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First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images — Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

January 27, 2013 — Published by

The Leica M Typ 240 is in full production. Just a little more patience, Leica’s about to update the eagerly awaited hardware with the finalized firmware. Right now, Leica is still receiving feedback from beta testers. But not too long and this latest generation M with live view, video and many other bold features is ready to ship. Thanks to Dr. Ulrich Rohde, German university professor currently teaching in the U.S., thanks to Mr. Rohde THEME can offer you the first full resolution M240 JPEG and DNG sample images. Additionally we have some direct M9 vs. M comparison crops. Have a look at them. Need I say more?

+++ Disclaimer: Don’t shoot the messenger! These first images are early firmware and intended to just wet the appetite a bit. Stay tuned, in a few days we should receive further full resolution and better quality M JPEG and DNG files shot with the latest revision firmware.

leica m240 full resolution jpg raw files 1 First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M Typ 240 DNG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

The Leica M will be released in limited numbers through selected dealers by the earliest in March 2013. Already a few months ago, Dr. Rohde received one of the nearly 30 preproduction Ms as a loaner from Leica. Well he loves it. He calls the camera a “quantum leap. I won’t give it back!”, he laughs.

Rohde is one of the few lucky early beta testers, but even though he knows a thing or two about the next next Leica M, he’s careful enough to not spill the beans. Rohde says so much: “The jump from the Leica M9′s CCD sensor to the M’s CMOS is much more dramatic than the jump we’ll see from the 240 to the next model.”

Looks like the alleged IQ advantages enjoyed by CCD technology might turn out to be nothing more than an urban myth when compared to this silicon-based CMOS’ output. If the sensor is great. And the firmware.

The new Belgian CMOSIS imaging sensor is rock solid, says the professor, and is likely to be the basis for other future Leica products. Remember, there’s neither live view nor video with a CCD sensor because the increased power consumption leads to heat issues.

The difference between the M9 and M is, put mildly, quite dramatic, says Rohde. As for CCD vs. CMOS, he explains, also the DSP (digital signal processor) and firmware can make CCD and CMOS so close that the eye won’t be able to say which one is which. Looks like this new CMOS’ signal processing chip gets the same top performance as from CCD. Remember, color accuracy is nothing but algorithms.

Now here are — for you to play with — the first full 24MP resolution Leica M (240) JPEG and RAW/DNG sample images available for download, provided by Dr. Rohde. JPEG images have a 5,952 x 3,968 pixels resolution, DNG 5,976 x 3,992.

But to begin with a few more words by Mr. Rohde explaining why he’s convinced this Leica is a quantum leap by the German camera maker. He’s very fond of the M9, but “a few things that I didn’t like, such as red shift or saturation and contrast too high, they’re gone. The M delivers straight out of the camera what the eye sees.”

Says Rohde:

I would describe the M240 as a huge boost in capabilities. Straight out of camera, without any processing, the M images are sharper, the color is more spot on and dynamic range is better. The M has 6 dB better dynamic range. A word about noise: The silly noise issue has become a witch hunt to play one manufacturer against the other. I also have the D600 and Canon 1Dx. In terms of noise, the M is equal or slightly better than the D600. Don’t forget, exposure meters have tolerances and if the contrast of the picture is too high, M noise at ISO 6,400 is slightly visible in some corners. But of all the high-end cameras I have, this Leica has the cleanest noise performance. The M has become my favorite camera. Congratulations to Leica, six months ago nobody would have believed me that the M can produce such phenomenal pictures. Incredible how much more “real” the M files look.

Regarding his choice of lenses Rohde says:

I have used 16mm, 18mm, 21mm as well as 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm and 90mm with the M I have for evaluation from Leica. I have been impressed by the sharpness of lenses in this range. I like the 50mm F1.4 best, even the 35mm F1.4′s both latest designs. The 50mm F0.95 is somewhat exotic, but gives good results.

For the R lenses I used the Novoflex adaptor. I am torn if I like the R or the ASPH M lenses better. The R lenses are warmer and the ASPHs extremely sharp.

The hardware is now perfect. Live view allows exact focusing. No more discussion about front or back focusing.

For me the more correct colors of the M, the lower noise — even at ISO 6,400 –, the R lenses with adapter, movie abilities and live view make it difficult to go back to the M9. Even the highest ISO setting of 6,400 shows no visible noise when cropping to 100%. You get better, more accurate colors, they’re no more oversaturated, and the famous Leica look is still present.

