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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950|
|2.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|5.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|6.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|7.||Leica M10-R||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jul 2020||8,295|
|8.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999|
|9.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995|
|10.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|11.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195|
|12.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Leica M9||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|14.||Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|15.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|16.||Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|17.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||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 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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|2.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|5.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|7.||Leica M10-R||Full Frame||40.9||7864||5200||none||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|11.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|13.||Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|14.||Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
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.
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.
|1.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|2.||Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5 / 215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 6D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5||n||n|
|6.||Canon XT||optical||n||1.8 / 115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|7.||Leica M10-R||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5||n||n|
|8.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|9.||Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|10.||Leica M10||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|11.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|12.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|13.||Leica M9||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.0||n||n|
|14.||Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|15.||Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|16.||Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8 / 134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5 / 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.
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.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-330||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 6D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Canon XT||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica M10-R||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica M10-P||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|10.||Leica M10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|11.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Leica M9||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-500||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-300||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|1.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950|
|2.||Olympus E-330||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|5.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|6.||Canon XT||..||80/100||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|7.||Leica M10-R||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||..||4/5||Jul 2020||8,295|
|8.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999|
|9.||Leica M10-P||..||..||3/5||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995|
|10.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|11.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195|
|12.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Leica M9||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|14.||Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|15.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|16.||Olympus E-300||..||..||..||+||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|17.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||..||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|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.
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.
- Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-330
- Canon 5DS vs Olympus E-330
- Canon S120 vs Leica M Typ 240
- Canon T100 vs Leica M Typ 240
- Kodak AZ901 vs Olympus E-330
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Nikon D70s
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Olympus XZ-2
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Panasonic GF6
- Nikon D5600 vs Olympus E-330
- Olympus E-330 vs Pentax 645Z
- Olympus E-330 vs Pentax Q
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 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 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||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%|
|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 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 Typ 240||Olympus E-330|
|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 Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
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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