New Leica M Type 262 Announced. $5195

PRESS RELEASE

Leica Camera Introduces The New Leica M (Typ 262):

A Digital Rangefinder Camera With Only the Essential Functions

Leica M_Typ 262_01

Leica launches digital rangefinder camera in its purest form to allow for ease of use and handling.

November 19, 2015 – Leica Camera presents a new digital rangefinder camera, the Leica M (Typ 262). Together with the Leica M (Typ 240), M-P (Typ 240) and the M Monochrom (Typ 246), this new camera rounds out the digital rangefinder family and stands for the M philosophy in its purest form. Its concentration on the essence of rangefinder photography and intuitive handling makes it an ideal tool for experiencing the pure enjoyment of photography.

The Leica M (Typ 262) digital rangefinder camera embodies all the essential advantages of the Leica rangefinder system, while foregoing certain functions that some users may find extraneous. Just like all other digital M-Cameras, the Leica M (Typ 262) features a high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor, albeit one that is dedicated exclusively to capturing photos; eschewing features such as video recording and Live View. Its 24-megapixel resolution ensures exceptional image quality and extreme sensitivity, and makes the Leica M (Typ 262) ideal for photography in available light situations. At the same time, the camera’s Maestro processor guarantees fast processing of captured images and immediate readiness to shoot.

Leica M_Typ262_back

Leica M_Typ 262_top

The clear and functional lines of the Leica M (Typ 262) design reveal its concentration on essential controls and handling. The top deck is made from durable aluminium, which makes the camera around 100 grams lighter and even more ergonomic than its sibling models. Further design differences are the reduced size of the logo and the step at the end of the top plate. Differences aside, the Leica M (Typ 262) is made in Germany with the highest level of craftsmanship just as all M cameras in the Leica line.

In addition to its purist looks, the hardly audible shutter of the Leica M (Typ 262) also guarantees maximum discreetness when shooting. An invaluable advantage in photographic situations where blending into the scene is vital. As an aid to this, the camera features a shutter cocking system that is considerably quieter in single exposure mode than that of the M (Typ 240) and enables a shutter release frequency of up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the M (Typ 262) has the same sequential shooting speed as its sibling models and shoots up to three frames per second.

Leica M-Family Shot_Nov_2015_01The handling concept of the Leica M (Typ 262) fulfils the demands of what photographers expect from a Leica M. This includes the tried and true manual focusing process with the coupled rangefinder and exposure options of full manual control or Aperture Priority automated shooting. Due to the omission of Live View and the video function, the menu is extremely lean and concise, consisting of only 2 pages that ensure all settings are quickly accessible. A dedicated button on the back of the camera now sets the white balance value, giving full-time access to this often-used function.

The Leica M (Typ 262) will be on sale end of November and is priced at $5,195. 

MY RECOMMENDED LEICA Dealers: Ken Hansen ([email protected]), PopFlash.comB&H Photo

BASICALLY THE NEW M 262 IS AN M 240 WITH AN ALUMINUM TOP PLATE INSTEAD OF BRASS AND NO VIDEO FEATURE. OH, AND A LOWER PRICE as well as a QUIETER shutter! This is my preferred recommended M as the video on the M was not necessary and with a quieter shutter, and lighter weight, the $2k savings makes this the M to get for most 🙂

Next year I predict and all new M will be announced with MANY changes 😉 

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45 Comments

  1. My next purchase. Had one in my hands last Sat and I almost went home with it. It is the color Leica M was hoping that Leica would produce and they have.

  2. I’m renting a 262 for a week. Posted a video where you can hear this shutter sound compared to an M-E (M9) and a classic Leica M2.

    https://youtu.be/R2RIz5xtxdI

    Coming from a Leica M-E, a few findings:

    No red frame line options in the 262 like the 240.

    262 only offers classic heavily center-weighted metering, not spot or multi-metering like the 240.

