Leica M 240 – Hands-on Review by Kai (Digitalrev)


As usual…take it with fun :)

  • Robbert

    ‘It produces just amazing files!’
    Right, let’s see how those files compare with a 10 times cheaper Sigma DP Merrill.

  • LovinTheEP2

    DP Merrill. Really… Not exactly apples n oranges.

    Either way.. I wasn’t overly impressed by it from his review. I always kind of wanted an M9.. but as for the M.. no thanks.

    Cleaner ISO above 1600.. big deal. I still love some of the old 60-70 BW photos full of grain shot a concerts.

    CMOS.. blah.

  • Ranger 9

    This one WAS more fun than most. Silly, but (as he states) he’s an unapologetic Leica fanboy, so his tone of reverent awe is tolerable (and yes, sounds exactly like Clarkson fawning on the latest Ferrari.)

    It would have been fun, too, to see some of Rolleicord Girl’s pictures of HIM…

  • mamapeeg

    I had one of these m420’s and sold it for a rx1. It’s a nice camera but north worth the price or the attention kai is giving to it. He usually bashes cameras for not being leica but calls it “embracing the future” when leicas not being a leica.
    My rx1 produces sharper files with less noise at high iso. The nex-ff will beat up on leica too.
    People buy leica for the price but dollars spent dont equal to quality of images. Sadly I once fell for a M but wised up.

    • Chuck

      What is funny with people like you is that they seem to believe that if a camera is not the best, then it is not good nor worth buying it.
      You can trash talk as much on you want on a Leica M240 but it is indeed a very good camera. Not the best, but not bad either.
      Regarding price…just get over it. A Leica has never been about the price. I don’t hear people moaning that a Ferrari is not worth it because a Nissan GTR does same for 4 times cheaper.

  • Taran

    Everything surrounded in purple, sweet. I love both Kai and Leica, but please check your sanity at the door if you actually think $18,000 worth of camera should do that.

  • amalric

    I found this review among Kai’s most sedate, so there must be respect. However it didn’t prevent him to criticize the ergos, which is fine.

    If I had money to spare I would get the camera for the craftmanship, and I don’t doubt that the IQ is more than enough.

    Having seen S. Huff ‘strange comparisons’ I am also convinced that with good lenses my E-M5 is up to scratch too, so I have no envy.

    The coming Sony mirrorless ILC are those to watch, but if I got one, it will be only with a couple of lenses.

    To me m4/3 hit perfectly my ‘good enough needs, while avoiding me to carry a large bag, which a FF system would still need.

  • jean pierre

    Oh, Kai!
    Why you have not show the new function of focus!!! I think you have not take longe time to test the M 240 before doing the video!!! Hm,…..

    image quality is not so good as the M9!!! For black and white the M is great!!!

    I am little bit disappointed from Leica!!! Leica is known for awesome image quality! But the M is a step behind the M9!!!

    Leica CAN do better!!! I do hope it will come with new firmware, maybe…..

    If I think how good the new Pana GX7 is, oh …….

    • Alain

      I’ve owned the M9, never liked it (always preferred the M8), the M is dramatically better in terms of image quality.

  • jk

    Thats fun !
    Especially when none of the shown photos looks sharp by just comparing to the video itself.
    And fun to see all the bad design choices.

  • yoyoma

    M is an excellent camera but please, don’t say it has the best IQ because it simply does NOT. I love my leica but just because it’s $6000, it doesn’t give me the entitlement of saying b.s. of best IQ. It really doesn’t.

    For all the Non Leica owner who wants full frame compact, go get Sony RX1. That has excellent IQ and cheaper than Leica M. but then you are locked into one focal length. truthfully, I only use my 0.95f Noc anyway so I am also “locked” into one focal length with my M.

    I paid over $16000 and waited about 9 months to get the whole kit, M and Noc 0.95f. RX1, you can get it for less than $3000 and it’ smaller than M, possible equal IQ or better depends on who you talk to.

    choice is yours. don’t be a hater.

    • Any

      Both the M and RX-1 have their own groups of haters. Heck, I suppose just about all cameras have their share of haters.
      The internet would be so much more pleasant a place if people would just go out and shoot what they love/have.

