The new Leica M

Leica-M-black-front

Today Leica announced their latest digital rangefinder camera and they simply called it Leica M. The company addressed all of the M9 drawbacks and delivered everything in one package for $6,950 (same price as the M9 when it came out). The Leica M is now available for pre-order in black and silver.

Press release:

The perfection of digital rangefinder technology

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) - Leica Camera presents a groundbreaking milestone in the nearly 60 year history of the Leica rangefinder system: The Leica M. Setting entirely new standards, the Leica M unites the ultimate in rangefinder precision with cutting edge digital technology. As the first camera to implement a newly designed CMOS image sensor and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, it is the most versatile Leica rangefinder model ever. Remaining true to the legendary values of the M-System, the Leica M not only provides the advantages of rangefinder photography, but also for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica R legacy lenses. As with every innovation and development since the flagship line’s inception, the Leica M was created to capture fleeting moments of time and transform them into living history.

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in the Leica product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems.

In every respect, the new Leica M is the most innovative and versatile model the modern M-System has ever created. Looking to the future, the Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology; the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant color rendition and impressive reproduction of details, to a CMOS sensor.

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor that is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor guarantees maximum imaging quality and speed. Now, all elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the image file, are under complete control of the Leica engineers. This guarantees the ultimate in imaging performance and quality. An additional highlight is the low power consumption of the components that, in conjunction with the particularly high capacity of the battery, ensures outstanding performance over a long period of use.

In 1954, the launch of the M-System opened new horizons in reportage and artistic photography. Now at the dawn of a new era in the system’s technology, the Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus. Image composition can now take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and color content of images can now be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3-inch, high-resolution monitor screen with 920,000 pixels. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning®Gorilla®Glass. The new Live View function allows photographers to have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classical capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly to macro and telephoto photography, but also allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video capability also opens up further opportunities to record memories as they happen.

Ever in pursuit of capturing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment,” the Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button. M-Photographers now have even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The new ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10 x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. Here, contours in the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be assessed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.

The Leica M’s features are optimally combined with the typical values of the Leica rangefinder system and guarantee the accustomed dependability of the Leica M in all photographic situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top deck and the base plate of the Leica M are machined from solid brass blanks and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained diecast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.

The new rangefinder camera is also a typical M due to its intuitive handling concept with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The enhanced layout and particular user-friendliness of the menu interface guarantees a clear and uncomplicated overview of all camera settings at all times.
Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions. Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under an arbitrary name. They can be accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations and can now also be saved to an SD memory card. For increased comfort in use and harkening to the film advance lever of Leica film cameras, the Leica M now provides an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right on the back of the top deck. This ensures that the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.

A wide range of optional accessories is also available for the new Leica M. A particular highlight of the range is a new Leica R-Adapter M that allows almost all R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. The use of Leica R-System lenses now opens up vast new possibilities for zoom, telephoto and macro photography.

Further accessories are the Leica EVF2, Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set for perfect sound with video recordings.

The Leica M will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, in early 2013 in a choice of black paint or silver chrome finish.

Technical specifications:

