Just over a week ago, I posted my “Final Verdict” on the new Leica M (aka Leica M240).
The post itself was rather benign, but many people were not happy with my conclusion (or my title). And there has been at least one thread that I know of, started on a major Leica forum, attacking me for my view (I even had a moderator from that forum try and post a provoking comment on this very site. I didn’t bite.).
One of the main criticisms against me is that I haven’t photographed with the new M, so I am not in a position to comment on its image quality.
The fact that I haven’t photographed with the new M precludes me from commenting on handling/ergonomics, but it does not prevent me from judging image quality. I do that with 100% of the cameras I don’t buy… that’s called common sense.
Having stated the above, I have viewed and extensively handled RAW (DNG) files from the new M(240), and I do believe that the files have more “depth”, slightly more dynamic range, and render better at high(er) ISO levels. But I still prefer the files out of my M9 (and the M8 before that) at base ISO.
It may be difficult to understand, but that’s my belief.
You know, it’s funny…DXO recently concluded that the M9 has the worst FF sensor they’ve ever tested. This was previously known, at least to those who track such metrics. The Leica faithful have historically derided such conclusions, stating that there’s something special in the M8/M9 files that is just not being captured by DXO’s methodology, and the proof was in the images. Well, many of those same individuals are now criticizing me for using my own eyes to pass judgment on the new M(240).
You have to ask yourself: What’s my motive?
Am I a Leica “hater”? No, of course not… I only shoot with Leica cameras.
Am I trying to sell you something? No, there are no sponsor links on this site. I never “hype up” the latest and greatest and call it the “BEST camera EVER!!!” until the next one comes along.
Am I trying to be negative? No, life’s too short for that.
The answer: I’m stating my opinion.
The irony is that one day I may pick up the new M, because it will be the best solution for somebody who appreciates a high(er) ISO colour-capable camera with rangefinder coupling in an M form factor. It’s currently the only game in town for that combination of features.
And as I’ve written countless times, none of this silliness has anything to do with creating great images.
So people, relax. It’s just a camera.