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Leica announces 'M' 24MP live view full-frame CMOS rangefinder with movies

By dpreview staff on Sep 17, 2012 at 19:00 GMT
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Photokina 2012: Leica has announced its latest M series rangefinder - the 24MP CMOS Leica M. The company says all future M models will also simply be called the 'M'. The latest model (referred to as 'Typ 240') becomes the first of its rangefinders to feature live view, and offers a choice of magnified view or focus peaking for precise through-the-lens focusing, allowing Leica to promise compatibilty with R-mount lenses. It also becomes the first M capable of movie shooting - capturing 1080p footage at 25 or 24 frames per second. It includes a 920k dot LCD with smartphone-style Gorilla Glass cover, and accepts the same plug-in EVF as used by the X2. Availability is scheduled for early 2013 with a retail price of $6,950 in the US and £5100 in the UK.

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Press Release:

NEW: THE LEICA M

The perfection of digital rangefinder technology

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) - Leica Camera presents a groundbreaking milestone in the nearly 60 year history of the Leica rangefinder system: The Leica M. Setting entirely new standards, the Leica M unites the ultimate in rangefinder precision with cutting edge digital technology. As the first camera to implement a newly designed CMOS image sensor and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, it is the most versatile Leica rangefinder model ever. Remaining true to the legendary values of the M-System, the Leica M not only provides the advantages of rangefinder photography, but also for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica R legacy lenses. As with every innovation and development since the flagship line’s inception, the Leica M was created to capture fleeting moments of time and transform them into living history. 

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in the Leica product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems.

In every respect, the new Leica M is the most innovative and versatile model the modern M-System has ever created. Looking to the future, the Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology; the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant color rendition and impressive reproduction of details, to a CMOS sensor.  

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor that is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor guarantees maximum imaging quality and speed. Now, all elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the image file, are under complete control of the Leica engineers. This guarantees the ultimate in imaging performance and quality. An additional highlight is the low power consumption of the components that, in conjunction with the particularly high capacity of the battery, ensures outstanding performance over a long period of use.  

In 1954, the launch of the M-System opened new horizons in reportage and artistic photography. Now at the dawn of a new era in the system’s technology, the Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus. Image composition can now take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and color content of images can now be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3-inch, high-resolution monitor screen with 920,000 pixels. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning®Gorilla®Glass. The new Live View function allows photographers to have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classical capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly to macro and telephoto photography, but also allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video capability also opens up further opportunities to record memories as they happen.

Ever in pursuit of capturing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment,” the Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button. M-Photographers now have even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The new ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10 x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. Here, contours in the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be assessed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.

The Leica M’s features are optimally combined with the typical values of the Leica rangefinder system and guarantee the accustomed dependability of the Leica M in all photographic situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top deck and the base plate of the Leica M are machined from solid brass blanks and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained diecast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.

The new rangefinder camera is also a typical M due to its intuitive handling concept with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The enhanced layout and particular user-friendliness of the menu interface guarantees a clear and uncomplicated overview of all camera settings at all times. Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions. Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under an arbitrary name. They can be accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations and can now also be saved to an SD memory card. For increased comfort in use and harkening to the film advance lever of Leica film cameras, the Leica M now provides an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right on the back of the top deck. This ensures that the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.

A wide range of optional accessories is also available for the new Leica M. A particular highlight of the range is a new Leica R-Adapter M that allows almost all R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. The use of Leica R-System lenses now opens up vast new possibilities for zoom, telephoto and macro photography.

Further accessories are the Leica EVF2, Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set for perfect sound with video recordings.

The Leica M will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, in early 2013 in a choice of black paint or silver chrome finish.

