Leica M-D Typ 262 has a much faster start-up time compared to other M models?

Based on this video from street.silhouettes, it seems that the new Leica M-D Typ 262 camera has a much faster start-up time compared to previous M 240 and 246 models:

The #decisivemoment. See how the #LeicaMD shoots right away after you turn it on from the off position, (also true from idle) since there's no need to boot up a computer interface for the LCD. By comparison, the Leica M246 and consequently M240 needs an additional second or two - which as you can see in the video is at least 3 shutter press worth of lost chance to get the decisive moment. Certainly an advantage for those who need to capture the decisive moment on the spot. In life, you don't get a second chance to get the decisive moment, so what help is it to verify on review? The decisive moment would have passed the second you checked your LCD. #Leica #Leica_md #camera #cameraporn #camera_porn #photographer #photography #gear #gas

A video posted by Horatio T (@street.silhouettes) on

One more comparison 0f the shutter sound between the Leica M-D 262 and Leica Monochrom 246 cameras:

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  • Based on the tests I did in my review on the Leica M262 (see http://www.jimarnold.org/blog/2015/12/leica-m-typ-262/) the M-D is as fast as the M262. I measured the M-D at 1.8 seconds and the fastest time I recorded on my 262 was 1.6 seconds. The card I use most of the time in my 262 also has a 1.8 second time from start to fire.

    How did I arrive at this time?

    In order to measure the time, as I turned on the camera while holding down the shutter button, I recorded this on video. Using Audacity I was able to “see” the sound of the “on” switch and ended with the sound of the shutter opening, allowing for a precise measurement.

    I also recorded the embedded above in Audacity and measured the sound same as above.

    The fastest startup time I was able to achieve, from turning the camera on to being able to make an image, was 1.6 seconds. That was with a Panasonic Gold 8GB card on my 262.

    Time of other cards I tested:

    –16GB Sandisk Extreme Pro (95MB/s): 1.8 seconds

    –16GB Panasonic Gold: 1.9 seconds

    –16GB Samsung Pro (white card): 1.75 seconds

    Formatting the SD Card as exFat seems to be the key. I also tried SD Card Formatter (https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/) alone and in conjunction with formatting in the camera. That didn’t seem to make any difference. Once I formatted the cards as exFat I recorded my fastest start-to-shoot times. The 16GB Panasonic start-to-shoot time when the card was formatted only in the camera at the card’s default MSDOS FAT format was 5.2 seconds. Formatting the card first in my computer as exFAT, then formatting the card in the camera reduced the startup time on this card to 1.9 seconds.

  • Michael Evans

    It is no surprise the M-D is quicker to start than the other M240 and M262 models. The reason is simple: This camera never switches off. I tested the first M-D to arrive in the UK:


    I was immediately struck by the speed of startup. It was almost instantaneous, more film camera than digital. However, after a couple of days I noticed that the battery would drain quickly, especially if the camera was left switched on by mistake. Within a few hours the battery was flat. On two occasions I returned to the camera and found the battery flat, mainly because I have tended to rely on auto power off on previous models. I’ve learned my lesson.

    I took this up with the factory and the answer is that auto power-off on the M-D was deliberately disabled following feedback from users of the M60 Edition last year. Since there is no way of adjusting power-off delay (as there is on a camera with menus), Leica decided to disable it. The result is that on the negative side you have to remember to switch off the camera when not using it. On the positive side, you have blindingly fast startup times. The only things that get turned off after a 12s delay are the framelines and the exposure meter in this subsequent post.


    Frankly, this is a questionable solution and I believe many owners will find it annoying to have their batteries draining so rapidly. I think it is something the factory really needs to address. Perhaps a 30-minute power off would be a compromise acceptable to most.

    • Ric Ricard

      The idea that the battery gets totally drained if the camera is left on, is really insane. It happens with the M240 if the camera is set to always stay on. Oddly, this doesn’t happen if you leave the M9 on. It’s a real step backwards.

      If you accidentally leave the M240 or M-D on in your camera bag overnight while on a trip, you’ll wake up with a totally dead camera. That isn’t the case with any other camera that I am aware of.

