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CM Zoom vs Minilux zoom


Leica just announced the new Leica CM Zoom. I put some differences between the CM Zoom and the Minilux Zoom together. I do not know whether this list is complete.

- I guess the coating was improved, similiar to the Leica CM new coating
- P, A and Programmshift (MLZ only P)
- time, aperture and flash in the viewfinder
- Manual Fokus aid in the viewfinder
- High eyepoint viewfinder
- Better viewfinder magnification (CMZ 0.38-0.64 vs. 0.33-0.56 MLZ)
- Viewfinder shows 85% of the image (Minilux Zoom 83%)
- Passive AF (MLZ has active AF)
- Changinge of focal lenght on the lens itself, like and M7 Zoom
- EV correction now in 1/3 steps (MLZ in 1/2 steps)
- Fastest shuttertime now 1/500s (MLZ only 1/250s)
- Flash now with LZ 14. Flash range now at ISO 100 WA til 4m, tele
til 2.5m (MLZ 3.7m and 2m)
- Selftimer 2s and 10s (MLZ only 10s)
- Measures in mm: 118x66x58 (MLZ 124x69x44)


Thanks for the comprehensive review,
Strange that they only gave it 1/500s,
as the CM had 1/1000s?? Seems like a step
back, maybe because of the slower lens?
On the other hand, the faster films are getting
very good (less grain) so seems like
the 1/1000s would have added that much more versatility; still can't understand the technical reason why they would have taken out the 1/1000s

wondering if you have an opinion on
how the images may compare to an M7?

Also,have you heard when these will be available?



In terms of finished results, perhaps I can share an anecdote?
A few years ago my wife surprised me by taking us away for a lovely long weekend to Oporto. Because I didn't want to spend more time with my photography than with her, I chose a small kit and took my Minolta CLE with 40 + 90mm lenses, these are known to be Leica-M standard and the 90mm was probably a Leitz lens with Rokkor engraving (the only lens Leitz ever made to have a different name on...).
My wife took her Leica MiniZoom (35-70).
We shot very similar shots on similar film, then returned home. Our pictures were amazing in that one could clearly see the real Leica's pictures were brighter, sharper, more colourful etc! Now I looked at the CL/E lenses, there was no fog, no dust, dirt, fungus or scratches but they were some 20 years older than the MiniZoom.
I think the modern compact Leica lenses are brilliant in both senses of the word. A couple of years back I shot a Bullfight essay with the MiniZoom (I didn't want to look like a 'serious' photographer who might be looking for an 'in-depth' story) and again the pictures were everything I could have wished them to be.
Don't be worried about the quality compared to M-lenses, you'll enjoy it!


I wouldn't look at the CM-Zoom's 1/500 as a step back from the CM's 1/1000, but as a step forward compared to the Minilux-Zoom's 1/250. I don't know for sure but I suspect the shutter and lens assemblies of the CM and CM-Zoom are simply modified components lifted from the Minilux and Minilux-Zoom, respectively (the lenses definitly anyway). Though I too can not understand why the shutter on the Zoom would have to be limited to 1/500. Leica has addressed alot of 'wants' with these new cameras, and the new zoom looks particularly enticing. Though I imagine it will be in the $1200-$1300 range so I don't think I'll get rid of my Minilux any time soon. Still wish these cameras could take filters.


Well-Known Member
I found somebody selling the CM zoom - Samys Camera - $1195 US

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Adorama has started listing it too, though they say they have no stock and are awaiting delivery (no date).

Time to start saving - I just love the looks of that camera! And the specs make it more appealing to me than the Minilux zoom was (the lack of an aperture-preferred mode, or a program shift, made that camera unapealing to me).

- marc


Hi. i'm the proud owner of the r9,and reasonably happy with this. however,i sure miss autofocus for spontaneous situations as well as compactness.looks like the CM is now in my does image quality in this CM compare with that of the r9 or m7? by the way,i'm a real sucker for SHARPNESS in my prints,as well as the convenience of self-contained flash capability. thanx!!!! Joe


Anyone have experience buying from PopFlash?
They advertize on ebay and have a CM Zoom for 1195.



Well-Known Member
> I have purchased two items from PopFlash and I recommend them. They are fast to ship and no-nonsense.

Good Luck! - marc


Dear Joseph,

I can mix my Summarit 1:2.5/40 slides with those from the R lenses, both prime and the latest Varios, and they are indistinguishable. My wife prefers the shots from what she call the "mickey mouse" camera because of the sponteneity you refer to.

May I suggest you acquire a lens-hood however, because as good as the Summarit is, the lens-hodd does improve things.

Best wishes,



My wife got a minilux, and the prints are every bit as good as those come out from my M6+35mm Summilux's. The flash had never let us down too. No matter its used in normal mode or as fill-flash. You also can use the MF dial to do hypo-focusing. We got it used at GBP 150, and think its the best investment so far in our photographic gears. Despite of the fact that the camera come with a little defect that it rewind the film roll before it really finished, but guess (and hope) it should not cost too much to get it fixed. Highly recommend.



