The new Leica M and M-E is here! Leica made some smart moves…

The new Leica M is here! 24 Megapixel, Live View CMOS, EVF & HD Video Monster

The new M and R solution…and HD video solution..and live view solution…simply..the WEATHER SEALED “NEW M”

So Leica has announced two new cameras and we now know why they have been clearing out M9’s at a reduced rate of up to $1000 off. The new “M” and “M-E” are the two new cameras that will both replace the M9 and I am happy to hear the prices are lower than expected and that we still have a choice between the M9 CCD sensor and the new 24 MP CMOS sensor. Choice is what it is all about and I am excited to test out the new M and buy myself an M-E.

The M10, as many have already spilled the beans on will feature a 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor with live view. A high res 920,000 LCD display, the same EVF as used on the Leica X2 and the ability to use R glass via an adapter (though I admit it makes the camera DSLR like). For the 1st time ever M shooters can shoot HD video and Leica even has an accessory mic available for professional sound quality AND the body has rubber seals to protect it from rain and dust. BRAVO!!!

Yep, the “M10″ is here but it’s called simply…”THE M” because it appears they are taking the Apple approach. The next M(11) will simply be called “The new M” , lol. It looks sweet and appears to be an M9 killer with ISO up to 6400. The new CMOS sensor should be a huge improvement for low light high ISO but will it reatin that CCD crispness we have all come to love from those Kodak sensors? We shall see but we all know the magic is in the glass. This also may be the same sensor in the Sony RX1 and if so, the M will rock. This seems to be the one M that may last 5-6 years…double bravo to Leica.

YES the new M is still a rangefinder but when you BUY and ATTACH the Leica EVF 2 you can use the EVF to frame and shoot just like any other EVF camera. This will take away any focus issues/calibration problems. The EVF will set you back more cash but it will be good to have for those that want to shoot the M like any other camera (though that may take away from some of the charm) 🙂

The new M will be released sometime in 2013. My guess is by March/April. Cost? The same as the old M9..$6950 – AMAZING. Leica decided to lower their pricing a little instead of going insane with it. Smart move that probably avoided disaster though I see M9’s dropping like a rock on the used market. ($3900 anyone)? Leica is back and it seems they have done it again. Beautiful design, better functionality, better all around in every way and the same cost as the M9 was at launch! 

The new M press blurb:

The perfection of digital rangefinder technology

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) – Leica Camera presents a groundbreaking milestone in the nearly 60 year history of the Leica rangefinder system: The Leica M. Setting entirely new standards, the Leica M unites the ultimate in rangefinder precision with cutting edge digital technology. As the first camera to implement a newly designed CMOS image sensor and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, it is the most versatile Leica rangefinder model ever. Remaining true to the legendary values of the M-System, the Leica M not only provides the advantages of rangefinder photography, but also for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica R legacy lenses. As with every innovation and development since the flagship line’s inception, the Leica M was created to capture fleeting moments of time and transform them into living history.

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in the Leica product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems.

In every respect, the new Leica M is the most innovative and versatile model the modern M-System has ever created. Looking to the future, the Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology; the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant color rendition and impressive reproduction of details, to a CMOS sensor.

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor that is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor guarantees maximum imaging quality and speed. Now, all elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the image file, are under complete control of the Leica engineers. This guarantees the ultimate in imaging performance and quality. An additional highlight is the low power consumption of the components that, in conjunction with the particularly high capacity of the battery, ensures outstanding performance over a long period of use.


In 1954, the launch of the M-System opened new horizons in reportage and artistic photography. Now at the dawn of a new era in the system’s technology, the Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus. Image composition can now take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and color content of images can now be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3-inch, high-resolution monitor screen with 920,000 pixels. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning®Gorilla®Glass. The new Live View function allows photographers to have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classical capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly to macro and telephoto photography, but also allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video capability also opens up further opportunities to record memories as they happen.


Ever in pursuit of capturing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment,” the Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button. M-Photographers now have even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The new ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10 x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. Here, contours in the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be assessed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.


The Leica M’s features are optimally combined with the typical values of the Leica rangefinder system and guarantee the accustomed dependability of the Leica M in all photographic situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top deck and the base plate of the Leica M are machined from solid brass blanks and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained diecast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.


The new rangefinder camera is also a typical M due to its intuitive handling concept with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The enhanced layout and particular user-friendliness of the menu interface guarantees a clear and uncomplicated overview of all camera settings at all times. Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions. Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under an arbitrary name. They can be accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations and can now also be saved to an SD memory card. For increased comfort in use and harkening to the film advance lever of Leica film cameras, the Leica M now provides an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right on the back of the top deck. This ensures that the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.


A wide range of optional accessories is also available for the new Leica M. A particular highlight of the range is a new Leica R-Adapter M that allows almost all R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. The use of Leica R-System lenses now opens up vast new possibilities for zoom, telephoto and macro photography.


Further accessories are the Leica EVF2, Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set for perfect sound with video recordings.


The Leica M will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, in early 2013 in a choice of black paint or silver chrome finish.


The new M-E (The new M9.1)

This is an M9 which will be much better priced at $5450 US. So basically you can now get an M9 that looks cool and keeps the superb CCD sensor we have grown to love for only $5450. This will be my choice in an M to replace the M9 I sold to buy the Monochrome! This and the Mono will make a perfect set. This is the camera I am most happy about from Leica because the M9 is a classic and I am happy to see it stay in the stable. No improvements have been made, just the name change and the color of the top and bottom plates.

The price is very welcome news for many and sad new for others who just saw their M9’s drop like a rock. But kudos to Leica for making the M9 more affordable and removing the M9 white text from the front. I still feel the M9-P is a more attractive camera but again, same exact camera here! $5450! Wooooooo Hoooooo!

The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

 Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) – Leica Camera presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder system, the Leica M-E. Possessing the high level of technology perfected in the nearly six decades since the M-System’s introduction, the Leica M-E represents the essence of rangefinder photography. Rather than offering all that is technically possible, it is limited to only those functions that create a better image. These essentials include the M-System’s typical rapid manual focusing with the viewfinder/rangefinder and the focusing ring of the lens, as well as the option of selecting automatically determined or manually set shutter speeds. It is the ideal entry-level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography or require a secondary camera that performs at an optimum level without fail.


Advantages of rangefinder photography include the ability for photographers to become a part of the action and frame whatever they wish to capture in the viewfinder, while still perceiving what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. The crucial moment becomes predictable, and can thus be captured at precisely the right instant. Featuring the proven, high-resolution, 18 MP CCD sensor in full 35 mm format, the Leica M-E offers maximum imaging quality. Perfectly attuned to its role in the extremely compact M-System and the superior performance of M-Lenses, this particular sensor type possesses a high sensitivity to light. These characteristics lead to an unmistakably individual kind of photography.