  • Horatio Tan

    @jim0266 thanks for the update. I don’t have the M262. But with regards to SD cards, my M246 in the vid was using a Sandisk 16GB 280m/s and my MD 262 was on 16GB 95m/s. Can’t say that I actually got the stopwatch out either. Visually, I was surprised at the difference between the M246 and MD. But that video was posted four days ago I think, and I’ve used the MD an additional 4 days. Long story short, not having an LCD is so much better, especially for street shooting. Without the inclination to play what you have shot, I haven’t missed any of my “decisive moments”. The MD brings back into perspective that photography is about getting the shot, which is what I like about it. And it clears your attention away from the technical clutter that invariably takes focus away from the actual using the gear. But I understand how many feel about the MD. It is an expensive toy just for the sake of not having an LCD – which is something that any camera brand could do. But you know what, none of them have done it, because none of them have had the nerves to do it, in my opinion. That’s partly because of the nature of Leica shooters and the rangefinder tradition. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I love the MD, when compared to actual use of my Canon system and Nikon too. The MD is what the Nikon Df should have been. Okay, I know I’m going off topic here, but bottom line – the MD is a great tool for me, and probably for a lot of serious shooters.

    • Hi Horatio. How are you formatting your SD cards? I would be curious if you made certain the SD card in your M246 were formatted as exFat and tried your test again.

    • Horatio Tan

      Honestly. I have no idea. I’m certainly not an authority on this. But I am fortunate to receive this tip from you. Anything to get an edge on that shot would be something to try. I’ll give it a go this weekend when I have some time – or when procrastination subsides and action actually gets me to do it. Thank you!

  • Horatio Tan

    Michael. It’s true. The battery drains quickly because the MD never shuts off. Really quickly. You just need to remember to bring an extra battery or just shut off the camera if not in use for a long period of time. But from my weeklong experience with the MD, it seems to last throughout the day. So it hasn’t impeded me significantly. Just need extra battery just in case.

    • TO-DOUG

      So the MD starts almost instantaneously, but only after you have been forced to change the battery. And that would be during one of those precious “decisive moments”. Great feature.

  • Ric Ricard

    It’s good that the camera turns on quicker. It’s a shame it doesn’t have the 2Gig buffer. Imagine turning the camera on instantly, but then WAITING for the buffer to clear after you’ve taken only 7 images.

    • Gavin Pitts

      Yes, I wish the camera had the 2gig buffer! How many shots can you take before the buffer fills? Is it any more than the 6/7 shots on the M240?

  • Eric Boe

    I just tried the start-up race experiment between the M-D 262, M262, and M-P 240. All were identical, all had 64GB cards that were formatted using SDFormatter. Very repeatable as well.


    So, the good news is Leica M-D 262 camera allows you to take pictures almost instantaneously! The bad news is the camera has totally drained its battery, and therefore it won’t start at all. Hmmm…

  • ricohflex

    It is stupid to blame the camera designers for battery drain when it clearly has an on / off switch. Do you forget to turn off your car engine or the lights in your house?
    Apparently Leica got majority user feedback and adjusted their design accordingly to — never have an auto battery saving mode. This is a conscious design decision.
    This may or may not be a {commercial mistake} that affects sales of the camera.
    Simply remember to turn the camera off, if you do not anticipate needing to suddenly whip out the camera to take a Pulitzer Prize winning photo moment that can never be repeated.
    I have a very cheap Lumix which has battery saving mode.
    In a typical battery saving mode, the camera turns itself off (maybe with a very small trickle current still on) after a preset time when no button or camera control is pressed.
    Then when the user picks up the camera and presses the shutter button, the camera turns on instantly (wakes up) and you can take the photo.

    • Christopher Lee

      There are some substantial differences between those things. Cars and lights have on/off switches that are protected both by the control itself and location; a light switch and car ignition are generally able to control their positioning by design.

      A camera on the other hand needs to be designed such that the on/off switch is both readily accessible and difficult to accidentally trigger. Because you cannot readily anticipate the different conditions under which the camera might be stored, designers do have to make choices that can be either praised or faulted.

      I personally like the ring-type switch most Leicas use; however, it does mandate a stiff-enough detent to prevent accidental movement, and I do not believe it obviates the need for some kind of “sleep mode” in idle conditions. If you put your camera away while moving quickly, even temporarily, there is a decidedly non-zero chance that you might forget to turn it off until it’s too late.

      It’s a trickier problem than is immediately apparent.

  • Les

    Long story short: if you think that On-Off switches are too complicated, this isn’t the camera for you.

  • SomeoneNotImportant

    I hate to say this but…
    First World Problems….yawn

  • Richard Tsong-Taatarii

    Does anyone know where one could purchase that bubble level pictured on the M262?

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