Jony Ive, design mastermind at Apple, and Marc Newson, the creative force behind the thoroughly unconventional Pentax K-01, have collaborated with Leica to design a special edition Leica M for a good cause. The unique M will be sold at auction, at an event raising money for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The one-of-a-kind camera is the product of 85 days' work and nearly 1000 prototype parts.

The finished result is a good deal more restrained than Newson's last attempt at camera design, and betrays Ive's obsessive focus on details which is usually showcased in Apple's line of computers and mobile devices. But despite the eye-catching brushed aluminum shell and rounded accents, the finished camera is still unmistakably a Leica. What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments. 

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Press Release:

Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson to join more than 40 rare and exceptional objects in (RED) Auction at Sotheby’s New York

Money raised through the (RED) Auction will go towards the fight against AIDS in Africa

A truly unique Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson will join more than 40 other rare and diverse items in the (RED) Auction on November 23rd 2013. Based on the Leica M, the camera will be auctioned to raise money for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Hundreds of models and prototypes were made in the development of The Leica M for (RED). The body and lens ultimately being machined from a custom engineered alloy. Presented with a perfectly textured anodized aluminum outer shell, the traditional leather waist, synonymous with Leica, has been replaced with a laser machined aluminum body. More than 21,000 hemispheres create a new and extraordinary aesthetic, while a total of 561 models and nearly 1000 prototype parts were made during the 85 days it took to create of this incredibly special camera. Delivering an uncompromised photography experience, the camera features a full-format CMOS sensor, high performance processor and new Leica APO-Summicron –M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens.

Jony said; “Leica represents the confluence of precision engineering, world-class lens technology and design principles which elevate both function and form. Designing this very special camera for the (RED) Auction has been a privilege for myself and Marc, and its sale on November 23rd will generate funds so critical to the fight to end AIDS.”

"With nearly 1000 prototype parts and more than 725 hours of manufacturing time, the winning bidder will own a piece of exquisite imaging history. The attention to each and every detail of this camera – from its outer shell to the magnificent optics – will delight a collector who appreciates the absolute pinnacle of craftsmanship", said Marc Newson.

Dr. Andreas Kaufman, Chairman, Leica, said: "We loved the collaboration with Jony and Marc. Their design sets a new and unprecedented standard in modern photography. As the only one ever to be produced, and boasting their unrivalled aesthetic, this Leica camera will truly create its own historic category when it goes under the hammer this winter."

The fundraising auction comes as the war against AIDS faces a critical battle: to deliver the first AIDS Free Generation since HIV was diagnosed 32 years ago. In 2003, new childhood HIV infections peaked with more than 1,500 babies born with HIV every day. For only 40 cents a day, mothers can be treated to prevent transmission to their unborn children, and just over 900 babies are now born daily with the virus. By 2015, that number can be almost zero.

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