    Fast startup and wakeup time. Not slow like some report on the 240.

    Compared to the M-E, the 262 shows the ISO and EC value (if not set to zero) when the camera is turned on or wakes up. This may be a 240 feature also, but I don’t know that camera.

    Ping me on Twitter if you have questions about the camera.

  3. This is beautiful camera I would like to buy, however think Sony would clean up if they also produced a photographers version of the 7R II. A camera without a hump, menu gizmos and awful orange collar to the lens mount.

  4. I’m pleased to see this process of simplification on the M 262. It is heading back towards the origins of the film camera, with basic controls that the ‘purist’ would look for. I don’t want video, LV is a matter of opinion and I could go either way with this. My real want though is for this process of simplification to be carried further and to be applied to the Monochrom. Now that would be a camera!

  5. This is the new M-E, and I applaud Leica for offering it.

    I actually bought the old M-E about 8-months-ago and love it. There is a lot to be said for a hefty discount for the same image quality minus a few frills.

  6. I don’t care about video, so I wouldn’t miss that. Live view…not so sure how useful it is. Leica shooters like the rangefinder, otherwise we’d shoot some other make of camera.

  7. Saving 2k for video and live view. Tempting but live view is the back up system if the rangefinder isn’t properly calibrated to the lens eg the 50 0.95. It also let’s me shoot low or high without looking though the rangefinder
    It is a blast from the past. I want one.
    Noel

  8. While I can see this model as the succesor for the M9 for those who stay one or two iterations behind for budget reasons, stripping down LiveView as pure pricing segmentation strategy isn’t very nice from Leica.

    Thumbs up for making it lighter, quieter and more affordable and for dropping that useless (M)ovie feature though.

    The smaller logo and the lack of the screw on the front are right design decisions as well in my opinion.

    I don’t want a hybrid VF in the next M. I want a rangefinder that is able to adapt to the lens mounted instead. Like a built-in optical magnification. I wish this would be possible…

  9. I have used Leicas since 1976 when I bought my first M3. I’ve been on the fence about going digital for months. Recently had use of an M-P 240 for two weeks. I left the live view thing turned off, trying to make it work more like a film Leicas I’m used to. You use the little viewfinder/rangefinder and you find out later if the picture is any good and the mistakes you make will teach you more than the images that turn out just as you expected. Few things are more boring or trivial than making a photograph that turns out exactly as you thought/hoped it would. Anyway, I liked the images from the M-P 240 very much but was a little annoyed by the M (video) button on top, the focus assistance button on the front and the port under the hot shoe for the video viewfinder add-on thing. What’s gonna protect that port opening when I have my 21mm or 28mm finder mounted on top? (Long my favorite way to work with the 21 and 28.) Then I get the email about the M 262. Everything I didn’t like about the M-P 240 is gone. I ordered the 262 within minutes of getting the email. I hope not too many others did the same so my wait won’t be so long.

  10. I am a Leica M fan and have to say as one who loves minimalist designs and simplicity in everything I own, that I like this camera. Not that I would ever dismiss new Leicas like the Q and the SL.which are the future for Leica. The M I think will endure though how it may only be a bit part player in the future?
    “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” as the poet said.

    To those who do not understand -think Harley bikes Morgan Sports cars etc love em or hate them they endure !

  11. Video require a video processor and buffer memory to store video data. These parts cost less than $200. Live view and EVF are extracted from video processor which output to LCD and EVF ports. The controller board design is a little bit simpler. Aluminum top may be cheaper and easier to machine.

    Anyway $2000 saving is very significant for Leica camera. Some special edition has no LCD but costs thousands more.

  12. I agree with the following already mentioned points: Video is useless. Liveview is GREAT on my 240. I recently did a vacation in Europe and it was great to have accurate framing and focus with my Zeiss 25mm. I used the rangefinder for my 50mm and 35mm, but I didn’t want to have to take off my Thumbs Up and install a 25mm viewfinder into the hot shoe everytime I threw on the 25mm. Plus, I took a great landscape shot the last time I was in Yosemite with my 75mm Summicron and live view was perfect for focus, critical composition, and depth-of-field preview. It makes it a ghetto view camera.

