How to distinguish future Leica M models

In an interview with IR, Justin Stailey from Leica explained how future M cameras will be labeled: Leica M will be followed by "Type xxx". For example the new Leica M is Type 240, the Leica M-E is Type 220:

Q: Now on to the cameras themselves. You changed the names of some of them. You moved away from model numbers. So going forward, it'll just be the current M.

A: Well, the model on that naming strategy comes from the automotive industry. If you look at Porsche, they make a 911. But to a 911 owner, it's more specific. From the early 90's, there's a 964. The last generation air-cooled is a 993 from the end of the 90's. Then there's the 996, then 997, etcetera. So internally, they have project names or product names. But to the world, it's a 911. We're trying to go to that sort of a mentality, so it's all an M camera. To be specific, the new M is really a type 240 and the new M-E, a Type 220. That's how we plan to differentiate them. And they're actually marked on the cameras as such.

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  • “genius.”

    which will be followed by Leica M12, because it failed by apple so will fail also by those tried to follow it

    • juxtaposition?

      You are comparing Apples to ehem…. Leica. Everyone has an ipod… not everyone has a Leica M.

  • arrgghh type 5

    What’s wrong with calling the M M10?
    And the M-E M-E? E for Economy (anyone remember the R-E?)

    M Type 240 – really?
    What’s the Monochrom – M Type 200?

  • george

    who cares what it is called, as long as it works and is the best image machine available

    quality & performance is what made Leica what it is not a name (the cool red dot helps though)

    • best image machine, really?


      but i actually believe that you believe it.

      fanatics lol

      • Dixie

        Fanzombies are so naive…

    • TTHor

      Cool red dot…? I preferred the M9P exactly to avoid the red dot

  • Why?

    It is just a name. Does it stop you from taking photos or hinder you in anyway because it is called the M type 240 instead of M10? Leica could have called it the M9+1. Either way, it is forward progression and they are keeping the traditional style and feel of a Leica M. As long as the “M” stays in the naming convention then you should not get too confused.

  • andy

    You can easily distinguish them because the ME has that crappy grey body color!

  • J Shin

    What will happen is people will just start referring to the “Type” number as the model name, defeating the whole purported purpose of the new name scheme. People will figure out a way to feel good about have the right vintage and bad about having the wrong vintage, and avoid the feeling of “timelessness”. 🙂

    • Red Fez

      I sort of expect people to just say they have a “220” or a “240” or something as similar. But, I do see the analogy. It’s kind of like the same way everyone knows what a Boeing 747 is, but there are subsets in the family. To aviation industry professionals we refer to the model as 747-200 or 747-400 and aviation buffs like to call the same planes short hand as B742 or B744 (747-200. 747-400).

  • LT

    Whatever they like to call it, it’s just a name…..
    However, too complicated style will make people loose track of it. But, in digital world, who cares because it obsoletes so quickly……

  • zd

    I see… an effort to make a “timeless” design, also can be a signal that more frequent updates are coming.

    M cameras used to come about once a decade. The M3 was introduced in the ’50s. 50 years later, we had the… M8! M9 was introduced only 3 years later and now the M (M10 / Type 240), also 3 years after the previous M. Leica recognized that three years is the lifecycle in the digital world. After three years, you have to give something new, even if that’s a marginal improvement over the previous version. Keep naming it sequentially make quick depreciate the previous generations so much faster. Compare “M10” and “M13” to “M type 240” and “M type 260”. Which one makes the older generation sound better?

    It’s about value preservation too, folks!

    • Red Fez

      3 years is twice as long as the rest of the standard consumer models which cycle through every 12-18 months.

      • Jonny

        There are MANY cameras updated on a 3+ year cycle. D700–>D800, 5DII—>5DIII, and many more that I’m not going to waste my time naming.

  • JA

    Honestly, I think I’m going back to my M3 to shoot film again.

    I have RED EPIC’s when I want to shoot digital video. I have Canon 5D’s when I want to shoot time lapse. I turn to my Leica for an organic, old fashioned photographic experience. IMHO Leica is going the wrong direction here.

    I don’t need live view, HD video, audio recording, or an EVF. Honestly, I don’t even need an LCD. All I want is the slimmer form factor of non-digital M bodies, quiet mechanical operation, manual exposure, a manual cocking lever, and a body that will last a life time.

