An open letter to Leica…


Prosophos - Dear Leica

Dear Leica,

We, the undersigned, are passionate about photography.

We have a strong affinity for the Leica M system, which is comprised of compact and ergonomically superior 35mm rangefinder cameras and lenses capable of producing unparalleled image quality.  We appreciate the heritage, craftsmanship and attention to detail involved in the manufacturing of Leica M products.  And we are aware that Leica is steadfast and unwavering in its pursuit of excellence.

We are humbly writing to you with a request:


Please consider placing an updated CCD sensor in a future Leica M camera.

We believe that this would be in keeping with the principles mentioned above, and would be consistent with the ethos of the Leica M as a unique image-creating device.

We believe the CCD sensor, at low ISO values, offers superior performance with respect to micro-contrast and tonal transition rendering.   We have little need for high ISO performance, because we understand that — for the documentary photography most rangefinder photographers practice — a CCD sensor coupled to a fast aperture lens will produce superior results.  We’ve reached this conclusion by trusting our eyes.

We place an emphasis on high quality still image photography, and therefore have little interest in video.  We value the intuitive, quick, and precise rangefinder focusing mechanism, and therefore have little interest in Live View.

In our photographic and artistic pursuits, we believe that less is more.

Since we have a vested interest in the Leica brand, we wish for Leica to succeed.  We therefore hope that a future M model with a CCD sensor would help Leica further differentiate itself, in an environment where CMOS sensor-based cameras abound, and where the digital output amongst the leading camera manufactures appears similar, and similarly inferior.

Finally, we notice and applaud the ergonomic improvements of the new Leica M240 model, and would welcome similar improvements in processor speed, shutter quietness, LCD quality, and weather resistance in a CCD based M model.  But we place these considerations secondary to image quality.

Leica has always done things a little differently, by placing simplicity and quality above all other considerations.  As a consequence, Leica has traditionally wisely avoided making decisions based on a “focus group” philosophy.

We are requesting for this fierce independence in thinking and product differentiation to continue.



(those wishing to sign, please do so in the comments section)


723 thoughts on “An open letter to Leica…

    1. Dear Peter, I have signed your letter to Leica because in my view you are right, m240 is a deviation and m9 superior even after 4 years…..

    2. Signed 100%. As a M9 owner, I couldn’t agree more with Peter. I was considering upgrading to M240 but there is nothing worth upgrading for, including the sensor of the M240. I wholeheartedly support bringing back the CCD in a future M body.

    3. Peter,

      I would love to see the M24O provided with a CCD sensor as an option for those of us who work mostly in base ISO. It should also be made with a CMOS sensor for those who work with less light.

      Jack Sumner

    4. Signed!

      Peter, thank you for your excellent points and for composing them so eloquently! I’d love nothing more than a new CCD-based M.

    5. I’ve used M9 and M240 and much prefer the IQ of the M9. I was willing to try the new one because I remain open minded about these things, but am in no doubt of the better ‘look’ of the CCD. I also believe Leica should offer a quality alternative.

    6. Yes CCD sensors are so close to film there is absolutely no other choice (unless you re-invent the senor Leica are you listening.

    7. Thank you, Peter, for your effort to bring back the CCD sensor (perhaps with more pixels, if possible). The new Type 262, without live view and video, is a step back in the right direction from the 240, but Leica should have Included the frame line lever and the brass top plate (without the notch) with the engraved Leica script name. (An exposure compensation dial, within easy reach on top, would be a nice addition.) However, being housed in the 240 body it still must feel like a fat brick compared with my beautiful M6 film cameras or even the M9. For this reason alone, in this digital age my several M lenses have, with adapters, been used only on a Ricoh GXR and, more recently, a Fujifilm X Pro1. Such a shame.

      My experience with the CCD sensor is limited to my beloved Canon G9 travel camera, the lens motor of which failed while on vacation in Poland, requiring the emergency purchase of a Nikon Coolpix P7700 with a “modern” CMOS sensor. Notwithstanding their different manufacturers, their lens quality is comparable, but the images are not. I miss the CCD’s more realistic capture of the subtleties in faces and scenes. It’s difficult to describe accurately just what the difference is, but I could see it right from the very first images taken with the Nikon.

      I hope your campaign will stir emotions at Leica AG to produce a new, more compact digital M body, more closely resembling the M film cameras, containing a new CCD sensor, while retaining the updated Maestro processor and high definition screen to check for composition and exposure–after the exposure is made, as is the case with the Type 262. Call it the “Leica Classic” and it would sell like hotcakes.

      Al Metz

    8. Signed. Leica has gone mainstream with the 240, providing live view and video and courting the high ISO crowd with a CMOS sensor, but it’s compromised image quality in the process. How about a more compact, minimalist M rangefinder body with a higher resolution CCD sensor, frame line lever, flat brass top with Leica script engraved, retain the improved Maestro processor and high def screen that shows what you’ve taken after the exposure is made, as in the new 262. Would make me one happy camper.

  1. Dear Peter,

    Firstly, congratulations for this very good written !
    I am with You and with each person who have signed this open letter…
    I signed !!!

    Mr Hugues Faye .

    Best regards to everyone.

  2. Hello Peter, I’m quite a follower of your great blog and many of your pictures inspired me a lot! And taken into account that those ones have been taken majorly with the M9 still convinced me to stick by my M9…despite the fact that the low light abilities are limiting shooting in the winter time. But if the light is there, you are getting wonderful crisp images!

    So: Signed!!!

