Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 29 Index of pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E, Leica M Monochrom, M 246 and Leica M Type 240:
Prelude to the Leica M article: Photokina 2012 release notes
By Thorsten Overgaard, September 17, 2012 (Updated March 2013)
For the actual article on the Leica M Type 240, visit Page 30 to start reading --->
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My first impression of the new Leica M
The Leica M on Photokina is still a prototype and I might hope for slightly different buttons by the screen. But after a little use, it's like the Leica M9 with a few changes.
Taking the Leica M for a swing on September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0
Some mentioned a higher weight of the camera, but I don't know. It had the new Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 mounted which is a slightly heavier lens, and it also has a larger battery. Not much difference to me.
Interview with Stefan Daniel on the floor at Photokina 2012
Enjoy this unique video about the new Leica M ( aka Leica M10 or Leica M240 ), Leica ME and product manager Stefan Daniel who was born in the Leica factory ... or was he? All this and much more is answered in this video we made on the floor of Stefan Daniels office at Photokina 2012. Enjoy!
Made with MacBook Pro using Photo Booth and the built-in micropphone, then reverted and improved as much as possible by Edmond Terakopian.
The backside of the chrome/silver version of the new Leica M (M240) that will be available in early 2013 in this and black paint. Note the scroll wheel by the right thumb that will serve to scroll menues, amongst other things. And the connector below the flash shoe that is ised for the EVF (digital viewfinder). The top left button by the display is Live View (LV), and there is three lamps for battery indicator to the right of the screen. And .. the screen is larger and better than the one known from Leica M9.
Leica M (aka Leica M10 or M240 or Type 240) in black paint. Also available in silver/chrome. The vindow that illuminates the frame lines is gone as the frame lines are now lit by LED. No frame-selector as the LED framelines are not three sets but one for the specific lens. Focus multi-button on front. The rest is as it used to be.
Shutter-less (and mirror-less)
What I noticed was that when the camera is turned on, you get the sound of the shutter going up. And it only goes down when you unmount the lens to change lens and when you turn off the camera. But the camera is not silent. I expect the shutter has to 'clear' the sensor still, as it was the case with the Leica M9.
Sara T'Rula and Birgit Krippner at the Leica Camera AG pre-Photokina event in Cologne, September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0.
I shot 11 images in a row, DNG 24MP with 3 frames per second, and then had to wait 3-4 seconds before I could fire another 5 images. So whatever the exact time is, the buffer is bigger and faster than the Leica M9 (as a comparison the Leica S have twice the size buffer of the Leica S2 for the same reason).
The stage packed with iconic figures of Leica photography history during the first part of the event. September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0
LED lit framelines
The framelines are very bright due to the new LED lit framelines. I like it instantly. No question. Choice between red and white lines, adjust to the amount of light around you so they are always clearly visible.
The framelines are set by the lens and does not require 6-bit coding; same system as it always was before 6-bit came about. No manual selection of frame lines and you only see the actual frame lines for the actual lens, not two pairs.
The battery in the Leica M is approx twice the size (thickness) of the Leica M9 battery. 7.2v, 1.8 A/hr.
Handgrip in two editions
A plain handgrip can be attached to the camera bottom and offers the possibility to screw on a rubber finger lock (that comes in three sizes with the camera).
A studio handgrip with GPS comes that connects up into the camera body via one large (the size of an iPhone 5 connector) and has four connectiors on the handgrip for USB, power and two types of studio sync. This studio handgrip also comes with the three rubber finger locks.
The two types of handgrip for the Leica M. Photo by Thorsten Overgaard.
If it has it or not, I don't know. But the bottom plate has been redesigned with a thin rubber sealing inside that protects the electronic parts inside the camera from water. The buttom of the camera is closed completely apart from where the SD-card and the battery goes in (and it is those parts that are sealed by the bottom plate's new additional rubber sealing). As you may recall, the leica M9 is assembled with plastic button to the body. The Leica M seem to be metal all the way through; no assembling.
The shutter release button and shutter time wheel on top of the camera looks like the Leica M9. They never said it was weather sealed, but mine have survived heavy rain despite the lack of promise that it could resist water.
