Leica has discontinued its M7 film camera after 16 years of service. According to the Red Dot Forum, which is run by the Miami Leica store, the last of the M7 standard and ‘a la Carte’ bodies has been built and no more will be made. The Miami store lists the camera as ‘Out of Stock’ but models will remain in circulation elsewhere until they are sold through. The UK Leica stores have stock listed at £3900 and New York at $4795 – the same price as the Leica MP and £/$100 more than the M-A film bodies.
The M7 caused a bit of a stir when it arrived with features that required battery power to operate – particularly the electronic shutter. Without power users are restricted to shutter speeds of 1/60sec and 1/125sec, whereas models before the M7 had used an entirely mechanical shutter and could therefore continue working in the event of a flat battery- or no battery.
The M7 also brought aperture priority to the M range, a feature that has found a place in a number of M bodies, but not all, since, and it was the first M to feature a DX code reader to automatically set the ISO for the internal metering system by ‘reading’ a code printed on the film cassette.
Ironically, while the slightly modern M7 will descend in to history with its new-fangled electro-wizardry, two perhaps less helpful film models will continue the previous traditions of fully mechanical shutters and all-manual operation. The MP and the M-A remain on the product list, though the MP seems to be widely listed as Out-of-Stock in official Leica stores.
Red Dot statement
Leica M7 Film Camera Discontinued
Today marks the passing of a legend, the venerable Leica M7. First introduced in 2002 as the follow-up to the M6, the Leica M7 brought a more modern aperture priority mode and electronically-controlled shutter to a classic mechanical M design. The M7 was also the first M camera with a built-in DX code reader for ISO detection. The camera has been well-loved for over 15 years, but all good things must come to an end.
Effective immediately, Leica will no longer produce any more new M7 cameras, in black or silver. There still might be a handful in stock at various dealers, but once sold out, no more will be coming from Wetzlar. The same goes for the a la Carte program. No M7-based configurations will be accepted or built for customers wanting a custom camera.
While this is certainly sad news for analog lovers, fear not. The Leica MP and Leica M-A film cameras remain current items in the catalog and will continue to be produced.
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