  3. Reblogged this on Digi•Pixel•Pop and commented:
    Peter at is so passionate about the M9 sensor, that he’s started a petition to bring CCD back for the next Leica. If you brows his blog, there’s been an ongoing discussion and various comparison tests between the M9 and the M240. He’s a strong believer in the M9 having superior image quality to the M240 and apparently he’s not alone in that.

  4. Signed! I cannot encourage Leica enough to investigate the development of the next generation of CCD sensor based rangefinder M mount body. Both the sensor as well as the cameras’s attributes and feature set can be offered as as alternative to an already existing CMOS based M mount rangefinder. This will give users a choice in photographic tools that best serves their need and vision.

    Dave (D&A)

  5. When you are looking at the files from the M9, the 3D effect caused by the details of the shadows (shaded tones) is amazing. The M240 sensor have lost the art of creating a smooth transition like you see in film photography. The art of the darkroom helps people to understand how the most beautiful images were made. It’s alive, not sterile.

    Leica should choose their side: being alike japanese or different as a Leica?


  6. My M9 and I are stuck to each other since ~3.5 years.

    The M240 spent less than a week with me and was sent back. My 5D2 and coming soon A7r also do CMOS images and probably even better than the M240 does.

    I will definitely buy a new CCD based M230/240/whatever they call it BUT what are we expecting Leica to do? What is our ask? CCD sensor check but that can’t be it?

    Re-release the M9 in a slightly tweaked body so we can get rid of the ThumbsUp appendage? Improve high ISO performance? Include a “Hide Image” option? Better AWB? 1/8000 instead of 1/4000? Retain the frameline switch? Slightly better fps?

    Point being – I’m happy to sign the petition, while giving an inkling of some new “features” on top of the better CCD sensor that might benefit the user community. I’m not happy to buy a repainted and rechristened Mxxx with the same sensor from the M9 for more money 🙂

  7. “Finally, we notice and applaud the ergonomic improvements of the new Leica M240 model, and would welcome similar improvements in processor speed, shutter quietness, LCD quality, and weather resistance in a CCD based M model. But we place these considerations secondary to image quality.”

    – Yep. We’re on the same page.

  8. leica
    sigma persists with the FOVEON sensor……….leica, please persist with the CCD sensor.
    you have stayed with the rangefinder while all others have gone autofocus, why suddenly become the norm.
    at least offer an alternative model in your expanded range similar to monochrom.

    i have the 5d111, no need to replicate.
    the rangefinder with true optical view finder is a wonderful experience.


  9. signed!!!
    Have tried a lot of the new stuff and ended up with the MM for its uniqueness and character in the pictures…..and a1DX for the not as characterful rest! it will be very very hard for Leica to compete in the CMOS compartment.
    Leica can stay attractive by giving an alternative to the mainstram: CCD!!!

  10. Leica, please preserve the filmic qualities only offered by the CCD sensor. Nothing in the CMOS department compares to what the M9 has brought to those of us film rangefinder enthusiasts who finally found a digital platform worthy of the Leica moniker.

  11. The M9 CCD sensor combination with modern ASPH/APO lenses gives 3D images like no other. Wishes list – higher res LCD, faster processor, larger buffer and better low noise handling please. Fully support Peter’s great open letter and it’s about time the ‘other’ Leica customers are heard.

  12. I have an M9 about 2.5 years old. My only lens is Summicron – M 1:2/50 E 39
    I like it for genareal but would love a couple of recs for another complementary lens, bang for the Buck… Also where to buy…. Thank you very much!

  13. Agreed. I love my M9 over all my Nikons, and I have not purchased the M 240, although I easily could, because I’ve seen no photos to convince me that it would be an upgrade.

  14. Signed.
    I need a more reliable CCD sensor without fragile IR coating in top of sensor, no dust smear on sensor.
    Kodachrome color is …. Always appealing.

  15. Just sold my M240. Loved the shutter and screen, but hardly used live view. I preferred the crisp qualities of my M9-P, so sticking with that. Unless of course Leica decide to release an updated ccd in a m240-P body. I can only wish.


    Gavin Pitts

  16. Leica do make an M with a CCD sensor, it’s called M-E. Guys! Our request should simply be “Dear Leica, please update the screen on the M-E. Thank you!’

      1. Of course I want an updated CCD sensor, who doesn’t? but let’s face it, you’re asking Leica, a relatively smaller company, to do something which cannot be done by even Canon, Kodak or Sony (who makes Nikon’s sensors). Now even Hasselblad and Phase One are going CMOS with their newest products. I don’t know how far Leica can go regarding updating CCD sensors, but as you said, high ISO capability isn’t our biggest concern, I’d already be happy if they would just update the screen, or even the EVF, which is rather easy as there are existing technologies. Afterall we still love the results from an M9 or an MM.

    1. Adding I don’t want extra pixels, maybe even less a few less if that gives better dynamic range and low light, say 16MP and very good 1600 colour. I know quite a few don’t want it but I’d like video, the manual lenses really suit it. (not quite sure why I keep reading you can’t have CCD video, when there are many CCD censored video cameras).

  17. My M9 makes me money with which I can continue to support Leica. With the eventual loss of CCD technology from the M system I feel my money would be better spent elsewhere. Why compete with similar technology with companies with far bigger bank rolls? Stick to what you do best, provide the highest stills image quality from the highest quality camera equipment.
    Consider this letter signed.

  18. Thank you for this initiative.
    With every technological “improvement” the Leica camera is getting further and further from its core and its character. The M9 and its CCD still had a direct link to the old M cameras.