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Leica M Typ 240

Comments

Total comments: 357
123
Csaba Farkas
By Csaba Farkas (Oct 23, 2012)

Thickness is a bummer.
The M9 is borderline OK, although it feels chunky compared to the M6 or MP (THE best Leica bodies on the planet). Further 5mm plus sounds and looks like a brick to me. Thanks but no thanks. You wanna shoot video with M lenses? Get a SONY NEX body or something with an adapter.
Nice idea that you can use the same M for different jobs but it's as awkward as it gets, like a a Visoflex. An M is an M, simple and neat, RF, small lenses, nerdy but sexy, Just point, focus, shoot and hope you got it right. But putting all those gadgets on... c'mon, it feels like a NASA operation, docking modules to the ISS.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Nov 29, 2012)

lol

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (6 months ago)

Indeed, most people who buy a Leica usually/normally do/did so for its simplicity.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Sep 27, 2012)

Just had a look at the photo of the M's top panel. The extra thickness is part of the main body, and not due to the rear panel protrusions, a bit disappointing...

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Sep 27, 2012)

I would hope for this money that the sensor could be replaced when a new better one comes along. Film Leicas are heirlooms. I'm afraid that's no longer possible in the digital age.

2 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Sep 26, 2012)

Just been over the spec sheet for the M and its a full 5mm thicker than the M9/M-E! That's a big increase. I wonder why that is? They're all full-frame digital rangefinders, why the need for such an ungainly fattening? It's also quite a bit heavier. Of far less importance the video spec is really circa 2008 - motion JPEG recording and no higher than 25 fps even at 720p. But you don't purchase an M-series for video, so not a deal breaker. Apart from those minor issues this is really the M-series people in the know have been waiting for!

Just thought - the increase in thickness might be due to the new thumb grip and protrusion of the larger back panel LCD.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BBnose
By BBnose (Sep 23, 2012)

Thank you Leica for let me waiting so long!! This is the one I dreamed for, high resolution FF sensor, live view display, can use both M and R lenses. Being using the M6 for years, then put it down for another years since shooting digital became the main stream and buying film become inconvenient. But I didn't join the Nikon or Canon big family. I used the Sigma dp1 and dp2 instead. Em.., I think it is the right time to buy me a new Leica. I feel I'm coming home.

5 upvotes
ViktorDaniels
By ViktorDaniels (Sep 21, 2012)

I can't wait to get my hands on this new Leica M. It will finally let me use all of my 'M' lenses and 'R' lenses on the same full-frame camera body. People like me have been waiting years for this (the fabled 'Leica R solution'). And now we have i!. I, for one, can't wait. Thank you Leica. And for those who have never picked up, let alone used, a Leica, I completely understand why you don't 'get it'. I didn't either, until I picked one up myself, and I speak as someone who has used almost every major large-format, medium-format and 35mm SLR camera system there has been during my 50 year love affair with photography (note: not cameras). But the Leica is different. For me, anyway. The build quality of the equipment is fantastic but, more importantly, the image quality and ability to control it is like nothing else. And that's because these cameras don't do anything for you. It's all down to you. Pick one up, and you might feel it, too.

5 upvotes
richygm
By richygm (Sep 22, 2012)

I agree, This looks to be a fantastic camera. For years I used SLRs but that flapping mirror ruined the photo experiecnce for me. This looks to be the answer.

1 upvote
Vinnievinyl
By Vinnievinyl (Sep 21, 2012)

I don't get it??

The one and only reason for using a Leica is because of the lens, M lens. So is there any other FF camera out there that can fit up with an M lens??

The choice will be simple, unless if Fujifilm or Sony produce a Mirrorless FF, but do take caution that Sony NEX-7 even at smaller sensors size has corner issue with wider M lens.

0 upvotes
Carbon111
By Carbon111 (Sep 21, 2012)

The Leica glass is indeed excellent - and I'm sure the Cmosis sensor is tailored specifically to it.
As an example, I get no corner/edge issues with my 21mm Elmarit. The M9's offset microlenses and sensor firmware take care of vignetting and color shift rather nicely. :)

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
montygm
By montygm (Sep 20, 2012)

Don't know about everyone else but I wish Canon would make an SLR camera with
the F-stop changeable on the lenses like in the " good old days " prior to the digital era. I still hugely miss that in a digital SLR, found it so much quicker to change the f-stop when it was on the barrel as opposed to pushing a switch and ergonomically it felt better for support. I like the look of this Leica. Price however is never cheap with this brand.

8 upvotes
beaconsfield
By beaconsfield (Sep 25, 2012)

Right on !

