M240 vs A7 vs A7r
Old 12-24-2013   #1
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M240 vs A7 vs A7r

Has anyone compared the image quality between the M240, A7, and A7r?

How close, how different are they ?

Stephen
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This has my interest!
Old 12-25-2013   #2
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This has my interest!

Well, I am very interested in this, especially when my favorite two lenses are the Leica Noctilux and the 35mm f1.2 Nokton (thanks to Cameraquest!). I see a lot of negative comments about certain wide lenses. For me the sweet spot of Leica has always been for me 35mm and 50mm. I do not feel like dumping 7k on a body that costs too much and will not perform as well as what Sony made especially at f1.0 and f1.2. I had a chance to mount my Noctilux and Nokton at the Photo Plus Expo and felt Sonys implementation brilliant! With peaking, my Noctilux and Nokton were dead on focus with little effort. My M8 left me with many less keepers at wide f stops. Moving subjects and lens calibration are a pain! I can say that just for these two lenses alone, the A7 and A7r are worth it . I would like to see comparisons between the M240 and A7r with the 35mm Nokton and 50mm Noctilux specifically.
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Old 12-25-2013   #3
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Very recently there has been a great deal of discussion in on-line articles and forums reporting shutter shock (excessive vibration) with the A7r.

Some people claim they never see it with focal lengths below 100 mm. Others see it with a 55 mm lens.

Some claim it only happens on a tripod while others find otherwise. The same goes for native and adapted lenses.

The A7 has a different shutter.
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Old 12-30-2013   #4
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The 35 1.2 is great on the A7R (genuinely very good, even in the corners) and the 50 noct will be great too. No focus shift to worry about and easy to nail focus.

The 35 1.2 is probably one of the best M mount lenses on the A7/R under 50mm, if not THE best. Its tack sharp on centre of course and, when corner to corner sharpness is not required, its stunning at every aperture. By f4 its sharp in the corners and by 5.6 essentially perfect. If you're shooting landscapes, it will not be wider than this anyway, not if you are looking for overall image sharpness.
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Old 12-30-2013   #5
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Is this either version of the 35mm 1.2 ?
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Old 12-30-2013   #6
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well, they aren't the same type of camera, but Cicala did compare the M240 with the A7r using a 50 Lux ASPH and the difference was definitely significant.

very few digital cameras do much I like, output wise, but Ive been EXTREMELY impressed with Sony's color, noise control and the Zeiss lenses themselves. The output is about D800e level for the R, with the A7 being a bit behind, obviously.

one thing I will say is that I have seen some lenses that normally don't look that great on digital (50/1.4 planar, 50/1 nocti, etc) that are STUNNING on the a7(r).
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Old 12-30-2013   #7
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^Can you post the link to the comparison?
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Old 12-30-2013   #8
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With the lenses I had access to, the M 240 delivered better edge-to-edge performance across the board. The A7 does a better job with color shift with the Voigtlander 15mm, but I found that edge and corner sharpness suffered compared to the 240.

Here are the numbers and some sample images :

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428025,00.asp (A7)
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428078,00.asp (A7R)

The only modern RF lenses I had on hand were the 50 Lux ASPH, the 28 Elmarit ASPH, and the Voigtlander 15mm (LTM version). I also looked at the Pentax 31mm on the A7 and A7R, as I had previously tested it with the M240. Even with a retrofocus SLR wide-angle, the M did better at the edges; but it wasn't a dramatic difference.

My controlled tests were all Imatest charts. Jim Kasson (http://blog.kasson.com/) has been doing some more extensive real-world side-by-side testing with the A7R and M 240. There are some good comparisons showing the corners with the same lens on the M240 versus teh A7R. The native Zeiss 55mm holds up a lot better (both in Jim's outdoor test shots and my boring-to-look-at test chart.) He's got 30+ posts on the A7R.

(Personally, if I was buying the A7R, I'd glue the ZA 55mm f/1.8 to it and leave the 50mm Lux ASPH at home most of the time.)
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Old 12-30-2013   #9
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http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013...-all-the-boats

my bad, it was the APO summicron, not the Lux ASPH
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Old 12-30-2013   #10
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I believe Steve Huff has comparisons on his site.
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Old 12-30-2013   #11
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I would like to see a comparison shot from both the A7r and M9 (or m240 i guess) with the 50 Summilux ASPH. Just a regular portrait…shoulder up…wide open.
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Old 12-30-2013   #12
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I would do this but I need a SONY A7r as a loaner.
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Old 12-30-2013   #13
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A7r is not great with 50 lux.

50 cron it likes.

But I like A7 better than R with everything. My CV 35/1.2 is much better on the A7, even.

