trip. Keeps on ticking away. The M9’s I had issues with on many occasions. The M 240, not. It is a fantastic camera and everyone I have spoken to who owns one has felt the same. Those who bought one and tested it quickly sold their M9’s. It’s the most solid digital M to date, very mature camera.

  2. Hello Steve,

    I’m really enjoying your writing about the RX1 and the new M. I have an m9, but bad grain at high iso is really hurting it, so I plan to change it. I was thinking I could change for the new M, but now with the RX1, considering I don’t usually change the lens on my Leica from 35mm, I was thinking maybe I should move away from the Leica and just get an RX1. Could you please compare the shutter sound of the new M against the RX1, I have not herd the RX1 in real life, but what I have red is that it has a gorgeous silent shutter. Is this true? What I also like for the RX1 vs the M is that its almost half the weight of the M with a 35mm lens. The only Downside seems to be the weak battery (250 shot?).
    Also great is that you can use the RX1 to focus really close, which i have always found to be a minus for leica.

  3. As someone who has loved his M9 for being the only full frame camera you can stick those lovely Leica lenses on, I think the new M is a welcome upgrade.

    It offers a lot more functionality and usefulness (EVF and high ISO) I for one am very glad they did not build in the EVF as now in only a few months we will be able to see through the M with the latest much improved EVF technology.

    As to whether I will be selling the M9 and buying one, I’d like to but I don’t know if I can justify the expense given the fact that I would only use it for ‘slow portraits’ and special shots. The OMD has served my purposes for so much over the past year, the AF is a treat:)

  4. Thanks for your great 1st look video of the Leica M Steve!!! It’s exciting.
    One quick question: what’s the brand and where did you get that beautiful red strap?
    Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • If you go back a few posts you can see a full article and video on the strap. Got it from popflash.com – it is the Artisan and Artist easy slider strap.

  5. Hi Steve,

    I have had another ‘test drive’ of the M240 today, in totally different conditions from the 1st test last Saturday. The bright harsh sunshine was replaced by dull, dim drizzly conditions, which certainly gave me a good opportunity to see how it performs in different circumstances.

    This time I treated the M240 as if it were my own, out on a street shoot, and not as a venerated thing! Again it felt very comfortable in the hand and I was a bit more fluid using it.

    The two main issues I had were the long black out after each shot when using the EVF, and in magnified mode for focusing when it was not possible to override it by depressing the shutter button to make a shot. It steadfastly refused to go into shooting priority. It most frustrating on 2 occasions when the camera went into magnified mode unexpectedly, probably because I might have just touched the focus ring inadvertently. But again, like last week there were occasions when I had to rack the lens extremely out of focus before it activated the magnified mode.

    I am wondering if it is due to not having the correct setting in a menu item. Both these issues makes it difficult to use the camera in live view/EVF mode for street shooting. Can you comment or even put me right here Steve?

    I am finding the M files more malleable than the M9 ones, allowing recovery of deep shadows and almost blown highlights with less noise in the resultant file.

    At the same time I find them slightly softer and less contrasty, without the upfront wow factor which hit me when I first saw the M9 files 3+ years ago. With deciding to treat the outing today as a normal shoot I just worked up the files, ignoring the what camera they came out of, to get what I wanted. This way I think the shots today actually come closer to the Leica look I wanted.

    Although I also wanted to do some measured comparisons with my M9, my very late arrival at the store meant I didn’t have the time to do so. I managed to grab two at the end of the session, hand held and on the fly, each camera set to 1250 ISO and allowed to meter and set WB automatically. It meant I had to crop the files to get similar views and altered exposure and WB to get the M and M9 files to look similar. I resized the M files down to that of the M9. From these quick & dirty shots there isn’t a huge difference between them, and any could easily be due to variations in taking the shots. I’m looking forward to your more leisurely and measured comparison shots to determine the proper results.

    Anyone wanting to see my efforts can catch them at

    Also, those from last week are at

    Using the M for the second time made it much more difficult to hand it back this time! I wish I had placed my order right back at the start and not be at the very end of the queue now. Never mind, it’ll give me time to save up for it.

    Bring on your next installment – can’t wait to learn more about the M from your experience with it Steve.

  6. Good job Steve.
    The only suggestion, please next time when you do “hands on review”, remove any jewelry from your hands, it’s a bit bothersome. 🙂 Regards, keep up good work.

    • Bothersome for you? Been wearing rings, bracelets, watches or whatever I happen to have on for 4 years in my videos, that is me. Thanks for watching.

      • I know you have, and your jewelry are nice. It’s just I caught myself looking at bling-bling few times, instead of watching the camera. Sort of a hypnotizing euphoria. 🙂 you don’t want to detract too much attention from the Leica, do you? (Even in casinos, at least on a high roller tables, dealers don’t wear any jewelry, for that same reason)

        That would be more professional, although I know you are just a guy, giving your simple opinions, it still be nice. (Just a friendly advise, from a high roller) 🙂

  7. As much as I would like to sit here and bash Leica just for the simple fact that I can’t afford anything made by them, I just can’t. I’m not really familiar with the inner-working of the bodies themselves, but the lenses, always impress me simply based on photos found online. They do indeed have that special “Pop”!

  8. Really nice, Steve – and happy you got yours so nice and early! I love that feeling of unboxing and seeing all the goodness that comes out of it. When I picked up the M-E a few weeks ago, the excitement was like when I was a kid under the christmas tree, getting my Commodore 64. Pure joy! Looking forward to your work with this beauty. (I opted for the M-E as I didn’t want video, etc. for the new M).

  9. I saw a guy buying an M set in a photo shop. His cloth and bag look very old. He stepped outside the shop and use public transport carrying his new M box.