Camera type: Compact digital view- and rangefinder system still and video camera
Lens mount: Leica M bayonet with additional sensor for 6-bit coding
Lens system: Leica M lenses, Leica R lenses with optional Leica R-Adapter M
Top Cover: Milled brass top cover with integrated thumb rest
Material: All-metal case made of die-cast magnesium; synthetic leather covering. Cap and base plate made of brass
Image Sensor: LEICA MAX 24 MP CMOS Sensor
Number of effective Pixels: 24 Million Pixels
Sensitivity range: ISO 200 – ISO 6400, Pull 100 available, Auto ISO
Imaging Platform: Integrated imaging circuit with Leica Maestro® Image processor
Electronic Viewfinder: Optional available, can be used for Live View and Play functionality
LCD Monitor: 3” TFT Display with 920.000 Pixels, scratch resistant cover glass (Corning®Gorilla®Glass)
Shutter: Dual type focal plane shutter for classic image exposure and Live view
Shutter Speed: 1/4000s – 60s (in Bulb), 1/180s flash synchronization
Burst rate: 3fps
Self timer: 2s / 12s
Storage Media: SD / SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards
Image File Format: DNG™ (RAW data uncompressed or lossless compressed), JPEG
File Size: DNG approx. 20 Mbyte – approx. 30 Mbyte (compressed)/ 48.2 MByte (uncompressed), JPEG: Resolution and image content dependent
Available JPG Resolutions: 5952px*3976px (24 MP), 4256px*2832px (12 MP)/ 2976px*1984px (6MP) / 1600px*1080px (1,7MP)
Color Spaces: sRGB / Adobe®RGB
White Balance: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shadow / Tungsten / Fluorescent warm /Fluorescent cool / Flash / Manual (Greycard) / Kelvin 2000-13100
Other functions: Film Modes, Saturation, Contrast, Sharpening
Movie Recording: Single frame video compression (Motion JPG), Quicktime format (mov)
Movie resolution: 1080p, 720p, 640*480 (VGA)
Movie sampling rate: 25 fps, 24 fps, 30 fps (VGA only)
Microphone: Mono, stereo microphone adapter optional available
Audio recording: Auto level adjustment, manual level adjustment (available while recording), concert preset
Exposure Metering: In classic viewfinder mode: Through the Lens (TTL) metering, center weighted with variable aperture. In Live View and advanced viewfinder mode: Through the Lens (TTL) metering, center weighted, spot or multifield measuring. Center-weighted TTL metering for flash exposure with system conformant SCA-3000/2 standard flash units.
Exposure setting: Manual shutter speed setting with direct dial, A-Mode with direct dial
Exposure Modes: Automatic shutter speed (A-Mode), Manual Exposure (M-Mode)
Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV, 1/3 f-stops
Exposure Bracketing: 3/5 frames, 0.5 / 1 / 2 / 3 f-stops
Flash exposure metering: Control with center-weighted TTL pre-flash metering (with SCA-3501/3502 adapter, or SCA-3000 standard flash unit such as Leica SF24D/Leica SF 58).
Hot shoe: SCA-3502 compatible hot shoe, with center contact
Flash Synchronization: Optional triggered at first or second shutter curtain
Flash Synch time: 1/180s
Focusing Methods: Manual focus with optical rangefinder, Live View, 100% Live View Zoom, Live View focus peaking
Optical Viewfinder: Large, light bright-line rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation, LED illuminated frame lines.
Optical Viewfinder frame lines: Framelines size matches image sensor size at 2m focusing distance
Optical Viewfinder correction: Eyepiece adjusted to -0,5 dpt. Corrective lenses from -3 to +3 dpt. available (optional)
Magnification: 0.68x
Optical Viewfinder Displays: In the viewfinder LED symbol for flash status (at bottom). Four-digit seven-segment LED digital display, brightness adapted to ambient conditions, for: Warning in case of exposure correction; display of automatic shutter speed in automatic mode; advisory indicating use of metering memory lock LED exposure monitor with two triangular and one central circular LED with manual exposure setting
Rangefinder: Split or superimposed image range finder shown as a bright field in the center of the viewfinder image
Rangefinder effective metering Basis: 47.1 mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification 0.68 times)
Start up time: <1s
Power Supply: Li-ion battery (included), 7.4V, 1800 mAh
Horizon: Yes
User Profiles: 4 Profiles, exportable
Sensor cleaning: Dust detection, manual cleaning function
Tripod Thread: A 1/4 (1/4") DIN made of stainless steel in base plate
Dimensions: approx. 139 x 42 x 80 mm (5.5 x 1.7 x 3.1 in.)
Weight: 680 g (23.9 oz)
Operating Temperature: 0°C – 40°C
Menu languages English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Accessories Included Battery, Charger with power cables for EU and USA (different in some export markets), 12V charging cable, Carrying strap, Accessory port cover, Body cap
Software licenses Adobe® Lightroom®
New optional accessories: Electronic Viewfinder (EVF-2), Multifunctional Handgrip M, Handgrip M, SCA Adapter Set for Multi-functional Handgrip M, Power Adapter for Multi-functional Handgrip M, Finger loop for Multi-functional Handgrip M, Size S / M / L, Leica Microphone Adapter Set, Leica M-Adapter R, Ever-Ready Case M, Li-ion Battery BP-SCL2, Battery charger BC-SCL2
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  • Mark

    Price: One Trillion Dollars!

