When a new Leica M comes along it’s sure to raise eyebrows. As the German godfather of 35mm photography attempts to balance new features with traditionalism, Ian Farrell finds out if the M Typ 240 measures up as a serious photographic tool.
Leica M Typ 240 review – Live view and EVF
The new live-view mode in the Leica M is more useful than we first expected. Since it has a through-the-lens view, it avoids the parallax problem inherent in rangefinder-camera design and offers a preview of depth of field, white balance and exposure, with a live histogram.
Focus peaking outlines in-focus areas with a subtle red colour and an automatic enlargement of the central part of the frame activates when the focus ring is adjusted. The degree of enlargement can be adjusted from 5x to 10x.
An electronic viewfinder can be added, too. The 1.4-million-dot accessory (an optional extra) hinges up through 90° to allow shooting from awkward angles, and features a button to switch between the EVF and the screen. It would have been nice to see this automated via an eye-detection sensor.
While the live-view and EVF options add flexibility, unfortunately they also result in a lack of spontaneity and speed. When shooting with the screen or EVF, all was good until the moment I pressed the shutter-release button. After shooting, the picture is displayed for a moment but doesn’t vanish instantly if the shutter release is pressed again. In fact, it’s impossible to capture another frame for the best part of a second while the live-view system resets itself.
The delay is also present if the image review setting is set to off in the camera’s menu, and it even persists when shooting without live view, using the optical viewfinder, if the advanced metering option is active, since this also requires the shutter to be open. It seems that if you want to unleash your inner Cartier-Bresson and capture the decisive moment, you’ll need to remember to shoot with centreweighted metering only, and steer clear of live view.