Leica launches new M-P with additional features
Following previous practice, Leica today announces a discreet, logo-free version of the M (type 240) to be known as the M-P (not to be confused with the film Leica MP). It retains all the styling cues of the M, including the electronic bright line viewfinder, but adds a larger buffer memory, a sapphire crystal monitor screen and a frame selection lever.
The design clues follow the successful M9-P in eradicating front branding on the camera. Leica tells us that "many photographers who already use Leica M cameras actually tape over the red Leica logo to make their work as unobtrusive as possible." I would never have guessed. Instead of flashy logos, the M-P gets a top plate "engraved with a subtle Leica script."
Mechanically, the M-P is identical to the M but the buffer size has been doubled to 2GB, likely to improve the continuous shooting experience. It will also help avoid file-writing delays during normal operation. The return of the frameline selector, which disappeared on the M, will be seen by many as a welcome move although, frankly, many owners tell me that they seldom use the facility (which helps determine alternative framing without the need to swap lenses).
The M9-P was a hugely successful camera and is still sought after on the secondhand market, attracting a premium of around £800. The M-P is likely to be just as desirable and I imagine it will spur a spate of upgrades. I know several M9 users who could now be tempted by the M-P. The camera is available in black or the more tradition silver-chrome finish.
Leica's latest is available now and costs £5,650, including tax, a relatively modest (for Leica) premium of £550 which, I suspect, will be returned in full on resale if the experience of the M9-P is anything to go by. Only snag is that with the film Leica MP still in the catalogue, users will be faced with the same problems of identification as they were with the M(240). I suppose we will have to call this the M-hyphen-P just to be on the safe side.
21st August 2014
New: LEICA M-P
The next generation of the Leica rangefinder camera for professional photographers. Photography stripped back to the essentials.
Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder camera range. With the Leica M-P photographers can be ready to shoot anytime, so that the “decisive moment” is never missed. Thanks to the large buffer size of 2 GB it is now possible to shoot up to 24 images in full continuous speed of 3 frames per second, so the focus is on you and your photographs.
Based on the otherwise identical Leica M, the Leica M-P offers all the technical advantages of the Leica M-System and several additional features, such as the enlarged buffer memory. The ‘P’ in the name of this camera indicates the particularly discreet and enduring design concept with which the Leica M-P joins the line of Leica M-Cameras conceived especially to fulfil the needs of professional photographers.
The buffer memory capacity of the Leica M-P has been increased to 2 GB – twice the size of that of the Leica M. This guarantees that the Leica M-P is immediately ready to shoot in almost all situations. This is a particular advantage when shooting pictures in rapid succession, as the image data needs to be buffered directly after the shutter is released, before writing to the SD memory card. This means that users can now react to events with even greater spontaneity to capture the decisive moment in almost every photographic situation.
In terms of design, the Leica M-P is based on the typical characteristics of the Leica rangefinder system and focuses in particular on robustness and a long product lifespan. The use of an extremely scratch-resistant sapphire crystal cover for its LCD monitor is one example of this. This material is so hard that it can only be worked with special diamond cutting tools and is one of the world’s hardest materials. In practical terms, the sapphire glass LCD cover is almost unbreakable and offers resistance to many kinds of wear and stresses, meaning that the camera is ideally equipped for many years of use. Thanks to an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover glass, image reviewing is now even better, even in difficult lighting conditions, and allows photographers to assess and check every subject with optimum precision both before and after exposure.
The unobtrusive and minimalistic look of the Leica M-P provides even greater discretion in decisive shooting situations. Many photographers who already use Leica M-Cameras actually tape over the red Leica logo to make their work as unobtrusive as possible. For precisely this reason, this identifying feature has been omitted from the new rangefinder camera. Instead, the top plate of the camera is engraved with a subtle Leica script.
Other new details of the camera include a frame selection lever with which bright-line frames for six different focal lengths can be projected into the viewfinder to simulate subject framing. The corresponding frames are shown in pairs for the focal lengths 28 and 90 mm, 35
and 135 mm or 50 and 75 mm. This avoids the need to change lenses to assess suitable subject framing, offers greater creative freedom and allows photographers to concentrate fully on composing their pictures.
The Leica M-P is available now from Leica Store Mayfair, Leica Store Burlington and authorised Leica dealers at £5650 RRP, in two different versions: a black-paint version and a traditional silver chrome version.