    • E

      $6 950

      • mats

        thats gonna be a hard $6950 because it won’t even be available until 2013 – right about the time that the fullframe NEX will be announced – for 1/3 of the pricing, with faster fps, higher sensitivity, and equivalant image quality.

    • Gav

      Way to go Mark.

      Why not start off the thread with a negative comment.

      As my Mother used to say ‘If you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’

    • jc

      LOVE it minus the bullshit video part !!!!

  • bidou

    Interesting new rangefinder (electronic ?) frame.

    • mat

      how would that work? would the entire EVF screen flash and go ding ding ding when the images line up in the rangefinder?

  • maiko

    What a bulky beast!

    Damn this VW designer putting this huge red dot centered to the lens.
    Car designers have a strange feeling for aesthetics.

    • http://mikael.siirila.net/ Mikael Siirilä

      So that why the front too looks off. The logo is misplaced. Why?

  • http://mikael.siiria.net/ Mikael Siirilä

    Oh dear. The new Leica M reminds me of the M5. The M design identity seems to have been lost in the engineering. The screen is oversized and clearly does not match the proportions of the camera. Silver buttons on a black body? This will be known as the Franken-M.

    • Banksie

      That may be true. But the reality is that the M5 was technically (and the build quality, too) the best M that Leica made. I personally didn’t like it for the same reasons you stated (a big design departure from the M3/M2/M4) but it was a camera designed by engineers that used cameras and not by accountants. It was actually a success in many ways.

      • Nobody Special

        Absolutely agree. You forgot to mention the best control lay-out of any M camera and the easiest touse meter which actually gave you a really close idea of the metering field with the lens in use.

        I’ve owned and used them – The sad thing is, the bigger size was due to the older type of electronics used for the meter; smaller electronics and meter cells were just around the corner which could have brought back the smaller body. Still, the control layout was left behind, something I’ve never really found as easy to use and the metering fields became much less precise in the M6 finder. But he traditionalists won out and some say the sales did too.

  • steve stevenson

    What a horrible design.
    What happened to the m9 design?
    It was classic, and now this?
    A step back to pay homage to the m5?

    Awesome features on the camera, just wish the design was better.
    I’ll wait for the New New Leica M

    • bidou

      WOW, leica fanboys ! drop a window and displace a logo of a few mm, and a classic design became an horrible design !

      • Arnold

        Right on ! hahaha.

  • nice

    On paper it all sounds very nice. I wonder how the CMOS will compare to the CCD in good light. I think it is safe to assume the high ISO performance will be much better. I am not a big fan of the video option. I get it but seems kind of strange to put into a range finder camera. Looking forward to the images.

  • Ko

    What does the Maestro chip do to IQ?

  • Steven

    I have no problems with the aesthetics at all, I’m curious about the performance of the sensor.

    It’s curiously interesting that Leica said “This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant color rendition and impressive reproduction of details, to a CMOS sensor.”

    I wonder if it’s pure semantics…

  • RIP

    Leica gonna die very soon my brothers.

    Well, I am a leica fan but …When Sony/fuji will be on compact full frame with interchangeable lenses, it will be the end for leica…

    Rangefinder is a good old spirit but totally obsolete. It is like to write a book with the hand, it’s charming, but you can use a printer…no ?

    The only interesting things right now are the leica M lenses, because they are the best lenses ever made. When you will use it on the next sony full frame or the fuji X pro 2 FF, it’s gonna be the end for the Leica M body.

    So sad. But I think it is gonna happen…

    • pooh

      Back in the film days every cameras were full frame. And somehow Leica managed, in a very bad shape though.

      Today it’s thriving. The key to the company’s survival is no longer based on technological advantages, something it might be associated with 60 years ago but certainly not in the recent decades…

    • gav

      RIP you have little idea do you?

      I sold my Leica M9 and bought an x pro1 but kept the lenses.

      They do not perform well on this body, not to the standards they are made to anyway.

