The latest Leica rumors: new M camera without LCD screen, tilt shift SL lenses

The latest Leica rumors:

  • On March 10th (not 100% sure about the exact date), Leica is rumored to announce a new M camera similar to the M Edition 60 (still available in stock today): there will be no red dot on the front and no LCD screen on the back (only an ISO dial). I don't think this new version will be a limited edition - it will rather be the "mass production" version of the M Edition 60 limited edition.
  • Leica is also working on three tilt shift lenses for the SL mirrorless camera.

Update: the name of the new camera model could be Leica M-D.

This entry was posted in Leica M, Leica M-D Typ 262, Leica SL. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Adrian G.

    A Leica M typ 262 without the screen seems cool.

    • R R Diaz

      Agreed, put the workings of the 262 into this body style…but not stainless steel. Too heavy!

      • Massimo Scognamiglio

        I love The idea of an M without the screen, I used the m60 and it’s amazing… Of course an EVF could be of great help.

        Just to answer to some people which hates the SL, if you use it with some M lens (I used it with the 50mm 1.4) you will fall in love. The zoomed EVF/manual focus on the SL is the most amazing feature that I saw in a camera: it’s perfect and clear.

        Leica is going in the right direction. I only hope that the photographers that use the canon 1D will buy the SL.
        And people who love the discrete feeling of the M will use the M-D even more discrete.

  • chris

    Why does leica keep making worse versions of their products by removing features? This is on par with the new macbook that got rid of all of the ports. People want increased functionality not decreased. This is a step in the wrong direction.

    • chrisduesing

      I disagree completely, which is why there is a market for this camera. Not everything has to appeal to you specifically.

      • chris

        i guess i just don’t see the point. who was looking at a camera that arguably already has limited functionality and saying, “yeah, but could we make it do even less?”

        • chrisduesing

          Whenever I shoot digital I find my face buried in either the viewfinder or back screen. I am constantly turning dials till the exposure looks right, focus peaking, zooming and then chimping my shots.

          I switched to a Leica film camera with no meter recently. Suddenly I need to know my exposure values, I need to understand zone focusing and depth of field. It was a bit of a pain to learn, but now when I am out shooting I am looking up. I see the world around me, I see shots coming. I shoot less, get better pictures, and just enjoy the entire process more.

          Now when I look at my Sony A7S I think “yeah, but could they make it do even less?”.

          • chris

            for thousands of dollars less, couldn’t you just not use the features you don’t want to use? it’s like tying weights to your legs so that you’ll walk slower and stop to smell the flowers. you could just choose to walk slower.

          • chrisduesing

            Ok, I tried, but you seem uninterested in anything other than telling people who don’t share your worldview that they are wrong. Enjoy your camera, have a nice life.

    • J.Coi

      If you want a lot of features, buy a Fujifilm camera.

      • chris

        that’s a pretty hilarious sales pitch for a >$5000 brick.

    • j j

      Not for Leica. For Leica this is a step in the right direction. Scoff if you will, but until you pick up and use a Leica rangefinder you will just never get it.

      I’m not slamming anybody, or being insulting. It’s a different philosophy, and that’s all it is. Leica == minimalism. Everybody else == maximalism. There is a school of thought that goes by the belief that taking away “features” gives you more opportunity to be creative.

      Again, until you have used one of these M cameras (film or digital), you will never understand it.

      PS Fuji is AWESOME. So is Leica.

      • chris

        it just seems so unnecessary to take things away that are already in place. no one is forcing every photographer to use every feature that a camera offers. i don’t shoot video. my camera can shoot video, some people who own this camera will shoot video, i don’t, but it’s by no means in the way, or a hinderance to using the camera, and it’s nice to have a feature in case the occasion comes up that you want/need it.

        what if your car company said, we’re taking away power steering, and for that matter, the emergency brake, because minimalism. i don’t have a lot of occasion to use the emergency brake, but when i want it i’ll be damn glad it’s there, and having it there, even if seldom used, is not bothering anyone, so why mess with it?

        it just seems like it’s gone to a comical level on leica’s part at this point. i mean if you really want to remove every modern convenience for the sake of, i don’t know what, (challenging yourself?) just shoot film.

