(VIDEO) Why the Leica M9 is better than the M 240
by John Ricard – His Instagram @johnricard
John made two videos for the readers here and in this first installment he explains why the Leica M9 is better than the M 240. Part 2 will be up tomorrow “Why the M 240 is better than the M9”.
Many passionate shooters have varying opinions on these two digital rangefinders, myself included..but check out these videos and see if you agree!
For reference you can see Steve’s (OLD) M9 review HERE, and my M 240 review HERE.
How it comes simultaneously owning an M9 and a 240 and perhaps a Monochrome too is a mystery for me. Other that the obvious how. Good to help making the right choice.
Your second point is incorrect. You say that on the M9 you can easily scroll down the menu list simply by turning the click wheel, which is true. You then say Leica have made a backwards step with the M240 because you have to use the joy stick to scroll down through the menu and this is slow. True but not correct. You demonstrate both points on the video. However, by using the thumb wheel on the M240 to scroll down the menus, and as suggested in the instruction book, the result is the same as using the click wheel on the M9. The joy stick is designed to perform the same left, right, up, down functions as the arrow keys inside the wheel of the M9. All Leica have done is move the outside function of the wheel on the M9 to the thumb wheel of the M240. In fact, the M240 has two ways of scrolling through the menu, with both the thumb wheel and the joy stick, and the M9 has just one, the click wheel. You now have one less reason to prefer the M9 over the M240
Never actually read the instruction manual;). I find the upper dial a bit awkward to use. The M9 version allows your thumb to stay on the wheel the entire time. The M240 version makes you roll and then lift your thumb to reposition before you roll again. Super minor point, I know. But I definitely prefer the M9 interface.
I have owned both M9 & M240 and am very happy to have upgraded to the SL,
which does much better video than the M cameras.
I use my M lenses on the SL.
Here is an example of video on the SL vimeo.com/goff/boats
Here is an example of video on the M240 vimeo.com/goff/butterflies
The SL is a beautiful camera, top of MY heap as well when it comes to Leica, but different.
Excellent observations, thanks.
there is a thumbie available for the m240 and its great to use
Thanks for the comparison. That brass-ing looks nice.
I only have the M9. I decided to get it instead of the m240 primarily because of the price. I risked low light to get that look. I’m always surprised with the quality of pictures coming out of it.
Now, I think watching part 2 is a bad idea.
I was wondering about the brassing: I have my M9 for a couple of years already, it has of course many thousands of actuations and I always carry it in my hand when taking photos. I can´t say I am very careful with my stuff. I has been on the beach, in the rain… and although the plastic screen has some scratches, the camera body itself hasn´t got he tiniest sign of brassing. Either I´ve got velvet fingers or people work that brassing out artificially from their cameras.
Very nice video. Totally agree about the controls. Specially the ISO setting. It is so easy to set it up on the M9. He forgot to say that pushing up and down doubles and halves the ISO value. I just doesn´t get better!
Looking forward to the part 2. Among all the improvements of the M240 here is one seldom noted: the A setting in the shutter wheel has a deeper, harder feel to it. With this, and because of the smarter implementation of the ISO in the M9, this camera could be operated without removing the eye from the viewfinder!
I actually find that Leica bodies show wear much quicker than a Nikon or Canon. My Nikon D3s has half a million actuations and, at a glance, looks to be n better condition than my M9.
Believe it not, I actually sold the M240 immediately after filming this video, and used the money to buy a M9 Monochrom. So don’t worry about your purchase 😉
I agree about the weight, with the M9 (or M-E in my case) being noticeably lighter than the 240. Regarding which camera has the better controls (buttons and knobs) I think that’s largely a personal thing depending on your shooting style, hands, etc.
In good light, I’ll also take the M-E with me rather than the 240 — mainly because of the lighter weight — but also because I love the image characteristics of the M9/M-E in good light.
Also agree about the need for a thumb grip, although I prefer a Thumbs Up; however, other M9 owners see no need at all for any sort of add-on grip.
Enjoyed the first part John
I sort of gave up and got both, they are both wonderful cameras. I think the final conclusion will be the M9/ME has the best out of camera files (still the benchmark out of any camera) and the M240 the better to use (still the best feel good camera ever made)
My problem is going to be what to get next, looking forward to part 2
I think he makes a pretty good case for the M9. Leica’s cameras with CMOS sensors have been a mixed bag. Their older CCD cameras have their shortcomings, and they are lower in resolution, but they do produce really great, punchy images.