The A7r can deliver spectacular results with native glass, but MF lenses with some exceptions have trouble at wide aperture on the edges.

Which is not to say that we won't see excellent photos with all sorts of lenses and the R, but for technical shots, where you need it crisp across the frame, the R wants its processor working with the natives.

Something I learned the hard way
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Old 12-30-2013   #14
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My Typ240 will be offered up for sale soon.
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Old 12-31-2013   #15
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So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?
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Old 12-31-2013   #16
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I'm not. I didn't have 100 percent confirmation, but I had a very good source telling me that these cameras were coming prior to taking delivery of the M 240 in August. I just like the rangefinder experience too much to give it up. Having the Live View/EVF option is a bonus, and makes the 240 a more versatile tool that fills some gaps (I need to shoot product shots fairly often, and that requires either an extension tube or an SLR macro lens + adapter.)

Can't say that I wasn't tempted after getting some time in the field with the A7/A7R, however. If I had opted for the M Monochrom instead of the 240, I could see myself using one of the Sony bodies for color work.

And obviously, if I hadn't scrimped and saved (and sold enough gear) to afford a 240, the price tag on the Sony cameras would have been a serious consideration. At a certain point you realize you're paying $5,000+ for an optical viewfinder/rangefinder patch and better edge performance with certain lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?

Rangefinders are nice but generally, Leica lenses are more reliable than their rangefinders, my Epsons however,are still the finest for me.
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Old 12-31-2013   #18
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For rangefinder lenses, I prefer M9/M240 to Sony A7/A7r. I am only interested in Sony for Leica R lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #19
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I've got a whole series of R lenses. Anyone know how they perform on the A7r. One would think that the added space between the rear of the lenses and the sensor would eliminate any poor edge effects.
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Old 12-31-2013   #20
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I also have a set of Leica R lenses from 19mm to 180mm. I don't have an A7r yet. But from what I'v read and seen so far, Leica R lenses will be terrific on the Sony 36MP sensor.
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Old 12-31-2013   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zleica View Post
For rangefinder lenses, I prefer M9/M240 to Sony A7/A7r. I am only interested in Sony for Leica R lenses.
That makes perfect sense.
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Old 12-31-2013   #22
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It gets easier after a while to not chase after more systems when you have an excellent set of lenses (1 or 2 or 3 or ...) in one system. I like my Leica lenses and also the few Zeiss Sonnar lenses in ltm mount. I just don't see (anymore) a thrill or a usefulness in getting into new systems to use other lens mount lenses anymore. It was fad for me for a while. It may have to do with your age. I am too busy in life and work to chase after new systems. I am glad that I manage to squeeze in a few hours per week for snapshot taking here and there. Maybe, when I am retired, then I will return to chasing new systems?
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Old 12-31-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?
Not necessarily.

There are a number of reasons to not go to Leica for digital - I'm classifying this as such because the M240 is just that: digital - yes it has a rangefinder but it is a digital camera.

1) Cost / Price -
A new M240 is approx $8000 CDN after taxes. The new Sony A7 is approx $1900 CDN after taxes

2) Digital vs Digital -
The M240 sensor is 24MP maxing out at ISO6400 (CMOS)
The Sony A7 sensor is 24MP maxing out at ISO25600 (CMOS)
The Sony A7r sensor is 36MP maxing out at the same (CMOS) but without the AA filter

3) Viewfinders -
The M240 has the classic rangefinder - you can easily see what is entering the frame.
The Sony cameras have a very good electronic viewfinder but you can't see what's entering the frame

4) Built-In WiFi
None in the M240
Sony has built in WiFi and NFC

5) Versatility
The M240 accepts M mount lenses and LTM mount lenses with an LTM-M mount adapter
The Sony has a myriad of choices in terns of lenses due to a multitude of adapters along with very very very good (currently) 55mm and 35mm Zeiss designed prime lenses (Sonnar design)

6) Corner Sharpness
Apparently the M240 and lenses designed for it offer corner to corner sharpness
The Sony cameras may have difficulty with corner sharpness on wides or colour shift problems


For me, at the end of the day I am willing to live with, for what I shoot and how I shoot, the "issues" that may cause many to NOT choose the Sony cameras. The biggest item in my list above is item #1 and to a lesser extent #2,#4 and #5. It's not that I never cared about rangefinders; I still have the M7 I have owned for the past 5+ years - and have been using rangefinders since 2005 when I 'got back into' film photography. This is more about, to me, ergonomics and versatility than it is about the type of viewfinder on a digital camera.