    This is a real Leica power! People dare to give up everything for an overexpensive old technology pinhole box.

    • Did it ever come to your mind that he probably liked old style clothing and uses public transport to protect the environment?

  10. To be honest, I’m not very impressed with the images, but it’s good for me, since I don’t have money to buy this camera.

    • Dont judge by these out of the box in house snaps on day 1. I will have some results in the full review that exceed what I have been able to get with my M9. Stay tuned 🙂

      • To play devil’s advocate with David: What’s wrong with these images? I think they show the technical capabilities of the new M and, of course, Leica glass quite well.

        • I’ve seen enough to know I’m keeping the the M9P. Smoother, more DR, all thats nice but doesn’t move me like the M9 files. I’m sure there will be a lot of technical reasons why the new M is “far superior” in 12-14 days and if you say it enough times most folks will believe it. Me, I’m good with the less superior tool that moved me the moment I saw what it produced – didn’t take me long to be convinced. But you keep doing what you’re doing Steve, I love your site. You helped me take the plunge on the M9 and I appreciate you for that.

  11. As I am still waiting on my preorder, just one question:

    Is it true also for production version that the magnification area of the focus assist can not be moved around the frame? Just fixed to center?

  12. Nice photos good balance bla bla bla… And all that, very nice… BUT where is the MAGIC where are the Leica colours? This looks more like the OM-D for pros… I don’t say i don’t like it, i do! It seams excellent looks great probably super finish and feel but again… And i do love my OM-D hehe 😉

  13. I also had the chance to take some pictures with the new M. Currently I use the M9P and the 3 things I missed at the M9 the M has: faster processes, great lowlight performance and a nice grip. But… I wait and hope there will be a digital MP without that liveview-shit, without video, the look of the MM and a realistic price. Then I think to leave the M9P and will upgrade…

    • Liveview let you use any lens with your Leica you want, what’s wrong with it? And people will be able to shoot nice tasty video with that Leica M. Why not?

  14. Great first look-see, Steve… thanks for posting so quickly.

    Are you able to endorse the anticipation and arrival of the Leica M as a sure-fire cure for the flu?

    I think we need to be told! 🙂

  15. Nice review Lloyd.. I mean Steve… can you do a focus series of a million different aperture/focus distance combinations now! I heard weird looking dolls are the best test subjects!
    Joking aside, whats with the dolls!
    I mean, thanks Steve.

  16. Well, the video makes my aging iPad’s browser close, but thanks for the write-up and images. (My iPad does that quite often, of late.) It is good to read that Scrubby is still with us!

    I like following your Leica write-ups, though the RX1 is a more realistic nearer-term goal for me.

  17. Congratulations Steve.
    Always great to read your reviews.
    Look forward to seeing comparisons between the M and M9 files

  18. Hi Steve,

    Along with this opening shot of your review of this long awaited M240, along with the couple of others already out on the web, I took the opportunity offered by my Leica dealer to test drive his newly delivered demo unit – how could anyone turn down handling and USING this hottest of cameras out today for a full 1/2 hour?

    Well, I booked in & took my turn with it on Saturday. OK, I honestly cannot say I was totally blown away with it. That’s because I have been using my M9 over the past 3+ years. If I hadn’t, then I would certainly have been. However, it definitely IS the camera which, for me, is the natural progression up from the M9.

    The test drive did excite me though to write down my humble initial impressions through the unearthly hours of this morning. I was going to post it here, but following an earlier long post, I thought that perhaps it wasn’t a good idea – and besides, was I lucid enough at that time I wonder! Anyway, I did finally send it along as an email to you Steve, along with a link to the pictures I shot.

    If you have the time, please do have a quick look & decide if it is worth sharing.

    The crux of it all was that I found some operational quirks as I used the camera, mainly due to not knowing how all the new features work during this short period of use. However, the M240 felt great in the hand and I thoroughly enjoyed using it, despite being slowed down at times. That is quite normal with any new piece of kit one is absolutely itching to get out there and use, without wanting to first learn its manual! Given time to familiarise (that’s only going to happen many months from now for me unfortunately!) many of these issues will I am sure be resolved.

    Anyway, the reviews I have read so far, no doubt to be reinforced by your forthcoming postings, along with this brief use of the camera dispelled the few doubts I had over making this expensive change and placed my order for one there & then.

    Here’s to all those fabulous pictures you’ll be producing to wow us with over the coming weeks and months. I can’t wait for the next instalment!

  19. Hi Steve,

    I’m wondering…is dark field subtraction automatically implemented on long exposure shots as on the M9? Or, can you turn it off? Thank you.

  20. The lens is clearly doing it’s job, just not certain about that sensor. Going from 18 to 24MP, I expected Steve to say something like; “WOW! even MORE pop!” not “Yep, still has it.” Still keeping my fingers crossed though…

  21. I’m not a Leciaphile, but that’s one good looking camera. The lack of buttons and mode dials and other cr#p that seems to festoon most current cameras looks like a breath of fresh air. From the video though, it looks like the new M has continued the trend for each successive generation to bulk-out. With the 50mm 1.4, it’s getting to be a bit of a chunky beast isn’t it? Just wondering whether experienced Leica users feel that the new M is continuing a trend of moving away from the spirit/feel of the old ones. I used somebody’s M6 years ago and my memory is that it was much slimmer (maybe my imagination).

    • You’re correct. Apparently current camera design nowadays is echoing our own trend for larger girths, in both cases unfortunately so.

