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Leica M Typ 240 vs M9

The Leica M (Typ 240) and the Leica M9 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2009. Both the M Typ 240 and the M9 are rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The M Typ 240 has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the M9 provides 18.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica M Typ 240 VS Leica M9
Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/25p Video no Video
ISO 200-6400 ISO 80-2500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M (Typ 240) and the Leica M9? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M Typ 240 and the Leica M9 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Leica M Typ 240 vs Leica M9
Compare M Typ 240 versus M9 top
Comparison M Typ 240 or M9 rear

In this particular case, the Leica M Typ 240 and the Leica M9 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the M9 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the M Typ 240. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M Typ 240 is splash and dust resistant, while the M9 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M Typ 240» 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950iLeica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999iLeica M9
 
Canon 6D« » 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099iCanon 6D
 
Canon 550D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« » 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 iLeica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« » 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 iLeica M10-P
 
Leica M10« » 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 iLeica M10
 
Leica M Typ 262« » 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195iLeica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL« » 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica X Vario« » 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica M8« » 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499iLeica M8
 
Nikon D7500« » 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 iNikon D7500
 
Nikon D7100« » 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199iNikon D7100
 
Sony RX10« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299iSony RX10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 M Typ 240 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the M9, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the M9 is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M Typ 240 and Leica M9 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Leica M Typ 240 offers a higher resolution of 23.7 megapixels, compared with 18.1 MP of the Leica M9. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 6.91μm for the M9). However, it should be noted that the M Typ 240 is much more recent (by 3 years) than the M9, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M9 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 inch or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inch or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inch or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M9 are 26.1 x 17.4 inch or 66.2 x 44.1 cm for good quality, 20.8 x 13.9 inch or 53 x 35.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.4 x 11.6 inch or 44.1 x 29.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M (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 Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

M Typ 240 versus M9 MP

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 review, the M Typ 240 provides substantially higher image quality than the M9, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 1.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.1 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469Leica M9
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359Leica M8
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The M Typ 240 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the M Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M Typ 240 and the M9 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.68x). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M Typ 240 and Leica M9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n Leica M9
 
Canon 6Doptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n Leica M8
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
 
Sony RX101440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M Typ 240 and the M9 write their files to SDXC cards. The M Typ 240 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M9 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 (Typ 240) and Leica M9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono--none2.0---Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9Ynonenone--none2.0---Leica M9
 
Canon 6DYmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Canon 550DYstereononeY-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymononone--none2.0---Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-PYnonenone--nonenoneY--Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10Ynonenone--nonenoneY--Leica M10
 
Leica M Typ 262Ynonenone--none2.0---Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica M8Ynonenone--none2.0---Leica M8
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D7100
 
Sony RX10YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10

Both the M Typ 240 and the M9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M9 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 240, 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 Leica website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M Typ 240 or the Leica M9 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Leica M (Typ 240):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 18.1MP) with a 14% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/25p movies.
  • 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 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the M9 launch.


Advantages of the Leica M9:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 95g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 240 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 3 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.

M Typ 240 14:03 M9

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M Typ 240 or the M9 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950iLeica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9....4.5/54.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999iLeica M9
 
Canon 6D+ +83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099iCanon 6D
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 iLeica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 iLeica M10-P
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 iLeica M10
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195iLeica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica M8..+ +...... Sep 2006 5,499iLeica M8
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 iNikon D7500
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199iNikon D7100
 
Sony RX10+80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299iSony RX10
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica M Typ 240:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M9:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica M Typ 240 vs Leica M9

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 6950 USD 7999
    Sensor Specs Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 5212 x 3472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200-6400 ISO 80-2500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-6400 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 84 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.3 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1860 884
    Screen Specs Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.68x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    Focus System Manual Focus Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M Typ 240 Leica M9
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 585 g (20.6 oz)

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