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (Sep 27, 2012)

me too, but it's not going to happen.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

A number of other top-name digital camera manufacturers make cameras that can do all this -- and more, and yet are priced at around US$695.

But hey, maybe it's only a typo that this one here is priced at US$6,950. That extra zero at the end makes zero sense whatsoever, actually.

Oh, and what's the really ugly add-on thingy on top of the camera, anyhow?

2 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (Sep 19, 2012)

Leicas weren't meant for the P&S crowd like you

6 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Sep 19, 2012)

Reading your message history, it seems any camera is too expensive for you, even a Canon 6D.

4 upvotes
cjhwang
By cjhwang (Sep 19, 2012)

Wait... What?! There's a Full-Frame CMOS sensor camera that is $695?!!! WHERE?!!! O_O

(I will not mention anything else other than sensor just for the sake of... whatever)

7 upvotes
Carlos AF Costa
By Carlos AF Costa (Dec 7, 2012)

Hi, F Carver, I agree with you. A lot of cameras priced US$695 can do that. I have one of them.

0 upvotes
Blackfjord
By Blackfjord (Sep 19, 2012)

So macros without bellows?

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (Sep 19, 2012)

I rather think they will be referring to macro lenses, such as Leica's own 60mm and 100mm Macro Elmarit's in R mount and which with the Macro Adaptor can do 1:1.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (Sep 19, 2012)

I googled and found that more detailed info about the sensor can be read here:

http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2012/09/cmosis-sensor-in-leica-m-rangefinder.html

This should put all overly hasty assumptions that it is a Sony sensor to rest.

Being a Belgian engineer, I knew already about Antwerp-based company CMOSIS and understood that they have a number of highly talented and experienced people working there. They are mainly active in sensors for industrial, medical, air/space etc applications and it is interesting to see them branching out in consumer territory, in as much as.a Leica can be considered as a consumer product of course :-)

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (Sep 19, 2012)

I am especially curious about:
- the general performance of the new sensor. The company behind it has a lot of know-how, even if they are rarely coming into the consumer segment. High iso is not the only parameter, I am also intereted in colour, dynamics etc.
- the ergonomics when using magnification and focus peaking, as the camera is not a point and shoot, this doesn t seem trivial.
- the ergonomics of the thicker body compared to the excellent ergonomics of its predecessors
- the ergonomics of using R lenses on it
- the ease or difficulty of getting sharp pictures with the rangefinder only. I mention this because 24mp may make this critical and a slightly different focus is more visible than in the days of film.

Several of the above comments probably dont matter when using the external optional evf (i assume that focus peaking and magnification works in it as well), but I can t shake the feeling that they should have incorporated a hybrid vf inside the body, fuji style.

3 upvotes
Kassra
By Kassra (Sep 19, 2012)

enough already with that same old body shape... this is NOT the most beautiful or the most functional or the most practical body shape a camera could ever have. perhaps the folks at the design department need some imagination?!

1 upvote
Leichhardt
By Leichhardt (Sep 19, 2012)

I'm not sure if anyone has made that claim.

4 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Sep 19, 2012)

Do you mean they need imgination from the Hasselblad Lunar department?

5 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Sep 19, 2012)

It's a matter of taste. No one should make bold statements about the aesthetics of a camera - or anything else. As for me, I love Leica's perennial design, but I allow for others to feel differently. I even understand it if someone loves the Hasselblad Lunar, although I know I'd lose all my friends if I bought one.

5 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (Sep 20, 2012)

Hope they never change the shape too drastically... It's like the 911 of cameras... (unfortunately only in terms of design and not on "performance")

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Sep 19, 2012)

M M good... sorry.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 19, 2012)

The Nikon F with Nikkor 50 mm f/2 lens had a list price of US$ 359.50 in 1959. Let's say it was the best deal for money. SSA says US national average wage was $3,856 then. That means, an average person had to spend 1.12 months working to get one Nikon F with a kit lens in 1959.
SSA says US national average wage for 2010 is 41,674. To keep the same value in the estimation of what we had to work for then, a 2010 equivalent camera and lens kit should cost around $3900.