  19. When the Leica 240 was announced, thought long and hard about it and decided to stick with the M9. True the decision also included costs and did not do the tests that you have taken the trouble to do. Thanks for your hard work.


    Tony Osborne (UK)

  20. Agreed. I am a D800/Leica M7 film user. I have good Leica glass waiting for an updated CCD camera. I would definitely buy an updated M9/M-E. I will not be buying an M Type 240 or any future version, as it renders too much like my D800. Until then (and maybe forever) film will be my CCD sensor. BTW, wonderful site, Peter, and thank you for your inspiring images and advice in general.

  21. I thought I had signed this already. I love my M9 but also purchased a Canon 5D III for higher ISO shots when I need it. The images are different and I much prefer those of the M9. So come on Leica, do what you do best!


  22. Signed.
    I own a Leica M240 and a MM, in the past I have also a M9 and M8.2, but I’m still waiting for a R solution!!
    for me a M240 is not a R solution, too big the EVF…. my dream is a Leica R6 or also a R9 with a M240 sensor!!!
    There are too many wonderful R lenses, better than M counterpart.
    It is a shame to use it with a CaNikon…..

  23. Signed
    Victor Saltmeris
    M9P user which I purchased because there was no other digital on the market that could give me that lovely film look straight from the camera…now after reading what has been written above I now know why the Leica look differs so much from the rest of the crowd…I am so glad I was never tempted to seems like It would have been a big mistake.

  24. I owned the first Canon 1D. It is I think the only
    Canon camera to have a CCD sensor. Its rendering as far as color and dimension was better than any Canon since. Lovely, nuanced color.
    Cory Laskowitz
    San Diego, Ca.

  25. Signed, because the petition is a very good idea for an incredible durable Camera, hopping for tech support and Hardware replace for minimum the next 50 years

  26. Leica designer need to consider the basic first. Improve the sensor for the ultimate images. CCD does better.

  27. Every time I visit a Leica flagship store, boutique, independent dealer or high end department store, every assistant I speak to prefers the CCD sensor, I’m yet to meet one who prefers the M240. I wanted to, I was looking forward to higher ISO and video and was very excited to try one, but when i got home and looked at the pictures, I was simply underwhelmed. Please Leica, re-embrace the CCD sensor and make it even better. You have the T now, a camera with Kudos, bragging rights, quality build that will be the darling of Asia’s new wealth so that very important market is covered and you can re-position the M towards photo enthusiasts, both professional and amateur.

  28. Sean,

    you nailed it! 🙂

    I train my eyes on “flickr “and meanwhile I have a high hit ratio to see the difference between the CCD and the CMOS..try it, it makes see different photographers and they started with M8/M9 and suddenly they land on the CMOS-camp…same technique, but different expression!

    We CCD-Lovers all hope your wishes come true! We never ever give up. Peter as the CCD-Pioneer is waving the flag and leading the brave CCD-Army to Victory!! 🙂


  29. Agree completely – paired with good glass at low ISO, the combination of colour and contrast from the Truesense/Kodak CCD has the ability to nourish one’s senses in an almost magical way.

  30. Having both leica the M9 and M240 i much prefer the M9 for his remarquable image quality, my hope would be a M with 36 Mb EVF integrated and a vibration free mecanism. no need for video or range finder.

  31. I sign this open letter with no doubt.
    Do you remember these strange first M240 sample pictures of an outside bar from Dr; Ulrich Rohde that habe been leaked on internet : the colors were not natural (especially the reds and blues).
    I did some shots in front of a leica store with both M240 and M9: the M240 pictures delivered a yellow cast while the M9 ones were much more realistic. I dream of a 36 Mb CCD and the same shape than the M9 which is nicer than the new M (more corner shaped).
    (don’t need a higher ISO or video), just go back to Leica Fundamentals.

  32. Agreed!

    Looking forward to a next digital M without too many unwanted features, just leave these to the
    bigger shots in digital production and to the cellphone people …

    Basics are enough.


  33. New tech CCD sensor on M body no larger or heavier than the M9 (preferably the size and weight of the M6), no silly video and live view: I’m in. In fact, I’m back in … because I bailed on Leica after they released the M240, which was exactly what I didn’t want.

  34. Almost everything written here from so many people is true for me as well. When the M240 came along and i saw images taken with it, i immediately knew that i did exactly the right thing when i decided to buy the M9 back in 2010.
    This is still true for me up to now, and it’s the reason that i upgraded the M9 to M9-P last year. It is still the perfect camera for me and i hardly can find anything, that i would change.
    Operation, handling and simplicity are a perfect for me, so the only thing i could imagine today would be another CCD-Sensor that would bring a significant advantage over that of the M9 – while keeping it’s wonderful, hard to describe, “Spirit” (Color-Balance, tonality, …)

  35. Coming from a hobbyist who has obsesses over the experience of shooting and image quality, the M9 produces an organic look that I have not seen nor replicated in any CMOS sensor.

    I think Leica should focus on putting sensors in their cameras which provide that organic (I know, I need a thesaurus) look with smooth transitions between tones.

    I don’t know if CCD is the answer but Leica, focus on the look–make the images as magical as your cameras.


    Greg H.

  36. Hi Guys. I judt thought I’d chime in here to share my thoughts on this issue of the CCD versus CMOS thing. I’ve recently acquired a camera I asked Leica to make me roughly three years ago and to my delight…..they finally did it. Below is my response to a friend who just wrote a piece on ‘why he went from the M9-M240-M9 again. I thought I’d just cut n paste it rather than type it all out again as my spelling has rapidly deteriorated in this digital age.