    • Colin, you are absolutely right: the M6 is the perfect Leica for me (I never used a Mp nor M3). The M6 TTL that came after the M6 is already a tiny bit taller, which you can’t really see when put side by side, _but_ I feel it in my hands. I know that sounds weird, but I say it as I feel it.
      The M8/M9 is noticeably larger than the M6, by eye and by feel. I mean, when I use the M8 for a while, it somehow feels ok, but then picking up the M6 again makes the M8 just feel wrong by comparison.
      On the other hand, if you work for longer periods of time holding the camera (as opposed to carrying over the shoulder), then the added depth of the M8 might even be welcome for users with longer fingers. That can also be true for 1Dxxx Canons, but I don’t want to lug them around for my own joy.
      And here the circle closes: I think that an M-Leica ought to be a compromise (size wise) of a camera that you can carry _always_ with you, like the moleskin notebook. Small and light enough, still hefty and well built enough, and reasonable comfortable to hold. Leica realized the perfect form factor (in mentioned sense) with the M3, M2, M4 and M6, and drifted slightly away from it with the M6-TTL and M7, and unfortunately continues to move towards heavier and bulkier with each iteration.

      • I’m sure this is a debate that has taken place on the Web somewhere but does anybody know if it would be possible for Leica to make a digital version of the M6, something that is identical except for replacing the film with a digital sensor? I really do understand why Leica has, for commercial reasons, continued to add ‘features’, now including video and if that helps them to remain financially viable, good for them. But is there a market for a very simple ‘digital M6’ in a package the same compact size as the film version, with just aperture priority plus control over ISO and white balance? I for one would be very tempted by a ‘pure’ digital M if it was technically possible.

        • The M9 is probably the smallest digital M that they can make at this point. You can’t really make the camera as thin as the M6 because the film and film plate need less space than a sensor with glass and LCD display. Everything from sensor/ film surface to the front is identical, but what is happening behind the sensor/film is very different in size requirements. I guess the newer LCD on the M240 drives to the even thicker dimension. Personally I really like the M6 with its small speed dial and the overall simplicity. Especially the classic, non-TTL version, which has less height as well. D!RK

          • Interesting – thanks. So the only way to make it thinner again would be to leave off the LCD…Hmmmm…that’s probably not going to fly, is it!

          • I think it could be a super interesting niche product. Taking photos the whole day and seeing the results in the evening would bring back some of the surprises that people had with film. The only bad thing is that you can’t adjust on the spot and see if you have nailed the shot. D!RK

  22. Hi Steve,

    Great camera! I am going some camera exhibition this week and will play with Sony RX1 and also Leica M with 35mm Summilux f/1.4. I hope you will compare those two cameras and before it, just your own opinion, what do you think? Does it worth to pay too high for Leica M + 35mm Summilux f/1.4?

    I will try both for 30 minutes each or more time but you got both sets with you all day and thats the best to compare.



    • What I want to add is, in long term period Leica 35mm Summilux lens and Leica camera too is great investment, I can’t say same for sony, because in 2014 that RX1 will go down $1500 or more less and 35mm Summilux still have more and more high value.

      • Not really true…A 35 Lux is $5k. If you bought one new and sold it in two years it would sell for $4200 or so. You lose $800. If you go to sell a new M in 2 years you will get $4500-$5000, or lose $2000-2500. My guess is the RX1 will one day go down to $1800 used which is a $1000 loss. $1800-$2300 less of a loss than the Leica M and 35 Lux so NO camera is a good investment, even Leica. Ive seen M9-P’s sell for $3900 that once sold for $7000. That is over $3k in loss. The RX1 is a beast and a superb machine that does not put out any stinkers if you know what you are doing. It works in good light, low light and almost no light. High ISO is the best I have ever seen next to the D3s and the new Leica doesn’t come close to it in that high ISO regard. I would have loved to see the RX1 sensor in the new M actually.

        So buying Leica as an investment is not a good choice unless you find really great deals on used lenses and hold on to them for years. I feel the days of crazy used prices are over as is the forever wait for certain lenses which means if they are easily available new, used prices will not be crazy. I feel you should buy a Leica for the passion, soul and enjoyment of using a Leica. It does have something special about it and there is nothing quite like it. Buy it to use it, not to think you will not take a loss at sale, because you always will.

        • Hi Steve,

          Thank you for detailed answer. Yes, thats why I looking Leica M9 or M 240 to buy ” I feel you should buy a Leica for the passion, soul and enjoyment of using a Leica. It does have something special about it and there is nothing quite like it.” What I was trying to ask you was does it worth for passion, soul and etc to spend more then 7K because I agree and I know RX1 is really good camera, but I am Nikon guy I just will not be pro and have to sell my D800 gear soon and need something small and cool. I can’t have that size cameras anymore like D800 and 70-200mm lens and others.

          Its really hard to choose, the main problem is, when I buy camera and if it will be Leica then I have to buy only two lens with it, I don’t know how good Voigtlander 15mm will be on Leica M, and 35mm Summi or 50mm Summi. Its really hard to decide, not much option. 🙂 After Nikon D800 I need something really good to worth it avery penny. 🙂

          • I also nikon guy, I am D800E, it’s great, but next, I went back to the Leica M9 with a return to the spirit of my first camera, the Leica III. I love my Nikon, but with the Leica I do more photos, more thoughtful, we buy the Leica spirit at the same time as the camera. Leica is always with me while the Nikon is too cumbersome to always have it with me. My 22 year old son is familiar immediately with the m9 yet he loves everything that is modern, like all young people, but only takes pictures with this camera. Leica is a spirit, a different way of seeing, anticipating the photo. Finally, a Nikon for the whole field, a Leica for the feeling (and lenses). I look forward to my M240.Thank you Steve for his great site and valuable advice. (I am Belgian, sorry for my broken English!)

