These comments in large part due to a friend over at Photokina who volunteered to ask some questions on my behalf over there at the Leica booth. Some are phrased as question / answer.
I always gape in wonder at why camera companies are so fond of self-congratulatory press releases, but are not fully prepared with all the details that photographers want to know about a new camera; all companies should have one or two enthusiastic experts immersed in the product who know it inside and out and who can blog on the 50 different and very reasonable questions small and large that will arise with every major new release.
- The optional EVF (electronic viewfinder) does NOT offer an eye-detect or auto activate; it is a manual button press as with the Leica X2. Also, it appears to be a rebadged Olympus viewfinder.
- The new 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH will ship to the USA in the early November timeframe.
- When mounting an R lens, is there a risk of damaging the lens mount if a heavy lens like the 180/2.8 APO is mounted and the lens is not supported.
Not yet defined.
- How is exposure controlled for video, given that the shutter speeds are only 1/2 stop? No one could answer this.
- No firmware support for finer grained shutter speeds (e.g., 1/3 stop).
- The GPS info does NOT contain directional information (compass). [Canon’s GPS unit contains such information, the Nikon unit does not].
- Is there any built-in time-lapse mode?
No but it was considered by several at Leica to be a good feature. They took notes.
- Is it possible to program (for example) 2 minute or 5 minute exposure?
Agreed that 60 second max was too short. Leica rep commented that the S2 had the same restriction for the first release. I think this will change but don't know when. Again, they took notes.
- Is the new CMOS sensor in the M240 any better than the CCD sensor with regards to color correction off-center (ray angle)?
“Better color correction off angle”.
- Is the compressed file option *lossless*?
No good answer today.
- Is the battery compatible with the M9 battery?
It's a completely different battery.
- Is the Live View 10X zoom a high quality zoom, full quality?
Screen is 960K. EVF is 1.4M. Looked better than the Fuji or Ricoh. I'll check again tomorrow. The 5x / 10x zoom is actuated with the front button and set with the new thumb wheel (upper right on back). It was a really clunky arrangement at least to me. I suggested that they have some macro programmable keys.
- USB 2 or USB 3 connector to the handgrip socket?
The camera will have a library of Leica R mount lenses stored internally for lens correction. It seems that the R adapter passes lens information through the adapter. No plans to produce more R mount lenses though.
I asked if they would consider 6 bit encoding the 135 Telyt now that it can be properly focused. Also requested an M mount 100mm Macro with 1:1. I can always wish.
Overall, it's a big step in the right direction. RRS is going to have a tough time making a mounting plate for the M with the GPS grip. The M is the same size as the M9 but the bottom plate is different so RRS will have to do a new plate for the plain M as well. The M e model is the M9 without the front frame lever. No one could explain why the Monochrom did not support compressed DNG.