How about a Leica digital rangefinder without LCD screen?

Leica MP silver rangefinder camera
Rumors about a Leica digital rangefinder without LCD screen have been floating for a while, but lately I keep receiving tips from various sources that Leica may actually announce such a camera at Photokina - it will be a special limited edition that will have an ISO dial on back instead of a LCD screen. The camera will only capture color uncompressed RAW files and will have the same sensor as in the M 240. The thickness and dimensions will also be similar to the M240. The new camera will be simplified with less dials/buttons and no video recording capabilities. The selling price will be higher than the M 240 ($6,950.00). For now, take this rumor with a grain of salt.

Would you buy such a camera? Here is a poll:

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  • AB

    I am interested as long as it is wi-fi enabled and can be linked to a Leica app on an iphone for instant playback.

  • ACG
    • placebian

      i would add the option of having a Menu on your Phone …. that would be perfect ….

      • modernleica

        Can’t believe that folk are gullible enough to hope for a camera without the fundamentals of a digital workflow i.e. the ability to review and correct. The luddites are alive and well.

        • Cyril Jayant

          I have a M6 and a M8.2. I like the m Monochrome and instead of creating 100 of M around M9… better to have a good one camera that is going to be supported and backed up and break proof to use for a long time.
          With screws ,with screens , and noises I know we cannot have something compare to M6 and improtant.

          So auto focus is something paractical and no need videos and fax- machines and stereos or iPods on to Leica if you can add . auto focus It is useful. Like how Hasselblad did .
          Or good upgrade to the Monochrome as near to M-P 240 with a different battery wood be good.

  • Aaron J. Heiner

    And what will they call it!? M-B, or Type 200? I can’t make any sense out of Leica’s naming system anymore.

    • kyoken74

      I reckon such a camera would be named MP.

      • Michael Stur

        No, they just announced another M-P…

        • viperoni

          M-P-P it will be, then ))))

  • vamzen

    Only if it has a winder like the Epson R-D1.

  • Ark

    All I want is an M3 size digital M. Please make it happens! 😉

  • DonGoelzi

    How about… no? 😀

  • Wen Jenq Chen

    How about having to crank a fake filmwinder to shoot next frame?Lol. Never mine, I will never be able to afford one.

    • Simon

      I’m imagining you trying to explain that to someone when they ask “Is that a film camera”, to which you reply “No, it’s digital, but you have to wind on after each shot”.

      Their head would explode (with laughter).

    • Tijmen

      The Epson RD-1x actually has this…

      • markz

        yep but it was to cock the mechanical shutter (and viz. extend battery life)

    • Future is Now

      Or having to dismantle the camera to change the memory card ?

  • NoMeJodas

    Is that possible at all? Even without all the image/LV related settings there will still be tons of things like manual lens selection for non-Leica lenses, card formatting, firmware upgrade, etc that will need some sort of display to setup.
    OTOH the latest M240 firmware made it possible to disable LV and movie buttons in the menu. The only missing thing is an option for disabling the image preview button and of course automatic image preview.

    • NoMeJodas

      On a second thought, they could just set fixed values for most settings like frameline color etc, require the user to use coded lenses or fix it later on PC, assign card formatting to a button and make a short cut for firmware upgrade (like press and hold button x while switching on the camera). The color of the card access lamp can then be used to show the status of such operations. So it should be doable 😉

  • Michael Stur

    It should be smaller, lighter AND less expensive than the “full” M 240 !

    • NoMeJodas

      Yes it would be nice if they put it on a diet to reach the size of the M9. But I’d expect the price to be higher than the M240, unfortunately, because they’ll be selling less units.

  • Zoran Kulusic-Neral

    How about just a Leica viewfinder with the leather strap and a golden tripod and a virtual SD card. A first bodyless digital Leica M, type 3.141414?

  • NoMeJodas

    BTW the idea might appear absurd to someone who grew up with digital. But I’m sure it would appeal to many (former) film shooters.

    • markz

      or current film shooters

    • Future is Now


      • NoMeJodas

        Why what? Why it would appeal to film shooters? Obviously because with film you can’t chimp and usually will wait for days till you can see the result. Why not being able to see the results immediately is desirable by anyone? Why film shooters usually think it is a superior experience to digital? If you’d be so kind to express yourself in whole sentences, maybe I can answer your question better 😉

        • Future is Now

          I see. And you believe that such romantic inconveniences are the keys to better photography?

          • NoMeJodas

            Aha!!! Two complete sentences. Much better 🙂 Obviously you are not interested in hearing my opinion but just are trying to prove a point. So I won’t bother.