      I do think Leica’s sales won’t be as high as in the past but they still have a place…I hope

      • mat

        xpro1 is not even a fullframe you cheap FOOL!!!

        obviously he is talking about the upcoming releases of fullframe mirrorless from fuji/sony. if the sensor is better for a fraction of the price of the leica bdies, and if the magic is in the lenses but you can mount the leica lenses on the sony/fuji bodies, well then???

        • gav

          mat

          I am aware of that, what you obviously aren’t aware of is the in depth design of the Leica bodies to match the lenses. Do a little research and you will find it isn’t all simple. Search for ‘micro lenses and sensor edge’ and you will learn a little hopefully.

          Whilst these camera makers hopefully will bring out FF bodies do you think they are going to be designed for Leica lenses or for their own? Learn a little about Leica and how much is involved with these lenses. They will still provide high quality but unless the body is designed to match them you simply aren’t using an expensive lens to its full capacity.

          And do you really think the x pro2 will be full frame whilst they are mapping out so many ‘DX’ type lenses?

  • kede

    price?

  • http://www.jeitootle.com Jei

    Brilliant move by Leica. Something for everyone and not TOO expensive.

  • http://johnloumiles.com john

    So is that an extra lens release button for the R adapter? If so why wouldn’t they just put that one on and leave out the one next the mount? Not a fan of the mic holes for obvious design reasons. Thinking maybe they should have put all this new fangled stuff on the ME and left the M alone. I don’t know…just need to get use to it. Obviously I would love to shoot with either of them. I think I might be the only person that likes the Paul Smith X2..funky.

  • J Shin

    Not liking the name… I’m used to referring to the M-series rangefinders as “M’s”. Now we have to be more specific.

    Ah, well. It does have everything I would want, except for the price tag.

    • J Shin

      Leica-Camera site lists a microphone. Goes on to the hot shoe.

      • J Shin

        Microphone also has a jack for externals.

  • Drew

    It seems to have the M9 Titan’s electronic frame lines, thus the same giant red dot. Like the titan, it lost the frame line selector lever, but maybe that can be done through a button or menu now?

  • Ron

    +1 on “Brilliant move”. There is something for everyone. Some of us love the ccd. Some want extreme low light capability. Some want critical focus that no calibration could ever bring. Focus shift is a non issue with evf and or live view for example. But there are those of us who just want a simple clean digital capture, and we have it. For a traditionally slowly moving company I don’t thing we could ask for more. Bravo leica! You just got a repeat
    customer…

  • http://shashinkaichiban1.wordpress.com shashinka

    Time to order 5, ok, ok, maybe just one. Have not read on M-E yet. More surprised by the lack of the -9 in name only Leica M instead of M9.

    • http://Www.shashinka-Ichiban.com Shashinka Ichiban

      Tell you what Sempai, if you buy five, don’t forget to let your buddy here play with one of them for the weekend.

  • Kaisui

    Wow, i’m disappointed i hate to see a lot of consumer grade features in a camera that is supposed to be for photographers looking for the simplicity lost in the digital era, i can’t afford a Leica i’m just a 20 years old camera fanboy that shoots Nikon, but i’m glad they announced the Leica M-E because it’s more traditional and that’s what i would like to have again in my hands, a camera with the simplicity of the old film cameras (i shoot film since i was a kid) in the digital era.

  • Woohoo

    I am glad a got an M9-P brand new for $6500 because of this release. Wasn’t much to hold out for. The ME is a rehash of the M9. I haven’t seen the difference, but I havent looked that hard either. Same sensor and crappy screen. That is all that really matters, the rest is just stuff. As for the “M”… It will be interesting to see the IQ with the CMOS over the CCD. I do like the higher resolution screen but that is just bells and whistles if you ask me. Video? I don’t even know what to say there. I don’t think Videographers will be lining up for the M when most of them already have a good Canon or Nikon rig. Maybe I am wrong but I don’t get the video thing. New Fad, Street Videography. Either way, thank you Leica for the discount on the M9-P

    • http://pokelondon.com Poke

      BwAhaha you damned FOOL! the M is out for $6950! You just saved a measly 450 bucks for ancient hardware. Go suck it.

  • http://www.bildami.de Bildami

    All i would like to have! – Leica should produce again the R-Series-Lenses.