It doesn't hurt that Sony's sensors are very good and can handle the high ISO's, should I require them, as well.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 12-31-2013   #24
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Dave, I didn't mean for those who have thought long and hard about the pluses and minuses. I guess I just felt that the Sony A7 is so far away from the M philosophy that the die hard Leica folks would never bother. I understand value for the money (I don;t use digital Leicas anymore either), but I always used Leicas for their bodies and not the lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #25
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Dave,

Good points for the most part (especially #1--the cost difference, for most of us, is huge).

#4 is mostly solved by a $50 Eye-Fi Mobi card; I set the camera to shoot Raw+small JPG and the JPGs automatically move to my phone for tweeting or the like.

#5, well, I use Pentax K and Nikon F adapters with the M, and while the add-on EVF isn't in the same class as the A7/A7R OLED EVF, it's easy enough to connect lenses from other mounts to the the 240 and use them just as you would with the A7/A7R.

From my perspective, one point to add is that focusing RF glass with an RF is faster than working with the EVF. I'm regularly able to nail focus with an M with decent speed, but when working with the EVF I really need to magnify that frame to get the image as crisp as I want it to be.

Jim
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Old 12-31-2013   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfisher View Post
From my perspective, one point to add is that focusing RF glass with an RF is faster than working with the EVF. I'm regularly able to nail focus with an M with decent speed, but when working with the EVF I really need to magnify that frame to get the image as crisp as I want it to be.
I guess this was what I was trying to get at... and the reason why I thought people would still be more into the M240 than the A7. However, as someone who could not keep up with leica digital cameras, I will digress.
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Old 12-31-2013   #27
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Quote:
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Dave,

Good points for the most part (especially #1--the cost difference, for most of us, is huge).

#4 is mostly solved by a $50 Eye-Fi Mobi card; I set the camera to shoot Raw+small JPG and the JPGs automatically move to my phone for tweeting or the like.

#5, well, I use Pentax K and Nikon F adapters with the M, and while the add-on EVF isn't in the same class as the A7/A7R OLED EVF, it's easy enough to connect lenses from other mounts to the the 240 and use them just as you would with the A7/A7R.

From my perspective, one point to add is that focusing RF glass with an RF is faster than working with the EVF. I'm regularly able to nail focus with an M with decent speed, but when working with the EVF I really need to magnify that frame to get the image as crisp as I want it to be.

Jim
Jim,

I was unaware of other adapters made for the M240 - go figure - makes sense though I guess.

Regarding the Eye-Fi card; yep, a buddy of mine says the same thing about his Nikon DSLR - but then again, I wouldn't need to buy a card with the Sony - however, if I had the M240 "first" (i.e. I had placed an order in April of 2013 and got a call in eary/mid December - 8 months later) then I would likely have gone that route.

I would disagree regarding your last point however. I personally have no issues focusing with the A7 and the EVF with focus peaking on the Sony. It's "as fast" for me as focusing with the M7. I do not need to zoom in like I did with the Fuji X-Pro1 when I owned it (this is before Fuji implemented focus peaking themselves) Yes, I can compensate with the Leica by stopping down but I can also do that with the Sony.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 12-31-2013   #28
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Quote:
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Dave, I didn't mean for those who have thought long and hard about the pluses and minuses. I guess I just felt that the Sony A7 is so far away from the M philosophy that the die hard Leica folks would never bother. I understand value for the money (I don;t use digital Leicas anymore either), but I always used Leicas for their bodies and not the lenses.
Oh.. totally understand that point then.

Shooting with a Leica (or a rangefinder for that matter) is completely different than the Sony. You can't compare them from a "shooting experience" perspective.

That said, the end result is still "a photo"

And that's the thing that gets me sometimes because I too fall into that "trap" - we like our gear but at the end of the day the photo is what we're left with as a result of using said gear. The photo isn't necessarily "better" or "worse" because of the equipment used per se (as long as the user is proficient in using said equipment) but the photo "just is".

Maybe we need to get away from gear altogether.. but that's a topic for another thread

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 12-31-2013   #29
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To the OP's question, I have not seen any direct comparison between M/M9 with Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH and A7r with Zeiss EF 55/1.8 lens. A7/7R certainly have the advantage of using many different mounts of lens makers. But for using rangefinder lenses, the results I have seen so far are not very promising at all. And for SLR lenses, A7/7R will not be a small and light-weight package any more. To fully utilize the IQ of A7/7R, one needs to invest into the Zeiss/Sony FE lenses, which are not inexpensive. So I don't see that much of price advantage if you take that into consideration.
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Old 12-31-2013   #30
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Quote:
I have not seen any direct comparison between M/M9 with Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH and A7r with Zeiss EF 55/1.8 lens.
It's like this was written just for you. http://blog.kasson.com/?p=4237

If you're willing to part with a $4k (retail) 50 Lux ASPH, the $1000 Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is quite the bargain.