  • Dannybouy

    I received my M on Tuesday last week. I am not a rich guy. I have worked my ass off to buy it (and the sale of my M9 paid for half). Just wanted to get that out there as I have worked hard for this camera. I’ve not just bought it because I can. The IQ is excellent. Far superior to my 5Dmk2. Not used a mk3 so can’t comment. For me it’s a brilliant camera. Yes there are other cheaper cameras out there that beat it IQ wise, hell, my Ricoh GR is probably better but it’s not just about IQ. I love using it and feels really natural and instinctive. Something no other camera has offered me. It’s horses for courses, but while you’re all bickering about which IQ is best and this and that I’ll be here enjoying my wonderful companion :-)

  • Alain

    I really don’t see how the M and the Sigma could be compared, no viewfinder on the Merril, APS-C sensor (vs 24×36 Dof), fixed lenses (you need at least 3 Sigma cameras to have a basic lens kit), high iso issues, etc. If the M can be compared to another camera it should be a full frame DSLR camera.
    I’ve used Leica’s for 20 years, film and then digital, I’ve owned the M8, M9 and now the M, and the M240 is the most impressive camera I ever used (and I’ve used many, including the 5D I & II), in termes of details, micro-contrast, color rendition, it is really stunning (and far better than the M9 and its very fragile CCD sensor).
    The price is stellar (well, hight end pro cameras from Nikon & Canon are not cheap), but the quality is very high.

  • tecnoworld

    Or to a samsung nx300…even at high iso :-) I’d really like to see a fair comparison among those two.

  • kassim

    Comparison with Merill is not a fair comparison. If the Sigma is the standard benchmark, then nobody should be buying any FF camera since current Bayer sensor is inferior to Faveon, at least at lower ISO. Just saying.

  • Robbert

    The comparison is very simple. Kai boasts about the amazing image quality it produces.
    I say: compare those M files to DPM files and you’ll see a ten times cheaper camera blow them out of the water.
    Sure, the M is a great camera, has more options then a camera like a DPM, but please
    don’t say it has amazing IQ, because for such a ridiculous price that is the one thing
    it surely cannot offer.

  • Alain

    Well, I assume you have never taken any picture with a M240, so I really don’t see your point, beside saying that it is expensive, which it is. I could not use my leica lenses on a DP Merril, nor could I use the Sigma for my work, so once again, this comparaison makes no sense for me. If the DP is the perfect camera for you, than enjoy it (assuming you owe one), it is a great camera indeed from what I’ve seen.

  • tecnoworld

    If the point is ff vs apsc, then I can’t speak. It’s a physical difference and, if you want that kind of dof effect, you must have a ff + a super fast lens. But if you talk about dr, contrast and details, I don’t think these features in the 240 can overcome modern – and cheap – apsc sensors.

    I’d sincerely like to see similar pics taken with this leica, nx300, the sigma and a nikon 7100. I guess they would be undistinguishable at low iso, and for the nx300 and the 7100, also at medium to high iso.

  • twofeet

    Leicas are expensive. That’s not news. Get over it. Nobody buys a Leica based on a price/performance ratio.

    Furthermore, sensors are so good across the board these days that none of the higher end cameras “blow” each other away. To claim a Sigma “blows” a Leica M “out of the water,” or that a D800 “blows” a 5DMkIII out of the water or whatever the fanboys want to claim is ridiculous hyperbole.

  • john

    In defence of Robbert I must say this: I have tried an M240 as well as the Sigma DPM’s.
    IQ wise, the DPM is indeed far superiour. (as well as my D800e) And for such a huge price difference (even you may claim Leica’s are expensive) this is staggering.
    The M is a different animal altogether. More versatile, more all round. But the IQ is mediocre for today’s standard. And for a camera with such a price tag, the IQ is disappointing to say the least.

  • Ayoul

    Far superior in what john? “IQ” means nothing. I know color rendition, noise, ratio signal/noise, sharpness, resolution, microcontrast, homogeneity, bokeh rendition.

    IQ is to indefinite. It’s a blend of many others parameters…

  • Ayoul

    As you wish. On this french website (focusnumérique) you can download all the raw files, from pictures taken with the same exposure (aperture, shutter speed, iso value, constant light) of the same background :

    M240 :

    At the third of the page you can download the files. Below you’ve got the same concerning the Sony RX1 as a comparison.


    Same thing with Nikon D7100 (and D7000).

    I didn’t check myself, so I have absolutely no answer to give.

    It is a general audience website. The tests themselves are not very instructive but this possibility to check yourself the raw files is precious.

  • Pb
  • Pb

    (using a leica lens on a sigma merrill i mean)

  • jean pierre

    You own a M now? If not, why you can say that image quality is better!?

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