    I think my M240 is too heavy and fat. Would I welcome an aluminum top plate? Maybe… but I can’t wait for the brassing to happen on my 240. On the 262, would we have a new term – “Aluminuming”? I’d be torn if I had to choose between the two cameras. I’d miss live view, welcome the weight and shutter, and miss the brassing.

  13. maybe i ll finally get a brand new Leica afterall.
    because my short sight is not so good the liveviw is useless to me. maybe Leica can go a step further: drop the screen and another 2 grands?

  14. This is close to what I consider my ideal digital M. If they removed the LCD altogether, maybe the body could slim down to M7 proportions and there wouldn’t be a need for any buttons at the back. Now THAT would be as perfect as I could wish a digital M to be. Pure photography, indeed. That said, this new camera is interesting enough to make me forgo my Q plans and save up a little bit more for it.

  15. This is the camera ( minus the RF function and including live view) that I keep hoping Sony will bring out – a lean mean A7 camera without video and many menu functions intended solely for fine-art professionals. It might even sell for under $1000.

  16. I bought the M8 in the hope that there would be a way over the years, as promised by Leica in their early sales material, an upgrade path. The M262 looks like its a great camera, and I would love to own one… but where’s my upgrade path Leica?

  17. It Is this 99% same old thick design with “acceptable” price for Leica camera with reduced and already outdated technology?
    Even today I prefer my thinner M9 steel grey brass made camera to 240 or 262 for holding and shooting.

    And for sensor quality there is Sony anyway and rx1r will outperform m240 with sensor Q but not with RF style and feel in my opinion.

  18. Sounds like a good camera. It is a blend of what is best from the M9 philosophy with the quieter shutter of the M at a price that is affordable – for a Leica.

  19. They should have kept the very important Live-view function.
    This takes care of AT LEAST two issues that are unaddressed by rangefinder ONLY usage.
    1. Most all lenses to some extent, experience “focus-shift”.
    2. “Wide view” viewfinders allowing the use of 28mm lenses etc., also cause the unintended consequence of inaccurate “small” framing & focusing, even with minor telephotos.

    When the situation allows, both of these accuracy issues are negated by the simple use of a Live-view or EVF feature…

  20. It is still too fat.

    Historically, Leica M sales took off when the M6 incorporated a coupled light meter into the proportions of the orginal M3 from 1954. M5 and Cl were complicated dynoaurs at their time, like M8, M9, M240 and M262.

    The LCD with too many tiny buttons arround distracts and ruins the simplistic, original user interface which only had focus, aperture, shutter speed and (finally) ASA. And it makes the body thicker than necessary.

    Presumably “live view”, video and EVF option are disabled by sofware rather than by leaving out hardware, with the exception of the EVF port. Production cost are the same. Leica just decided to sell one version for a little less.

  21. It’s just strange to me it didn’t get a suffix like M-E, because to me it looks like the body that will replace the M-E in the lineup.

    I predict the next M will have 36MPx, control layout of the SL and S and maybe (hopefully) a hybrid viewfinder. This one will remain as the option for the purists and a cheaper alternative.

    I also hope that the new M will look similar to the M9 Titanium, which was to me the most beautiful of digital Leicas.

    About the new reinvented flash mentioned by Karim – it sounds fantastic and something I would really wish but unfortunately highly unlikely. Leica hasn’t made any photographic product that made competition look like dinosaurs since the M3. Leica is more about purity and tradition now than making others look like dinosaurs. That’s more Sony’s pretension. 🙂

  22. I wish they’d gone with a CCD sensor and evolved the M-E into this camera. If they had, I would have upgraded from my M9-P immediately. I’d also rather have a full brass and weather sealed body personally. The slightly thinner size of the Ms of old was nice, but the weight of the M9 or M240 never really bothered me. The one thing holding me back from making the jump permanently to the M240 was image preference. I owned an M240 for six months and then sold it as I prefer the look of the M9 images. This camera hasn’t addressed that issue, for me personally.

