Leica M (Typ 240) DxOMark – 84

Leica DXOmark

DxO Lab just released the DxOMark for the new Leica M (Typ 240). The overall score for Leica M is 84, a significant improvements over the previous Leica M9 P and Leica M-E, but the full frame cameras from Nikon still show slightly better dynamic range and low light capabilities:


The 18Mp CCD previously used in Leica M rangefinders hasn’t fared well in our tests ranking towards the bottom for full frame sensors. The new 24Mp CMOS model is a big improvement however boasting 6 million more pixels than its predecessor and delivering a 1 Stop improvement in image quality, too. With a +1 Stop improvement for both Color Depth and ISO, as well as an impressive +1.6 Stops better Dynamic Range, it seems switching to a CMOS sensor was certainly a good move for Leica. It’s interesting to note too that no RAW smoothing is applied to files from the new model, as was previously the case from ISO 400 on earlier versions.


Two of the best full frame sensors we’ve tested in the fixed lens Sony RX1 and Nikon D800 DSLR offer a +2/3rds of a Stop image quality overall compared to the Leica M. Drill down into the different categories and the superior RX1 and D800 sensors deliver + 2/3rds of a Stop better Color Depth and Low-Light ISO performance. The Leica M’s measured base ISO of 134 compared to ISO 81 and ISO 74 for the RX1 and D800 respectively mean the Sony and Nikon cameras have an immediate advantage and deliver +1 Stop improved Dynamic Range overall with scores of 14.3 (RX1), 14.4 Evs (D800) and 13.3Evs (M). As sensitivity is increased on all three cameras Dynamic Range drops at roughly the same trajectory up to ISO800 where the Leica M takes a further dip. The impact of this is good Dynamic Range of 10Evs and over is only achievable on Leica M up to ISO1600, while the RX1 / D800 are good until ISO 3200 and these better sensors offer the same Dynamic Range at ISO 25600 as Leica M at its maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400.

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