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Leica M Typ 240 vs Olympus E-330

The Leica M (Typ 240) and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and January 2006. The M Typ 240 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the E-330 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M Typ 240) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 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
versus
Olympus E-330
Leica M Typ 240   Olympus E-330
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/25p Video no Video
ISO 200-6,400 ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M (Typ 240) and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica M Typ 240 and the Olympus E-330. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M Typ 240 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-330 is only available in black.

Size Leica M Typ 240 vs Olympus E-330
Compare M Typ 240 versus E-330 top
Comparison M Typ 240 or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-330 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Leica M Typ 240. However, the E-330 is markedly lighter (6 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 E-330 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 Typ 240) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330).

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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
2.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon 6D 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
6.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
7.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
9.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
10.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
11.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
12.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
13.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
15.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
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 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 E-330 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 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.

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M Typ 240 features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 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 Typ 240 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica M Typ 240 and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

With 23.7MP, the M Typ 240 offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the M Typ 240 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 7 months) than the E-330, 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 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 Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 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 Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

M Typ 240 versus E-330 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
2.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
5.
 
Canon 6D Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
6.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
7.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
9.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
10.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
11.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
12.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
13.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
15.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
16.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The M Typ 240 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-330 does not. The highest resolution format that the M Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The M Typ 240 and the E-330 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 E-330 (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 0.47x), 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 Typ 240, the Olympus E-330, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
2.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y3.2 / 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
5.
 
Canon 6Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 n n
6.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n3.0 / 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
9.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n3.0 / 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
10.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
11.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
12.
 
Leica SL4400 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
13.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-330 has one, while the M Typ 240 does not. While the built-in flash of the E-330 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The M Typ 240 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M Typ 240 only has one slot.

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 Olympus Evolt E-330 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmono / monoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon 6DYmono / monoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Leica M10-RY- / -----Y--
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono / ----2.0---
9.
 
Leica M10-PY- / -----Y--
10.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
11.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Leica SLYstereo / monoYYfull3.0Y--
13.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the M Typ 240 and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M Typ 240 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 262, while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica M Typ 240 better than the Olympus E-330 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M (Typ 240):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 7.4MP) with a 83% 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 0.47x).
  • 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 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the E-330 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • 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 (86 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 240 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 5 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 13:05 E-330

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 E-330 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 (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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
2.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II4/5+4/580/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....4.5/589/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
5.
 
Canon 6D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
6.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
7.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5..4/5....4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240............ Jun 2019 3,999 i
9.
 
Leica M10-P....3/5....4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
10.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
11.
 
Leica M Typ 262............ Nov 2015 5,195i
12.
 
Leica SL4/5..4/584/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
13.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
14.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499i
15.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
16.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica M Typ 240:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-330:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Leica M Typ 240 vs Olympus E-330

    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 Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 6,950 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 84 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1860 ..
    Screen Specs Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-330
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno 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 Typ 240 Olympus E-330
    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 Olympus E-330
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 BLM-1
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)

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