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More details on the new 24-Megapixel Leica M240 from Photokina

See yesterday’s post on the new 24-megapixel Leica M240 as well as Game Changer and yesterday’s more details.

From a remote friend at Photokina who asked some questions of Leica:

Is the 920k pixel display the same on both the M and the new S cameras?

Yes. And it's quite sharp. Not sure if it's displaying a JPEG image or what. I'll have to ask.

Can you zoom in to the pixel level?

Here's the math: 920k pixel display and 10% of a 24m pixel image. No if raw display, possible if compressed (which it obviously is). Engineer thought you could get to the pixel level. A quick check with an M was inconclusive to me at least.

Will the 60 second exposure restriction change?

Yes and no. There are several issues the affect sensor performance. One is (for lack of a better word) saturation (when voltage is applied to the sensor for an extended time). Another is heat dissipation and related battery power budget. Exposure times greater than 60 seconds crossed a line where saturation induced noise becomes a real problem affecting image quality. Heat and power budget are also concerns. So 60 seconds was set as the limit to maintain image quality. A fairly easy work around is to add a menu setting to allow sequenced long exposure images with a short break between each image to allow the sensor to cool. These images could be possibly combined in the camera or through external stacking software. A plus is that time lapse photos would be possible as well. I'm hopeful that this may go into a future firmware release. But, obviously, no firm commitment from Leica.

Why no window zoom for focussing like the Ricoh GXR and, I think, the X2?

Most APS-C sensors have a small enough pixel count that the on board processor - in this case the Maestro - can do some extra work required to scale at two different scales on the same image. The new 24 mp sensor simply provides too much data too fast in live view for the Maestro to do anything but scale the entire image at 1X, 5X, or 10X. It was discussed within Leica and they hoped to implement that form of live view but the "cycle budget" from the processor wasn't there. Perhaps a new algorithm? I know I'm doing a crummy job explaining this - it's late and I'm quite tired - but as a former comm protocol stack coder I get it and respect their call on this one. Don't expect much more out of Live View this go around.

Will other M mount lenses be developed that can take advantage of Live View focussing?

Easy yes. No specifics here but I'd guess that some sort of macro (100 mm perhaps) and a tele would be easy calls. The engineer joked that he had been asked earlier in the day if Leica could produce a 200mm tele for the M.....

I did shoot the M today with the R mount adapter and the 100 mm macro R mount lens. Easy as pie to focus handheld using LV.

One wonders why the Monochrom was developed around the old M9 technology base and not the new M240 technology base.

Leica M240 24-megapixel rangefinder with 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
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