3 upvotes
Bachoanguyen
By Bachoanguyen (Oct 23, 2012)

Similarly, nobody can afford for the Ford Model T with the nowadays salary. But, think more, how many people bought Ford Model T or Nikon F at the time in the past and how many go for $4K kit nowadays? Technology and mass production make cheaper goods. You may spend $100 for the Nikon F kit now on Ebay and see how much different that a $4K set like 5D2 + 70-200mm 2.8 IS can make in comparison to Nikon F.

0 upvotes
cjhwang
By cjhwang (Sep 19, 2012)

Regular SLR shooters should seriously read this "casual" review of an M9. I think it's a balanced review of "why M?"

http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/the-leica-m9-experience-review/

I shot with an Epson RD1, being a Canon user since the early 90's, and I seriously might move to the M with the CMOS sensor. But again, even the CCD sensor of the M9 was great because it doesn't have an anti-alias filter, although it might not do 56,000 ISO or whatever. The images from my RD1 at 1600 were nice and grainy in B&W.

1 upvote
johnmcpherson
By johnmcpherson (Sep 18, 2012)

Give me an old M4...

1 upvote
Blackfjord
By Blackfjord (Sep 19, 2012)

Yes, and give me an old woman....very old

4 upvotes
raxmendorom
By raxmendorom (Sep 18, 2012)

looking at the new M, is Leica moving towards into a more modular approach? the premise of adapting those R lenses on an M body and have some of the ergonomics of recent SLRs or m4/3s is really enticing. of course there are more advantages in using a dedicated SLR system but this is really exciting to say the least. need something for unobtrusive street shooting? use M lenses. need the reach of a telephoto or magnification of macro? use the EVF and adapt an R lens. And it's full frame too!

It is really an exciting time to be in this hobby (or addiction, whatever floats your boat).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
DonTom
By DonTom (Sep 18, 2012)

HA! Can't wait to plug my Olympus VF-2 into a Leica M.....

2 upvotes
beaconsfield
By beaconsfield (Sep 25, 2012)

Would it work ? Like the higher megapixels.

0 upvotes
NoTx
By NoTx (Sep 18, 2012)

Hey, does anyone know if the R-Adapter automates the aperture setting, or is it all stop down? Hoping it can make use of the lenses as they were designed.

0 upvotes
Jono Slack
By Jono Slack (Sep 19, 2012)

Hi There
You don't need stop down metering with a mirror-less camera. Set the aperture you want to use, and the EVF gains up to show you the correct depth of field / metering etc. It's much more elegant than stop down metering, and works really well using 3rd party lenses and adapters on other mirrorless systems.

2 upvotes
MP Burke
By MP Burke (Sep 18, 2012)

There is always a lot of people saying the M Leica are too expensive. However, for the time being, it is the only full frame interchangeable lens mirror-less camera. Perhaps if someone else could be bothered to make a good camera to rival Leica (as Cosina did in the film era) and make use of the wide range of M mount lenses, then we could have a cheaper alternative.

3 upvotes
Nublover
By Nublover (Sep 18, 2012)

IMHO this will not happen. All the camera makers want to earn more $$$ from lenses not only cameras. Once Sony's FF Nex comes out, Leica lenses price will go up again. Better buy some Leica lens now(But not their M body) Cheers!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Leichhardt
By Leichhardt (Sep 19, 2012)

A digital Zeiss Ikon, for under $4k would be great.

2 upvotes
Carbon111
By Carbon111 (Sep 18, 2012)

A lot of prejudging going on here. People seem seriously obsessed about the cost at the expense of their own rationality.

I shoot a Canon 5DmkII as well as a Leica M9. Rangefinder focusing is admittedly not for everyone but I can certainly say the IQ of the M9 easily exceeds the 5DmkII despite the lower rez sensor - the Leica glass is simply phenomenal. Canon has nothing even remotely close to Leica quality, especially on the wide end. I'm very eager to see RAW results from the new M's sensor to see if adding the new M to my setup makes sense.

Is $7K a reasonable price for a camera? Given the resulting images, the insane build quality and the compactness of the M9, certainly I think so.