        • right_writes

          Yes there is a car manufacturer (at least one) that does this… Caterham, they also have a F1 team.

          I have been waiting for this Leica since they first announced the M8…

          It looks like it is just about here… and I am in the queue to buy one.

          Kudos to Leica!

          Currently (still) using an M2.

          • This moves makes sense of Leica, I think this rumor will tun true. The rumored T/S lenses are more of a long term project.

        • NTM

          No one is forcing you to buy this camera.

        • maralatho

          The idea is to reduce the tool to only what is necessary. And anyway, there is no human alive who is strong enough never to chimp when the ability to chimp is there. With the screen gone, you can’t and won’t.

      • If this rumor turns out to be true, it makes sense – Leica already did the r&d, why not release a cheaper version for the masses? The only pissed people will be those who bought the limited edition model for $18k

        • EnPassant

          The limited edition is made of stainless steel, so it will still be unique, as I am sure this new camera will be made by much more common materials easier to work with.

          • That’s true. I am curious if the M-D will be cheaper than the M 262. It should be.

    • TechUser2011

      This question is like asking “why would a restaurant keep selling salads instead of big hamburgers? People want more food, not less. This is a step in the wrong direction.”

      • chris

        not really, it’s more like saying, why do they also sell burgers when i know i’m supposed to eat salads? this leica seems designed for people who need to have all their choices taken away from them because they lack the self control and judgement to make good choices when options are offered.

        • Les

          Why would you want a piano when you can get an electronic keyboard that emulates any instrument?

          Why not replace all your hand tools with a Swiss Army knife?

  • Eric Boe

    Strap lugs, please.

    • R R Diaz


  • chrisduesing

    This is fantastic news, but it sounds like another variation of the 240? Any rumors about an upgraded model? I’m hesitant to invest in a 3 yo digital camera if they are about to launch a new one.

    • the big upgrade will probably come at photokina in September

      • chrisduesing

        Does that mean the upgraded version with no screen is due in 2019? 😉

        • Probably, if this turns out to be a successful model like the Monochrom, I am sure they will continue it.

          • Scott Taylor

            I don’t see why they can’t update this version at the same time as the new version of the 240. Why wait 3 years for the tech to go out of date then bring it out?

          • Bo Dez

            Maybe it’s right in the sense that the sort of person who doesn’t need a screen doesn’t need actual needed and relevant advances and is happy/content with the older spec.

          • so they can keep a steady revenue stream, if they release all three models at once, they will have nothing to sell for the next three years

      • TechUser2011

        Why is “Nikon Rumors” replying to a post on Leica Rumors?

        • because discuss merged my accounts, I hope they will be able to fix that soon

  • Ben Woodard

    I wonder if they figured out a way to build a hybrid viewfinder/EVF. If they make the ISO dial 6-way (rotation for iso, 4 way button, and center press for enter) they could make a still very usable ultra-minimalistic camera. You would just be bringing up and navigating the menu through the EVF. Considering how often you actually go into the menus on an M, that is probably not too much of a problem.

    Really for me using the camera practically all I do is:
    ISO they have that covered.
    INFO how much battery do I have left
    The self-timer time is the only other thing I ever change in the menus.

    Flipping through the menus many of the options are related to live view, JPGs and video which are not the M’s forte anyway. Beyond that it is: do you chimp or review your shots on the back of the camera. If you’re using the RF the answer is likely “no”. I bet they could do it and it could be a usable camera.

    Strap lugs though. Need strap lugs.

    • I would love that evf idea.

    • tjholowaychuk

      Agreed that would be pretty sweet. I’ve only ever really used the LCD to chimp anyway haha, and menus of course.