  • David K.K. Hansen

    …aaaaaaand it still doesn’t have a PC port! :-D

    I can’t think of any other camera this side of $2000 that doesn’t have something as simple as a PC port.

  • LT

    After this news, I pre-order a NEX-6 right away.

  • Ralf Pergandé

    The Leica M has a limitation of 60s exposure time in bulb mode (!!) The Leica M-E can do up to 240 seconds. The Leica M8 and M9 don’t have not limitation in Bulb mode.

    60s is far too short – and sad (For all those who love to take landscape photos at night, star landscapes, volcano landscapes in moonlight etc… light painting photography, as well daylight longtime exposure with dense grey filters 1000x and more… which often require longer exposure times then 60 seconds…

    • http://johnloumiles.com john

      Very good point. is that a limitation of the CMOS sensor?

      • Nawksnai

        Impossible. How can it be a limitation of the CMOS sensor when it offers Live View and video modes?

  • john stevens

    Awe… aint it nice to see all the Nikon/Canon haters in here….hatin!

    I love it when guys with cameras…talk crap and cannot afford a Leica and complain about the Leica Seal on the camera….You all go back to your 12mp 2007 cameras.

    • Joe

      Yeah, you’re either a troll or a fanboy. There is no middle ground, at least according to you. So I guess that makes you a fanboy, someone who will defend anything and everything a company does, correct?

  • Logdog

    I laugh when I hear purists cry about live view and video recording. Who cares what features they add if said features add ZERO bulk or complexity to the camera? It’s not like the camera doubled in size so they could add the video function. If you don’t like the features, don’t use them. As someone who wears glasses, I would be pissed if Leica left out live view because of a few mewing fanboys…

    And I laugh harder at anyone who thinks that Leica’s downfall is imminent, that the competition from Sony and Fuji is too strong. Leica is in a whole different class. That’s like saying that Volkswagen and Volvo will bring down Mercedes and BMW.

    Sony/Fuji may release some good cameras in the two to three thousand dollar range but they don’t have the capability or even the desire to release something in the price range of the Leica M. The new Sony FF sensor is as good or better than the M9 sensor, but the new M sensor is another step ahead of that, and Leica will always have the better overall build quality. Different price range, different class, the “no compromise” class…

  • Nobody Special

    It will be nice to read the specifications such as sequence capability, processor speed, etc.

    On the whole, I’m guessing that it’s not called an M10 because it has video capability and is a break with the M tradition. From my R and M user view, I’m a bit disappointed with the design from the standpoint of R legacy glass use. I’ve always asked for a ‘bridge camera’ with a more sculpted design, but the problem I see with the design is that with an R lens mounted the ‘balance’ in use will be off; which leads me to the question, is there, or will there be an add-on grip?

    Not a tiny little side grip, but one that could screw into the bottom of the body and give a little taller profile/gripping area when using R lenses. Please, no ‘thumb grip/helper’, a real add on grip which could perhaps have additonal card holding slots and maybe a back-up battery. I’d be willing to give this Mv (my term, v for video) a chance with my R glass assuming it works as advertised

    Oh, but for the record, it’s nice to see they must have been listening a little bit at least to all we R legacy glass ‘whiners’ (as some have called us) and heck, they even have it seems, weather sealed the body. So, what’s the gazillinon dollar asking price????

    • http://johnloumiles.com john

      They are actually keeping the price the same. 6995 USD I believe

      • Nobody Special

        Well if they can sell that at around $7K, they’ll sell a boat load. That’s a completely redesigned camera that can wear a lot of hats.

        We’ll see soon enough, but here’s to hoping. There’s a nice video of the camera at the Leica Camera site by John Dooley.

        • Nobody Special

          You are correct – Dale’s has it listed for $6950.00 – nice pricing and way below what I thought the ‘M10′ would be. Glad I never bought the M9, I’d be pretty upset.

  • Edan

    Oh God why! I want to buy Leica and that’s why I prepare to sell all my Canon’s stuff, but now…I’m not sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com jutphaas

    No touch screen.
    Sorry Leica, your steps forwards are little.
    Screen is oversized do not match de body line.
    No wow effect at all!
    The Olympus trip 35 was even better at the time.