      • No digital camera is an investment, they’ll all go down to being next to worthless eventually. You’ve got to look at it from a point of view that you’re not spending money on film whilst you’re using it.

        Lenses hold their value a great deal better, but really an investment should go *up* in value, which is a very rare lens indeed, if you’re lucky, it just won’t *lose too much*.

        Spend what you’re comfortable with,and once you’ve bought, write off that money and be glad when you get some of it back when you sell.

  23. Really, the image quality does not stand out from other cameras…it boils down to whether u want the rangefinder experience and the build quality. The only true selling point with regards to image quality is that there are no interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras with a full frame sensors yet, which should change within a year or so. The look of the files, which made them stand out from the rest before was largely due to the lack of the low-pass filter, which more and more companies are starting to explore now.

    • My words. That’s why I will use the M9 until it breaks. And until then, competition will offer alternatives to Leica, at much lower price points.

      • I agree.

        The new “M-look” seems to me like a poor cousin to the Canon 5Dm3 which is one of the best FF sensors for low light around IMO. The 5dM3 is not my favorite at all (actually I often prefer the old 5D original that I sometimes still use for its particular quality and look), but it (5Dm3) has set a benchmark along with the Nikon equivalents in low light capabilities. Nothing wrong with that, if that is one’s poison. But if, like me, you want that “Leica-look” that since the M9 (and M8 too) has captured the eyes of the users and lookers alike, I think that, from what is being shown so far, one could easily and happily stay with the M9/M9P CCD sensor for a while longer. The CCD sensor of the M9 is phenomenal even after 5 or so years of age and the low light capability for me is sufficient for the personal work I do.

        I tend to stick to the concept that the M9/M9P sensor is a ONE ISO sensor and I hence shoot at base iso (160) and in post production “PUSH” the iso up to 2 or even 2 and a half stops instead of setting the iso to 640 or 1000 in the camera. The files are good enough to work it in post and apply or not apply NR as and how one feels the need. It really is a great sensor and with the high speed lenses Leica makes, its never really bothered me. If I want/need the “plastic-fantastic” look in 6400 iso I opt for the Canon 5DM3 which handles that iso well enough, but I do dislike the “look” it gives for my personal work – commissioned work is always different and one has to be diligent and use what the job requires or deserves to keep clients happy.

        In the new M, I see more of a “Canon Look”, but perhaps Steve will reveal more in his coming tests. I look forward to seeing what he can show us that none of the other reviewers have to date shown in their shots. I have a feeling that only Steve can push this camera the way I would like to see it being pushed and tested to its max. The most of the other testers and reviewers have mainly being making pretty pictures and been too cautious for my liking in what a test for me should be like – Please push the sensor to death Steve! Make this review shame other reviewers and that slate you, misunderstand and disrespect your passion.

        The M9/M9P that I love so much has a “look”. That CCD sensor is not a Canon wannabee or a hybrid M9/Canon 5dM3… it is a pure M9 CCD sensor that for me has delivered a certain look that many here, including Leica makers, want to somehow retain or copy for the sake of keeping all potential buyers happy.

        For my part I will be interested in buying the M for its potential Video facility, which has not been really shown at all in the tests and reviews do date. I have enough stills digital M’s in the M8.2, M9 M9P and the beautiful and unique MM to keep my stills passion afloat for quite a while. As a commercials and video clip director I would buy into the M now IF the video is on par or close to the quality of the 5Dm3 which I use as a supplement to Alexas and Reds in my professional work.

        I am as full of GAS as the next man here and the only excuse for me to satisfy this GAS is if the video can be of help in my day job…:)
        Regards and Enjoy this endless passion we share

    • I don’t think anyone owns Leica gear for the image quality, some will talk about “soul” or whatever, but that’s a personal thing. I own my Leica because it’s a beautiful bit of engineering. I could get the same or better image quality from a $30 SLR.

      • True Leicaphiles use Ms because of IQ. When they were launched, the M8 and the M9 set new standards for compact digital cameras with interchangeable lens systems, by quite a margin and thanks to the combination of the outstanding lenses coupled with the CCD sensor. The M9 was even considered to offer MF alike IQ in a compact body.
        The trend of “celebrities” or wannabes using Leicas as cool fashion statements or gadgets is a more recent one.

  24. Hey! A completely non-photographic aside, but I just noticed you play Ernie Ball Music Man guitars!

    My Music Man Albert Lee signature is one of my fave instruments of all time. Music Man and Leica–good show!

  25. Hey Steve,

    I know you will be doing an rx1 comparison but can you gives us a few words on IQ between the two? How does the M compare to your camera of the year?

  26. Enjoy the new camera. Bastard cat, that had me cracking up! I call mine the devil sometimes, but they are good new camera test subjects.

  27. Glad to see you you are getting acquainted with the M. I am not sure I could swear that these were not from the M9. Warmer and more neutral perhaps? I like the idea that you will be my guide to the image quality, as I am familiar with your picture taking style over the years and that will make my evaluation on it’s output easier to discern. Enjoy the discovery!

  28. The 6400 ISO shot seems to have a blown pixel column down the left side (close to the edge) that runs the full height of the image.

  29. Probably an awesome camera, but I think I will stick to my Leica M9-P for now. It does what I need and looks awesome 🙂

    Looking forward to your review though 🙂

  30. Steve, thanks for the 2nd installment of your review on the new Leica M240. As always, your review is very informative. Your attention to detail is just phenomenal. Now I can see why camera manufacturers will start sending their new products to you for a review. Congrats, Steve!!!!!

  31. Steve,
    This “ISO 6400 test shot in my office” is pretty convincing! The ISO improvement alone is worth the investment in this piece of german engineering 😉
    I let the early emotions settle down and see if I take the plunge towards year end, however keeping my much liked M9 as a backup.