    • I agree with you, except that I would like to see also something new, like for example a “simulated” rangefinder patch in a high resolution evf, for those times when I really need to see a live view in the viewfinder.
      I know this somehow counters the rangefinder philosophy, but I would use this camera for my assignments in really challenging light.

  • The M60’s fatal flaw as a user camera is the inability to shoot in manual mode with auto ISO while being able to dial in EV +- values. Shooting with the digital M’s at high iso benefit from ETTR to eliminate banding. It’s helpful to see a histogram.

    • Les

      I’ve always wondered about people who shoot “manual with auto ISO.” It seems to me like a really complicated way to convince yourself that you aren’t shooting in automatic mode (even though you are). I thought that stigma disappeared when the Nikon F3 came out 35 years ago, but I guess not.

      I always look at the scene (with my eyes, not through a finder or screen) and select my ISO. The last thing I want is to let the camera change the ISO on its own.

      • Yes, agreed. All the talk of evf, auto focus lens and the like are from camera fondlers that ‘like the idea of shooting Leica’ more so than producing iconic work.

        It all started when Winogrands ‘snapshot aesthetic’ became the rage. The fondlers model their work after Winogrand’s crappy work and it mushroomed from there.

        The good thing about the fondlers is they keep Leica in biz…so whatever they can push on the sheep. What is needed is the Japanese to bring out an affordable rangefinder Leica knockoff.

        Any of the modern day auto focus cams will beat a rangefinder for speed of focus. But, few of the modern day cams will beat a Leica for on the fly, instantaneously, with no shutter lag shooting in bad light.

        You can always tell who are the Leica snobs on the forums. The one’s that don’t know their ass from the proverbial donut hole…or is it their ass from the proverbial hole in the ground? Anyway, there was a camera fondler on the forums that wanted Leica to dump their perfected manual lens and rangefinder design and make the lenses auto focus and replace the rangefinder with a EVF. GD…the 2 things that make the Leica stand above all others are what he wants to dump. I just don’t get it?

        It is not that I am stuck on manual focus lenses and rangefinder designs for snob appeal, but these 2 components are what is required to ‘get the shot’ in certain situations. Couple this with a compact footprint…and you have a Leica! The sensors Leica use are not worth the money. So something else has to make up for the vastly overpriced cost of a Leica if we only look at the IQ of the finished photo.

        The Leica excels at low-light, manual focus and / or zone focus work. The other benefit of the Leica is straightforward manual controls like shutter speeds and aperture. You can adjust the controls without even looking at the camera, you can just count the clicks. You can also zone focus a Leica by not looking at it. You feel the protrusion on the lens and adjust it to a predetermined spot correlating to the focus scale.

        I’ve shot Leica’s since the early 70’s. Leica is in a class by itself. Even if it has a sensor that is not top notch and is over-priced, there is nothing in the camera world that is like shooting a Leica.

        Leica has perfected what is needed in a documentary camera eons ago. They don’t need camera fondlers screwing it up. Impeccable manual controls and simplicity are what does it for me. For others that have the $ and like fine things, nothing matches the fit and finish of a Leica.

      • Les, give a try for a while. It’s the best of both worlds. High ISO digital is so good today I don’t care what ISO the camera is set to. For the exposure triangle it’s the least important setting.

        With auto ISO I control the aperture and shutter speed needed to pull off the photograph at hand. That’s the creative part. I still need to recognize the light and how the meter is interpreting the scene, then make the judgement call to go +- on the EV setting to make the best possible exposure.

        Martin Parr goes even further and shoots in program mode:

        • Les


          Thank you for explaining that!

          Program mode I understand, although I don’t use it. You’ll notice that Martin Parr sets his own ISO (see the second page of your link).