The disdain folks have for Leica and its users borders on pathology. I'm a decent photographer who takes great pride in my work and having people dismiss me as a "dupe" or fool simply because one of my cameras is rather expensive is idiotic in the extreme.

These folks actually need to *try* an M.

14 upvotes
Leichhardt
By Leichhardt (Sep 19, 2012)

I couldn't agree more, it's really just the little green monster rearing its ugly head. I wouldn't classify great photojournalists like Stephen Dupont or Trent Parke who both use Leica as fools!

4 upvotes
cjhwang
By cjhwang (Sep 19, 2012)

same here. I'm seriously thinking on moving myself to the M. I did Wedding photography with 5D's and 1D's. At a friend's wedding I shot with an Epson RD1, I had so much fun and the images showed the fun I had.
One day I'll shoot a whole wedding with an M, that would be sweet. My wedding photography is "street style" anyway, lots of candids, casuals, etc. So it's a perfect match.

4 upvotes
johnmcpherson
By johnmcpherson (Sep 19, 2012)

I dare say most of these people are 'technicians' and not photographers.

5 upvotes
Multifot
By Multifot (Sep 18, 2012)

Is it digital rangefinder camera or it is modern mirrorless device with rudimental rangefinder? EVF, LV, SLR camera lens adapters - is it important and useful with classic rangefinder system?! I think no.

0 upvotes
fortwodriver
By fortwodriver (Sep 18, 2012)

Perhaps I missed something in the specs. Notice there is no screen for the bright-line illumination between the finder and the focus baseline? The M-E has it, but this one doesn't.

Has Leica done away with this?

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Sep 18, 2012)

Yes, it looks like they have adopted the frames from a special edition M9 Titanium design by Walter de Silva of Volkswagen cars. Now discontinued, it had single electronic frame lines instead of the two at a time all other M's have.

The Ti M9 cost £15,000 too, which makes this M seem like even more of a bargain.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
fortwodriver
By fortwodriver (Sep 18, 2012)

Wow, I didn't know they would go that route at all. I'll have to look that up. Thanks!

0 upvotes
Alex Leach
By Alex Leach (Sep 18, 2012)

No, the new M framelines are mechanical but illuminated by a small light inside the viewfinder housing, not a window.

So they are not like the M9 Titanium which were electronically projected.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 18, 2012)

I like the Leica lenses like the m4/3s 25mm F1.4. It is expensive but it is a good lens. These cameras are a joke. They really are not that good and they cost a fortune.

Hopefully enough stupid people will buy these cameras so they won't have to charge so much for the lenses.

1 upvote
bstolk
By bstolk (Sep 18, 2012)

Did Leica misspell 'Focus Peaking'?
Did they mean ''Focus Peeking'?

0 upvotes
bewing77
By bewing77 (Sep 18, 2012)

No. Focus peaking is the same thing NEX cameras has, where the areas im focus are outlined in the vf. Focus peeking is something I have never heard of..

0 upvotes
The Jacal
By The Jacal (Sep 18, 2012)

No they didn't misspell 'peaking', unless they wanted a sneaky look.

0 upvotes
u2slow
By u2slow (Sep 18, 2012)

all the people who complain about M are people who can't afford them.

it is like they can't afford a Porsche, so they get a Honda, it get you there anyways.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Sep 18, 2012)

Well, if somebody offered me a kilo bag of rotten spuds for £20 I would say "no thanks" even though I can easily afford £20. Scale this example up a bit and you have my position on a Leica purchase.

5 upvotes
babamaru
By babamaru (Sep 19, 2012)

Difference: A Porsche does not perform like a Honda

0 upvotes
johnmcpherson
By johnmcpherson (Sep 19, 2012)

I bet they hate Porsches too...

1 upvote
gabriel67
By gabriel67 (Sep 27, 2012)

Sure.
I Have an M6 ( Germany made) an M8 and an old M3 with pop lens.
( Good enough for you? )
So: I don't use the M8 but in daylight and for fun.
Why: impossible to deal with noise, and wrong blacks ( remember? )
SO: I use Fuji X-Pro 1 X-100 and EOS Mark IV.
And most of all avoid being classist as you.
How many Leicas do you have my friend?