    If I were Leica I would design a mechanical body with replaceable digital “film” cartridges that you could upgrade as new sensor technology evolves or if you wanted both a color sensor and a black & white sensor in your camera bag.

    But I only need and want one body, one shutter mechanism, one range finder, etc. Designed to last a life time. That, to me, would be a camera system worthy of the moniker “Leica M”.

    I only hope Leica is listening because I am saddened when I realize I don’t even want to buy the newest M camera. And if they keep going in this direction, I won’t ever buy another. It shakes the very foundations of my world view.

    Leica, I loved you for a reason. Please come back to me soon.

    • HY

      I guess thats why the M-E is there.

    • OT

      “I don’t need live view, HD video, audio recording, or an EVF. Honestly, I don’t even need an LCD. ”

      Don’t use them then 😉

      Wait until they bring out the longer (135mm+) lenses, which the Leica buyers have been asking for a long time. Now with the new set up, LV and/or EVF they can use longer lenses, more money making possibilities for Leica.

    • Tom

      Interchangeable sensor cartridges? Like the Ricoh GXR? Upgrading a camera body with a new sensor as technology progresses would likely mean stripping out most of the electronics and replacing them. There’s a reason service centers don’t do that when a sensor or other massively integrated electronic systems inside the body fail and instead recommend you buy a new camera. It’s because it’s too expensive for them and too expensive for you. One day I will likely buy a digital Leica body but most of my work is done these days with the SLR systems I invested in when I started shooting digital for most jobs. Personally I’m happy with my M6 and a Film scanner for now. A new Leica will have to wait..

  • HY

    My questions is, when will the classic engraved version of the new M be available for purchase?

  • Daryl

    There are many variations of every model M starting from the M3, what difference will there be if more confusion is added to the mix? Leica didn’t want to add two digits after the M (M10), so why not call it M type 240 and add 4 letters and 3 numbers. If naming were their strong point we wouldn’t be buying their cameras, fortunately they do build the best image machine available, ain’t that right Harold?

  • ND

    Leica is Leica. Porsche is Porsche. Why did they break the tradition of a Leica? sigh!

  • Jack Spade

    This is just more pretentious nonsense on the part of Leica.

    First the stupid limited editions, then the price rises, and now, it wants to copy the luxury car manufacturers by adopting their naming scheme.

    The Leica M is no Porsche: more like a Morgan.

    • The new M costs as much as the M9 – cannot complain about the price here really. I was expecting it to be more expensive.

  • Camaman

    I am OK with the name as long as they put enough distance between the numbers so they dont end up with 260B is better than 270… or some stupid thing like that.

    I also hope they will retain the special editions naming like 240 Titanium and or “T” and not call it 243 and next special edition 245. That would cause the confusion I mentioned above.
    Same camera but with different details.

  • Henry

    I want a 007..
    Forget about this former top brand.

  • Ho

    I will not buy a fat camera~!!!

    • jeff

      The new M is the same thickness as the M9 (except for the minimal added depth of the new thumb rest), despite a battery that’s twice as big and the added capabilities. I’d say that’s quite an achievement, whatever it’s called.

  • Nick

    I notice that the people who say that model numbers don’t matter are the same people who complain about Leica changing to a new system of numbering their models…

    Who cares? It’s either a great camera or it’s not. It looks good on specs, but we won’t know till production versions have been tested.

    The rest is noise.

  • TThor

    And how friggin’ stupid is that!?!

    Rather have the simple M+number they make it as Japanese as it can be… why not Leica Mnx7234aab2……


  • I don’t care about the name. The best Leica is the Leica you own 🙂

    • J Shin

      Better yet, the one you use. 🙂

  • Nobody Special

    I haven’t ordered an M yet – because my primary use would be for my R glass. The name to me is irrelevant, I waited for Leica’s ‘R solution’ and this is it. The fact that it costs just a hair short of $7K makes it a VERY costly R solution – even though I like it – and it can use nearly every lens Leica has produced/sold, but as an M, it is pretty nice.

    I suppose Leica’s choice to change the name direction is a bit silly when one reads the Porsche references and it makes sense to me either way but the M10 seems a bit ‘easier’.

    • Ruhayat

      Actually, it costs more or less the same as the brand new R9 + DMR back did.

  • Carlos

    great, finally AF Leica. Good for my volatile eyesight (sometimes good, sometimes tired, thus wrongly focusing manually).
    AF=assist Focus (peek…). I don’t need a motor.

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