    • http://johnloumiles.com john

      On top of the live view and HD video and R adapter that they need to add point and shoot camera technology for menu selection to make it a good camera?

  • Laurance Marvin

    my question is what is the base of the rangefinder focusing system ?? Also price?

  • stevieg

    So how exactly does the viewfinder brightline change if there’s no longer a lever to enable this? The downloadable brochure from Leica doesn’t show or mention what the “M” viewfinder experience will be like…?

  • Regular

    I Like.

  • hexx

    how likely is it that there’s Sony sensor inside? just asking ;)

    • fiatlux

      It looks like the sensor is from CMOSIS, a belgian sensor company: http://www.cmosis.com

      Leica likes to do it differently, I guess.

    • CHD

      The sensor is not made by sensor.

  • Daryl

    Not sure this is a step forward, the nuances are what makes Leica M so great. Will the LED viewfinder frame be more nuisance than benefit, we will see. Does the body balance well with the new screen size? Loss of frame selector, new wheel under right thumb, info button rather than older style. This is the biggest departure from M since the M3, including the M5, a loss of sorts but many gains also. Is it too early to guess what we will see in 3 years with the update? :-)

  • aemic
    • gav

      I highly recommend looking at this vid before you drone on with negative comments.

      This camera looks magnificent.

      Not for everyone but it really is a step in the right direction.

      Thought I would never get another digital M but now having second thoughts.

      Will wait for some feedback on photo quality and performance first.

  • zd

    Has anyone noticed that there’s no bright line illumination window anymore? This can only mean one thing: LED frame lines a la M9 Titanium. Exciting indeed. Proof that Leica does indeed cares about making camera, and not just different colors or engraving.

    To all those who moan that this is too far off the M design: get over it. Leica has been too conservative because of you, who, on one hand want to keep things of yester-decade, and on the other, demand greatness from the small camera. Time for change. Don’t like it? Get the ME instead.

  • E

    M9 was the top of Leicas… now the Leica ME (+- the same M9) is only “the entry level” with a price of $5450. So, does it mean that all the time M9 was $1500 overpriced? With that amount one could buy a nice lens!

  • constantly wired

    one nice upside that people haven’t mentioned is that we won’t have to buy the ridiculously expensive viewfinders for wide-angles anymore

    • Nobody Special

      Yes, and you can see EXACTLY what the image framing will be.

      • jon

        but CCD is still better quality

        • Nobody Special

          If Leica is Leica – they will have have worked with the software and sensor to make it have a ‘look’ they are happy with. But of course, time and the many tests will tell the tale.

  • E

    Silly questions:

    If you don’t have a lever for frame lines how do you change these lines to see if another lens suits better the scene ? (without going inside menus or putting other lenses)?

    Why to make a camera with video with so compressed modes of video?

    • constantly wired

      perhaps the thumb dial? since i’m assuming you can program it for certain functions…

      • E

        Yes, but in M-E you don’t have that thumb dial.

  • Thiago

    Red dot is bigger. Why?

    • jon

      pay more = more dot

  • M-dude

    At 42mm thickness, they should’ve called this one The New Leica M Fat Fuck.
    But impressive nonetheless. Quite a catch-up, Leica!
    Btw: Hope that the LED-frame lines doesn’t show both 50/75 at the same time. No big deal.

    And pretty cool that R-lens whiners finally will have to put their money where their mouth is.
    Which is of course, very funny.

    • Nobody Special

      R whiners like me and others that purchsed 488,000 Leica reflex bodies and hundreds of thousands of more lenses to the tune of millions of capital for Leica and helped to keep the company solvent while they stumbled along?

      The ‘whining’ you speak of is resonable when you consider they were actually very strongly ‘hinting’ that one was coming before they changed there minds and left us all hanging in the wind while they made up their minds (for four years) while many left to buy ‘suitable’ N, S, or C bodies. So, many of us waited, and waited within our years of Leica loyalty and bitched to hopefully get Leica to keep their promise(s).

      Oh, and by the way, many of we R ‘whiners’ have used and own M cameras. So it won’t be a stretch to consider maybe even buying an M.

