Leica M-P (Typ 240) Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Leica M-P (Typ 240)
Resolution: 24.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(36.0mm x 24.0mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Native ISO: 200 - 6400
Extended ISO: 100 - 6400
Shutter: 1/4000 - 32 seconds
Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in.
(139 x 80 x 42 mm)
Weight: 24.0 oz (680 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 09/2014
Manufacturer: Leica
Full specs: Leica M-P (Typ 240) specifications
24.00
Megapixels
Leica M bayonet 35mm
size sensor
image of Leica M-P (Typ 240)
Front side of Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera Front side of Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera Front side of Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera Front side of Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera Front side of Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera

Leica M-P (Typ 240) Review -- First Impressions

by
Preview posted

Leica's flagship 35mm full-frame rangefinder camera just got a level-up, courtesy of the Leica M-P (Typ 240). The new model is based on the existing M (Typ 240), and according to Leica's press materials, the extra "-P" in the name "indicates the particularly discreet and enduring design concept". We don't know about that, but we do know that it's a handsome variation of the Leica M, and thankfully not as extreme as the M Edition 60 in its concept.

The upgrades are relatievly modest, all things considered. The 24-megapixel, full-frame Leica MAX CMOS image sensor is unchanged, as are exposure features including a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400 equivalent, a fastest shutter speed of 1/4,000 second, and a three frames-per-second drive mode. Also unchanged is the ability to record Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) movies, and to shoot using live view on the LCD, thanks to the CMOS image sensor.

So what's new? Well, most visibly there's no longer a Leica logo on the front. This is a red dot camera for photographers who'd prefer not to call attention with a big red dot on the front; instead there's a large white Leica brand in script on the camera's top deck. A somewhat unsightly screwhead in place of the front-deck Leica logo suggests that it served double-duty to obscure part of the camera's body construction.

Perhaps more importantly for most shooters, the Leica M-P (Typ 240) resurrects the front-deck Frame Selection lever which was also present on the earlier Leica M9, but removed in the Leica M and M-E cameras. Without the lever, you still get the correct viewfinder frame selected automatically as you mount lenses, but what you lack is the ability to switch framing to preview what a different lens would show before you decide whether to mount it. The Leica M-P resurrects that capability.

Also new is a change to a sapphire flass protective plate over the rear-panel LCD monitor, rather than Gorilla Glass. That's not quite the upgrade it might seem. While sapphire glass is indeed harder than Gorilla Glass, and both are significantly tougher than untreated or tempered glass, Gorilla Glass maker Corning claims that in real-world use its product is able to withstand more than double the force before shattering, as compared to sapphire glass.

One final specification change is that the Leica M-P now sports a two-gigabyte buffer, where the previous Leica M had a one-gig buffer. Leica doesn't specify a frame depth in DNG raw or JPEG format with the larger buffer, so we can't draw a direct comparison with the Leica M in this respect. (It's not as simple as just doubling the buffer depth, unfortunately.) Be that as it may, there should certainly be a significant improvement in this respect.

Available immediately in black or silver versions, and sold alongside the Leica M (Typ 240) which remains in the product line, the Leica M-P costs US$8,000 or thereabouts, a premium of US$1,000 (14.4%) over the Leica M. Full details on that camera -- and by dint of the fact that they're near-identical, much more info on the Leica M-P -- can be found in our Leica M review.

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