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.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Leica M Typ 240


Leica M Typ 240 review


Price as reviewed:


Leica M Typ 240 review – Our verdict

In updating the Leica M9 with more current features, one can’t help get the feeling that Leica has slightly missed the point with the M Typ 240. Yes, the additions of live view, an EVF and full HD video are welcome (especially for Leica R-mount owners), but these features have handling snags that smack of a product that hasn’t been thought through properly, and this impacts upon the M’s performance as a rangefinder camera. What Leica photographers really wanted was higher ISO performance and a sensor that could gather more detail, and here the M doesn’t deliver as much as expected. Maximum ISO is only a 1⁄2 stop more than the M9, with a boost to take it to ISO 6400. Also, the sensor doesn’t record as much detail and sharpness as competitor cameras.

The compromises made while adding new technology to the M have slightly spoiled the experience of shooting with a rangefinder. Leica M photographers choose their equipment because they want something different that offers an alternative way of working and superlative image quality. The new M is still a very enjoyable camera to use, and one that makes you feel like you are really creating a picture and observing the world. However, as a serious photographic tool, the M Type 240 is something of a sideways step from the M9, rather than the step up that Leica undoubtedly meant it to be.

Leica M Typ 240 – Key features

Traditional rangefinder focusing and bright framelines in a large optical viewfinder. Parallax correction moves the frame as the point of focus is changed.

Shutter speed dial
Easy to find and use with the camera at your eye. Set to A for aperture priority mode.

Movie-capture button
Starts capturing high-quality full HD video without having to swap modes or change camera settings.

Live view
Activate live view with the touch of a button. Focus peaking outlines sharp areas in red and focus enlargement magnifies the central part of the image by 5x to 10x.

A 920,000-dot display reviews images, shows live-view composition and the camera’s menu system. An optional EVF can be used in the M’s hotshoe.

Thumb wheel
Zoom into images during review, quickly adjust ISO sensitivity and so on, and set exposure compensation when used together with the silver Fn button on the front of the camera.


Dioptre Adjustment:No, optional corrective lenses
White Balance:Auto, 7 presets, plus custom and manual
Built-in Flash:No
Memory Card:SD / SDHC / SDXC
Shutter Type:Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
Output Size:5952 x 3976 pixels
Viewfinder Type:Optical, 0.68x magnification, with brightlines
LCD:3in TFT with 920,000 dots
Field of View:Approximate, indicated with brightlines
AF Points:N/A
White Balance Bracket:No
Sensor:18-million-pixel, full-frame, CMOS sensor
Max Flash Sync:1/180sec
Focal Length Mag:1x
Exposure Modes:Manual, aperture priority
Weight:680g (without battery or card)
Drive Mode:Max 3fps for 8 frames
Shutter Speeds:30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps, plus bulb
File Format:DNG (raw), JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
Power:Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Lens Mount:Leica M
ISO:ISO 100-6400 (extended)
Focusing Modes:Manual focus only
DoF Preview:N/A
Dimensions:139 x 42 x 80 mm
Metering System:Centreweighted using three reflective bars on shutter curtains or advanced on sensor, centreweighted, spot or multi-field
Connectivity / Interface:No USB
Compression:2-stage JPEG
Exposure Comp:±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
RRP:£5,100 (body only)
  1. 1. Leica M Typ 240 at a glance:
  2. 2. Leica M Typ 240 review - Features
  3. 3. Leica M Typ 240 review - Live view and EVF
  4. 4. Leica M Typ 240 review - Build and handling
  5. 5. Leica M Typ 240 review - Metering
  6. 6. Leica M Typ 240 review - Dynamic range
  7. 7. Leica M Typ 240 review - Focusing
  8. 8. Leica M Typ 240 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Leica M Typ 240 review - White balance and colour
  10. 10. Leica M Typ 240 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  11. 11. Leica M Typ 240 review - The competition
  12. 12. Leica M Typ 240 review - Our verdict
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