The Leica M-E’s most distinctive feature is a minimalistic, purist, design statement. The top deck and base plate are discreetly finished in unobtrusive anthracite grey. The application of a new leather trim with enhanced grip characteristics ideally complements the camera’s timeless design.


The Leica M-System portfolio provides perfect tools for capturing a moment discretely, silently and without hesitation, allowing photographers to become a part of the scene. Together with the new Leica M and the Leica M Monochrom, the world’s first digital black and white camera in 35 mm format, the latest digital generation of the Leica M now offers three rangefinder cameras.


Additionally, the Leica M-E package includes the latest version of Leica Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to assist photographers with viewing, editing and managing digital images. The Leica M-E is available now from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC.


About the Leica M-System

Since 1954, the Leica M system has stood for an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. Because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages while allowing a clear view of what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. This allows the photographer to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields, from photojournalism and ‘available light’ exposures to discreet and aesthetic fine-art images. The functions of the Leica M rangefinder camera are consistently constructed for extreme robustness and a long working life. Highest quality materials, elaborate manufacturing processes and painstaking manual assembly guarantee functional reliability for decades to come. Full backward system compatibility – almost all lenses of the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used on the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the M series.


  1. Totally agree – What was needed was essentially a weather sealed M9-P with improved ISO. Not interested in live view, movies, R lenses, GPS in the optional base, or name changes. With these new releases I am definately conerned about and don’t understand the direction that Leica seems to be headed.

  2. I am really disappointed mostly with this rebranding on the M9…AGAIN. I fully support keeping the M9 in their stable. It is an amazing camera now and always will be. I think a lot of people seem to forget that that these M9’s, no matter how old and outdated the technology, will continue to take stunning photos as long as Leica supports them. I personally don’t need any other advancements beyond what is already offered in the M9. I truly think it is a classic Leica model that will stand the test of time. By releasing this new M-E with absolutely zero improvements is a really lame marketing gimmick that screws over current M9 owners resale values. All they had to do was upgrade the terrible M9 LCD screen and/or squeak a little more high ISO performance out of it and they have a completely justifiable, and much welcomed, re-release of their classic near perfect rangefinder.

    It’s not that I don’t support the new M…because I really do. I think it is a cool new addition but to me it is not the next big thing. For me as a Leica M shooter all I wanted was the same M9 with increased High ISO performance and a nicer LCD. Bells and whistles need not apply. I think Leica really missed an amazing opportunity here. Had they released the new M along side of a true M9 upgrade, without a doubt they would have been looking at record sales again. They would have fully satisfied their current happy M9 owners with fixing really the only 2 gripes we have on a nearly perfect camera. They also would have satisfied those shooters that want the fancy features that other digital cameras have.

    I will be sticking with my M9 for many more years to come. It is a near perfect camera for what I do. My real only gripe is the LCD of the M9 anyway. I view my M9 a digital “film” camera. While high ISO performance is nice….it is not a necessity. In all my years shooting on film….I never once needed to shoot over 1000 iso. No need to start now.

  3. Wow, I have my first week of vacation since January 2011, without internet for a few days (!), and not only does Steve publish my article on shallow DOF, Leica releases its new Ms! The latter was expected though, the Photokina taking place at this very same week.
    Leica made some great moves here IMO. But they needed to, since others will surely come with (probably even more) compact FFs.

    I’m glad for a few things.
    1) the pixel race didn’t made them go for crazy high resolutions. I hope the industry will see that 24MP is about the max of what is reasonable (at least for a long while to come) in this kind of (easily portable) cameras.
    2) The M9 staying on the market really is a good thing. It can stop (or at least slow down a lot) the mechanism that gets the customer frustrated. Allthough recent M9 owners “loose” a lot of money, still it doesn’t completely (as a matter of speaking) devaluate their camera, since it’s still an actual and up to date product. And one must know, that stepping into this passion is gonna cost him anyway, and stepping into the Leica-world is gonna cost him really a lot!
    3) The price setting of the new M is brilliant. Offering more for the same money, that’s a good thing. Everybody can live with that.
    4) IMO one of the clever things is that the extra focussing functions have an easy to operate on/off button. I’m especially fond of the focus peeking feature, and the one thing I’d want to be added on my NEX-7 is a peeking on/off switch.

    What I believe Leica (and any other manufactorar) should add in the (nearest possible) future:
    1) a build in EVF or hybrid VF. I think that an add on VF “looks like a pincer on a pig”! – That’s a translated Dutch proverb. I guess you know what I mean. 🙂 Anyway, I’m reluctant to have to carry a remote VF in my pocket, and having focus peeking but not in the VF is not really serious IMO.
    2) a tiltable LCD screen can be mounted in a discrete way (Sony’s NEX is a good example) and really enhances ones shooting possibilities, like from a really low position (OK, I’m not really a young man anymore) or above the head. Nobody can deny that, so why leaving it away on a $7000 camera?

    Those are only my very first thoughts, but I look upon this evolution as being very positive. It even makes me wonder if I wouldn’t make a very special financial efford some day…

  4. Wow !!! I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E !!!! Leica just discoverer they could weatherseal their camera…
    Remind something, are we in 2012 ??? Really ?
    For those who where talking about a professionnal use of the video function, I think they NEVER used a camera for movies…
    The bitrate question is a huge mystery. The sensor is not a multi-aspect one. What about rolling-shutter ? DR ? Moiré ? The codec used for encoding ?
    What about heat dispersion ?

    Too much unanswered questions…

    For me, the M, is too late…

  5. Don,

    You are right on the pricing. Leica don’t make it cheaper but better with additional features. Once the RF fail to focus accurately, you don’t need to send it to Leica for adjustment. You still can use live view + focus peaking + magnify + EVF to fine tune the focus. Normally redundancy cost extra. But this time Leica make an exception to compete with the others.

    Now you don’t need to buy a backup M-E/M9/M9P and continue shooting with the M even when the RF failed to focus accurately. You don’t need to worry about the wear and tear about the RF. You can shoot with the M for millions of actuation without worrying about the resell value. With Leica’s life long service policy, in the long run, Leica M will be a good choice.


  6. I’ll probably never own a Leica, being quite happy with my OMD and Fuji cameras, but one has to acknowledge that the new M offers much more than the M9 originally did for the same price, even as the dollar continues to depreciate.

  7. no headphone jack…sound is more important than pictures because it is more difficult to alter. nuts!
    you will need a beachbox or equiv. or separate hard disk recorder to properly record/monitor sound

      • the thing is sound is as important as picture…and constantly overlooked by camera manufacturers….it’s not just critical to get a level as sound levels….mics can be erratic as filming situations. also sound is more difficult to get and alter. you need proper mics as well as monitoring with headphones.

        it’s a shame that still camera companies don’t take this issue seriously.

        i love the new camera, i really do…think it will be amazing but this little yet important detail has been overlooked. if they could add one to that new mount that would be great!