0 upvotes
MDwebpro
By MDwebpro (Sep 18, 2012)

To buy the new Hasselblad Lunar or the new Leica M-series camera? Both have 24-MP sensors; both are finely crafted engineering masterpieces. Decisions, decisions.

Since I'm of sound mind and not made of money, it's actually a pretty easy decision: none of the above. I'll be waiting for the next sub-$800 Panasonic, Nikon or Canon masterpiece, thank you very much.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 18, 2012)

At 680g, with the grip, the EVF and the S lens the M is starting to not look all that different from a DSLR in terms of size and weight.

Throw in LiveView, video and you gotta wonder about the minimalist philosophy that so many Leica fans talk about.

Interesting all the same.

Old Oskar must be rolling in his grave.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Sep 18, 2012)

I don't care what the "fans talk about", this camera is Oskar speaking to us from the grave. He loved making the M the center of a huge system of accessories and add-ons. He was the brains behind PLOOT, and SLR mirror-box that you put between the M and a line of telephoto and macro lenses. PLOOT became Visoflex, and remained in continuous production for half a century...

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Visoflex

Check this out. SFTOO, a shoe mounted telescopic viewfinder and rangefinder for use with the 200mm Telyt lens.

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/SFTOO

Another gadget traceable to Oskar, NOOKY, a closeup lens with prisms to compensate the rangefinder and viewfinder for parallax.

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/NOOKY

The little EVF, which Leica called Visoflex out of a sense of history and coolness, is like PLOOT, NOOKY, and SFTOO in one pocket. I would have called it OSKAR, 5 letters, all caps, Leica style

6 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (Sep 19, 2012)

Quote: "He (Oskar) loved making the M the centre (sic) of a huge system..." No, he didn't. He died on 16 January 1936 and the M series appeared in 1954.

1 upvote
gabriel67
By gabriel67 (Sep 27, 2012)

Deadly right answer sirrah...
Congrats.

0 upvotes
BrotherLouie
By BrotherLouie (Sep 18, 2012)

I bet Sony execs are now biting their elbows for holding back on a full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 20, 2012)

Why? Sony managers were no doubt reading the same predictions/rumors as everyone else and would have made such a camera if it made sense.

0 upvotes
beaconsfield
By beaconsfield (Sep 25, 2012)

Making televisions and mobile phones are fine, but can't take their cameras very seriously.

0 upvotes
Mauro.B
By Mauro.B (Sep 18, 2012)

In new M, Leica did not address the intrinsic alignment weakness of the rangefinder mechanism.
With my M9 I struggled with the rangefinder for one year and a half, sending the camera to Solms at least three times, and in last August it was again out of sync.
I find it a half hearted effort to overload a camera with any kind of electronic gadget, however useful it is, without definitely fixing one of the M system's drawbacks, i.e. the tendency of the rangefinder of getting out of alignmnt.
Nice to have live view or peak focus as a backup, but they are just that: a backup.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Sep 18, 2012)

Really bad IQ.

Leica M9 is at 57th place at DxO's sensor ratings / Dynamic Range. The lowly Pentax K-5 is the third and Nikon 7000 is the fourth. Nikon D800s are the two best ones. Sony NEX-7 is the 10th.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings/(type)/usecase_landscape

2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Sep 18, 2012)

DxOMark only gauges sensor performance. I don't see the point of this reply, or what that score has to do with the camera's quality control.

1 upvote
cjhwang
By cjhwang (Sep 19, 2012)

Leica's when "on focus" is sharp in center to corner, with minimal distortion. It's hard to find Canon/Nikon lenses that can match that. It's not only about sensor performance, because you can have a great sensor, and put a cheap $500 lens on it. If you compare a Nikon's 24-70 F2.8 and Canon's version, you'll see Canon's is not as sharp and has more distortion in the wide end. THUS, the Nikon lens is more expensive. Oh wait... you were talking about sensor performance and not lenses you say? well, the OP was talking about rangefinder alignment... so...

1 upvote
JoeDaBassPlayer
By JoeDaBassPlayer (Sep 18, 2012)

It's a Full Frame K 01. Nice!