And if you want to stick with $4k lenses, the Otus 55mm is a killer lens on the A7R : http://jimfisher.smugmug.com/keyword...f1.4/i-WVvsJWQ

(Pixel peep that Jack Daniels logo shot; I tried to get as parallel as I could and shot it at f/1.4 to see what the combo could do.)

Granted, the Otus is huge; reminds me of the old chrome 50mm Distagon for the Hasselblad in size, shape, and weight.
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Old 12-31-2013   #31
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DXOmark overall sensor scores put the A7r at #2, the A7 at #9 and the M240 at #16. The have three individual categories that contribute to the overall score: Portrait (color depth), Landscape (dynamic range), and Sports (low light performance). Generally the Nikons and SONYs dominate the top 12 with SONY's RX1, RX1R and sometimes the Alpha 99 tending to score above the A7 but below the A7R. The Nikon D800E leads all other SLRs in every category except low light, where the nod goes to the Df. Ranking with the SONYs are the Nikon D800, D610, D600, D4, D3x, D3s, D5200, D7100 etc. The Leica M240 appears in most of the categories just below the Nikon and SONY full frames mentioned, but usually ahead of the ASP-C Nikons. These tests are done exclusively with native prime lenses. All of these cameras are far better than one might have hoped for even three years ago and in terms of image quality (though not always features) they are quite capable of producing non-studio professional work of the highest standard. If I absolutely HAD to have a digital camera for my Leica/RF lenses, it would be hard to argue against the A7 at 1700USD.
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Old 12-31-2013   #32
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Just on price alone the sony wins. The leica is over priced for what it does. Not to mention really poor quality control.
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Old 12-31-2013   #33
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Just on price alone the sony wins. The leica is over priced for what it does. Not to mention really poor quality control.
The Leica has a mistique and a touch of luxury. Both have little to do with photography, but to many users of Leica cameras, such factors do play a role.
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Old 12-31-2013   #34
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I was just kind of thinking it might be nice in addition to my Leicas. Not as a replacement for an M. But it might be nice for say in the studio. I would be interested in using my 50 Summilux, but for anything wider I would probably go with the native Zeiss lenses.

Would it be a better color/work camera than my X-Pro1? It would manual focus better, bigger files, etc...
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Old 01-01-2014   #35
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
and the reason why I thought people would still be more into the M240 than the A7.
I don't consider the A7 as a replacement for my M8, it can't do that. The M Typ 240 can for a lot more money. But I use many other cameras, and the A7 is an upgrade in that department. It is an upgrade also for M mount lenses vs., say, the NEX-5N that I currently use.
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Old 01-01-2014   #36
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I've got a whole series of R lenses. Anyone know how they perform on the A7r. One would think that the added space between the rear of the lenses and the sensor would eliminate any poor edge effects.
I saw many edges issues at wide aperture with SLR glass on R.

the plain A7 is a smarter choice for most legacy glass.
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Old 01-01-2014   #37
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Yesterday I met with a Los Angeles area Art Director.

He sold his M240 and bought both the A7r and A7, with cash left over.

He commented that for him the M240 was just not worth the price,
especially considering the better EVF in both of the Sonys
and the higher resolution sensor of the A7r.

I guess he never bothered to drink the Kool-Aid while an M240 owner.

Of course that is only one ex-240 owner, but it does indicate Leica may need to offer more for the money to remain at the top of the game.

Stephen
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Old 01-01-2014   #38
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It's interesting that the M240 has offered little over the M9 aside from video (who cares) and better high ISO performance. As said above Leica will need to lift their game if they want to maintain station against the tide of new full frame compacts that can mount their lenses.
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Old 01-01-2014   #39
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Originally Posted by Keith View Post
It's interesting that the M240 has offered little over the M9 aside from video (who cares) and better high ISO performance. As said above Leica will need to lift their game if they want to maintain station against the tide of new full frame compacts that can mount their lenses.
Sensor-view is a fairly significant addition, not just for video. Most functional innovations we have so far seen in digital cameras require reading the sensor prior to actual (still) capture. It is true that Leica has not innovated in this space, and with the constraint of manual focus only some features that many people like (and others find gimmicks) and expect such as face tracking focus or touch screen focus are not even possible.

My biggest disappointments with the new M (that I have never had the opportunity to try) are the center-only limitation of magnification and no easy and direct rangefinder calibration via sensor-view. The latter would be a nice innovation for digital rangefinders.
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Old 01-01-2014   #40
soultheworld
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i returned my M240 and stuck with my M9P and got an A7R from the leftover cash. I do prefer simplicity and the color rendition of the M9P by far, and i enjoy using the Sony, both cams are usually always in my bag.
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