The NEW Leica M – The Leica M-D without rear LCD. Back to basics.


The NEW Leica M – The Leica M-D without rear LCD. Back to basics.

Looks like Leica has announced a new basic M-E style M to the Leica Rangefinder lineup! Much like they did near the end of the M9 days, releasing the M-E, which was a basic M9 at its core, it seems they did it again with this new M-D. THIS tells me that a new M will be on the way this year, end of year. Yep, that is my prediction. It’s been 3 years since the M240, the M has a 3 year life cycle, and they now released the M-D. Which is in all reality, a BASE M 240, much like the M-E was a base M9.

BUT doesn’t this sound odd? Did Leica not release the M 262 not too long ago which was a basic M240? Yep, but this time, the 5th member of the M family in production currently is without a rear LCD, much like the uber expensive M60. Instead of the rear LCD we have an ISO dial, much like on the old film cameras. THIS IS COOL, AND I NOW WANT ONE.

PRESS RELEASE BELOW but my email is in to Ken Hansen ( to pre order this one! Pricey as always at $5995 but this one will be SWEET. 

You can also pre order at


Leica Announces Latest Addition to M System: The Leica M-D

New Leica M-D Eschews LCD Screen to Focus on Essential Features and Minimal Design
For Intuitive and Classic Handling

April 28, 2016 – Leica Camera today announced the addition of a new model to their M rangefinder system, the Leica M-D (Typ 262). Together with the Leica M and M-P (Typ 240), the Leica M (Typ 262) and the Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246), this latest release from Leica marks the fifth addition to the digital family of M cameras and the first serial production model of the digital M system to be made without a monitor. The screen on the back of the camera is now replaced by the ISO sensitivity dial – a key exposure setting for any camera which harkens back to the ongoing legacy of analog Leica M rangefinders. The Leica M-D contains only the core technical features required for photography – shutter speed, aperture, focus and ISO sensitivity – allowing users to concentrate on what is most important: capturing the decisive moment.

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The technical specifications of the Leica M-D are similar to those of the Leica M (Typ 262). As with all other digital cameras in the M family, the Leica M-D (Typ 262) features a high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor. The 24-megapixel resolution ensures exceptional image quality and extreme sensitivity to light, allowing photographers to shoot in even the most difficult lighting scenarios. The camera’s Maestro processor guarantees fast processing of captured image data and yields a camera that is responsive and always at the ready. Exposures are saved exclusively as RAW data in DNG format, enabling photographers to apply all their desired adjustments when using post-processing software. The camera is dedicated exclusively to rangefinder photography and deliberately supports neither video recording nor Live View. Leica M-D users can shoot pictures confidently knowing that they are utilizing the latest generation of Leica M camera performance, albeit with all extraneous features intentionally omitted for the most pure experience.

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Leica’s passion for minimal design is immediately recognizable in the makeup of this camera. The Leica M-D expresses a purely functional form factor, and features design characteristics such as a top plate in brass with a step at the end citing the design of the Leica M9. The omission of the Leica red dot logo or M badging on the front makes the camera even more unobtrusive when shooting and traveling. The average observer could easily mistake the Leica M-D for an analog M camera, giving the user a level of discreetness that does not often come with using a digital camera. The design philosophy of the Leica M-D gives its users the most analog experience of shooting a digital camera, and returns to the ritual of waiting to see the images until it is time to sit down and edit.

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In addition to its simple design, the hardly audible shutter of the Leica M-D guarantees maximum inconspicuousness when shooting, ideal for photographic situations where discretion is key. The camera also features a shutter cocking system that is particularly quiet in single exposure mode and enables a shutter release frequency of up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the M-D has the same sequential shooting speed as its sister models and shoots up to three frames per second.

The Leica M-D (Typ 262), priced at $5,995 is available the first week of May at local Leica Stores, Leica Boutiques or Leica Dealers. The camera package includes a carrying strap in full-grain cowhide leather.




  1. The idea of removing rear LCD will sound only if
    1. prices is much lower than Leica M
    2. body is thinner
    3. extended its battery life by saving the power used on LCD

  2. It is not as stupid as it seems. Leica users mostly do street photography, so they don’t often have the chance to take the same shot again and again to get it right. They just cease each opportunity. Looking at the back of your camera while you are in the street can therefore be seen as just messing around and missing opportunities. Also think that without LCD the battery should last for as long as on DSLr or more. I am not a Lecia user and I will probably never be as I don’t have pockets deep enough but hey this was a sexy move!

  3. Funny that all the promo pics of the camera must be from a prototype body. They show the sensor at the back used for the LCD brightness control.

  4. I love the idea of this camera only wish it was the same size as my M7 – ah well next time!

  5. I’ve never owned or used a digital M, but still shoot an M6. I understand the 240 (and assume the 262) has an “advanced metering mode”, where the shutter opens and the sensor effectively meters based on light hitting it. Sounds like people seem to like it.

    Does anyone have any info on whether the M-D has this?

    I doubt it will, but I ask because I worry about the leniency of digital, especially in the highlights. The classic Leica metering system on my M6 can easily get confused in certain situations–but film can generally handle slight misexposures (again, especially in the highlights).

    I absolutely love the idea behind the M-D and have been waiting for them to release something like it for a while, but am worried about the digital sensor and the basic metering system.