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Sep 18, 2012)

Yeah, if a K-01 had a short register, even shorter back focus, and a lens line that took advantage of those things...

And a cool clip-on EVF...

And it looked good...

1 upvote
nathantw
By nathantw (Sep 18, 2012)

The camera might be built to last a lifetime, but the sensor will be obsolete and unwanted in just a few years unlike the MP and 7 (and earlier models) that will keep their owners happy (and not continually upgrading) as long as film is still available.

0 upvotes
beaconsfield
By beaconsfield (Sep 25, 2012)

So long as it keeps working and gets me the pictures I want, won't be obsolete to me.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Sep 18, 2012)

Is this the new Sony sensor that Nikon and Sony are using in the new cameras? It shud be a marvel in IQ.

I'm playing the lottery ... ;).

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Sep 18, 2012)

If you take the time to read the press release: "This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M- and R-Lenses."

9 upvotes
stephoto
By stephoto (Sep 18, 2012)

is the focus peaking visible also in the EVF? or just on the monitor?

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 18, 2012)

Are my eyes getting older, or the M series camera gets fatter with each new digital iteration?

1 upvote
cjhwang
By cjhwang (Sep 19, 2012)

M8, M9, M-E (aka M9) = 139 x 80 x 37mm
M = 139 x 80 x 42mm

so only this latest M is 5mm thicker.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Sep 18, 2012)

This camera has the best controls: very simple and effective. Others manufactures cannot match its simplicity.No, I don't want Leica, because I hace Fuji TX-1, which is better for me. But I want DSLR manufacturer to make such simple and effective controls. Film SLR from all manufacturer had them (Olympus OM, Nikon FM.., for example). And why not to make true rangefinder camera, only rangefinder-style?

5 upvotes
Emacs23
By Emacs23 (Sep 18, 2012)

No, I would trade useless shutter speed wheel to exposure correction control one.

2 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 18, 2012)

Simple and effective controls on a DSLR? Admittedly most DSLRs have a lot of controls compared to a Leica or even some of the mirrorless cameras.
BUT and this is a BIG but, you only need to use three to get perfectly acceptable pictures from most DSLRs.
1) Power.
2) Mode Dial (set to 'A' or 'P') and leave.
3) Shutter Release.

DLSRs can be complex, but I suspect that for most users they are not much different from a point and shoot and a lot more effective than a Leica would be, since the AF does the heavy lifting.

Not to knock the Leica, but suggesting that DSLR operation is not simple in comparison to a Leica is a bit disengenious.

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Sep 20, 2012)

@jtan163:

Pointing and shooting with a dslr may be easier than with a leica, but actually *controlling* a dslr is not.

If you expect your camera controls to actually control your camera, there is (unfortunately) no other option that even comes close to the simple, direct and positive contols of the m cameras.

It /was/ disingenuous of you to suggest that resorting to full auto was simpler, though.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Sep 18, 2012)

I can only wish to have a Leica. While "specs"-wise it may not outperform the D800, it's still a beautiful and powerful instrument.

I can keep on wishing. lol...

2 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Sep 18, 2012)

Get a Leica film camera. You'll get all the engineering, with none of the digital that gets pushed under the rug every three years.

1 upvote
D200_4me
By D200_4me (Sep 18, 2012)

I don't follow the Leica line very much but this looks like the first rangefinder they've offered with some real, modern features. It looks very attractive to me....but not the price. Can I afford one? Yes. Can I justify spending so much on a camera and then the very expensive lenses too? No....which is why I'm in good shape financially. If I did have money to burn though, I'd be interested in one ;-)

7 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Sep 18, 2012)

I was hoping for a Fuji X-Pro 1 style hybrid viewfinder for the M...

Live view on the rear display will be a welcome addition for landscape photographers and tripod use. But a P&S shooting style with a Leica M sounds a bit... meh ;)

2 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Sep 18, 2012)

Now that this camera has live-view and doesn't depend on its rangefinder mechanism for accurate focus it will be interesting to see new dedicated M-series macro, zoom and longer telephoto lenses become available for this system.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Sep 18, 2012)

I don't have Leica and probably never have one, but still don't understand all that complaints...there are million things on this planet that are million times more expensive...if you complain it's not for you, if you have money to spend I am sure you love it!