        • I agree, mic jack is imortant for an external microhone on the camera for better sound if you make video’s. Sony Nex-7 has it, my Nex 6 not, too bad…


    One thing that is overlooked is Leica just broke ground on a camera that can mount any lens ever made for 35mm format FULL FRAME with adapters. A first for any camera company! We all know they are gearing up with the R glass but how about all the Zeiss, Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, etc…

    Check out my thread on RFF:'s%20first%20universal%20camera&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&

    What is amazing is real art photographers can now choose from a vast selection of lenses for one body and use them in full frame. This is a first. I suspect Canon and Nikon have not made a full frame mirrorless because they want to protect their DSLR line of products. Leica has nothing to fear in that their lenses, almost ALL of them are fantastic and from their viewpoint, using anything else is a step down. I differ somewhat in that my tests of Zeiss ZM lenses and even some pro Minolta MD lenses show they are quite capable of wonderful images. One thing is sure, 2013 will be more exciting for me with the new M in my hands!!!!

  9. Glad I hesitated on the M9 and continued to rely on my M8. I tend to skip the next best thing and buy every other generation. It is just too expensive for me to do that. Heck, I never trade my car in every time they change to a new style either! I felt the M9 and M8 were too close in terms of image quality to upgrade to the M9. I tested the M9 3 times and compared files to the M8 and came to that conclusion. Now comes the M and I am very likely to buy it. Why? Much better high ISO and weather sealing! Finally, fast Leica M lenses can be liberated to do incredible things in low light without the noise issues. To me, this was the issue more than full frame and a few more megapixels with the M9 vs the M8. I was really afraid it was going to be a M10 at $10,000 USD. I think Leica has realized it cannot go above 7K if it wants people to buy their product instead of the top Nikon and Canon bodies.

    • Edward,

      You make interesting and valid points regarding your useage and needs.

      However re weather sealing: I realise electronics are damp averse and need to be properly protected, and I welcome the M’s weather sealing. But…

      are the your lenses weather sealed?

      Just a thought…

  10. All I want is the new sensor in a m9 body without all that me too junk! /sigh looks like I’ll have to see what a ME2 looks like, for now my m9 will do….

  11. Well, Leica has done well. The M, is a bit pricey for me. If I go for one of the two, it would be the M-E. Who needs a live viewer and movies in this type of cameras. MP is not very thing. 16,18,24MP. In the real world vs tests. My fuji X-Pro and the Leica M-E would make a nice combo. And stiil have money for food.

  12. I’ll stick with my M3 and M9. For serious macro work I have a 5D3 with Live View. It also does video. I see nothing here to drag £££ out of my pocket. Over hyped before they are even available for people to use and see how they really perform but I fear the ‘new features’ will attract far fewer than Leica hope. All the M9 needed was a decent high ISO sensor.

    • Amen brother! The M9-P was/is perfect, even with the poor ISO performance. I will keep mine around. If I wanted a CMOS sensor with HD-video, and all that other technology magic, there are much better choices from our friends in Japan (ie., Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus). Leica sold its soul to compete with the electronic conglomerates in Japan/Korea and certainly it will lose that battle b/c they are behind in technology and hugely more expensive. Leica should have continued on its path of competing in the niche market of camera purists that demand no compromise glass. Only time will tell if Leica’s strategy will work, but my bet is thrusting the “M” into mainstream competition will be disastrous to a company with a sterling heritage.

  13. Wow, I’m glad I sold my M9-P a few months ago for $ 4700. I don’t think it will be worth that much now. Anyway, I didn’t like the M9. Still using the M8 and, somehow, the results just look better to me. I’ll be at Photokina on Friday and will have a look at the Leica stand.

  14. I made a spreadsheet for all the new camera announced during Photokina. One thing to observe is Leica M is 5mm thicker than M9 and 80 gram heavier. If you compare it to Nikon D600 as below:

    Nikon D600 24.3MP 141x113x82mm(5.55×4.45×3.23″) 760 g (1.68 lb / 26.81 oz) $2,097
    Leica M 24.0MP 139x80x42mm(5.47×3.15×1.65″) 680 g (1.50 lb / 23.99 oz) $6,950
    Leica M-E 18.0MP 139x80x37mm(5.47×3.15×1.46″) 585 g (1.29 lb / 20.64 oz) $5,450
    Leica M9 P 18.0MP 139x80x37mm(5.47×3.15×1.46″) 600 g (1.32 lb / 21.16 oz) $6,499

    When you add the EVF and hand grip to Leica M it will be bigger and heavier than D600.

  15. Fantastisch! Just what I was waiting for (really!), the only thing that is missing is sensor based image stabilization, and flash sync speed is little low to work outside. So, this could (almost) replace my heavy bag with Canon based R solution, and Ricoh GXR-M – if I so chosen to.

  16. Now I have to cope with to major problems:

    1. I really want to get the M Monochrom; this camera is in my opinion an absolute must for every black and white and fine art photographer; I am looking forward using all my old B&W filters and doing the creative B&W process while pressing the button and not “artificially” while doing the postproduction

    2. I really want to get the M; all my “old” but beloved R lenses, the bellows as well, might be revitalized and open new perspectives for M photography; I am looking forward using my 8/500 mirror (yes, the one with the horrible bokeh …)

    Maybe Leica will begin a kind of marketing strategy like “buy one get one free” …

    Until that date dreaming is allowed (and necessary)

  17. That M-E ugly which should take the bite out of resale of my m9 thank you Leica I really have to wait and see the vibe from this new sensor in the M if it’s Leica like count me in if not and it looks like any SLR then

  18. I for one would want to see actual user reviews of the Leica M before committing to buy as this model at Photokina is only a prototype. I also do hope some refinements are made on the styling. The red dot is far to big and out of balance in it’s positioning and the silver dial wheel looks like a cheap add on.

    The Leica ME from what I understand is a rebranded M9 at a lower cost minus a few features and from what I have read maybe made not all brass like the M9/M9P.

    Personally I am still very happy with the camera I own and think I will be waiting until the next generation.

    I was lucky when I purchased my M9 under the short lived Leica Educators/Student discount program giving 25% off the cost. Which turns out I paid a few hundred dollars less than the price of the new Leica ME and that was 2 years ago.
    And I do believe the Leica M9/M9P will hold healthy second hand values.

  19. 5500 is still too ex for anyone even if he can afford it. i am confident the price will come down further upon the arrival of the next sony FF mirrorless…

    • Leica is not for “everyone”, didn’t you know? It’s only for the best…and people who think they’re the best. We couldn’t have just anyone and his dog with a Leica, could we? It would remove that tremendous elitist sense of snobbery you get from owning one. Meanwhile over at Fuji they put out a camera which matches any Leica for IQ at normal ISO, kills it stone dead at high ISO, and does it at a hell of a more reasonable price.

