There are limited number of people who are lucky enough to receive a copy of the New Leica M during the very limited first shipment. I have been following nearly all resources on the new M so far including reviews, blogs, users and Facebook groups. I am yet to receive my camera but would love to share some of my thoughts on the Leica M.
The Leica M Type 240 is a revolutionary camera for Leica and it is an essential step for Leica to take in the modern digital era. Although Leica is aimed at high-end of the camera market and designed for Leica enthusiasts but the fierce competition from other brands such as Sony or Fuji cannot be ignored. There is a heavy debate from Leica purists who just so into the "Leica Look", which including myself have concerns for changing from the already amazing CCD sensor to the generalist market CMOS sensor. However, there are several advantages of using a CMOS sensor which includes better ISO performance in low light situations, video capabilities and live view functionality. Leica claimed this CMOS sensor within the Leica M type 240 is specially developed for a Leica naming it "CMOSIS" sensor. Leica M9 owners expressed their concerns that by changing to the new CMOSIS sensor that it will lose the Leica Look and the image quality won't be as good as the M9. For what I have seen or read so far, this is not to be the case.
The New Leica M has a different rendering to the M9 with even higher resolution. The images do not appear as crispy as the M9 files is due to the out of focus area are more creamier. The Leica look 3D pop is still there and the colours coming out of the new M are very rich also pleasing to my eyes. Therefore, the new CMOS sensor does not lose that Leica Look just with different rendering compared to the Leica M9. The resolution of the overall images are higher when viewed on a large visual scale.
The New M improves significantly over the functionality of the M9, it has better shutter, better LCD, better user interface and better features. The shutter sound coming out of the new M sounds so pleasant to the ears and it does not retain that shutter recoil sound which can be loud in certain situations. The LCD seems to improved significantly in terms of resolution and the interface appears to be very user-friendly and quick to browse/use. The live view feature is particular useful in case of precise focusing and checking the rangefinder mechanism accuracy.
Overall, I think Leica has done the right thing by updating the Leica M9 in a revolutionary way to the new Leica M type 240, this opens up new market for new Leica users and in the end the Leica AG is a business, a business needs profit to run or it will go bankrupt like Kodak that all of us do not want to witness. Bravo that Leica is on the right track in the competitive digital era, Leica purists like myself need to open their heart and accept new changes in a never stopping world, if you don't like all those extra features just use the most original Leica rangefinder mechanism, which defines a Leica rangefinder.