    • Steve-That’s not a POP (soda for those that never used the word POP for carbonated drinks) test that’s a water test based on the bottle I see. Guess it passed the splash-proof sealing test. Now let’s get on with the good stuff you got up your sleeve.

  32. Thanks for the un boxing video Steve. Very exciting! Looking forward to mine arriving, hopefully soon. I’ve got an R 85 Summilux that i cant wait to try with the 240 as well as the rest of the M glass! I’ll be waiting for your review. Thanks again & best of luck with the new M!

  33. I have received my M 5 days ago and it is just awesome. Camera just fits perfect in your hand, screw your Noctilux on and you get astonishing results. I realy love the Cam.

  34. Steve: Please try an duplicate at least one or two of the test shots from your “Big Bad Ass” M9 review. Thank you!

  35. Good work Steve, as always. You certainly know how to build up the excitement.
    The pics appear sharp but the colour ones certainly seem to have lost the “Leica look”.
    I also wonder if Leica have paid less attention to the RF part now that there is live view etc ???
    At least the Japs will love holding the camera out like a smelly nappy (daiper). Japan is Leica’s biggest market is it not. !

  36. Now that you’ve got the M, do you think you’ll stick with your original plan and sell it after the review, to end up with just the MM and an M-E?

  37. How fast is the autofocus speed….and does it have focus peeping :-)……I would still go for the M9 seriously….I think it has more Leicaness per buck then the M which I have to say is more like an oversised gorgious point and shoot image qualitywise (judging from samples and your words Steve)…..while the M9 in uncompomised no AA nonsence, low ISO shooting to the max…..and of all the 22.000 images I shot since 2010 I have only shot 3 (three) on anything else over 400 ISO (not with a Leica mind you but I wouldn’t mind an M9 if only……) and the shots I make….well moiré would not be that much of an issue anyway.

    Greets, Ed.

  38. The last comment about the bitter, angry ones was unnecessay and…………… Think of someone visiting this blog for the first time and reading this. More than odd.

    • Well, get used to odd 🙂 That was aimed at a select few who felt like they needed to start bashing me on one of the worst forums on the internet a few days ago. They know who they are 🙂 The thing they do not realize is they just drum up more traffic for me so I actually like it. There is one guy in particular who can’t help himself and it is quite amusing.

  39. So nice, is the new M a lot bigger than the M9? it looks so? Maybe a nice review between the MM en the M10 both in Monochrome.

  40. Congratulations!

    I must admit, I am much more interested in the M-240 launch than I expected to be.

    I cannot quite afford any digital M, so have sorta been ignoring the event. But I now find myself constantly checking the various forums, jonesing for more files and captures to check out the image quality. This is pretty exciting stuff.

    And I will have to say the your initial captures are quite nice. Not M-9 terroir, but with their own unique signature. I still feel they present an almost analog, filmy feel to my eyes, a nice, rounded, organic look.

    I cannot wait for your full review. Cheers!

  41. Great job Steve, amazing how that flu abated as the M got closer to your house. Is that a Fender case leaning against the wall in the background?

  42. That rangefinder is dead on judging from your samples. I know what you mean by the crispness. As you increase the megapixel count, some of that gets lost. I compare it to moving from 35mm film to medium format. On the other hand, you gain in tonality.

  43. Thanks for posting. Nice images. I see clipped highlights though. It seems to be the signature of last high level digital cameras. In the aesthetics department, looks weird the silver lens coupled with a black body. Looks like a car after a non expensive body repair.

  44. Hi Steve,

    How about the new focus system? Does it work (better) as announced?

    Congrats on your new toy!

    • You mean the new MF assist? It seems to work well. I have an EVF on the way so will be testing it using the EVF but focus peaking looks good, magnification is easily obtained with the thumb wheel for critical focus. Live View seems to work well and if you did have an RF out of whack, you could still get critical focus using LV.

  45. Congratulations on the the new camera Steve.
    Glad your feeling better.

    I am little unclear about the availibleiity of this new camera from Leica? Dont get me wrong I am glad you got your camera.. and there are twenty five 50 1.4 ASPH sitting at the guys shop , but no word on how many new M’s he got it…
    When they are shipping..?
    I guess that wasnt asked… or not important..
    Unless your waiting for one..that is ..oo

    One of my pals Seve Mark has pre-paid for one and I under the impression from him, it was still going to be months aways from shipping..?

    Great little video of the unboxing of the new M..
    You now ruined for everyone else LOL.
    And nice littel reveiw of the menus..
    Since your making us look through that..
    I would minded seeing some of the instruction manual..

    Just a thought…

    As soon as I saw you unbox the battery and charger… I was thinkig .. Shouldnt you be geting that on the charger..RIGHT NOW LOL

    That’s a pretty impressive box.. Holy cow..
    It’s nice to know where the money goes when you get a Leica.. hahaha

    Magnetic box..Wow…Pretty fancy…

    I think it would nice to know which camera you are doing the Video with…as the look of the Video/chimp screen on the new Leica M, is basically going to be filtered throught that camera. So what are you using to shoot the Video of the revieiw.. a Canon 5d3 ? ‘

    And the lens being used would be interesting in the upcoming segments..

    The camera looks visually nice, It also looks a little bigger than the M9 ? And I like the little thumb grip on the back..
    The added dials dont do much for the ascetics ..but I guess they got to be there..

    Not exacly clean as a Leica MP now is it..

    All the little holes on the camera make me think about getting the electronic’s wet from a little drizzle..

    Any word on the water resistance of the camera..?

    Is there any weather sealing on this thing ?