    “I hear you but here’s why I’ve decided to keep the M60 which is basically the 240 innards. Okay, agreed on the skin tones not quite being accurate enough for ‘you’ and maybe the CMOS sensor not being quite as sharp as the CCD, but here’s my view on it all.
    I enjoyed photogrpahy much more before digital, for me it’s quite simple. Yes digital has brought some great advantages along with it and has in some ways served as a great teacher, but it has also brought about obsessive neurosis over sharpness and the need for ‘super accurate’ WB……NONE of which has anything to do with the kind of photography that I and most passionate ‘photographers’ I speak to care about.

    Film was neither sharp nor accurate in terms of colour or WB. You chose film according to ‘it’s’ look and you worked with what it did and made great photographs that emphasised light, composition & gesture. In my opinion that’s what is making me fall in love with the M60. It’s a real camera for people who love making photographs and not people who enjoy post production necessarily. It allows me to concentrate on the very thing that digital has slowly and systematically taken away over the last 15 years…..loving the ‘moment’ of actually ‘taking’ the photogrpah. It’s allowing me to just simply be a photographer again.”

  37. Signed.
    Frank Stelzer

    While I wanted so much the M240 be the better camera, which it is in some ways like high ISO, better screen, exact framing with live view; I didn’t bond with it as much as with the M9. There is just a certain something about the M9. I was lucky enough not to sell it when getting the M240.
    Never thought about this option, but would love to see an improved CCD M (with the shutter sound of a M3 😉

  38. The M9 is the only digital camera, in the last 10yrs, I’ve owned and kept past 3 months without disappointment or found the need to resell. My steady workhorse for the last 3 years

  39. Signed.
    Retained the size of M9 and CCD sensor.
    Integrate with the technology in M240, led frameline, high res back LCD, Evf possible, usable iso up to 3200, stronger battery life, big buffer rate, powerful processor yet not energy hungry, sensor cleaning vibration, no video is fine.
    That’s all I need, simple and clean camera.
    Please make it happen, dream comes true.

  40. Signed . Please make it nearer to the seize and weight of an M6, on the current trajectory the M after next will look remarkably like a Fuji 6×9! Form is important, as the joy of form, as manifested in an M2 M3 M4 M6, help inspires one to get the image.

  41. even if I don’t believe that Leica will listen, I sign totally convinced that all we need is a M9-P with better OVF and screen like the M 240. in addittion maybe the insulation measures that have been applied to the M240. no video, no lifeview, no EVF.
    Kind regards, Rolf (longstanding Leica afficionado)

  42. Leica Product Development:
    One of your goals is to capture customers like me. I made the move, for B&W, from Nikon to Leica, DSLR to Rangefinder. Over the last 10 months I’ve purchased an MM and the following Sumicron lenses: 28, 35, APO 50 and 90mm. I want to move my color work over to Leica as well, however, I cannot at this point. You have to remain vigilant and true to your core. Take the purity of the MM, no live view, extra pin wheels and buttons, movies etc. (our phones can do the movies) add a state of the art color sensitive >24MP CCD sensor and convert myself and throngs of other DSLR shooters to Leica. You already know Leica’s market share is directly proportional to your distance from the status quo. As you add common (to DSLR) features, you loose the Leica value proposition that is so attractive to your new customers. Purity will expand your TAM, Total Available Market, Purity is the growth engine you can build on. It will preserve your margins and protect your manufacturing. More importantly, purity will drive loyalty, allowing you to avoid becoming a commodity product.

    Robin Priestley

      1. Thanks Peter. Leica will always have their long term dedicated followers. Expanding their customer base and increasing sales is a fundamental business requirement. If they continue to head in the “me too” direction, all will be lost. Apple’s forey into the “me too” strategy almost bankrupted them

        Have you ever sent this letter and the commentary to Leica? A physical letter sent to the CEO can have surprising impact.

        1. I haven’t sent it to Andreas (the CEO). Funny enough, I’ve had another reader of the site urge me to send it directly to Leica… even provided me with the appropriate (CEO’s) address.

          I haven’t been inclined to do it. Besides, before I’d ever contemplate such a thing, it would be nice to get more signatures.

  43. Signed. Loving the M9-P and M8 still, they look right, feel right, and images have a feel different from my other CMOS cameras indeed!
    Give us CCD and a thinner body if possible at all!

  44. Signed. It took me some time, but I did my own comparisons and you are defintely right, Peter. I hope that Leica listens, put some work to that wonderful CCD sensor, and bring it back.

    I must add that I also favour the simplicity of the M9.

  45. Can we add that the new M should return the same proportions that made the M system great. With each new camera comes an increase in its external dimensions. One only needs to be reminded of the size difference by going back to shooting with any film body M6, MP or M3.

  46. Back to M9P and Monochrome after M240; really love to have better buffer and more discrete shutter but CCD sensor is something Leica has to consider.

  47. I wholeheartedly concur with previous comments: Leica, I shifted to you, big time, years ago;
    while my photographic needs usually run to Street Photography and moody landscapes, for which I have used ( and am known for) compacts, and an utterly superb, user-friendly Leica V-Lux4, ( and for fun, I collect screw-mount R/F equipment around a IIIf), I would happily aspire to an M , fitted with CCD. Because street photography has usually, to be fast, somplicity in use of equipment is paramount, and the usually complicated frills added by other manufacturers are totally unnecessary.

  48. Please, Peter- let me sign again: Number 333 :-)…from time to time I compare on flickr the images done by CCD(Leica M9 and MM) to CMOS( Leica M 240 etc.) and everytime! I am delighted by the better, unique look of the CCD and therefore: better safe than sorry!