New top button for recording of video
As you can see on the picture below, the Leica M has a new chrome button next to the shutter release button on top, this is the on/off for video recording.
A new dedicated button on the back is LV which will turn on live view, meaning that the screen is on all the time (or the EVF on top of the camera if that is used). Not much interst to me, if I want live view I would use the EVF. More discrete, easier to hold the camera still.
The light metering in the menu offer Classic and Advanced. The grey and white stripes on the shutter curtain as well as the three small eyes inside the camera for metering the reflections from the stripes are the same.
Leica M with studio handgrip attached, Leica R to M lens adapter (and Leica 70-180mm/2.8 lens), as well as the EVF (Electronic ViewFinder). Not bad, actually ...
The long awaited R solution
The EVF (Electronic ViewFinder) you can add on top of the Leica M (that I constant want to call the Leica M10) means that we won't need the classic and very well-made Leica viewfinders for 24mm, 21mm and 18mm wide lenses. It's all going to be in the EVF. The EVF is the same as the one for the Leica X2 and has a design that reminds of the Visioflex. Nice.
But even more interstingly the EVF adds the possibility to use longer lenses than the Leica 135mm (and you will see the full frame of any lens in the full screen of the EVF). Who know if Leica Camera AG's lens designer Peter Karbe is working on a new 180mm f/2.0 lens, not to mention new lenses that will cover the traditional viewfinder, such as 75mm f/1.2 ...?
But moreover, with the new Leica R to Leica M adaptor you can now use the Leica R lenses on the Leica M. Hence, if you still have a Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8 (as I do) you can now use it on the Leiac M. Not to mention the sexy Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4.
No AF lenses in view
Nothing indicates that Leica are planning Leica M Auto Focus lenses. The lens mount on the Leica M doesn't reveal any new contacts for such.
Microphone - The Leica M has a built-in mono microphone under the top plate (under the four small holes), and you can also add a stereo microphone in the flash shoe.
The ISO of the Leica M should be 6400 ISO, perhaps more. The prototype at Photokina only had 500 ISO in the menu so this is something Leica Camera AG is still working on. My guess is that 3200 ISO will be the usable ISO.
This is the big question. Will the image quality of the CMOS sensor be as good or even better than the existing sensor in the Leica M9. I haven't seen any samples yet, but according to Dr. Kaufmann they have improved the CMOS sensor beyond what other cameras have.
New CMOS sensor
What we do know about the new CMOS sensor in the Leica M is that it has a thinner color filter and a special microlens design (each pixel in the sensor is covered by a lens, and the lenses in the Leica M sensor are designed with an 'adapted radius' that is illustrated by Leica Camera AG in their brochure so that is shows ow incoming light rays are not flowing from one lens to the neighbour pixel sensor; in short, it should make the image sharper and more crisp and detailed).
The CMOS sensor has been developed, according to Leica Camera AG, to have the qualities of the CCD sensor, but more energy-effecient and of course with the higher ISO possibilities of CMOS, as well as LiveWiew that comes handy for focus aid and video.
I haven't seen any yet, and I don't expect to see any real sample photos till end of the year just before the camera goes into production. And then again, not till we get the Adobe RAW camera profile will we know.
The Photokina 2012 pre-opening event at Leica Camera AG, September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0
The Leica Camera AG at Photokina 2012 also features a large exhibition in Hall 1 of 20 historic Leica photographers' work. September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0
Huge interest for the new Leica M on September 18 from early morning at Photokina. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 (final production model). At the end of the day the Leica Camera AG representatives who had been demonstrating Leica M all day said 99% were very happy with it.
Testing the Leca M with R lenses at Photokina, September 18, 2012
My first impression of the new Leica M-E
By Thorsten Overgaard, September 17, 2012
The Leica ME is essentialy the Leica M9 in a different color. The E in M-E stands for Entry, and the price seem to reflect this. We are basically back at Leica M8.2 price level pricewise.
Very good, and as Stefan Daniel said to me, "The Leica M9 is such a good camera it would be a pity to stop producting it."
Only the color ... it has to come in other colors than this in my opinion. Or perhaps one should ask for customized from the very first day. As always, I'm sure Leica can produce it in the color you like (in case you didn't read about the Leica M Monochrom, this has been made in silver for clients already).