  20. I’m sure both are lovely cameras and I have no doubt they will make great creative tools for those who buy them.

    I still have my eye on the Leica Monochrome and if I were to buy a digital Leica that would be the one I would aim for. As it stands, I just can’t justify the inflated price tag. But hey, for those that can, all the power to ya!

  21. Like you Steve, I’d go for the M-E if I could. I think both cameras are nice announcements from Leica, and the price-points are surprising (based on their own trends the last few years). It nice to see them actually come in “cheaper” then at least I expected … well relatively speaking of course 😉

  22. Leica M-E from a UK based enthusiast’s perspective…

    It’s early days but a cautious WOW. Welcome news, indeed.

    I love the improved quality feature set, especially the uprated rear screen.

    I’m not so keen on the overall design – I’ve never been a fan – to put it mildly! – of the prominent red dot or the obtrusive front engraved ‘M’ etc… just look at a classy (to my mind) M3. For the Leica M series I believe it’s far better to put branding details on the top or bottom plate… Leica users know what a M Leica looks like, anybody else couldn’t give a monkey’s. Leica make much play on their unobtrusiveness. Right?

    UK pricing though still steep (London’s RG Lewis is quoting 3900 GBP) isn’t in the stratospheric heights – though current M9 owners won’t be pleased no doubt.

    Bottom line: would I buy a M-E. Yes.

    But I’d stick a piece of electrician’s tape over that red dot.

    Leica M?

    Not for me: I’ve no interest in video, and don’t own any R lenses. Though I applaud Leica for the new-found backwards compatibility.

    • Brian,

      Actually, the RG Lewis price looks good. Factor out VAT and the base price is £3,250. Now equate this in $US and this comes out at $4,875 at an exchange rate of 1.5, or $5,200 at 1.6. This is cheaper than the US price. So one occasion when we can’t claim “Rip off Britain”, for once! Still pricey, though.

      • Absolutely agree, TerryB… thanks for doing the math!

        For once in the UK a new camera from Leica – the M-E – does seem to be better value in comparison to the US. How about that?!

        Though Leicas have never been ‘cheap’, I accept they’ll always be more expensive because of their niche market and their dedicated following, especially for their glass.

        However I remember back in the late 60s saving for three years to buy my first Leica – a 3f with a collapsable 50mm f3.5 uncoated Elmar, which cost me everything I had put aside from odd jobs.That 3f seemed an awful lot more valuable than 3900 GBP does today.

        I’ve been smitten ever since!

        Let’s hope from now on the bean counters at Leica have seen the light regarding pricing. I shall defintely check out the M-E – with a f2 35mm it would do pretty do all I ask.

        Roll on deliveries!

    • A few others seem to have this misconception as well. HDSLRs are essentially manual focus only and have been since day one. The current autofocus technology available elsewhere can’t manage convincing focus pulls, they tend to hunt mid-shot. In many ways a rangefinder could offer a nice video mode in that the lack of mirror makes lens adapting very easy, and you can still look through the finder while shooting. The bigger issue concerns the quality of the downscaling and the codec. I don’t imagine Leica actually spent enough time sorting the video mode to get really nice results, but you never know. But video aside it looks like a bit of a frankenstein camera!

  23. M-E looks great! M less so. M looks to have all the versatility you need.
    Wish they had given the M-E a bigger screen or SOMETHING and I might have bought it.
    Think I’m well served by M6 and OM-D combo.

    I want to still be able to use film for the next fifteen years or so.
    Buy Fuji film not Fuji X cams!
    Film still does sunsets ( no nasty digital halos around the sun ) better than digital in this re.
    Sad, sad day if there’s no more film. Choice is nice.

    Leica is doing ok with their choices for design and development. I mean who would have thought that they would outlive Contax and Minolta a few tears back? Amazing. Contax and Minolta didn’t make their own sensors true, but neither does Leica and they are still here. They must be doing something right.

  24. hmm nothing to see here… M-E – the same old M9 with dumbed down features, M new sensor and ugly buttons on the back of the camera – what’s the innovative bit?

  25. I think there will be Nikor, Sony/Minolta, Cannon, Fujinon, Olympus, Hassy, Mamiya, etc. adapters.

    It’s not just R lenses. I imagine anything worthwhile can be used on this.

    Am I the only one thinking this could replace my DSLR (Sony Alpha a900) completely. I only really shoot macro, portrait, landscape & street… I’m more than happy with an EVF and manual focus.

    If I take the $2,800 upgrade cost of a Sony a99 out of the equation this isn’t such a crazy purchase.

    • Off course not. If my 50 lux is backfocussing, it would mean I was stuck to LV all the time to focus it. Not exactly why I bought a rangefinder.

      LV can be good to easely adjust the focus of the camera yourself trough.

      • Even though it has the small window (front shutter dial), im not sure M is a mechanical rangefinder.
        It is just a MILC with EVF.

        Thus it is always in liveview thought the EVF.

      • The M is a 100% mechanical rangefinder, else it would not be an M in the first place.
        Sure it has LV now, but its still a rangefinder in the first place.

  26. Leica could have scored a home run with a FF cmos EVF MILC at $3k
    (the affordable leica).

    I hope liveview changes in EVF & LCD as aperture, shuter, iso, wb are changed.
    Live view is needed for R lenses & movies.
    So many avenues opened up with R lens compatibilty.

    (Digilux2 had a slightly different jpeg look to Panasonic LC1.
    Maybe the cmosis will have a M9 signature : different look to sony FF cmos).

  27. Good move. The Leica is serving the needs of those who want a more modern electronic version of the M and those who want a pure rangefinder, and all at relative bargain prices, for Leica that is, to boot. There will still be those, like me, who won’t be able to afford an M-E even at its reduced price, but Leica’s have never been cheap.

    Despite the new price of the M-E, it is still very much outdated, despite its lick of fresh paint. It is a question of just how long users will be happy with its sensor as digital technology moves on so quickly. Pity it didn’t get an upgraded sensor at the very least.

    Good news for R lens owners, too.

    It would seem the only losers are those who bought into the M9 relatively recently at the old prices.

    • Couldn’t agree more. There was a black M9 with a black dot and engraved top plate secondhand in a local camera store the other day. I was seriously tempted, but held of as I knew something was happening this week, and figured that I should probably spend money on glass not a camera before an upcoming trip. So pelased now – it was pretty much the same price as a brand new ME!

      Seriously pleased with what Leica are now offering. Getting hold of a full frame digital M at the prices they are now is pretty sweet, and my M6 can now semi retire to B&W only and/or “oh no – I’m nowhere near a socket and have run out of batteries” land.