  49. I am with Peter. I bought another M9-P 2 days after I purchased my M240-P. I like both but if one day it comes with such a combo for CCD + the current features, it is going to be a huge win! I dislike M240 color performance despite I have 2 M240 now. Please take our voices into your serious consideration to make it better, everlasting. I care less about the video….

  50. I was on the list when the M was announced, thinking that I really wanted to move along with current development. Moved incrementally from the M8 to M9, and really appreciate everything about it. Very happy with my decision and glad I passed on the M240.

  51. I currently own the MM and an M9 and refuse to trade up to an M240 for the same reasons Peter mentions. If you go down the route of CMOS and video and LiveView, you end up chasing Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony and Co in a pixel and feature counting race down two year product cycles that you, Leica AG, are bound to lose. We don’t expect a rangefinder to do everything. When I use a 35mm rangefinder I want to take pictures with it in a certain way, and in continuity with a century of M history. If I need Live View and video I can just use another camera alongside it which I can get for the fraction of what we pay you for an M body. These electronic features diminish in price by Moore’s law. We have phones with better displays than that LCD and soon with better video. By all means develop other product lines like the X and T but please don’t dilute the Messersucher and the pure and uncluttered pursuit of photography that it stands for. Sales of the MM and your experiments with bold simplifications like the M Edition 60 should have told you that there is a market for such single-mindedness.

  52. I have been shooting Leica for almost 40 years. Among my digital cameras were Leicas X1, M8 and M9. I sold my M9 last year.
    I do miss the CCD sensor although my Fuji cameras do quite nicely. The M simply does not feel like and M as in M2-9 to me. It’s size and weight finally push the envelope for me, coming from M2 as the ideal. The CCD sensor allows me to achieve a look in my photos that I would be eager to experience again in a camera.

    I respectfully urge your design team to consider what sets the Leica apart and build another CCD camera; one that functions as a Leica M body should.

  53. I prefer the unprocessed look of a CCD, and would like to see Leica continue to offer these types of cameras well into the future.
    Brian Sweeney, M8, M9, and M Monochrom and some 70 lenses for them.

  54. Signed

    I enjoy my old M9 so much that I’ve now arranged to have it upgraded to an M9-P, and my M240 has been sold (along with a Fuji X-T1).

    And yes, I would like an M9 ‘Pro’: same size with a CCD sensor, weather sealed, more accurate rangefinder, bigger battery, quieter shutter, a silky-smooth release, RAW histogram, and perhaps a stop more high ISO.

  55. While for some reasons I love my M240, I still crave for the CCD quality of the pictures, and I would like my next move to add an CCD with the newest processing engine & the new concepts of weatherproofing. Live view is available in the other model; so a new developed CCD line can be based on the improvements and newer architecture of the M240 family, with a CCD sensor, and the new “weather sealed, more accurate rangefinder, bigger battery, quieter shutter, a silky-smooth release, RAW histogram, and perhaps a stop more high ISO” – body.

  56. I have an M8, M9P with a replaced sensor (cracked IR filter) and an MM. I like them all very much for their superb image quality and practical handling. I have no interest in any of the “features” in the Cmos sensors. I seldom even look at the LCD. I use the digital cameras like film cameras until I get to a computer. I also still use the film M cameras, M3, M6. New color negative film is so good now … and has a better dynamic range than a CCD sensor.
    I have another CCD sensor in a BetterLight tri-linear scanning back for a 4×5 inch camera, also made by Kodak. There is no interpolation from the BetterLight sensor. It has spoiled me for image quality with its huge dynamic range (about nine stops) and great color. It is like a color MM. However, the scan times make it a tripod only, special purpose camera. I often use the Leicas on a tripod too, but for a different reason – to get the depth of field from a small camera.
    Some people break out in a rash when they hear about the exclusivity and cost of Leicas. For me, they are just really fine cameras which have given me years of pleasure, especially the CCD versions.
    I support future focus on CCD sensor cameras. The image quality from the lens/CCD sensor system in a refined camera is my preference.

  57. Leica, it would make a great statement if you went forward by going backwards – keeping the fantastic image quality of a CCD in the most up to date rangefinder body.

  58. Agreed, weather sealing should be feasible too. A M camera that cannot be taken out into the rain, or into a war zone doesn’t make sense. Rugged and weather sealed with CCD sensor and M lenses is what is needed.
    Paul Borrett

  59. Just before Christmas we were burgled, sentimental not very valuable jewellery plus all my Leica gear (M-E, ‘Cron f2 50mm & 35mm etc).
    Top quality remote alarm now installed. Irony: naff all to protect!
    An ideal upgrade M 240 opportunity, let me think about that for a nanosecond – definitely not.
    I cannot, will not stray from the M220 Leica CCD.
    A growing number of sympathetic comments abound the web re the unique M9-M-E CCD signature.
    Thanks for this opportunity to spread the word.

    1. I’m sorry that your equipment was stolen, but I am grateful for your support of the letter… and I hope you will be reunited with a CCD Leica soon! Let’s hope 2015 is kinder to you and your family.

  60. Signed…I first had an M9 then I thought I would “upgrade” to the M240…luckily I had kept the M9 as I now sold the M240 again 🙂

  61. Signed! I have a Leica MM and I just love it and the CCD “look”. I never missed Live View and I don’t need video… 😀

  62. Signed by a very happy owner of the wonderful M9 and the daring yet powerful MM. I have loved the colors provided by my M9 since the day I first shot it. Please do not abandon these wonderful sensors. I really believe they have much yet to contribute within the world of photography and only Leica has the vision to see this.

