Le­ica Builds An Even Purer Dig­i­tal M

ProPhoto - - NEWS -

The Le­ica M Typ 262 was al­ready de­signed to ap­peal to purists by elim­i­nat­ing both live view and video record­ing, but now there’s a new ver­sion of this dig­i­tal rangefinder cam­era which takes things even fur­ther. The new M-D – still, a bit con­fus­ingly, des­ig­nated Typ 262 – now goes with­out the mon­i­tor screen it­self, thereby also elim­i­nat­ing in-cam­era im­age re­view and a menu sys­tem. Le­ica says its M-D “…in­ten­tion­ally omits all but the most es­sen­tial tech­ni­cal fea­tures” and is “…rad­i­cally re­duced to the most im­por­tant pa­ram­e­ters re­quired for photography”.

The new cam­era’s back panel now just has a se­lec­tor dial for sen­si­tiv­ity set­tings as all the con­trols associated with im­age play­back and menu nav­i­ga­tion are also elim­i­nated. There’s no pro­vi­sion for any in-cam­era ad­just­ments and images are cap­tured ex­clu­sively as Adobe DNG for­mat RAW files. Fo­cus­ing is, of course, per­formed man­u­ally as is ex­po­sure con­trol. The op­ti­cal viewfinder has a mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of 0.68x and in­cor­po­rates a split-im­age rangefinder plus bright­line frame pairs for 35mm/135mm, 28mm/90mm and 50mm/75mm with au­to­matic switch­ing and par­al­lax cor­rec­tion.

The new M-D uses the same full-35mm for­mat CMOS sen­sor as its mon­i­tor-equipped sib­ling, and which has an ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion of 24 megapix­els and sen­si­tiv­ity range equiv­a­lent to ISO 200 to 6400. Im­age files are stored on an SD for­mat mem­ory card, and the cam­era sup­ports SDHC and SDXC types. The sen­sor is matched with Le­ica’s ‘Mae­stro’ pro­ces­sor and there’s a 1.0 GB buf­fer mem­ory to ac­com­mo­date con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at up to 3.0 fps. The cam­era’s all-me­tal bodyshell has the tra­di­tional heavy-duty brass top and bot­tom plates with a black lac­quered fin­ish and real leather in­serts. Also omit­ted is the Le­ica ‘red dot’ badge, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany in order to main­tain an “un­ob­tru­sive ap­pear­ance”.

The new M-D is priced at $8900 body only and brings the cur­rent range of dig­i­tal Le­ica M mod­els to five (M, M Typ 262, M-P and M Monochrom). Le­ica has tried the mon­i­tor-less de­sign be­fore with its spe­cial M Edi­tion 60 which, in 2014, which cel­e­brated 60 years of the M Sys­tem. This cam­era’s pro­duc­tion run was lim­ited to just 600 units, but the new M-D is a stan­dard model and is avail­able lo­cally now.

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