      It’s like the M7/MP split really – and that’s worked out well for them.

      I also love the idea of never renaming them – just going for “the New M”. If nothing else it will add to the whole “which version fo the [name of lens] is best” thing. I wonder if they will open a few factories making the cameras and in 50 years time we can argue if a Wetzlar 2025 M creates as grain like noise at ISO 640,000 as a Solms 2027 M…

      Now to decide if I will buy the ME with a 35mm ‘cron or upgrade my 28 Elmarit to the asph version.

      It never really ends, does it!

  28. Oh my…. Im drooling for a used M9 (Im hoping they will drop for 3K+)…. thanks for releasing the Leica M… now I can afford a used M9 (I hope so).

  29. The M-E is tempting, and it’s a brilliant marketing ploy. Car manufacturers do it to: You keep manufacturing a superseded model (Peugeot 205 for one) at a reduced price, and call it “Classic” or “Eternal Youth”.

    Still, the M-E looks to be all one needs, the eternal complaints about what’s lacking included!

  30. I guess what I’m most astonished about the new M is how Leica managed to squeeze modern day features into the M-body (yes, gaining a few mm here and there to be exact) and how they managed to integrate buttons into the classic look. I kept saying “that’s insane” throughout the demo video. Whoah.

    Glad to know there are many options to choose from if I ever have the cash to upgrade from my M8.

  31. Will the M fire first time from sleep, unlike the M9? Will the M be able to shoot more than 2 frames/sec UTM9? Will the M have a buffer that doesn’t fill up in just a few frames UTM9? Will the M have a pleasant shutter feel and sound UTM9? If so, and the >1250ISO performance is good then I’m in. Otherwise no dice.
    Weatherproofing is nice but not critical for me and I don’t shoot video. The upgraded screen is nice and 2 stop ISO increase very welcome (I do shoot a lot at dawn and my EP-1 performs better than my M9).

    Of course if they made a Paul Smith M…..

  32. i don’t get it… Leica M9 = M9P = ME.. difference is superficial and imo, the ME looks the worst.. why would Leica do that? at least change something inside! As for the Leica M.. i love it already.. can’t wait for your review Steve!

  33. Only three things would interest me to upgrade from the M9. Greatly improved image sensor, higher ISO performance, 1/8000th shutter speed. And it would have to come in the M9/M-E body (as in no other features added).

    Good news is I still love my original M9, and I will probably never sell it 🙂

    Personally I think it will be hard for Leica to compete on features as other manufactures move their EVILs up to full frame sensors and provide adapters for M lenses.

    On the other hand, lots of internet chatter has claimed these features as essential for purchasing Leica M or upgrading. Interesting times ahead 🙂

  34. When the Fuji EVF/OVF hybrid came out there was speculation that Leica might or was encouraged to adopt this technology for their cameras. The optional EVF on the new Leica M is a giant step backward from what Fuji has given us. The extra hotshoe on the Leica M seems like an afterthought too. I just wish Leica would have come out with there own integrated rangefinder/EVF and leave the hotshoe for an external flash or for a wireless trigger to be used with an external off camera flash. The Nikon D600 is looking pretty good at the moment.

  35. I understand the new ‘M’ , its a different offering with improved performance ( like higher ISO ) but whats all the fuss about the new ME?

    I just don’t get it. The ME is essentially an M9 with a different colour scheme , same (old) technology in a slightly different package- a sheep in wolfs clothing.

    If Leica had made just one significant improvement in the ME ( like better low light performance ) I would have jumped at it. As it is I am just going to buy a used M9 at the now undermined second hand price .

    • Agreed, at the very least Leica could have changed the 8 year old technology crappy low res screen. I can’t think for one second why someone would buy the M-E over an M9/M9P.

      I do like the new M though despite the changes, this could be a real corker!

  36. It seems to me they are really trying to push the M into the studio protog space while reserving the old M9 for those who are strictly street and landscape aficionados.

  37. Im not sure about the EVF/ LV/ VIDEO
    It just seems another camera dressed up in a M body
    (As soon as someone releases a FF with EVF at $2k …)

    At least there is the more purist M-E.

    To me the M digital rangefinder experience is to make it as close as possible to shooting a film rangefinder :
    thus no evf no live view no video.

    • What – you mean like on the Leica M offers?

      Just because features are there, doesn’t mean you have to use them. I, for example, never use the video on my D800 – still kills it as a stills camera.

      They went for CMOS for a number of reasons and I expect hi-ISO performance was a key factor. Having made that decision it is simple to throw in the video, live view and evf options that CMOS opens up. They are useful for some, easy to ignore for others. The lay out means none of these features get in the way if you are not using them.

  38. I can fully understand the price of the M but by putting a price of 5.500 $ to the M-E is totally killing all the M9, M9-P owners. You are setting a price of 4.500 $ for a used M9 and don’t tell me that every time that a new product is released the old one lose it’s price. Leica is a luxury product and from my point of view they should protect their customers. I know I am a bit selfish, as an owner of an M9-P, but people buy Leica M cameras and they know that the after selling price will stay up.

  39. I think these two models’ names should be swapped. The one without focus peaking should be called ‘M’. The one with focus peaking, EVF option should be called ‘M-E’.

    Very confusion!!!

  40. I noticed the new M battery is different from the M9 and ME:

    M power supply – Li-ion battery (included), 7.4V, 1800 mAh

    M9 power supply – Lithium ion battery, nominal voltage 3.7 V, capacity 1900 mAh.

    Is this bad or good?


  41. The video option on this camera is going to be huge in the high-end tv commercial and music video world. The leica lenses produce a unique look, very different from the current crop of DSLR cameras out there.

  42. I am going to stick with my M9.. Not interested in focus peaking, video, CMOS, high ISO.. Not so pleased with the exterior design of M-E either.. To me, it now looks tacky.

  43. Everyone knows that Leica is far from being innovative, but could Leica at least use technologies that are on par with other companies? This new M will be old by the next summer, if not already is.
    And all this discount crook business I find very offensive to Leica fans with common sense and shallow pockets. Some of them could not really afford this things but they buy Leica anyway and what Leica does in return to this unprecedented sort of loyalty? Shits on it with all kind of discounts.
    C’mon, it’s not a Panasonic – Leica can’t profit on selling luxury cameras like expired canned fish!
    Hypocrisy will soon bury Leica alive, although by far Leica is more dead than alive anyway.

  44. In my opinion the m9 price will go up, only time will tell simply I have this feeling CDC sensor and how it renditions the image will be unbeatable, and that what we all photographers looking for, a signature image

  45. “It is the ideal entry-level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography or require a secondary camera that performs at an optimum level without fail.”

    Gosh I love Leica ;D

  46. I think they just knocked this one out of the park! I took a look at the Leica website and the few videos out now on the M. This is the best of many worlds, good ISO, mirrorless, full frame, rangefinder, video and even DSLR like if you want/need it. This is a beast and I agree with Steve. You can buy this camera and have it for several years. Incredible!