          • Future is Now

            As an owner of several Leica M film cameras and three Leica M digitals I am genuinely interested in learning your thesis.

          • NoMeJodas

            What? So many Leicas? John, now that we know each other for sooooo long…do you wan’t to marry me? PS: I just hope you are not a minor, otherwise I’ll be doing a guest post here soon with the title “Shooting With the M240 Behind Bars” 😀

        • John

          Turn the screen off and put the camera away for four days after shooting before looking at your images. There, instant romantic and you saved a thousand dollars. (Oops, that one you thought you had is really out of focus! Sorry!)

          • NoMeJodas

            See my answer below to you under your other alias LOL

    • nocklebeast

      film shooters could just shoot film.

  • Pantechnicon

    Model designation : M-SP ( Sehr Protzig).

    • kyoken74

      Is that because having a Leica is not pretentious enough? 🙂

  • Ahmad Al-Joboori

    The good thing is, my family will never bother me checking how they look like on the screen 🙂

    • kyoken74

      Good point! I hate when people keep asking me to show them the picture I just took, and demand a reshoot because they don’t like the way their hair looks like.

      • Ahmad Al-Joboori

        LOL exactly.

  • Mardock

    Pointless choice. Deleting one of the most important elements of a digital camera doesn’t make it unique … it makes it stupid. What’s stupider is that people will buy it thinking it’s somehow revolutionary.

    It’d be like introducing a car with no dashboard or gauges.

    • Guest

      “It’d be like introducing a car with no dashboard or gauges.”

      How the world suffers from fallacious analogies.

      • Carlos

        Well it has Manual Shift Joystick, still, Even without LCD, so not stupid. 😉

  • markz

    For street shooting where chimping is pretty much a waste of time (you’re never going to reframe THAT shot again) so long as you get exposure right …. yeh maybe.

    I think had supplied by my work place at least three different cameras without LCD screens, just an optical view finder, granted that was all 1990’s/early 2000’s but they were all “pro” cameras.
    then again the first DSLRs I owned (Canon D30 and D60) only had such a tiny screen (3cm?) they were all but useless as a real tool – it was impossible to use it to judge anything except the histogram.

  • d.

    That is very interesting and will bring back the lost soul from analog to digital again, plus the advantage of digital photography minus screen, what might seem absurd to some, but is not.

    All menu-settings can be done via computer or mobile device.

    Very nice approach indeed, have been waiting long for this. But the price… claims for an own line of camera, not only an M240 without screen.

  • kyoken74

    With or without LCD, I want a physical ISO dial. Physical white balance dial would be a nice-to-have.

  • Les

    I only ever use the screen on my camera to set ISO and format cards, so I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone. I guess they could add a little lcd showing the shots remaining and battery status.

    That being said, I wouldn’t pay more for this camera.

  • The only pro is that the user would not waste time chimping at the screen.
    It will cost more because it will be a limited edition? Limited editions are more for collectors, who, in most cases don’t care too much about the real performance but display the camera near the others.
    I would have appreciated a lower price and a non limited edition, some kind of naked option for those used to shoot film.

  • waterengineer

    Give us less and charge more. Oh, wait, this is Leica!

  • carlomastrantonio

    as a special limited edition may be will be 10 / 100 pieces made, will not be the Leica for the future but a style and technical exercise for Leica and an investiment for the collctor and a simplified camera for the few that really will use it -if it will made, this rumor is on line since about 8 years 🙂

  • Gene

    The only reason to get rid of the review screen is to make the camera less expensive and the only reason to get rid of video is to make it less big and heavy (by using a smaller battery etc,). Since this does neither, it makes no sense.

  • Kristian Salo

    M6 thickness and better battery life… and I would buy it. I sold my M9 when M was announced, but have not bought it because of the thickness… I am using my M6 now… (and bought Canon 5DmkIII for digital)

  • fjfjjj

    This should make for a thinner and lighter camera, with a smaller battery. I would buy that. Otherwise there’s no point.

  • me

    I would get an MP (not an “M-P”) rather than a digital camera with no screen.

  • TinusVerdino

    And it will only have an internal memory for 36 exposures :p.

  • seb

    With a Leica M6 size, a price between € 3k and 4k € max, very, strong long battery life … then OK. Iso dial must have an automatic mode with the ability to set max iso and iso min.

  • Ezra Perez Pages

    I’ll admit it, having an LCD screen on any Leica is a bit off for me. Why can’t they create some sort of tethering app for the iPhone/iPad and allow yourself to view your photos later on from there. I’m sure this will bring the cost down of the camera and save on battery power as well. *patent pending…

  • nocklebeast

    I might be less expensive to get some black electrical tape and tape over the monitor on an M-240.

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