          To me, the ISO is part of the “look.” A certain camera may be really good at 1600, and another at 800. I don’t want ISO changing on its own. On the other hand, the difference between 5.6 or 8, or 1/80 and 1/60 isn’t that critical in most instances (it is for some images, of course).

          • A Recent example of how this played out.

            Walking around a neighborhood I had my shutter speed set to 125th and aperture around 5.6 or 8, as I was making more of a landscape image, knowing the camera would give me a low ISO in that light and just needed a SS to eliminate camera shake.

            I hear a noise that causes me to turn around. A kid was coming down the middle of the street on his skateboard. I had about three seconds to react. I knew I needed something fast to stop him and wanted a little shallower DOF. I turned the SS dial to 500 and the aperture down to f/4. The camera chose the ISO to fit. Had I been in manual mode with the ISO set to 200 or aperture priority mode with a fixed low ISO I wouldn’t have had a chance to make the image.

  • I hope it will have an electronic viewfinder, where I can see the menu settings and a glimps of the photo just taken, along with “what you see is what you get” image.
    On my Q (I know it’s not a rangefinder M) I use the back screen only if someone ask for it.

  • 3 tilt-shift lenses for the SL? At which focal lengths? I’d rather see fast primes at 28, 85, and 135 before specialized tilt-shift lenses.

  • Scott Taylor

    I love to buy a Leica but their cameras seem so out of date. The M edition 60 is perfect; except the guts of the camera seem to be a really poor specification. Where is the high resolution sensor, high iso, decent battery life, xqd memory card, fast processor and buffer. The current M cameras might be 3 years old but they seem about 10 years out of date. Will we ever see an M edition 60 with up to date technology? It seems crazy to make this camera a Leica after thought when the driving reason to buy Leica is simplicity of design married to the best available technology.

    • Les

      “Where is the high resolution sensor, high iso, decent battery life, xqd memory card, fast processor and buffer.”

      The M has all that, except for the xqd cards which are unnecessary (and soon to join the museum of obsolete card standards). Perhaps you have only used the M9 which came out 7 years ago?

      I realize that you can get a million and one ISOs and higher res in other cameras (including some from Leica), but the M is very good at what it does. It’s not ideal for “spray and pray” shooting, or total-darkness experiments, or even “mine is bigger” file size comparisons.

      • Bo Dez

        “…I realize that you can get a million and one ISOs and higher res in other cameras (including some from Leica), but the M is very good at what it does. It’s not ideal for “spray and pray” shooting, or total-darkness experiments, or even “mine is bigger” file size comparisons…”

        Oh mean the sort of camera a professional *needs*?

        • Les

          I know lots of professionals, and their needs are all different. It’s hard to generalize.

      • Scott Taylor

        The issue I have is they are only now bringing out the minimalist version of the 240, 3 years after the original version. Why can’t they bring the two versions out in the same week so you can get the minimalist version without the screen but with the current technology?

        • Les

          They can’t release all the versions at once because then we would have nothing to discuss for the next 3 years!

  • SomeoneNotImportant

    Someone in the past ordered the wrong sensors with the missing interface for the rear LCD. This might have given birth to a superbe habit, happening anually: No LCDs on the back. Only Leica can do this. Hillarious.

  • Bo Dez

    High Resolution? High Dynamic Range? High ISO? No – just no screen. This is getting silly, Leica. Give us something we need and hurry up.

  • Mistral75

    The name of the new Leica rangefinder camera similar to the M Edition 60 will be Leica M-D.

    Its motto:

    – Consistency

    Source : Digital Camera Info

  • Fiatlux

    The lack of a screen/menu means that you can’t select the lens type and better stick to 6 bit-coded lenses, or did I miss something?

  • Bo Dez

    I hope the new main M (240 successor), when ever we get it, looks like the M60.

  • “Leica, the only camera that costs more and offers less”

  • Seven_Spades

    It is a very smart idea. Leica like to appeal to the purists and this will definitely appeal. I wonder if it will be B&W or Colour?

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