Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-400
The Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Olympus E-400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2019 and September 2006. The M-E Typ 240 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the E-400 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M-E Typ 240) and a Four Thirds (E-400) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Olympus E-400? 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 Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Olympus E-400. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-400 is notably larger (6 percent) than the Leica M-E Typ 240. However, the E-400 is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the M-E Typ 240. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M-E Typ 240 is splash and dust resistant, while the E-400 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 Leica M Lens Catalog (M-E Typ 240) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-400).
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999|
|2.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|3.||Leica M10-R||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jul 2020||8,295|
|4.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|5.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995|
|6.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195|
|8.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|9.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950|
|10.||Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999|
|11.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|12.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|13.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|14.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|15.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|16.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|17.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the M-E 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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M-E Typ 240 features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-400 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-400 is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.0. The sensor in the M-E Typ 240 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-400 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 23.7MP, the M-E Typ 240 offers a higher resolution than the E-400 (10MP), but the M-E Typ 240 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 4.74μm for the E-400) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M-E Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 9 months) than the E-400, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Leica M-E Typ 240 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M-E 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 Olympus E-400 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica M-E (Typ 240) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-400 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Leica M10-R||Full Frame||40.9||7864||5200||none||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|5.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|9.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|10.||Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|11.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|12.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|13.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|14.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|16.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|17.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The M-E Typ 240 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-400 does not. The highest resolution format that the M-E Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M-E Typ 240 and the E-400 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-E Typ 240 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the E-400 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M-E Typ 240 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M-E Typ 240, the Olympus E-400, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|2.||Olympus E-400||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Leica M10-R||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5||n||n|
|4.||Leica Q2||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||20.0||n||Y|
|5.||Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|6.||Leica M10||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|8.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|9.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|10.||Nikon Z6||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|13.||Olympus E-510||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y|
|17.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-400 has one, while the M-E Typ 240 does not. While the built-in flash of the E-400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The M-E Typ 240 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-400 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-400 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M-E Typ 240 only has one slot.
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 Leica M-E (Typ 240) and Olympus E-400 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-400||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Leica M10-R||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|4.||Leica Q2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Leica M10-P||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica M10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon Z6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-510||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-500||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
The M-E Typ 240 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the E-400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-400 was succeeded by the Olympus E-410. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Olympus E-400? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica M-E (Typ 240):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 10MP) with a 57% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/25p movies.
- 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 0.46x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 215k dots).
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 12 years and 9 months of technical progress since the E-400 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-400:
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 245g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M-E Typ 240 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M-E Typ 240 or the E-400 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999|
|2.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|3.||Leica M10-R||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||..||4/5||Jul 2020||8,295|
|4.||Leica Q2||..||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|5.||Leica M10-P||..||..||3/5||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995|
|6.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195|
|8.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|9.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950|
|10.||Nikon Z6||5/5||..||5/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999|
|11.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|12.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|13.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|14.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|15.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|16.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|17.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||4.5/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Canon M3 vs Olympus E-400
- Canon SX520 vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Canon XSi vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Canon XTi vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Nikon D2X
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Olympus E-400
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Olympus E-400
- Nikon D4 vs Olympus E-400
- Olympus E-400 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Olympus E-400 vs Sony A68
Specifications: Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-400
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||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2019||September 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 3,999||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.9 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||23.7 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5952 x 3976 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.01 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.77 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|Focus System||Manual Focus||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Olympus E-400|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
139 x 80 x 42 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||680 g (24.0 oz)||435 g (15.3 oz)|
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