The beginning of a new era for the Leica M: the launch of the Leica M8 in 2006 saw the characteristic features of the Leica M camera carried forward into the world of digital photography for the very first time. Since then, all successive models have continued to set new standards with innovative functions and features – but always adhering to the basic principles of the M-System. Thanks to this, all digital M models produced over the past ten years have one thing in common: they combine the benefits offered by innovative digital technology with decades of continuous improvement of the rangefinder concept, to broaden the creative horizons of dedicated photographers.
It all started with the digital Leica M8. The first digital M, featuring a 10.3 megapixel, low-noise CCD image sensor. Remarkably, all generations of M lenses could be mounted on this wonderful piece of technology, allowing the owner to go beyond what its mechanical predecessors could achieve. Around this same time, back in Photokina 1954, Leica introduced the first M series camera, the M3. 52 years after the M3, also at photokina, the Leica M8 digital rangefinder was unveiled, and the rest is history.
The Leica M8.2 camera was presented at photokina 2008 and offered further improvements, suggested by Leica photographers. The shutter was quieter and a new menu development allowed the spanning action to be delayed. In addition to this, the brightline frames were revised and configured to cover a larger area of the sensor. Further modifications included the integration of an Auto-ISO function.
The Leica M9 was the world’s smallest, full-frame digital system camera. The CCD sensor, developed especially for the M9, perfectly captured the full 24x36 mm frame size of 35 mm format. Combined with the 2.5" LCD display on the back of the body, its simple and intuitive menu navigation also enabled rapid access to all camera functions. This made the M9 the perfect contemporary tool for those who truly appreciate the finest imaging quality and absolute freedom in the composition of their photos.
The finer differences are in the details: Technically, the Leica M9-P is almost identical to the M9, but it deliberately omits the Leica red dot and the model name on the front. The camera features an understated Leica logo script on the top plate. Another distinctive difference is the exceptionally tough and scratch-resistant sapphire glass cover on the LCD display.
Leica M Monochrom
A revolution in the realm of rangefinder photography. Although the Leica M-Monochrom is based on the Leica M9-P, this is the first time a digital M camera has featured a purely black-and-white sensor with no colour filter, avoiding the need for interpolation in the calculation of luminance values. The resulting photos are no less than fantastic: black-and-white pictures with unrivalled sharpness – even when shooting in low light.
Leica M (Typ 240)
The Leica M is the culmination of more than 50 years of experience with the rangefinder system, and simultaneously takes advantage of the latest digital technologies. It features a new, high-resolution, full-frame CMOS sensor that, in combination with its high-performance processor and our legendary M-Lenses, delivers outstanding imaging results – and is the only M-Camera able to record moving pictures in M-Quality. With video capability, Live View and additional focusing methods, it is by far the most versatile M.
The Leica M-E was designed to be an entry-level model for M photography and was designed as a somewhat leaner and simpler concept. A version of the M9, its functions and features were reduced to the bare essentials of photography, and, for example, omit the USB interface and the frame selection lever. At the time, it was the least expensive model in the range of Leica M digital cameras.
Leica M-P (Typ 240)
The Leica M-P (Typ 240) offers a number of special features that distinguish it from the Leica M. Extremely low shutter noise for discreet shooting, a scratch-resistant, sapphire glass LCD cover and a 2-gigabyte buffer memory to double its readiness and shooting capacity. In addition, its frame selector makes it easier for the photographer to choose the optimum focal length for a subject. The style of the Leica M9-P is even more unobtrusive – in place of the red dot on the front, it features a subtle Leica logo script on the top plate.
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)
Featuring a host of innovations and features to improve the full-frame, black-and-white digital camera, the new Leica M Monochrom reflects the continuous development of this unique concept – enhancing this already exceptional camera. For example, it is three times faster than its predecessor and offers features such as Live View and video capability. Increasing its performance further, it now has a 24 MP CMOS sensor and ISO sensitivity up to 25000, delivering picture quality that simply leaves other cameras standing.
Leica M (Typ 262)
The Leica M (Typ 262) has been deliberately stripped to its essential features. No other camera stands for the Leica mantra, ‘Das Wesentliche’ – reducing the functionality to its purest form for serious photographers. The top plate is made from durable aluminium. With a weight of just 600 grams, it is even more ergonomic and easy to handle than its sister models with brass top plate. Further differences are the reduced size of the Leica logo and the step at the end of the top plate – design features that are reminiscent of the Leica M9.
Leica M-D (Typ 262)
The Leica M-D is an homage to the experience of shooting with film. As it has no LCD screen and no menu, and brings back the anticipation and fascination – of photography. Apart from the essential parameters – shutter speed, aperture, distance, and ISO value – it intentionally offers no further setting options, providing maximum simplicity. Every photographer knows intuitively how to use the Leica M-D. No screen, no distractions.