Leica M review: How does the new 24-megapixel CMOS sensor in Leica’s latest rangefinder perform?

By Paul Carroll - Thursday March 14 2013

Sensor Review
Introduction | Leica M sensor performance | Leica M versus competition | Conclusion

Leica M: New 24-megapixel CMOS sensor significantly improves image quality



An Overall Score of 84 ranks 8th for all full frame sensors on the DxOMark database placing the Leica M’s new 24-megapixel CMOS sensor in to the top ten.

Achieving an overall DxOMark Sensor Score of 84 the Leica M ranks 11th for all sensors on database and 8th overall for full frame cameras. Ahead in the full frame category remain the latest generations of full frame Nikon and Sony cameras but the M’s new CMOS sensor does just nudge out Canon DSLRs. Its individual category rankings are all down on 11th place however making it a good all rounder without a particular strong point.

A Portrait (Color Depth) score of 24 bits places the Leica M 21st, a Landscape (Dynamic Range) score of 13.3 Evs is 17th and its Sports (Low light ISO) is a bit off the pace with the best in this class with a rating of 1860 ISO placing it 13th.

During testing we did also observe under certain lighting conditions the problem of colour shading, which was low but noticeable when using certain lenses. Overall however though this is a significant improvement in image quality for the Leica M thatseries and puts itLeica back in the hunt with the full frame competition.


Placing 11th overall but 21st for Dynamic Range, 17th for Color Sensitivity and 13th for Low-Light ISO demonstrates the new Leica M is a good all rounder but not particularly strong in any one category.

Note: Since testing the M running firmware version Leica have updated to version, which provides a small improvement for video quality, lens support and stability.