    Or the FPS… which is quite important to me..

    Or many shots you can take in a row with a high capaciaty high end card using raw untill the camera freezes up and stops to write..

    I would also like to know how long the camera battery can hold up under video usage..

    An hour ? Does the camera need to cool down..

    The film formats look pretty lame compared to the lowey OM-D . We only get three .. Leica went all out on that.. Not..
    I would be missing the grainy B-W setting that I have on the OM-D ..

    The comment about the rangefinder being slightly out of alline ment is more than a little troubling.. Yikes..

    Lacking in crispness..? That dosnt sound good.. Especailly for $7,000 and a $5,000 dollar camera. If that’s true that the rangefinder alinment is out than that is just unacceptable..

    So what your saying is that should be boxing it back up to them and so they could get that right..?

    How long will that take.?

    So your going to take a Leica camera with the rangefinder out of alinement on a trip…?


    I guess you just stop down or use live view…

    “F8 and be there..”

    Love to see some shots of the camera being used with the rangefinder and having to be re-focused with the live veiw..

    Not going to missing any desive moments going through that procedure..

    Since we “now” got Live View.. And Leica seems unable to get it right out of the box..
    Pehaps they can give us the tools so we can adjust it are selves..?
    If the rangefinder is out.. than that guy who checked shoiuld be looking for a new job…
    Just saying…

    I breifly saw his signatature in the review..

    The camera coming with a car charger is a nice addition..
    That’s is really smart and could save the day. Especailly if you only got one battery and you out in the feild shooting and the battery dies..
    Generally there is car around..

    Looking forward to the next re-view..

    Loved to see how you takle the post processing.. and the the Video footage..

    Some of use still need some work with that.. Me being number one on the list.

    I would also like to see some shots of this new M with all “tricked up” with the Mic and all the other “stuff” that videographer’s use when they work with camera’s like the 5D2/3

    That alone should make the purist have a heart attack.. Hahaha

    I am sure, I am not alone in wanting to see some comparison shots with the M9 and the Mono.
    Heck I sold my M9 and I am still curious..

    And it would be great to see some shots in comparion with the Leica M3/M2/M4/M6/M7/MP loaded with some B+W and or some chrome.. Heck even some C-41 processed and scanned at Wallmart..

    And I think a tripod has to be used to really remove the varible of the photographer in the equation of how sharp is any lens/camera.. Or it becomes how good is your techneque. with camera/lens.. And not all are equal in this regard..
    I mention the Film M’s cause, many of us are still using them..
    And hey why not..if only to muddy the water’s a little more..
    For those of us that still shoot with the film M’s and are thinking of making the jump to digital..

    If you do go out with all three camer’s It would be great to all there around your neck so they bang into one anther a little bit.
    Be sure to get the some nice audio of the camera making the dings LOL

    If only Just to re-veiw how they stand up in real use in the feild..

    Gregory Rogalsky Photography


    • No one knows about availability but the 1st batch shipped March 1st to those who pre-ordered 1st or very early. Not sure when the next batch will arrive but I hear anywhere from 2-4 weeks. The camera has some weather sealing but of course I am not going to pour water on it to test it. This is no speed demon, if you want FPS go with Nikon 🙂 – F8 and be there does not pertain to Leica glass.. LIve View is good, and works well..not sure where your assumptions are coming from…there will not be a re-review as the review has not even been written or started yet. This was not a review at all, but you knew that. Seems to have taken you a while to type up all of this, you must be bored. 🙂

  46. Hey man, congrats on the new M!

    How about the Focus System? Is it much more improved? I am very interested in this topic.

    Enjoy your new toy! Btw, that Summi looks amazing.

  47. congratulations on getting the new M Steve! thanks for always sharing great gear with us. i’ve been curios about one thing since i first saw the new M. what is the button on the front of the camera for? not the new one on top for video or the scrolling wheel.

    thanks and enjoy the camera!

  48. Can’t wait for the review !! Thanx Steve. I’m a longtime reader and fan of your Blog.
    A few “open” thoughts at this point on what I’ve seen coming out of the Type 240 / cmos sensor..

    1) The image does have a different vibe. You mention “lack of crispness”. I think it’s the best word to describe what I’m seeing.
    2) In some odd way it reminds me of video (not talking about dynamic range of course)..
    3) Wondering if this lack of crispness might be related to how the highlights and its transitioning zones are rendered.
    4) It feels as though there is less “abstraction” in the light. Slightly cruder relationship to reality… Just like when you switch from 24fps to 60 fps in movies.
    5 ) Hopefully one might be able to process the RAW files into multiple directions, including the M9 feel…That would be a fantastic evolution from the M9….

    • Many users of the Nikon D800 also mention a ‘Lack of Crispness’.

      As megapixel counts increase, any camera movement is amplified by each pixel. Plus the increased definition can lead to a smoothness perceived by the eye. Its possibly that this is more the issue then with the camera or the switch from CCD to CMOS.

      Though I do find my Leica M8 does require less sharpening then my Nikon’s, but again is that the megapixel count or the underlying sensor technology.

      Still I find the user experience the shooting with my Leica and the stunning glass more then compensates for the flaws other people see in my Leica.

      They will always be a place for my little Leica M8 as well as my Nikons in my work. Hopefully the M will be a great success and I will be able to add a cheap second hand Leica M9 to my bag 😉

      • When I used the D800 with Zeiss 35 I found the shots to be super crisp, beating my M9 images. It was far from “un-crisp” 🙂 I posted them on this site months ago. The D800 is gorgeous but much too large for my daily use.

