Leica has announced a purer, more affordable addition to its M rangefinder series.
Leica M (Type 262) is essentially a stripped-back version of the existing Leica M (Type 240), which launched back in 2012. It comes with the same basic design, the same 24-megapixel full-frame image sensor, and the same optical viewfinder.
However, Leica has cut out some of the extraneous features to form a more straight-forward rangefinder that will no-doubt please the Leica purists no end.
The Leica M (Type 262) cannot record video footage, for example, unlike its older brother. It also lacks the Type 240's live view feature, which has the knock-on effect of making the menu system much cleaner, and providing quicker access to settings.
Leica has also cut back on the construction materials of the Leica M (Type 262), employing aluminium instead of brass for the top plate. This has the effect of making the camera 100g lighter.
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Elsewhere, the Type 262 has a shutter that's "hardly audible," which plays into the Leica brand's peerless history as the street photographer's choice. As part of this, the Type 262 also has a shutter cocking system that's considerably quieter than its predecessor.
The final advantage of stripping things back is that the Leica M (Type 240) will be more affordable than its brother. Of course, using the word 'affordable' in conjunction with any Leica is somewhat laughable - it'll still set you back $5,195 (just under £3,400) when it launches at the end of November.
But when you consider that the Type 240 costs $6,950 (around £4,540), that's quite a saving.