18 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Sep 18, 2012)

Well said.

1 upvote
jerrycambuk
By jerrycambuk (Sep 18, 2012)

Does a gorilla glass smartphone style screen cover mean it will break easily like my iPhone? :)

1 upvote
Sunny15
By Sunny15 (Sep 18, 2012)

I dropped my iPhone and it works fine. Now what?

1 upvote
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 18, 2012)

I think you should both drop your phones again, just to make sure.

5 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (Sep 18, 2012)

Or better yet, just drop it!

0 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Sep 18, 2012)

FF MILC wth EVF should be $2k
Tops $3k.

2 upvotes
Phileas Fogg
By Phileas Fogg (Sep 18, 2012)

Those here who troll to bash Leica have likely never shot a Leica camera. Many probably do not know how to shoot photography other than "P" for perfect mode anyways. They likely will never be able to afford one as they fail to grasp the value of what decades of Leica quality and manufacturing have brought.

The bashers only see what Leica does not give you as compared to the more typical and often gimmick loaded DSLR's or other digital cameras. The absence of some of these things and gimmicks is what makes a Leica endearing to true photographic shooters.

These bashers have likely never shot a true rangefinder let alone a Leica be it a 35mm film body or a digital. They are folks that would not understand the value of prestige and what superlative manufacturing quality brings.

No I do not own a Leica never have shot one but if I had the disposable cash at hand to buy a Leica M series I would and both a film body as well as the digital one here.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
14 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Sep 18, 2012)

Even worse, the bashers never got to see the results or what the M9 and leica lenses can do. Sure high iso is not as good as CMOS, but at base iso, nothing is even close.

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 18, 2012)

Oh then, for God's sake, find one Leica M and take a shot or two. Then maybe you'll rephrase a few words, because in all paragraphs you've retold the same story.

2 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (Sep 18, 2012)

LOL no need for that...

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Sep 18, 2012)

What is the relationship between being able to afford something and appreciating it's value?
Oh that's right none.

Is the M less endearing, with all the gimmicks it has (live view, video, focus peaking, EVF)?
Of course like the rest of us you won't know, because as you say you don't got one and you ain't shot one.
So as a non Leica owner and non Leica shooter how do you know the value of a Leica from any perspective other than as a brand?

BTW I'd buy one too if I had the coin, but I don't imagine that if I did manage to buy one, that I'd be better than the lowly DSLR shooters.

1 upvote
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Sep 18, 2012)

Sorry to disagree, but being the owner of M6TTL, M7, M8 and M9 (the last two bought new), I have to criticise the revision of prices by Leica. They have priced me out of the market.

3 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Sep 18, 2012)

I have more respect for Laika the Russian space dog.

6 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Sep 18, 2012)

Man, shooting Leica with live view, like point-and-shoot,must be looking funny :)
If it can produce video the same sharpness as Black Magic, or Sony FS100, EOS C100, then the price is absolutely perfect.

3 upvotes
dash2k8
By dash2k8 (Sep 18, 2012)

I own an M (non movie version, of course). I have to say that although the shooting experience is top-notch, I occasionally find myself trying to justify the cost of it versus my Canon. Sure my photo projects will pay for it, but while the Leica experience is excellent, it's also expensively excellent (or excellently expensive). More a collector's item than a real-world tool for me.

3 upvotes
Jacqves
By Jacqves (Sep 18, 2012)

Belgian sensor !!! proficiat for the men of CMOSIS , Antwerpen.

5 upvotes
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 18, 2012)

will this be a digital Leica that actually earns some respect as a camera body?

0 upvotes
gustabod
By gustabod (Sep 18, 2012)

it will be a mirrorless camera that the aspiring brand masses will buy and use as a point and shoot never looking through the rangefinder (you know the same people that buy the LV bags). Good marketing decision by Leica, and they beat Sony to sell a FF product that takes M lenses

0 upvotes
Total comments: 357
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