  63. Signed. The files from the M-E/M9 are simply stunning. Pictures taken with the CCD based M8 and M9 actually convinced me to buy a Leica.

  64. Signed.

    I always thought it was the glass that made Leica Ms special but, after playing with them on other cameras, it’s clear that it is so much more. Please, please, please, Leica, bring back the CCD!

  65. Even if I am happy with the output of the MTyp40 – it took me half a year of refining my postprocessing to get here, though- I would never sell my M9, and have no desire for a CMOS sensor in a reiteration of the Monochrom.
    So I do support the wish of those that prefer to have an updated CCD camera. It is not beyond the philosophy of Leica to produce such a camera – after all, they brought out the Monochrom even if it would never sell in tens of thousands. The problem I see is the R&D on a better CCD. If too high it could price the product out of the market. So I would suggest putting the coming humidity-proofed CCD in a ME-2 with a better shutter and screen.

  66. I agree. A reversion back to a CCD sensor with higher resolution (perhaps equivalent to the M 240’s 24 Mp) is the way to go for still photography without all the bells and whistles that typically come with CMOS. And call it an M10! I have an M9 and compare imagery to my Sony A7R. I bought the A7R as a travel backup and would welcome an M10. The M9 images are always magical, the tonality is beautiful, and they are sharp.

  67. Signed.
    Bigger isn’t better.
    Less is more.
    Lessons I’ve learned from Leica M cameras over 3 decades.
    The basic problem – for camera makers and photographers alike – is that achieving simplicity isn’t simple. By showing it was possible, Leica has gained a unique position in the history of photography. May those core values live on!

  68. I’ve had the M9, now have the M240 and a Monochrom. Also I own a CCD phase one back and the latest CMOS-based pentax 645Z. My preference is really with the CCD on every occasion.

    It actually makes some sense for Leica to develop a new and better CCD based sensor – it could be the backbone of both a new M camera and a next-generation monochrom too… Leica, if you can technically make it happen, it looks like there’s quite a market for a better CCD based M system.

    Pierre Pallez

  69. Signed. I would buy a new CCD sensor in a Leica M in a heartbeat. CCD tech has advanced over 9 years since the M8.

  70. Count me in, I too have no interest in video, nor live view nor super high ISO nor any of the other CMOS related gubbins. Rather I am a stills photographer and for me a rangefinder camera with a CCD is optimal for this purpose.

  71. Almost 100% agreement. I want an updated ccd, improved screen, better buffer, and faster frame rate. But I want to keep the M9 size and will settle for shorter battery life and less weather sealing (I have had no issues with weather with the m9 and if you don’t chimp none with battery life). I’d “settle” for an M240 size one with ccd, but would prefer a serious update on the M9. Either way, barring some ccd sensor product the M240 will probably be replaced with a non Leica product. I feel like the 240 is good, but doesn’t distinguish itself enough for the amount of money it cost. Short of that I’ll get my rangefinder fix on my sweet M6. And shoot something else for digital.

  72. Signed! an improved m9 without sensor corrosion problems, no freeze ups and not SD card problems please! if you add the longer battery life and a slightly better ISO performance, that’s my dream camera.

  73. Signed! I love the rendering of my M9! Please, please always keep at least one M with a CCD sensor in your product range!

  74. Signed, though would like to see some high iso improvements with the newest generation of CCD sensors. Love the CCD look of crisp details and wonderful microcontrast.

  75. Yes, CCD please. I still get more character in M8.2 shots than newer CMOS sensors. Loose video on the M!

    Mikael Siirilä

  76. Signed! A new M with a state of the art CCD sensor would be great. Leica takes photography concepts very seriously (black&white only camera, no rear screen camera,etc) and they understand that taking pictures with a rangefinder is a state of mind. I don’t see any problem for Leica in considering bringing back CCD sensors because of its image signature.

  77. Signed. I fully agree that an updated CCD is the way to go for Leica. If I want CMOS sensor, I would go with a Sony A7 which is better than the M240’s. This is what I have done, using both a M9 and an A7-mk2 as the tools. The image from the M9 (out of camera) is still better than the A7.

  78. Signed.

    Leica has not made its reputation and loyal fan base by following the crowd. Leica M is the tool of artists who place more importance on communication of an idea rather technical quality.

  79. I have moved from M8 to M9 and have tried the M240, it’s not for me. The images simply don’t look the same, easy to see, difficult to analyse. I would LOVE to see further development of CDD, I have zero interest in video, or using the back screen. Leica has always been about image quality and IMO needs to differentiate. Moving to CMOS does nothing to differentiate, I love my M9P for the images it creates. The M240 just doesn’t cut it in image ‘quality’ terms.

  80. Signed. Also on wish list. Smaller body, quieter shutter, weather sealed; I’m happy to lose the lcd if it will help achieve these goals. From a 30 year M user whose idea of a Monochrom is an MP with Neopan.

  81. Dear. Leica Team.
    Signed. Yes, i’m agree on CCD sensor for Lieca be unique of camera, i’m also using medium format of Phase One (CCD) with Hasselblad 503cw and 503cx V series, for commercial advertising. I prefer CCD out put the image, It’s super great.
    Dusit Phongkraphan
    (Commercial advertising photographer base in Vietnam)
    Nationality: Thailand

  82. I got a Monochrom instead of the new M as it just didn’t have the same pop as the M9 and have since got the Leica T for colour which is great but I miss terribly my M9 for colour work sure it was antiquated and slow but the images at low ISO are unbeatable and stand out from other camera’s files. I am not a rich man and have started saving for a new ME which is going to take some time and would love Leica to bring out a new full frame CCD M as by the time I save for a new ME I think Leica may have discontinued the ME also.

