Leica M unveiled – £5,100 of retro camera goodness

The Leica M has been unveiled at Photokina 2012. In usual Leica fashion, the camera won’t come cheap, set to sell for £5,100 from early 2013.

With the Leica M, the retro-look camera maker is setting up a new naming system for its M-series cameras. The numbers have been dropped, in favour of an everlasting – if potentially confusing – vibe. As Leica says, it’s out to show the “significance and enduring value” of the series.

But now onto the good stuff. The Leica M features a 35mm format 24-megapixel CMOS sensor comparable in size to that of a full-size DSLR. Its sensor is designed for use with Leica-made M-lenses.

Other features include a 3in 920k pixel display topped with Corning Gorilla glass, 6400 ISO ceiling and 1080p video recoding.

Leica M
As with most Leica cameras, though, other than great image quality the big draw of the Leica M is its chunky retro styling. Its body is made from a single piece of lightweight magnesium alloy and it uses rubber seals to provide splashproofing. It may look like a relic from a few decades ago, but its hardware offers some surprisingly up-to-date features.

For all its new bits, this is intended to be a traditional M-series rangefinder camera in most respects. The last camera in the Leica M-series was the Leica M9, released last year. It featured a lower-resolution 18-megapixel sensor and a smaller 2.5in screen. In styling terms, though, the two are peas in a pod.

The Leica M will go on sale in early 2013 and is set to sell for £5,100. It will be available in black or silver finishes. For maximum retro points, you’ll want to check out the silver edition.   

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