    Where are the links for pre-order?

  47. Great update, as expected.

    Only issues so far are:
    – no 1/8000
    – firmware is slow regardless of the “new” chipset 🙁

  48. No auto sensor cleaning?? Really the state and amount I have to do on the dig M is pathetic. I am a working photographer and it is a joke, sorry. May just have to jump ship to the new fixed lens sony. I just can not deal with the spots, I might as well be shooting film and spotting negs with the amount of crap that appears on an M sensor. Atrocious and a big letdown.

    • If you don’t need a DSLR then don’t get one. Video hardly makes up the difference though…seems to be a silly thing to tip you over to one side. If you need AF and speed, this will never give you the performance a DSLR can.

  49. Well, after 2 years, Leica finally addressed the “R” solution. Better late than never, so I will wait till 2013 to get the new “M”. Now, I have to dig up all my old “R” glass, and dust them off, so they can rise from their deep sleep.

  50. I don’t know how I feel about the new M. What I like about my M9 is that it’s simple, and does one thing extremely well – take photos. I don’t want or need live view or movie mode – that’s what my DSLR is. I don’t want kitschy accessories like GPS and microphones – again, SLR. If the M-E would have had an updated sensor, it would have been the perfect upgrade. Leica, I am disappoint.

  51. What a crock of sh*t, sorry guys, Leica have just produced a joke offering with the M, I mean, what is it trying to be exactly? A sort of hybrid Rangefinder mirrorless Pen type sort of thingy…?
    It’s ugly, clunky, and laughable.
    And why not just sell the M9 at a reduced price instead of creating the new ME?

    Who’s running Leica?

    Stick with the M9 and be happy.

  52. I am so happy with that price point – not because I want new – but because I want someone dumping their M9-P so I can swoop in and get a huge deal! Time to shine up the D700 and Zeiss glass for a quick sale!

  53. Why such a long wait before shipping? It can only hurt sales of current products at a time when there’s no inventory of new items to replace the falling sales.

  54. Read this 3 times…having just bought an M9 (good price though which included 50mm Summilux.)
    Still can’t fathom the difference between the n M and M-E anyone help me out? It’s early…

  55. Steve am i correct in reading that they will be available for sale Mid 2013? do you know when they will be taking orders?

    • A Fuji FF with native AF lenses, adapters for other mounts, inlcuding m-mount and focus peaking for lets say USD 3000 would seriously challenge the M as would a FF Nex. As for the M-E, M9 sales fell off a cliff recently, so why should a M-E sell well? Leica still needs a more compact, lighter, lower priced mirrorless system, its Porsche Boxster so to say. Now that painted X2 looks like a desperate move. Others innovate (RX1) and Leica buys paint.

      • Retow the M9 sales ‘fell of a cliff’ because everybody knew the new M was coming out. I think the M-E will sell just fine…’s basically a brand new $5500 M9…which 4 months ago people would have clamoured for.

        • I agree with you re: Fuji though…if they would have released a full frame XPro2 with quicker AF and Leica M adapter…….that would be a tough pill for Leica to swallow.

          • The X Pro series as we know it will never be FF because the lenses are optimized for 1.5x crop. They would need a bulky adapter in order to work with FF. I think if Fuji goes FF it will be a new system completely.

          • m-mount lenses will not work fullframe on it? even voigtlander can make a fullframe m-mount.

            but you say the x-mount has shorter flange distance? well the e-mount fullframe vg900 has cine lenses for it which are fullframe. they could be even smaller if you dont care for quality. even the cheap samyangs are ff mirrorless.

  56. Digital rangefinder is very unique but classic technology. (But it can’t take telephoto lenses.) Leica trying to capitalize that technique with newer products. In the mean time Leica is playing catch up with newer technology so they can demand higher price.

    New Leica M incorporate CMOS sensor with rangefinder and live view focus peaking and magnify assist fine focusing to achieve perfect focus. To me the live view focus peaking and magnify assist fine focusing is better than the rangefinder focus. People who own R lenses can use those lenses on the mirrorless cameras with these focusing technique without rangefinder. Why should they spend more than $7K in order to use these lenses?

    I won’t rush to order these new cameras. Hopefully other company will come out with FF interchangeable lens systms to compete with Leica soon.

  57. If the new M pricing structure goes the 50 APO way this will alienate potential and existing users unnecessarily. Reasoning as follows :
    1. The core technology of the digital components are someone else achievements, not Leica’s.
    2. Digital products have short life span in general.
    3. When majority of the electronic manufacturers spent tons of $ in R&D and come up with more advance products and sell them cheaper, which is more or less in line with Moore’s Law, how can Leica sell lesser electronic products at higher price? Doing so will weaken the core value of the brand.

    Now I am happy that the pricing is not at $10,000 as rumored. I think I’ll order one use the M9 as backup. Better still I’ll make my wife use it and facilitate my future acquisitions.

    • Your “number 2” is so correct in my case with all Canons I had so far ( I started with first 1Ds) but somehow I still have my M8 and shoot along side my M9. Files are smaller (I love that!) but still sell very well as my stock… I am looking forward to new “M”…

  58. Note the use of past tense in your statement. No manufacturer survives on past sales, only current and future sales count. They cut price becasue they had to with the steep fall off in sales. Inventory went from none available to available everywhere. Trying to repackage and reprice to extend the sales curve is pretty standard marketing fare for end of life products. However, few companies can survive on EOL products and must have new products that feed the sales pipeline. Whether the new M will do that is still unknown, especially since it won’t be available until March or April of next year. I don’t think the ME, even at its lower price can sell enough volume to keep things going without some struggles. The new Fuji and Sony cameras are going to take away sales and people will naturally be leary of putting money into a camera that may drop in price.

    • You really think the new M might not be sold out for the next year? The M9 was a smash so where is the evidence that a camera that cost the same as a new M9 but improves on all it’s shortcomings (high ISO performance etc.) will not sell in the exact same fashion? The Sony/Fuji argument is moot because they are not the same. Those cameras are not digital rangefinders and most importantly not built like a Leica. I own an XPro…its not a Leica M. I owned a Nex7…its nowhere near a Leica M. There are more the enough people that can and will afford this camera for it to sell out for a long time. The Leica ME is just the cherry on the sundae and gives purists their straight forward M. The term “Leica Killer” has been around a while and yet no camera or combination of cameras has even come close to denting Leica sales. If the M9 dropped in sales this last year it was only because it was a poorly kept secret that the M10 was right around the corner. And that’s is what they say is that.