  83. Want sensor optimized for still imaging where it’s light capture area is more than the transport metal conductor. And hope leica never goes below 6 micron pixile I own both M9 and M(240) both area excellent. I also never used the video on M I signed your letter thank you for that.

  84. Can only agree more and more with this. The M240 is a far inferior quality of sensor to a CCD one such as in the M9 / M-E. I will never purchase an M240. I own many many very expensive cameras, and the CCD ones excel at low iso definitely! Signed!!

  85. Signed.

    Video is totally useless. Live view is stupid. I’ve disabled both features on my M240, even this is the first real camera I owned. Focusing on photography, Leica, do not do stupid things. To the current CEO of Leica, if you do not love photography, step down and go home to take you video with your Sony.

  86. Signed.
    Gunston Gun

    while i don’t have the urge to upgrade to M240 / M-P
    i am still a very satisfied user with my trusty M9-P paring with 35mm FLE, complement both daylight and night time situation. Not everyone need to bump beyond ASA1600, remember those film day, we are always happy with ASA400 with fast lens, bit of shooting technique, sensitive to lighting condition. High iso is good, but it is just a marketing gimmick, who really need it after all. Sony a7s is unbeatable high iso beast in mirrorless camera sector if you need one then.

  87. Signed, and fellow CCD lover. My M Monochrom is my prized possession, and I’m currently selling off my Nikon kit to scrounge the funds necessary to add an M-E.

    When I want modern features and convenience I grab my trusty (and beautiful) X Vario. So please, don’t make the M Monochrom and my soon-to-be-purchased M-E my last new M bodies.

  88. Signed!! I just sold my Fuji gear to secure myself both mint-like new in boxes a Leica M8 and a Digilux 2. those are keepers for life or at least as long as they are able to work. My next target: M-E. but how I do love an M-E with EVF :))

  89. Signed. Yourself and Steve Huff’s review has just made my mind up, I was looking to part-ex my M9 for a M-P 240. I will hold on to my trusted M9 and use the money that I would had to parted with on a new lens. Many thanks. 🙂

  90. I’ve been shooting the (original) M Monochrom for the last two years and consider it my prized possession. That camera and my 35mm f/2.5 Summarit and 50mm f/2 Summicron represent the very best image quality for the types of photography I enjoy, which is mainly travel and street. Black and white is my passion, and the only tool that comes close to my M Monochrom is my film Leica (M5 and soon a new M-A) loaded with Kodak Tri-X when I’m after emotional tone, Ilford HP5 when after a harder edge, or Ilforn Pan F when shooting for luscious mid-tones. I never thought a digital camera could replace my film M, but the M Monochrom has truly surpassed it, and will likely remain a cult-classic for years, if not decades to come. The new M246 is interesting, but it is not the same.

    I shoot color from time to time as well and have tried the M240 on numerous occasions and even rented one for a week. Three-weeks-ago I finally sold my last DSLR and its lenses to buy a color digital M, and was very happy to locate and take delivery of a brand-new Leica M-E. I wish I could have the ergonomic improvements and weather sealing of the M240, but there is just something special about the image quality of the M-E (and electronically identical M9) that cannot be duplicated. There is a luscious quality to the color, a smooth, organic look that like the best films rewards proper exposure and accentuates the nuances of beautiful light. The M-E paints with oils, where CMOS cameras use ink.

    It is my sincere hope that you are able to source a new IR cover glass to solve the sensor corrosion issues and highly recommend that you contact Brian Sweeney to discuss the subject. He is an engineer (and Leica fanatic) who has a deep understanding of the subject, and if his writings are to be believed (I trust him implicitly) has identified a suitable replacement within the existing Schott glass inventory. Once the problem is solved, a new CCD model, even as a premium-priced special model, would likely be very popular indeed.

    I’ve dreamed of owning a Leica camera and lenses for decades, and now in middle age with a successful law practice am finally in a position to do so. Even so, a new Leica is a significant investment, but like many here, I am happy to pay for quality and unique imaging qualities. I bought my new M-E precisely for the way that it paints with light, and after two years remain excited at the mere prospect of taking my M Monochrom out and capturing those incredible tones.

    So yes, I am lovingly signing this letter, and I too urge you to consider a new CCD model, or at the very least that you correct the corrosion issue on the current CCD models and continue to sell the existing M9-based Monochrom and M-E.

  91. I truly believe with the principles stated above, and there is more. M9 and M9P or M-E , have in there limits a close feel to analog experience if you know what i mean, and this is a sort of difference no other manufacture can get close.

  92. I started the M8 Picture Thread on the Leica User Forum and held onto my M8 until the advent of the MMI, why? Because of the incredible CCD IQ of the M8 photos converted to B&W. I’m glad to see I am not insane in insisting that there is a difference in IQ between a CCD sensor and a CMOS sensor, especially when it comes to skin tones. I’m glad to see I’m not insane, it’s not my imagination. (photography and poetry)

  93. Leica, be clever and continue with CDD.. Don’t be ordinary.. Otherwise you will loose to other giants..

  94. Yes, please seriously consider all our requests here for a CCD M. We have no need for video, live views and perhaps also very high ISO. Really just want an M camera that can give us a Leica Look! albeit in this digital age. Thank you.