  • Carlo

    It’s very interesting. The question is just, does it come like other products in low production and too late.
    Ricoh still have not announced any new M module and if it come it will probably not be a FF.
    Fujifilm will clearly not go on FF with the X-Pro range. Certainly they will increase the number of pixel on the sensor to 24 or 36 but they will not increase it size in order to maintain the size of the body.
    I think it’s physically not possible to maintain the size of the sony RX-1 for an interchangeable lens camera.

    Pro:
    Live View Focus Peaking
    High sensitivity of the image sensor
    Dust sensor and manual cleaning (if you have just to push a button)
    Still have a rangefinder
    Live view and 920k display
    Extend the leica lens range to R (with processor too?)

    Cons:
    Live View Focus Peaking button in front (not natural)
    Nothing about the sensor filter is said
    EVF not integrated
    No flash integrated
    Not auto-focus (it was announced by Leica last year but apparently to complicated)
    Not more for every leica lens (as it was the case with the M8/M9 probably the M-E and sure the Ricoh A-12 do to the sensor design)
    Weight (Why do they still use brass to make camera like panzer)

  • stevieg

    For me, the brass/weight, manual focus and non-integrated EVF are pro’s not con’s.

    • sam

      Those things are pro’s to me too.
      Both cameras look great. It’s good they made an ME as well, it’s more than a 5D III or a D800 but not that much more.

      Did they use the same typeface as the lenses in the UI? If so, great move.

  • Nobody Special

    I think this is as close to Leica can do with the upgrades/tech changes they made without it getting even bigger. The M has physical limitations (internal) that will allow only so much tech.

    Some say that the tech is behind or not enough, etc. They have and still are a design (and feature) conservative company. But this is probably as close to a final M design within it’s current dimensions and ‘tradtional features’ and high(er) tech combined. The M (obviously) seems to be pointing at the direction Leica has decided to take – so those wanting more tech will (probably) have to look elsewhere.

  • Sniper

    It would be interesting to compare the still image quality of M vs ME, it seems that ME is for a higher image quality while M is for new functions. On the other hand if there is not much difference between ME and M9, this will be a big relief to the wallets of M9 users.

  • Giulio

    I am an M2 shooter.

    Never thought about upgrading to digital rangefinder anytime soon, but I have to admit this new Leica M is really, really extraordinary. To the point that sometimes in the future I might consider abandoning my dust-collecting Nikon DLSR system (even tough the new D600 seems great) and get one of these to use with my 35mm Summicron. I don’t think I’ll ever need more than that.

    The M is a living system. It would be nonsensical for Leica to ignore technological advances in digital photography, at least as much as it would be nonsensical to jump into any sort of (useless) innovation an try to catch up with the mainstream brands. The new camera is quite clearly the result of a careful effort to integrate what’s useful of recent digital technology into what is undoubtedly an M.

    Minimal, smart, traditional and yet incredibly modern. A very Leica interpretation of what 21 century photography should be.

    Only thing I don’t like: the dial on the back-plate (why grey?!)

    (And if you like it the old way, get an M2/3/4/5/6 on the second-hand market!)

    • Nobody Special

      As a former R user (now that it’s dead and gone I mean) if this body works well for the type of imagery I ‘focus’ on, then it’s strictly a price thing.

      They have finally walked in up to their waist in the creativity/design waters after years of merely dangling their toes. I could almost see them saying to each other, ‘you first, no you go first,,,,’ but I’m glad they have. Is it the most teched-up M compared to the other cameras out there??? No.

      But it doesn’t really need to be, I will say however that the image of the 70-180 R zoom on it is kind of amusing because believe me, there is no way to hand-hold that beast ofa lens – I owned one for a while and used it with an R8 and motor – even on a tripod it was a hand-full – VERY HEAVY – and very sharp. But I still think they pulled one of this time with the M.

    • E

      +1 (by a IIIf shooter ;)

      • Nobody Special

        I think my favorite Leica (through college) was my old beat-up IIIa filled with Tri-X, a 35mm and the old ‘vario finder’ – until I picked up my ‘flex SL2mot.

  • panpatryk
  • Dennis

    After this M-E and new M, I am glad I didn’t sell my M9-P. Will be my last leica camera.

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