      • To each his own. I still shoot a Mamiya 7II rangefinder. Your digital equivalent is full of advanced, help me take a picture, features. So lets hold this “pure” tone down a notch. 😉

        • Hey Mike I’m not demeaning other systems, far from it as I’ve actually started using Fuji for digital work and kept Leica for 35mm film work. I’m just debating the gentlemen about he beliefs that Leica is on it’s way out because of one reason or another. I shoot Mamiya Press and while I love it I’m sure it’s a completely different experience then tossing around with the new M.

  59. I love the specs. It is a step (or two) forward from original M9… I like the video feature. I will use it for sure. And please don’t give up on Leica because they changed the sensor! Wait till you shoot with it and make a judgement. This will be a great camera, I am sure. I love that the price will be the same as M9 was originally. This new “M” will go in my bag just fine next to M9 and M8…. For years to come…

    • It takes all kinds. I gave up on Leica digital ‘M’s UNTIL they changed the sensor. I don’t know what people saw in the CCD sensor other than great detail. I think Leica heard people like me or, more likely, they ARE people who felt like me themselves. They had an opportunity to move back to something that looks more like professional photography and not some weird image look that was a departure, frankly, from anything I’ve ever seen and certainly didn’t look like traditional Leica photography by any stretch. You guys who are crushed over the new sensor jeez… you have tons of M9s and M9Ps out there in stock and now the ME which is essentially the same camera. Be happy and let us guys who hated the color and look of the M9 have our day and our Leica camera that we’ve pined for and lobbied for. I guarantee you people at Leica were as over the M9 ‘look’ as I was and felt they needed a serious course correction for their digital flagship Ms.

  60. If the new M has no mechanical framelines, then how about non-Leica lenses, like Voigtlaender or Zeiss? What framelines do those lenses bring up? Or is there still some way in which the camera senses the mechanical notch on the lens mount?

  61. The M design is gorgeous except the square menu buttons which absolutely not match with the rounded shape of the camera and the round navigation dial on the opposite of the screen, which better should be black as well.

  62. Except the USB- Port and the Frame Lever (which anyhow nobody needs) there is no functional difference to the M9.
    Compared to the M9-P the ME misses the scratch proof LCD Monitor, which will keep the value of the P version up.

  63. Seems like the ME doesn’t have the sapphire glass like the M9P. Its just the M9 without usb/sapphire glass/frame selector, I like the colors though. I’m just going to hold on to my M9P…

    I just think the M is going to be the new M5: awesome camera just nobody is gonna buy it, and they forgot the 3-lug 😉

    I would rather see a digital M in the same size as a M7/MP

  64. Well, it appears that Leica has gotten caught in a classic pincer move between Fuji and Sony. It is struggling to compete but still lacking simple things like image stabilization, auto sensor dust removal and even the ability to project information into the viewfinder. The add-on EVF is last years technology and the EVF is rapidly evolving beyond Leica’s ability. They finally found a use for the S chip set but how well it will adapt from CCD to CMOS is a big unknown. I notice no mention of whether they use a low pass filter or not nor how the ME will specify frame lines now that the lever is gone. There is only one reason Leica is dropping price and that is that the older technology isn’t selling. If it were still selling like hot cakes the price would still be up, simple as that. No one walks away from more money out of the goodness of their heart.

    • I think it’s the exact opposite. The M9 is their best selling camera ever (except for maybe the M6 but thats only because it was around for 20 years) and I think this is a way to keep that arm of their sales going. It’s a simple repackage with a sale sticker applied. Actually makes perfect sense rather then trying to ask people to pay the same price for the ME as the the new M.

  65. I have a feeling the ME may outsell the M. So many people clamoring for Leica to get with the times and to stop releasing cameras that are dated upon release and then when they finally do there is this huge backtrack and all of a sudden it’s all about staying true to the soul of Leica. There are certain design features I’m not crazy about:

    What appears to be a double lens release (One for R and one for M lenses)
    The mic holes on the top plate
    The mini thumbs up that sticks out of the body that holds the flywheel
    Screen is a tad too big
    The single engraved M looks lonely in a sea of black and silver

    None of this takes away from the imaging which I’m sure will be absolutely amazing.

    The ME looks spot on and really shows what everyone has grown to love in the M9. If the low light is improved then it will be the perfect digital M.

    • If you like the ME you better buy it because if it does outsell the M, Leica will deepsix the line just like the CL. History usually repeats itself every so many years.

  66. Hmmm…I do like the specs of the new “M” (former M10)…but hope to see some full-size images soon, low and high-iso to see what to make of it.
    I do “love” my M9 but always wanted to have better high-iso performance…

    We’ll see.

  67. bangin’. that sucker is too cute. I want a silver one and a black one. only because I love my silver 35 cron. I hope they didn’t screw the pooch with this threat of ‘tweaking’ the sensor to deliver an ‘M9’ look. PLease. Let’s just move on. 😉 Got some major decisions to make. But I like the look of the pics on Leica’s website for this release. Just don’t really need to see gray rocky shorelines as much as we need to see skin tones and low light colors from sample images.

    I am excited though. Want one of these very very badly. I actually want two. Hey. Whatever. You only live once.

  68. to me those are good news… I just want a classic ragefinder to shoot with… Im not a video guy… the M-E its the M9 even more affordable… this its getting intresting… but for now I think thet the Sony RX1 its gonna be my choice to upgrade from my lovely Fujifilm X100.

  69. I can already see Leica doing upgrades next year. At least I hope that they will get rid of the silver dials on the black M. While I like how they have integrated the new screen, they did a poor job on the horizontal dial. It just looks tacky. Sorry, it is personal taste. The ME has a nice price but here again they try to make it look cheaper than the M9 by selecting the colors and finishes in this odd combination. I wish they would have dropped the M9 and M9P prices to the level of the ME and be done with it. Overall a good move to have two different M cameras, one a bit more on the techy side and the other in the traditional camp. I just don’t get excited about any of these. It may change with Steve’s first review. In the meantime I will have a closer look at the MM. I hope that price would drop. DIRK

    • Actually I like that they use LED framelines on the M and that they simplified the look on the front and top and the splash proof. All that is great. Just make it all black and I am on board. I bet I have to wait for the MP. That’s all marketing to have silver dials so they can introduce a MP next year in all black. D!RK

    • They won’t get rid of the silver dials simply because there are ppl using silver lenses on a black body. That silver dial will make silver lenses on black much better looking

  70. I have a feeling the ME may outsell the M. So many people clamoring for Leica to get with the times and to stop releasing cameras that are dated upon release and then when they finally do there is this huge backtrack and all of a sudden it’s all about staying true to the soul of Leica. There are certain design features I’m not crazy about:

    What appears to be a double lens release (One for R and one for M lenses)
    The mic holes on the top plate
    The mini thumbs up that sticks out of the body that holds the flywheel
    Screen is a tad too big
    The single engraved M looks lonely in a sea of black

    None of this takes away from the imaging which I’m sure will be absolutely amazing.

