Canon 40D vs Leica M Typ 240
The Canon EOS 40D and the Leica M (Typ 240) are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and September 2012. The 40D is a DSLR, while the M Typ 240 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a full frame (M Typ 240) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 23.7 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Leica M (Typ 240)? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Leica M Typ 240. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M Typ 240 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 40D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M Typ 240 is notably smaller (29 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the M Typ 240 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the 40D. It is noteworthy in this context that the M Typ 240 is splash and dust-proof, while the 40D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (40D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M Typ 240).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950|
|3.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|4.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|7.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|8.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|9.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|13.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995|
|14.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|15.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195|
|16.||Leica M9||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|17.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 40D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 81 percent) than the M Typ 240, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M Typ 240 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M Typ 240 is 158 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 23.7MP, the M Typ 240 offers a higher resolution than the 40D (10.1MP), but the M Typ 240 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 5 years) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Leica M Typ 240 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M Typ 240 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 40D are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M (Typ 240) are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M Typ 240 offers substantially better image quality than the 40D (overall score 20 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|3.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|13.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|15.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The M Typ 240 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the M Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 40D and the M Typ 240 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the M Typ 240 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 40D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M Typ 240 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.59x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Leica M Typ 240 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|15.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 40D has one, while the M Typ 240 does not. While the built-in flash of the 40D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the M Typ 240 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Leica M (Typ 240) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the M Typ 240) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 40D and the M Typ 240 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the M Typ 240 was followed by the Leica M Typ 262. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 40D better than the Leica M Typ 240 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (81 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Advantages of the Leica M (Typ 240):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (23.7 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 53%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (20 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/25p video.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.59x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 142g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the 40D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 240 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 40D or the M Typ 240. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950|
|3.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|4.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|7.||Canon XS||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|8.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|9.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|13.||Leica M10-P||..||..||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995|
|14.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|15.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195|
|16.||Leica M9||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|17.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 40D vs Leica M Typ 240
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Rangefinder camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Leica M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2007||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 6,950|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||35.8 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||23.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||5952 x 3976 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.73 μm||6.01 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.03 MP/cm2||2.77 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/25p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64||84|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||24.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||13.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||703||1860|
|Screen Specs||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Manual Focus|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 40D||Leica M Typ 240|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
139 x 80 x 42 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||680 g (24.0 oz)|
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