    • If you want crisp, and I mean REALLY CRISP, get a Sigma DP2M. For USD 800, it produces files putting all bayer sensors to shame 😉

      • sure but the camera is borderline unusable for 80% of shots. The DPM series works best for static shots only. No way to capture anything spontaneous as they are just too slow. Nice output (though after more use with a DP2M there is something off with color) but cheap build, slow as a turtle in use and no way to use it for anything moving. I can focus an M faster than the DP can AF. I do give it the nod for detail though, that is its claim to fame.

        • Based on what steve has said the most CCD like “crisp”ness available is in the D800. So it seems one day we will get to full Leica M9 like IQ we just need a sensor as good as the 36mp one in the D800 in order to pull it off. I’d say this will be two years off- most likely Sony will build it.

  49. Congrats on your new M, Steve!
    We had a presentation here in Germany on Friday of the new M by two Leica guys at
    my local photo dealer.
    They definitely suggest that one should use the new Lightroom 4.4 (release candidate)
    when looking (and processing) the new M files (as it has a camera profile for the M).
    In fact, the pics looked much better (I’m talking about the RAW data), showing more of that
    Leica “glow”.

    take care

  50. Steve,
    Great first impression. I look forward to reading and seeing a classic passionate Steve Huff review the next couple of months.

    I think I heard that you were thinking of bringing the 28 and the 50 with you on your travels. Please do! Being egotistical, this is the combo I carry when travel so it would be very interesting to see how it works with the 240. I also look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new light metering. I personally feel that the lack of spot meter in the m9 was the biggest shortcoming for me.

    Have fun with your new 240 and don’t hold back!


    • Yes, he has somehow managed to gain some new life. He is still slow, has a hard time getting up from sleep but he still wags his tail when he sees me so guess he is not ready to go just yet. Thanks

  51. Congratulations on the much awaited model since the Photokina 2012. I’m a bit wondering when you repeat saying that the crispness is not as it was in the M9. But again it depends on the lens that is being used. Is the crispness factor due to the new sensor? I would expect my pictures to be sharp when investing such a huge amount on a camera. Expecting to see a more real world review on the camera soon. I’m still saving money for the Leica M. I hope that I’ll be able to sponsor one for myself soon. Till then I can only sigh!

  52. I just cant bring myself to order one yet, since I’m not sure yet if I like the low iso files better than my M8 and the M9. I still see a difference between those and the M10.

    My idea is that it is in the colors. Even with more saturation the ccd colors seem warmer, but its so subtle that it’s hard to pinpoint. But you, Steve, seem to think the difference is in the “crispness”. I’ll see if I can find the difference there as well. Sean Reid points at a difference in crispness or sharpness as well btw. But then says it has to do with difference in resolution of the images or something like that.

    To me the differences are obviously there, though harder to pinpoint. The next couple of weeks I will be trying to decide if Im just used to the M8 and if I can feel that the CMOS draw is superior. (Sometimes its hard to adjust to something new even if it is superior). Anyway I am really looking forward to every little thing you can show and tell us about the camera. Please consider daily or hourly updates… I will read and reread everything you can throw at us.. Thanks!

  53. Steve, tx for the quick thoughts. Love your site and your posts. I was real lucky with my dealer in Annecy, France, and got my silver M yesterday. Didnt have the chance to experiment with it yet, but my initial impression is phenomenal. Iq looks awesome to me, iso response much improved, and the overal feel of the camera is just… perfect. Buffer size, speed, responsiveness is so much improved. The LCD is indeed better, but it is funny i dont really utilize it to see my shots much, i guess comes from my time with the M9. I got an evf2 too and it is a revelation to use it, love it. I will take a few more shots today with several lenses (have a 18, 35 lx, 50 lx and a 90 apo cr), cant wait to walk around w it 🙂

  54. Great video! Can’t wait for some high iso shots!
    High iso is the only thing that i don’t like about my M9.

  55. You mentioned the RF possibly being off… Has the flare from the rangefinder patch been lessened? How about the view finder itself? Is it still heavily polarized or has that been changed?

  56. I have 5DII and M9. The 240 M body looks good but to be honest the posted images here remind me more 5DII rending , not M9. Can’t wait to see more shots made by 240.
    So ,based on what I’ve seen so far, my M9 stays.

    • 100% agree. Very much like the 5D2 soft, squelchy rendering. Totally love the way my M9 draws. Will have to think long and hard before I take the upgrade route.

  57. Dont’t you think that they made the red logo just too big on that camera to fill the space of the former frame line window? I don’t think Leica needs to display the brand that prominently. Can’t wait for a P version to come out that gets rid of the red and silver. I know, just aesthetics but they matter too. D!RK

    • The larger they make the logo, the more they can charge for the P model 🙂
      Apologies, I´m a Leica fan but couldn´t resist.

    • I totally agree. It may seem silly, but that red logo really bugs me. Leica get so much (aesthetically) right in their camera design and then spoil things with this red blob. And yet, it does not appear on the M9P, nor the Monochrom – both far more pleasing without the blob than this M. It’s a pity and a niggle and totally irrelevant to the picture taking ability of this camera, but why do Leica do this?

  58. Good luck with your new camera. In your follow ups can you tell us about:
    1. Battery life
    2. Shutter lag
    3. Compare the sound to your film M and give us a subjective opinion: the audio files are difficult to compare.
    4. Through the viewfinder views
    5. Close ups of the new rangefinder vertical and horizontal adjustment screws
    6. Detail shots of the tripod mount
    7. Comment on the feel of the leatherette

    Thank you!!!

  59. Thanks for getting this video up so quick. I’m sure you were just going nuts waiting on such a big battery to get charged!!! Look forward to your rolling review. I’m not sure why I’m paying any attention to the new M since I recently bought my first Leica, the M-E.