Then again, this opens up for Leica ME in silver and black, as well as "ME-P" without the red dot and so on. And as the Leica M-E is essentially the Leica M9, rebranded as the new entry-level Leica ME, the second-hand prices of Leica M9 and Leica M9-P will likely stay in a high level. Especially because everybody will have their own opinion about which colors are the nicest.
The Leica M-E, available now. Photokina, September 17, 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0
Leica ME, the Leica M9.2 or simply just the Leica M9 in new colors.
Leica S demonstration at the Photokina by Stephan Schulz who has been the midwife of the Leica S system since the S2 prototype
As some may have heard, the Leica X2 will come in 1,500 pcs limited edition in Paul Smith design. He already designs my black t-shirts and my suit, but if I were to get a Leica X2 I would go for the many new funky colors you can get now. Body in one color, leathe in another, matching strap and all. It's very sexy I tell you.
The Leica S2 has gotten an upgrade and has gone slightly down in price. And is now just "The Leica S". I haven't been around to play with it and I'm not much of a Leica S user: The camera is so perfect I find it boring, but with the Leica S the Leica S2 has moved from a production prototype to a real camera. That's my feeling about it. I will be doing a video presentation of it in one of the next days.
The Paul Smith designed Leica X2, available as 1,500 pcs limited edition.
Leica traffic patrol guiding guests to the event via a back entrance and via large freight elevators ...
For impressions from the evening, see Herbert Piel's updated blog with lots of photos here.
What to do in the waiting time
I would spend the waiting time wisely. What will happen when the Leica M comes out and the many people in doubt realize that this is actually a better and faster camera than the Leica M9. There may be many on the waiting list, but even more are undecided. Hence - that is my prediction - the demand will explode in May, June and July 2013.
For the record, the demand for Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 was 8 times higher when released than Laica Camera AG had calculated in their wildest dreams (which explains the waiting time for that lens).
The new Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 that has a price tag that should make most people conservative in their want for that lens is on a loooong waiting list even before it has become available (and that is the lens that Leica Camera AG talked about in 2006 and said they would never produce because nobody would pay that much for a lens).
With the new "Apple-inspired model system" of Leica M, Leica MM, Leica ME the market for Leica cameras will expand further. And all those new cameras will want one or more lenses.
So I would spend the waiting time figuring out which lenses the market would want (that I would also want), and then get those before the rush. 50mm Noctilux, 35mm Summilux, 75mm and 90mm Summicron ... the usual lenses that has been on 12-24 month waiting lists.
Oh yes ... and one more thing. Get microphones, batteries, EVF2 and all that bits and parts while available.
(And by the way, just checked: 121.959 shutter actuations on my Leica M9 since September 2009: An average of 111 photos per day).
Leica M Type 240 User Group on Facebook
You may also want to join the Leica M Type 240 User Group on Facebook
Leica M Type 240 Firmware update March 1, 2013
The first firmware update was available on March 1, 2013 an offered improved wide angle profiles.
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Reviews and samples
Reviews and samples from the Leica M Type 240 *final production model* from March 2:
Steve Huff: "Leica M Video Overview – Very 1st look, Menu System, Shutter sound and more"
Tulip Frenzy by John Buckley: "Initial Thoughts On The Leica M When Used In Classic RF Mode"
Tulip Frenzy by John Buckley: "Second-Day Thoughts On The New Leica M (March 3, 2013)"
Sample photos from the Leica M prototype
The Leica M has been beta-tested since July 2012 and I saw the first unofficial samples of real-life high ISO photos in October 2012 and the first test images were released in February 2013 by beta-tester Jono Slack via the Leica User Forum and Chris Tribble via the Leica user Forum Blog.
A few pre-reviews of the Leica M Type 240 prototype as of February 22, 2012:
Jono Slack's "Testing the Leica M Type 240" (free)
Rean Reid's studio comparison of Leica M prototype, Leica M9 and Leica Monochrom (paid website)
Ming Thein's sample photos and viewpoint on the Leica M Type 240 prototype (free)
An couple of articles in the February/March 1/2013 issue of LFI (paid subscription magazine).
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