The Great Shootout – LEICA M240, NIKON D800, Sony NEX 7 By Jim Hale

The Great Shootout – LEICA M240, NIKON D800, Sony NEX 7

By Jim Hale

More posts coming today but to start it off I thought some of you may find this interesting. Jim Hale sent me a video he made comparing three cameras in a very “non scientific” test. Enjoy!

Jim also made a very cool video with his M and Noctilux that looks pretty good πŸ™‚ Tough to beat that Leica glass!


  1. I have taken pictures with the D800 and I don’t like it at all even compared to a NEX-6. It is like the video where I think #1 Leica, #2 Nex, #3 D800.

  2. Eh, Jim,

    Can I plug in my 7 inch monitor in the Leica or receive non coded clean HDMI output from it? On the other hand can I mount a 50 nocti on my Panasonic GH3, sure I can just use the Leica M Mount Adapter I can even use Zeiss movie zooms? And well, can the Leica shoot 30p HD (a must for shooting in the US grid under 60Hz power? My Oly can only shoot 30p and that means in Europe (where I live) incandecent lighting flickers (hence the GH3 :-)). A video camera is strange beast and shooting video looks like shooting pictures with a time demention coupled to it, but it is a whole different craft and has it’s own requirements. Some are met by the M240 (IQ can only be outstanding using Leica glass), some are not. On a hacked GH2 (I got it free with a 14-140 zoom and sold the zoom afterwards), you can shoot at phantastic bit rates using Nick Driftwood/Drewnet and Vasily hackes (over 170Mbit gop1 for instance). The GH3 can shoot 60p for slow motion 1:2 native. So there are tons of things to consider, for instance you have to light for the restrictions of the camera, which you did not.

    I agree you can shoot video with an M240 but if I would want to shoot pro or semi-pro video I probably would consider a lot of other camera’s (Canon 5D MkIII or the new 1D that even shoots 4K video), a GH3 that can be a great shooter for semipro and pro work alike if you are on a budget. And if you wanna shoot dedicated video there is the Black Magic and even some lower end Red (the Scarlet) for the price.

    Greets, Ed.

  3. attacks? amazing words you say . Try to be neutral learn from Jim more educated with his answer . Again Not really helpful when considering the video compression, etc. Would be great to have actual photos to compare. Next time real pictures please Jim ok . In his “experiment ” the nex7 is better wow bravo ?ΒΏ
    And don’t delete comments please . I am not a fan boy like others . I have a ricoh gr πŸ™‚

  4. Not really helpful when considering the video compression. Thats not a real picture . It is easy to add pictures with +1 or +2 more contrast or whatever and then put a picture of other camera without the same properties .Everybody knows that d800 & d800e are better cameras and you said that in a post you did oh no the pciture is almost perfect and i dont like that i prefer some noise or whatever .Learn how to use a d800 and you will have amazing pictures . a nex 7 is better than a d800 steve? sorry but you know that is not true and tell your friend Jim Hale to learn more about cameras ok .

    • Liam, this was intended to be a video comparison only. As stated “non scientific” video comparison.
      It is what happened when we put the same settings on each camera and shot the same scene.
      No adjustments, just what happened! All the cameras do produce beautiful pictures and I am sure that I could do a number of adjustments to level the playing field in any situation.

    • WHo said a NEX-7 is better than a D800? Not me, so why are you acting like I did. I said I prefer my M over the D800, and yes, I used both extensively. Try to read comments correctly before posting nonsense and attacks.

  5. Yes I like leica of course but this comparing test is Wrong . And how Steve agrees to post this ? well we know why because he likes leica so much . Post real pictures not video ok .Nikon d800 & d800e are almost perfect machines you dont need to process the pictures in adobe or lr but with leica m240 you need to process your pictures in adobe or lr why? because the colors are wrong ,too warn overexposed etc .

    • I have shot with the D800 and Zeiss glass. I much prefer my M 240 in every conceivable way but one. From size, to output to usability to weight. Just not the price. The D800 is far from a perfect machine as that does not exist. You say I posted this as I like Leica so much, I can say the same about why you are posting your comment, that you like Nikon so much. I like the Leica M. Not a fan of the X Vario πŸ™‚ I only like what works for me, and what gives me output I enjoy as well as the usability requirements I have for myself. If Nikon made the M 240 I would be saying the same thing. If a brand name called “Turd” made it, I would say the same thing. πŸ™‚

      Any time there is any comparison made by anyone on these pages it gets criticized by fans of the brand whose results do not look as nice. There is no way around it. Facts of life.

  6. Useless comparsion of cameras made for capturing stunning still images and not video. As we can see the location tells us only bored snobs are doing things like this… Go out and shoot! O.o

    • The first video was showing stills from the three cameras. It’s from people bothering to do comparisons and reviews that we get to know what’s what on the market and can make an informed opinion as to what to buy.
      I see you watched…………why weren’t you out shooting?
      If you don’t like………..don’t come back!

  7. The D800 has far more DR…at the cost of very dull colors. To my eyes the most beautiful colors are those from the Leica.

  8. It’s the music. The music makes the photograph look better. We all know that the main difference between the movies and real life is . . . the music. They kiss and out of nowhere comes the perfect music.
    Trying to say that I really liked the very minor but necessary motion and the music that matched the images so well. Looking at what is being used to display photos now (iPads, etc., and photo frames that can rotate still images), it seems to me that this type of “almost still” photography becomes a new genre of its own. I like this one a lot. But I like music. Must have taken a lot of work to put it together or has the software now made it easy as a slide show in iPhoto? Thanks for sharing.

  9. The Nikon is over exposed, cut in an F stop or two. Darker images will allways look sharper. DOF, better F stop and the lack of detail in high key photos. Leica glass is normally better then Nikon. But come on Nikon glass is not junk. The sensors of Leica and Nikon should be the same, right . Sony is APC.
    Come on, I am Leica fan. But in the world of Pro Video, how many will be using Nkon, Canon or Leica.

  10. Even though the exposure values are the same but D800 images have dosages of over exposure. My D800E behaves the same over exposure way. Setting to -0.7 is quite frequent and necessary. Due to this over exposure issue it is hard to compare the three good cameras. But it is still very interesting to see the comparisons. Thanks for your effort.

  11. I, for one, cannot get thrilled about video. I know it has its place but, for me, I do not buy a camera for its video capability or lack thereof. BUT enjoy your gear the way it works for YOU!!!

  12. I don’t know which Nikon lens was used but it looks like there was either a problem with it or it was not clean. The Leicas cost about 10 times the price of a Nikon 50 f1.8, plus Nikon and Leica 50 mm don’t have lenshoods on them. The Sony seems to have more distortion than the others.

  13. I agree with Mark . Not really helpful when considering the video compression, etc. Everybody knows that d800 & d800e beats nex 7 and m240 . Very funny yes but nothing else

  14. All three are on my wishlist already.

    Also, I hate to sound like I’m nitpicking, but he spelled Leica wrong in the second video. Barring that, it was indeed a pretty cool video.

  15. Not really helpful when considering the video compression, etc. Would be great to have actual photos to compare.

        • Bingo, and yes, the vid was superbly artistic, although there should have been credit given to the music. Anyone know the piece that went so well with the Steve’s vid?Yes, *leica #1, nex 7 #2, and in the distance the dud800!

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