    The ME looks spot on and really shows what everyone has grown to love in the M9. If the low light is improved then it will be the perfect digital M.

  71. The new Leica “M” has become a toy. I will stick with my M9-P, and its outdated Kodak CCD sensor. Other than the weather sealing, I heard nothing in this release that impresses me.

  72. The M-E’s technology is at least three years old. Really? I know it is a Leica but the price should have been more like $2,800USD. Seriously.

    The real news today from Leica was on the Medium Format side, something not reported here, by Steve.

  73. Well I dont get it. The M is fine and seems like a well done update but just renaming the M9 is just sad and shows lack of teknical power. I must admit i had hoped for a more RX1 like ME….

    • So not an ME at all then – rather an X3?

      Hopefully Leica will in time improve the X range and get a FF sensor into one with a 35 ‘cron on the front, but the ME is a completely different camera to the RX1.

  74. This makes the M9-P an instant classic. Sapphire crystal and no branding. I wouldn’t expect M9-P prices to drop anytime soon on the used market.

    • I agree with you Mike. Waited for the releases yesterday and then decided on getting the M9-P. Has the sapphire crystal, a little better looking, not pared down, and I paid just a little more than what a new M-E would cost. In 6 months they will probably create a new model with the sapphire and charge
      more just like they did the M9.

  75. MMM, the M-E is still a very expensive camera and not quite the bargain its being sold as.
    Fancy a USED M6 and an M8 for less than a M-E.
    M9 owners must feel a little cheated after the ongoing price drop.

    Still very interesting releases by Leica today. Money no object i would be on a train to London tomorrow for the Mono. A gorgeous camera.

    • Only someone who was completely clueless about Leica releasing something would feel cheated. Every time an update comes the older model will drop in price. I guess if somone just bought an M9 a month ago or something and didn’t know what was going on then that’s another matter…

      • Then I must be clueless too, because I don’t see the “update” here. It’s the exact same camera, just rebranded to obfuscate the only apparent purpose for its introduction: the devaluation of the M9.

        • Why would Leica want to drive down used M9 prices? High resale values make the cameras look like better value. If resale values are too low people will be less likely to trade up because it will cost more. They kept the M9 around (renamed) because they figured they could sell some to people who don’t want to spend more for features they won’t use, like video, and to people who think a CCD is a magical device and a CMOS sensor isn’t. Leica will make nice profits whichever model they sell.

  76. Interesting indeed, though I find the names a bit strange. I am definitely curios to see the performance of the new M. But I did expect Leica would come up with a dedicated EVF (in particular LARGER) – not that tiny thing from Olympus.

    Are there any relevant updates to the M-E compared to M9? Like better LCD or new processing engine? Still – it is nice to hear that the price of (essentially M9) has effectively come down. And it does look cool 🙂

  77. IMHO we just don’t need “live view” or video in an “M”….seems silly to me. But the ME is a reasonable alternative. Not to mention the Monochrom. Beautiful stuff!

    • agree, you don’t and I don’t, but there are plenty out there that have the money to get one, and want the perceived “prestige” of having a Leica M that they can use as a point and shoot and do some holiday videos with. Leica is simply expanding the appeal to broader market with the cash to splash.

      • Wealthy tourists holding out their shiny new Leica M’s at arms length to take shots is one ugly vision. Ughhh. The ME will do just fine.

      • Obviously the use of live-view is a valid distinction between “real photographers” and people who are just looking for a prestigious point-and-shoot and have cash to splash. Too bad that Leica photographers (who are by definition “real photographers”) have to share their Leicas with these simple folks now.

    • I can’t believe it, the sensor is made in Antwerp, the city I live in? Never could have imagined there was a company producing high-end sensors…. Of this, maybe the new Leica will be cheaper in Belgium 🙂 Wishful thinking I’m afraid 🙂

      • Sensor is designed by cmosis in Belgium, built by STM microelectronics in France, when body parts are made in Portugal to finally assemble all this in Germany. A true European product !

  78. Well, on one hand they are priced lower than I thought… on the other hand, there is still no “cheap” Leica M solution. There are traditional and future versions. 😉

  79. The new M is a horrible departure from the classic M design. The logo is missplaced, the Texas screen is oversized and out of proportion with the body. The new controls are silver and really give the new M a sino-japanese touch. This will be the new Leica M5.

    • Really, the new M5 ? Because they move the logo on the middle top of the lens and have some metal button ? Try gaffer tape.

    • I must agree with Mikael. I sort off found the new M weird to say the least. Purely for an aesthetic point off view is ugly. Specially the back side. Those rectangular buttons are really bad, the screen is over size and not proportional to the body. The silver round control looks simple cheap. I guess this is what happens when you have a bunch off people always asking for more and more when there was no need for all those “features” in the first place. The result is a frankenstein!. They should’ve just update the 9 with better screen resolution, better sensor and keep the design intact!.
      So agreed, this is the new M5.

  80. ME is also different from an M9 in that the ME doesn’t have a frame line selector switch or USB port. That may not mean much to many folks though…

    The M9 still remains the purest M-camera though and may retain it’s value compared to an ME more than you may think. I know a lot of folks are going to prefer the look of that CCD

  81. Oh come on! These two are nothing! The news of the day was the X2 Paul Smith Edition. Oh you gotta love Leica. Ich bin Deutsch, und Ich sage “In your face!” Available at a Neiman-Marcus near you, soon……

  82. $5450… for the ME… $5450. If it were $3,500 that would have been awesome. $5450 is still insane in my opinion. I will keep my M8 until M9 prices drop.

  83. Any idea when the new ‘M’ will be available for pre-order? Also, when does Fuji unveil any additional cameras besides the two small ones that were pre-released before Photokina?

  84. Great stuff – I just wonder how people can distinguish what to buy, since the M9/P is still there. I was totally confused between the M-E and M9P and checked the data sheet to find out that they’re essentially the same. Just wondering.
    Let’s hope the new M is gonna rock 🙂

      • >> it is limited to only those functions that create a better image. These essentials include the M-System’s typical rapid manual focusing with the viewfinder/rangefinder and the focusing ring of the lens <<

        Usually marketing brabble is, uhm brabbling, but this time they are 100% right.

      • Jon,

        The rx1 is $2700.

        If it were a quarter of the price of an M, the M would be $10,800.

        If you’re going to troll, at least get the math right.

      • That’s a bit short-sighted. If you think the RX1 is fine for you, then go ahead. Sometimes it’s not about price, but what people value. Some drive Bentley – we could get 5-6 Mercedes for that.
        It’s something about rangefinders that really makes them different and therefore attract different groups.

    • Takeo,

      just guess how long the M9-P will stay around if they can sell a cut down of that camera, with a red dot, as if it is a “new” model.

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