  95. Signed – as a former M9-P owner, then a misguided upgrader to M-P 240, and as of yesterday, a very happy M9-P owner again. The joy of the silky handling of the 240 coupled with the sublime results from the M9 would be photographic heaven indeed.

  96. The CCD sensor gives a film grain like appearance – Leica needs to do digital differently to stay competitive and relevant and keep true to it’s film roots in the modern age. An upgraded CCD sensor would give Leica a continuing different ‘look’ in a world gone CMOS. It seems to make business sense to continue its development. It also produces a superior image, which has always been Leica’s reason for being.


  97. here is my digital Leica wish :

    M6 size, M6 sound of shutter, M6 ability to shoot at 1/15, or 1/8 with 35 mm lens, M 6 ergonomics – this is M ( everything else mentioned above )

    had M8 and now M9-P


  98. I don’t care video, wifi, gps, Live view…….on the Leica M, I want the new M with better CCD than M9 and as small as the M7.

  99. Signed. I commit to buy M # whatever with 24mp CCD sensor, or larger. Shooting with M9-P, people rave about my photos.
    Will not buy Leica CMOS, use Leica over 20 years for the magic. CCD has the magic.
    Leica needs to keep up with bigger full frame sensors out there, with CCD. Kodak has it.

  100. Unfortunately, according to the cited article, the particular new Kodak CCD sensors are for medium format applications. Nonetheless, it is clear that CCD technology is far from obsolete.

    I have been a Leica, Canon and Nikon rangefinder user for over 40 years, along with Nikon and Canon film and Canon digital SLR’s and some medium format. About 3 years ago, I decided to try a used M8, after seeing enough Leica digital output to pique my interest. I have since expanded into newer Leica lenses, particularly the ASPH 28 and 35 Summicrons. My EOS equipment has remained snug in its cases the entire time.

    I have shot over 22,000 frames with my M8. The images provide more visual satisfaction than anything I have used since my now departed Rollei 2.8F. I have rarely, if ever, enjoyed the same kind of visceral response to a CMOS image. I have recently reviewed a number of favorite images shot with my EOS 5D. In comparison with similar shots taken with my M8, they lack sharpness, micro-contrast, naturalness and depth. Subjectively, they do not raise the hairs on the back of my neck the way a good M8 image can.

    I am confident that Leica rangefinder photographers generally share my willingness to forego the technical sophistication of the latest generation of computerized image-capturing mechanisms. The Leica, with CCD sensor, provides an unparalleled sense of direct connection with every phase of the photographic process, from the conception and visualization of the photograph through its printing.

    There is no reason to abandon the CCD sensor. Its continuing use by Leica is entirely consistent with the Ernst Leitz philosophy and tradition of providing the finest available photographic tools. The CCD can and should co-exist with the CMOS and its successors. The Leica is meant for photographers, not just technophiles; and I predict that it will be photographers who will continue to sustain the the brand in the future, as in the past.

  101. Signed.

    I, a new Leica RF user, first bought a M240 and then an M-E, and I now use M-E almost exclusively. And I found the full size of 100% image at low ISO from the CCD is well usable.

  102. Signed. I prefer my M9 to M240. I hope Leica will continue to produce CCD sensor M bodies in the future and I will buy them!

  103. The m 262 with a CCD please with a descent higher ISO and dynamic range better than the M9 would be my least ask. In addition, a smaller body than the current m9 or 262 would be a dream come true.

  104. I started with an M6ttl 0.58, then I bought an MP and finally, four years ago, an M9. Now I’m looking forward to buy a MM (ccd). Signed for the CCD!

  105. Signed! Please make a Q with CCD and 35MM lens or 50MM lens if possible. Would love to take these BW photos as in ME. I think it would sell like hot cakes with a f2.5 lens. Currently, Q has poor quality with jpg compared to Raw to Jpg and thus its BW mode in jpg. is lacking.

  106. Signed also. Just picked myself up a 2nd hand M9. It really is very impressive, even now. I’ll start saving now for the CCD M something…

  107. signed! Colors never looked better than with my m8. m8 plus UV Cut filter is even better than M9 with integrated filter, sorry

  108. Signed. Love my M9-P and MM (CCD). Great colors and bw. Sold my M 240 due to extreme horizontal banding when pushed. Tried latest CMOS Monochrom. Same problems. No issue with CCD.

  109. Signed. Just got my M-E sensor replaced. If they can be replaced means that a new generation ccd sensor is viable.

  110. Agree that the M9 sensor is better to my eyes……images just have that ‘pop’. I came real close to getting the M240 a few times, but don’t need those gimicky bells and whistles nor the added bulk. Bottom line is that the M240 isn’t an “upgrade” because the IQ of the CCD sensor is just plain better out of the box, and if you’ve been shooting M’s for decades, the logical progression is NOT the M240. My M9-P exhibited sensor corrosion and is in Leica NJ getting the free, upgraded CCD sensor plus free CLA and outer re-leathering…..can’t wait to get it back. Since there is a worldwide backlog of the new corrosion-free sensors, I would hope that Leica executives see this as an opportunity to listen to the “voice of the customer” and realize that there’s a huge fan base of their CCD-sensor legacy. Please keep developing CCD technology with better dynamic range but don’t change the microcontrast and chroma curves of your sensors!

  111. Couldn’t agree more with all comments put forth since Peter created this petition. Hope it has found its way into the decision makers hands. I would love to see Leica offer the CCD sensor option once again in their amazing line of products. Clearly, market demand is there, so thanks in advance for making this a reality!