    But I think it’s because I want Leica to succeed in a big way with all the new advances they’ve made with this new model. It is a game changer for in the RF world.

  60. “M9 and MM do output crisper files” … well… looks like I have to hang on with my dusty M9 even I have the new M! Anyway, a head to head comparison would be nice!

    • I´m wondering whether your observation about drop of crispness from M8 to M9 to M has something to do with higher resolution and more demanding exposure times (i.e. 1/focal length may no longer be sufficient).

      In particular your perceived the drop from M8 to M9 is puzzling since it´s a very similar sensor technology.

      Do you observe this drop of crispness when looking at 100% crops?

      • “..the drop from M8 to M9 is puzzling since it´s a very similar sensor technology..”

        There’s a thicker infra-red filter on the M9 sensor than in the M8 (to prevent black or brown fabric appearing purple under tungsten light with the M9, as it sometimes does with the M8 unless a filter’s added to whatever lens is on the M8).

  61. I would like you to compare the mono -chrome with the black and white files from this camera.

    If they are as good is it worth having both?

  62. Steve-Nicely done. I am salivating! My M shipped Friday to me, but the closet I will get to one over this weekend is through your video. My wife made me play it twice since she is maybe more excited to get it than I am. I’ve got an Olympus EVF for $169 so at least I can use my Novoflex adapter on some R lenses. Just one comment-the best 50 for the M is the new APO50 I just received in early February. Love it on my Monochrom.

      • Forgot to commend you on the cat shot. That is phenomenal. Sharper than anything I’ve seen to date with an M.

        • I agree…that cat photo is amazing. Makes me want to go buy an M to take pictures of my pet rabbits!

          • A woman (originally a Jewish grandmother, but let’s just say a woman) is out pushing her grandson in the pram. Her neighbour stops and says “My, what a beautiful baby!”

            The first woman says “Ah, that’s nothing, you should see the photographs!”

        • Looks like a lot of post sharpening to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pulling for the M and will await Steve’s final words but I’d sure like to see that image OOC.

  63. The shutter sound reminds me of my OM-D! Like the sound of closing the door of an expensive car. I expected a quieter shutter though. The combination of black camera + silver lens is HOT!

  64. Steve thanks for your initial feedback for the Leica M. I have learnt so much from this wonderful site. I have been saving for a long time to buy this camera. Keep up the good work.


  65. Thanks for the first look. Very exciting times for Leica fans out there. I will be looking forward to seeing and reading more.

    I am actually awaiting delivery of the MM as I write this. I am super excited.

  66. WOW! Quite THE packaging….it will be interesting to hear what your experience is with the camera and how it compares to others. Did you also pre-order the electronic viewfinder?

  67. Hey Steve,
    Great first look! Can you tell if the base plate stays the same? What about attaching a tripod. Thanks.

  68. The color pictures look more closer and familiar with other CMOS-sensor cameras with Leica M Sumilux lens. But 24MP FF sensor make them looks nicer.

    The live view shot (doll) looks superior. Like you said “more accurate than using the RF”. Sounds like the “RF is a redundant” but they charge you dearly for that feature.

  69. Finally a decent video of the new M. Thanks, Steve! Quick question, how does that thumb grip on the body feel compared to the Thumbs Up? Does it feel secure? Do you think a handgrip would help in more stability or is that unnecessary? Thanks and more sample images on a 50Noctf1 if possible please. Thanks again for your great work!!!

  70. Looks fine so far! Be interesting to see how it compares to the RX1 (you may have been spoiled by the IQ of that). When you do the full review can you try and explain how the rangefinder focusing works (for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure).

  71. Steve, congrats on the new M. I’m overly jealous but if anyone deserves to have one first, it is you. After all, I bought all my Leica gear based on your reviews. Can you give a quick word on the video capabilities of the new M. Once you have a chance to test it out a little of course. I already have an M9 but have to use a dSLR for video. I’ve always drooled over the possibility of taking video with the best M glass on a full frame camera. Currently my OMD does no justice when using M glass. Thanks and I look forward to your full review.

    • Apparently the Olympus VF2 will work on the new M. It is identical to the “Leica” VF…at half the price.
      Leica has just rebranded the Olympus unit.

      • Leica did not just rebrand the Olympus VF-2 viewfinder, they also designed a new shell for it as well.
        So it is just not the name but the design and it being made in much smaller numbers than VF-2 that make Leica’s EVF-2 (Same as for X2) costly and exclusive.
        The same can by the way be said about Leica’s versions of Panasonic’s LX-models.
        Leica design being very expensive we all already know!

  72. Thanks for doing these reviews for us. It really helps make purchasing decisions easier. Keep up the good work.

  73. Hi Steve, Congrats on the new camera, I have the Monochrom and toying with the idea of a second body, just waiting on your thoughts and opinions (no pressure) 🙂 joking. Have fun on your travels!!!
    Cheers Greg.

  74. I’m jealous amd bitter and will not get over it!! :-p. Just kidding. Well about the bitter part atleast. Lol. Very happy for you. And excited to see more!

  75. Awesome Steve! You must be like a kid in the candy store, I know I would! First image impressions look very good, cannot wait to read your review and see more images. Did you purchase the M, or is this a review model you’re going to send back? And how does this new acquirement bode for your MM monochrom?

    • Thanks! This is my camera, bought it from Ken Hansen, the 1st one he has gotten. I can state now that the M9 and MM do output crisper files but this new M appears to be superior in every other way. But I have lots more testing to do…and can not draw any conclusions just yet. The M9 was much different than the M8 in regards to output and the M seems to be a little different than the M9. All part of the evolution I guess. Can’t wait to get out and shoot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.