Leica M-D: Screenless wonder, M7 digital, £4,650
Leica today announces the long-anticipated screenless digital based on the M60 Edition which made its debut at Photokina 2014.
The M-D features the body style of the M262, with the stepped top plate reminiscent of the M9. It is styled on the M-P, with a black paint finish, visible adjustment screw in place of the red dot logo and an engraved legend on the top plate.
It offers a pure "film-like" shooting experience with controls restricted to aperture, shutter speed and ISO. There is an aperture-priority setting which makes this camera more or less identical in operation to the M7 film camera. There is no auto ISO feature and values between 200 and 6400 are selected manually by means of a central dial, film-style, on the back of the camera.
Sensor, with 24 Megapixel resolution, and processor are identical to those in the M240.
The M-D body will cost £4,650 in Britain, including 20% tax. The camera, which represents a bold move for the German company, appears to tick all the right boxes for the traditional rangefinder fan. I believe it will be very successful. More information on this significant announcement to follow.
Leica M-D: The return of anticipation
New digital Leica rangefinder focuses on the absolute essentials of photography, and excludes an LCD screen
28 April 2016
Leica Camera has extended its iconic rangefinder camera series with a new model: the Leica M-D (Typ 262). The fifth product in the Leica M range, the Leica M-D joins the Leica M and M-P (Typ 240), the Leica M (Typ 262) and the Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246), offering a greater choice for photographers looking for specific functionality from their rangefinder camera.
The Leica M-D is the first serial production model of the digital M family to be made without an LCD monitor screen. The standard location of the screen on the back of the camera is taken by the ISO sensitivity setting dial – one of the few, but essential, features of the camera. Although the Leica M-D embodies the entire range of technical developments perfected over decades for the Leica rangefinder system, it intentionally omits all but the most vital features. Concentrating entirely on the key parameters required for photography: shutter speed, aperture, distance and ISO sensitivity, the Leica M-D focuses the user on the most essential aspect – the picture they are taking – and brings back the anticipation of discovering the results later in the process, as when shooting with film.
Jason Heward, managing director, Leica UK, said, “With the exclusion of the ubiquitous LCD screen, photographers must return to the principles of photography when shooting with the Leica M-D: accurate framing and composition, selecting the appropriate parameters and settings, and ensuring that they capture the decisive moment with the thought and consideration that has always been necessary in analogue photography. This unique rangefinder camera also brings back the fascination and expectation associated with film – returning photography to its origins during the capturing process, whilst maintaining the obvious convenience and benefits of digital technology.”
Principally, the technical features of the Leica M-D are based on those of the Leica M (Typ 262). As with all other digital Leica M cameras, the Leica M-D (Typ 262) features a high resolution CMOS full-frame sensor, which has been designed exclusively for rangefinder photography, and supports neither video
recording nor Live View. Its 24 megapixel resolution delivers exceptional image quality and extreme sensitivity, making it perfect for available light situations. At the same time, the camera’s Maestro processor guarantees fast processing of image data. Exposures are captured exclusively as RAW data in DNG format, enabling photographers to apply the required adjustments in post-processing software.
Leica’s focus on ‘Das Wesentliche’ (the essentials of photography) is immediately recognisable in the design of this camera. The Leica M-D expresses purely functional, formal clarity, and features characteristics such as a brass top plate with a ‘step’ at the end, referencing the design of the Leica M9. The Leica ‘red dot’ logo has been omitted from the front of the camera for ultimate discretion. Furthermore, the barely audible shutter of the Leica M-D ensures the camera is inconspicuous when shooting: an invaluable advantage in scenarios where the photographer wishes to remain unobtrusive. As an aid to this, the camera features a shutter cocking system that is particularly quiet in single exposure mode, and enables a shutter release frequency of up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the Leica M-D has the same sequential shooting speed as its sister model and shoots up to three frames per second.
The Leica M-D is available in a black paint finish, and includes a real leather carrying strap in full-grain cowhide.
Pricing and availability
The Leica M-D is scheduled to be available from Leica stores and authorised Leica dealers in the UK in May 2016, at a suggested retail price of £4,650 including VAT.
Additional information can be found at uk.leica-camera.com