Here are two M JPEG vs. DNG samples. Straight out of camera without any tone, contrast or color correction. And please do download DNG only if you have good use for them. The files are nearly 50MB heavy, that’ll put quite some load the my server… Appreciate your good intentions.

Further below are some direct Leica M9 vs. M comparison shots. As said, this is not final, but mature firmware. Honestly, right now the M9 files look quite on par with the M’s. Official beta testers are still giving input to Leica, so things can only get even better. Especially the M’s JPEG conversions till look a bit smudgy and mushy upon close inspection. I’m sure Leica won’t disappoint with the final firmware and updates thereafter.

(JPEG/DNG samples taken with the 50mm F1.4 ASPH.)

+++ BTW, you can preorder the Leica M from Amazon (black/silver), B&H (black/silver) or Adorama (black/silver). First batches should reach dealers in March.

L1000627 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M Typ 240 JPEG @ F2.4 1/250 ISO 320 | Dr. Ulrich Rohde (click image for full resolution JPEG file)

L1000627 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 DNG @ F2.4 1/250 ISO 320 | Dr. Ulrich Rohde (right-click to save full resolution DNG file)

L1000628 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 JPEG @ F1.7 1/750 ISO 320 | Dr. Ulrich Rohde (click image for full resolution JPEG file)

L1000628 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 DNG @ F1.7 1/750 ISO 320 | Dr. Ulrich Rohde (right-click to save full resolution DNG file)

And here some Leica M9 vs. Leica M comparisons (tones slightly adjusted for this resized versions; RAW conversion in CS, plus cleaning of dust specs from sensor). And again, this is not the latest firmware. Especially white balance is still a bit tricky. Latest revision samples are to be published right here on THEME in a few days, stay tuned.

Guess it’s safe to say, resolution-wise the Ms DNG files beat out the predecessor easily.

For the first series below, here’s the full resolution M240 JPEG, right-click to save the DNG file.

L1000617 1 First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 vs. Leica M 240 comparison crops | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1055750 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 100% JPEG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1055750 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 100% DNG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1000617 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 100% JPEG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1000617 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 100% DNG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

In this second series, have a look at the sand and the bricks. Zoom in 100%. Now which camera delivers the detail?

Download the full resolution M JPEG and right-click for the DNG file.

L1000618 2 First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 vs. Leica M 240 comparison crops | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1055751 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 100% JPEG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1055751 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M9 100% DNG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1000618 jpg First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 100% JPEG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

L1000618 dng First Full Resolution Leica M Typ 240 JPEG and RAW Sample Images    Is the Alleged CCD Advantage Nothing But an Urban Myth?

Leica M 240 100% DNG crop | Dr. Ulrich Rohde

(Further Leica M240 sample images by Dr. Rohde can be seen here. Most of the pictures are taken with Rohde’s favorite Tri-Elmar 28/35/50mm and a 75mm lens.)

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Posted by on January 27, 2013. Filed under Review. A word on our own regarding comments: Please practice mutual respect and nice grammar is never wrong. And why not support THEME. We love what we do and hope you enjoy our takes on photography. If you get new gear — or anything else for that matter —, please do so by clicking our AMAZON affiliate link — or shop via our trusted partners. Doesn't cost a cent more. Appreciate!
  • Pan

    Looks like the secondary market is about to be flooded with perfectly well working M9s……

  • Don

    Those last samples of the pier are somewhat misleading : the light changed between them.
    In the M-240 samples the light is warmer and stronger with shadows – perhaps at dawn.

    • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

      According to the time stamp these pictures were taken less than ten minutes apart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronn-Aldaman/100000019276494 Ronn Aldaman

    so what?

  • http://blog.duanepandorf.com/ Duane Pandorf

    I’m excited that this new technology will help Leica continue in their success. I would expect the new CMOS sensor to perform better than the over 3 year old CCD sensor! No question! That said, the M9 is still a great camera and will continue to take great photos.

    • lefse

      The M9-sensor is just a bigger version of the M8-sensor. Ergo; 6 year old technology. Same DR and ISO performance, by any practical measure.
      Leica’s been paying way too much for that sensor over the years.

      The M Type 240 should be quite a leap. With TTL viewing and focusing aid, it’ll make Leica a fortune. Also, not more expensive than Canon/Nikon.
      Nice to have plenty of choices!

  • Papunko

    I can’t wait to get rid of my M9 and to receive my preordered M-240!!!

  • Bob Prangnell

    After being bombarded with “M9 is the greatest camera” stories we are now about to be hit with “The new M is the best, M9 was actually terrible with it’s noise and lack of ISO performance”. Groan.

    • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

      Guess above all the M will offer improved JPEG handling — as well as better DNG tonalities and latitude. I wouldn’t part from an M9/-P in a rash, but you’ll sure get wider dynamic range and improved color and tonal accuracies. No reason to dump the predecessor. Overall the M will be a more predictable, less moody companion. Leica will sell tons of these.

  • Trackback

    First M240 RAW files released. – Leica User Forum

    [...] M240 RAW files released. First Full Resolution Leica M (Type 240) JPEG and RAW Sample Images — Is the Alleged CCD Advantage… Leica is not stupid. I have faith that they have done everything to improve the image quality and [...]

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/270095-first-m240-raw-files-released.html#post2298191

  • http://profiles.google.com/mjones41 matt jones

    The M-240 is doing some noise suppression here on the out of camera JPEG’s, I wonder if it can be turned down or off?

  • Stephen Patterson

    The light is absolutely not the same in the comparison shots between the M9 and M240. Also the doctor seems to be struggling with focus, as the shot inside the bar has motion blur and or is OOF on the main subject. The dynamic range looks pretty good, but so far I am not blown away by the resolution, even though as you say “the M’s DNG files beat out the predecessor”. Did you expect anything else when comparing 18mp to 24mp?

    Why can’t we see samples from a professional instead of snapshots from the good doctor???

    • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

      Easy easy Stephen, you’ll get what you ask for, we’re working on it.

      The blueish/colder cast is also predominant in the other comparison crop.

      The source insists attention was paid to equal lighting conditions, albeit we all know this is not a scientific comparison.

      Rest assured, better samples with latest revision firmware are on the way.

      Still, these first samples are not without merit!

  • type240

    I am really quite happy to have DNG’s to pixel peep through for comparisons sake. But after having had a quick peep with absolutely no disrespect intended to the good professor, these images are average to say the least, I sincerely hope this is the first iteration of the firmware. I am guessing that it is for I recall they were first published on 20th December 2012 just as jpegs. Interesting that Leica are starting to lift embargoes. Hopefully the real McCoy neigh…

    • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

      No reason to be worried. Early firmware.

  • Trackback

    First new (old?) DNGs published for your downloading pleasure | leicatype240.com

    [...] like The.me site and Theme has some very willing and well connected friends because he has secured the very [...]

    http://leicatype240.com/?p=182

  • Trackback

    More M240 sample images – The GetDPI Photography Forums

    [...] Re: More M240 sample images Speaking of more samples, here is an article with some raws. First Full Resolution Leica M (Type 240) JPEG and RAW Sample Images — Is the Alleged CCD Advan… [...]

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/leica-m-x-r/43073-more-m240-sample-images.html#post485440

  • Dexter Legaspi

    Tsk. It doesn’t really take much effort to provide better sample JPEGs, regardless of being a good photographer or not. For Pete’s sakes can we have two following criteria met for the next sample photos flooding the intarwebs?

    1. Have the subject in focus. Seriously, this is not very hard to do.
    2. If you are going to provide comparison shots with the M9, can we please make sure that the subject have the same light temperature for both cameras?

    Terrible. I wish Leica loaned the camera to somebody more competent.

    • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

      Both M9′s and M’ white balance settings:

      AWB

      • Dexter Legaspi

        I wasn’t talking about the camera whit balance; As the others pointed out: the lighting condition for the comparison shot was very different.

  • M9 Worst Sensor I Ever Used

    Of course CCD advantage is a myth. Only M9 fanboys still believe it….

  • Trackback

    Leica M 240 versus Nikon D 600 – Leica User Forum

    [...] positive impression on the Leica is based on two results. 1. The images/ 100 % crops posted here First Full Resolution Leica M (Type 240) JPEG and RAW Sample Images — Is the Alleged CCD Advantage… show that the M shows slightly more detail than the M9, and also very importantly the M files show [...]

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m9-forum/270347-leica-m-240-versus-nikon-d.html#post2300970

  • Shmates

    These DNGs look great – very similar look to my M9 DNGs – just higher res and cleaner. If high ISO is good than this would indeed be a winner…
    Not sure what all the babies here are crying about – these images are nothing but lame snaps but investigating the DNGs at 100% in lightroom confirms their good potential. Only issue I can see if lots of Moire in the 3rd (long-shot buildings) image. Hope they cleaned most of that out in more recent firmware…

  • John Nicholson

    Very interesting. I’d choose the M240 DNGs but be happier with the M9 for JPEGS