  23. Removing video is fine, but removing live view is madness. Live view allows the use of a wide range of wider than 28mm lenses without the fuss and inconvenience of an accessory viewfinder. After all, Nikon left live view on the Df even though it also has not video feature.

    A mistake by Leica methinks.

    • The M live view was very slow, clunky and hard to use (when compared to any live view of today). If you want live view, wait for the next M as I will bet it will be just as good as the SL.

  24. Lots of other little, but very nice, tweaks too–back to the simple beauty of an M. Almost all black dials and buttons as well as hotshoe–even the little knob that holds the bottom plate is black. No M (movie button), no port below hotshoe, no speaker on top, no extra button on front, no HUGE M on front (yea), and of course, the smaller Leica logo. Also a step-down on the left side of the top plate, like the M9 has, which to me makes the camera look smaller when holding it. And the best thing is that it’s black, and not an awful blue-gray like the M-E. Bravo Leica!

  25. I would like a Leica M with:

    CMOS Sensor with live view – at least 24MP if not 36MP or 42MP backlit stacked

    An improved EVF at least as good as Leica T’s Visoflex EVF

    No rangefinder; perhaps build in the EVF instead of adding one on in the hot shoe

    • If it has no rangefinder, it won’t be a “M”:
      “M” stands for Mess-sucher, the German word for rangefinder…
      If you want a camera with EVF only, you can look at the Q or SL maybe?

  26. This is the true M9 successor. Better VF, better battery, buffer, reduced shutter lag, silent shutter, more resolution, better high iso and not heavier. If it was 3mm thinner and had live view it would be almost perfect for he Leica minimalist. But all in all a good move by Leica. With the light lenses, Elmarit 28, Summarit 50, Macro Elmar 90 it will be the most compact and fun FF combo.

    • VF is the same as the M 240, which was in turn not much different from the M9. Same RF mechanism and VF.All that has changed from the 240 is the video has been removed and an aluminum top plate has been added instead of brass for weight. They put in a quieter shutter as well. Same sensor so same ISO performance. Its an M 240 “lite”.

  27. This may be the camera to bring me back to digital from my M6TTL. I love simplicity. 2 menus are the absolute maximum I want to have to deal with and an inaudible shutter sound is a must for my street photography. I was/am still a believer in the CCD sensor but I don’t mind compromising there.

  28. I have an M9 (brought 2nd hand) which I still enjoy but I have been waiting for a new M to be released to allow me shoot in lower light (CMOS sensor). While the M 240 is of course available a lower priced alternative is appealing to me. Video is not so important to me when using a M – I have dedicated video cameras for that. When using a manual focus camera I am happy for it to have straight forward controls – it is part of the manual focus experience. if I want live view or video then I would go for one of my DSLR cameras and have the benefit of auto focus as well. I nearly always buy everything 2nd hand so may still wait a while before 2nd hand 262 come on the market – but I like the minimalist approach for a manual focus camera.

  29. Here’s another daring prediction: the next M will have:

    – 24Mpx

    – CCD

    – Live view, but no video

    – New RF mechanism

    – The shutter of the 262 (but, if the sensor is a CMOS, it will have an electronic shutter)

    – An RF cam which does something rather interesting 😉

    Oh, and I predict that Leica will reinvent flash, making every single flash unit today look instantly like a dinosaur.

  30. I thought that this would be the M that I wanted to have when I bought the M240. But now I got used to live-view on many shooting occasions and would not give it up. Especially when accurate framing is key. Video I rarely need.
    Still a good option for those that are coming from an M9 and who want a newer sensor. D!RK

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