I have been using the CM 40mm/2.4 since 11 months. The lens quality is = really excellent for both sharpness and colour rendition, as good as my = Nikon 50mm lenses 1.4 and 1.8 and better than my Nikon 35-105 zoom. = Light measurement is accurate in most conditions. Auto-focus is fast and = precise, even in very low light conditions. You have access to aperture = priority mode. The in-house flash gives good results, except for red = eyes. The light quality is better with an external flash, and the red = eyes effect does not appear. But in both cases the flash is perfectly = controlled by the camera. The CM is reasonably small and can be carried = easily (a big advantage over the bulky reflex). Quality of construction = is first class, but for the keys near the back display screen.

The only real draw back of this camera is that it is compact point and = shot, meaning that the lens is always in "parking" position even with = manual distance setting (thus a small time lag), meaning that the manual = distance setting is not very convenient to use (a small wheel, too easy = to turn, and very sensitive with a range of 0.7 meter to infinity in = half the circumference), meaning that the viewfinder covers only 85% of = the picture, meaning that you cannot directly choose a speed, meaning = that the auto-focus light illuminator cannot be disconnected in = auto-focus mode, etc. It is not a M in reduction, but a P&S with a very = good lens.

At the very beginning, the CM suffered from a defective electronic = component. My CM was replaced under guaranty 2 times. The problem is now = solved for current series.


Does anyone know if the CM Zoom is available
yet in the US??

Popflash has them on ebay; wondering if
they are US spec, etc.



Well-Known Member
Popflash's auction says it has the Leica USA 2-year warranty, and I have found them to be quite honest and trustworthy. I see that Adorama is still not showing stock, however, so it is probably best to call Popflash and see what is up. It sure is a nice looking camera!

- marc


Hey guys,
I just received a Leica CM Zoom,
and I am disappointed, particularly for a $1200 camera.
Maybe I was expecting too much; a mini-M7 it is not.

To start, is is a bit plastiky;
the main control wheel, the focus wheel, and the
aperature wheel do not
have very positive detents; iE) easy to knock the
focus wheel off Auto focus.

The lens cap has no way to connect it to the camera;
so be prepared to lose it. The idea of a point
and shoot is just that; you do not want to be trying to find a place to put your lens cap;
a little loop would have been nice in order that
you could tie it to the camera.

The viewfinder is extremely small; a one time use camera has
a easier to view-through viewfinder. to be fair, it is sharp,
but way too small. I do not see any reason why they made it
so small; move your head off center 1 mm and you will be out of the window.

The LCD screen is unevenly lighted and looks
"stuck on" as an afterthought. It also looks like they copied a 20 year design; no kidding.

When I put the battery in, I used a coin to open the door as shown in the instruction manual, and the metal of the battery door started to deform!! The metal is softer than a US quarter!! You would think they would use a harder metal, OR, include a little tool, OR advise you use something other than a coin, like a wood or plastic tool to avoid marring the door. So, within five minutes
of getting my hands on it, it has a ding in
the metal.

I have not shot any photos, but I am sure the lens is high quality.
Most $399 digital cameras are better built than this retro film camera.

Last, it is a bit blocky in shape; does not
fit the hand that well, IMHO.

I guess what you are paying for is a nice lens stuck on a not so nice body.

I would say that this little point and shoot is more in the $500-600 dollar value/price range, definitely NOT worth $1200.

I may return it and just get a new M7.
On the other hand, maybe I will run a couple
of rolls through it and think about it some more.

Any comments out there? Be kind.



Thanks for you're thoughts Gray, and sorry to hear it is not what you expected. I'm little disappointed as well. You are right, for 1200 the built quality should be much higher. I've been comtemplating the non-zoom CM, but don't have the opportunity to handle it prior to purchase. Based on your description of the zoom, which I assume is almost identical, I'm going to pass. I'll make do with the minilux which is very well built but is a tad on the large side and suffers from a low top shutter speed.

On the plus side, I'm sure the lens will be excellent and it has a number of features that puts it significantly above the minilux zoom - sans built quality perhaps.


Interesting comments. I have bought neither the CM or CM Zoom but have tried out both in a shop. I loved everything about the CM, and the focus/shutter was incredibly quiet, whereas the CM zoom had a noisy grinding sound when I took a picture - it may even have been faulty (I even suggested this to the shop owner). The CM zoom also had a proturding lens making it significantly larger (the CM is large enough), but I do like the manual zoom as opposed to the slow electonic zooms of other compacts. I didn't notice other features of build quality, but I wouldn't rule out a CM on the basis of the CM Zoom - I'd check it out somewhere - the silent picture taking was quite breathtaking and gave me confidence in the build quality.


New Member
I am a former pro, having used both the Leica M and R systems over the last 35 years. I'm going on vacation soon (to NYC), but want to take a P & S camera to fit in my coat pocket. I'm torn between the new CM zoom and the D-Lux. My only experience digitally is a 2yearold Sony CyberyShot, and I know I don't care much for the Digilux-2 (reminded me of my Argus C-3 in size), plus, I hated the non-optical viewfinder. Anyone have experience with either or both the CM and the D-Lux? I know the CM zoom costs about 400 bucks more.


Well-Known Member
I can't vouch for the CM Zoom but I do own the CM with the fixed lens. Terrific camera, highly recommended. I also really love my Contax T3, which can take filters and has some handy custom functions.

Best of luck with your choice and enjoy your vacation!