    Can anyone who owns a digital M shine some light on this? Do you often find yourself metering, shooting, and then finding misexpoure upon reviewing your image, or is it generally fine? With a screen, it’s a matter of simply seeing that the meter is reading something you don’t mean it to, but without the screen…


  6. Wonderfull, only Leica would dare and get away with it, don’t have to miss those analog days annymore.
    Next a manual advance lever and cloth schutter curtain and It’s full circle

  7. And the 6th in the M range will be the M 262 D-MM which only records monochrome, followed by the film version. Maybe we’d better save our money until then.

  8. If only they could make the body as slim as film M bodies since there’s no LCD.

  9. Stunning concept – next move there will be an extra display specially designed for this – you can buy as an extra for a mere 3.000 €/3.300 USD with unparalled clarity and separate battery life.

  10. two things missing
    1. wind crank. just because
    2. advance leaver with real or digital fake sound. and you cant take another photo until you advance to the next frame.

  11. Guys it was really fun reading all these comments ! I have to say Steve got it right – take a deep breath and read his comments again !

  12. The need to remove the base plate on my M9P, in order to change the battery or memory card, is about as “retro” as I care to go. The rear LCD is an integral part of digital photography, and worth far more than the $600 or so you save in its elimination.

    Enthusiasm over the M-262 serves to reinforce the popular notion that Leica uses are more concerned about appearances than results. Fifty years ago, kids removed the Chevy badge from their cars and filled in the holes. Leica saw no need to advertise their brand with a big red dot. I guess this is what “retro” is all about.

    In fairness, Leica’s were solid and reliable in “the day”, while Chevy’s took corners like a hay wagon.

  13. I can only imagine the conversations when they were ‘developing’ this camera……we take off the LCD, charge more $’s and tell the world its a ‘traditional’ thing…..hell no one will buy it…..yes they will it’s a LEICA. Marketing magic….digital nonsense.

    • Oh many will buy it – in Leica terms anyway. Many have been waiting for this in the Leica world. This is not a mass produced for the masses camera nor was it made to appeal to that crowd. It was made to appeal to the Leica user, the one who likes ultra simplicity and a film like experience. A Niche camera, never meant to appeal to hundreds of thousands, rather, a few thousand.

  14. A pointless camera. Removing the LCD removes one of the most useful features of a digital camera. As for it interfering with someone when they’re trying to “capture the decisive moment”, that’s downright laughable. When you’e looking through the viewfinder you’re not looking at the LCD. If that’s not enough for you, turn off the preview. If that’s still going to crimp your photographic genius, turn it off. And as for those who say that not having an LCD makes this camera somehow more traditional, excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the floor. It’s a digital camera. You want traditional? Get a film Leica. THAT’S traditional.

  15. I LOVE the idea of this camera- I am stoked they made it, and not just the special edition. However $6000 is pretty steep for stripping off the LCD. This should’ve been a little more stripped down and $3K.

    • Its called economy of scale. I costs more to make a limited run item than a mass-produced one. That is the same reason why the Monochrom versions of the M9 and M-240 are more expensive than the standard ones.

  16. Emperor’s new clothes! You pay for what you don’t see. But others can see that you have been fooled.

    • Exactly. If it were less expensive than the m240 I could certainly see the point. As it is, leica definitely saw you coming. They must be laughing themselves silly that people are actually prepared to pay MORE. As the old saying goes, “a fool and his money are easily parted.”

  17. The real mistake here was making the camera RAW only. Should have been RAW + JPEG. That way you could use an eye fi card to download right to the phone and check exposures there for those times when that was necessary.

    • i think Leica did great here, but missed the ball on the connected wifi connection to your smartphone! like the leica Q!!! come on leica. you can be minimal and still modern.

    • It records the images in compressed loss-free DNG so white balance is automatic. AWB is a feature of image processing like when creating jpeg. Therefore it is not possible to have WB in a DNG format.

  18. why not just get an M9? the LCD on the back is so poor it’s as good as if it’s not there! 😉
    btw i love my M9 =)

  19. Two things came to mind:

    1. Whoever uses this will have to have a strong awareness of exposure.

    2. If there is no LCD, it cannot be damaged, and it’s one less thing to worry about.

  20. I’d want it if the cost reflected the simplified (and presumably cheaper) cost of manufacture, and if it were film-M slim.I truly would want it then. But not this version.

  21. Nonsense. Why bother. I mean, I look at my LCD to check what I took less and less these days. We should be able to totally turn off our LCDs if we want, but to not have one at all in this day and age, seems ridiculous.

  22. I’ve been shooting film for 35 years (with an M6 for the last 20) and I have never shot digital. Obscene price tag notwithstanding, I can see myself using this camera almost like a film camera. I do have a few questions though. Without a menu window how does one:
    a. adjust the WB?
    b. select lens profiles
    c. select ISO higher than 6400 (or is the sensor maxed out at 6400?)


  23. This could have been cool if the Licenced Fujifilm’s Hybrid ViewFinder….. Could you have incorporated a switchable EVF into a real rangefinder? Not sure… but that would be the only way I’d buy something like this…

  24. I’m still waiting for a digital Leica M with:
    30×30 mm 45MP sensor (yes, a 1:1 format sensor!),
    high ISO quality,
    optical viewfinder with digital focus point,
    live view,
    video not necessary,
    LCD screen (yes, the retro gag of having no LCD screen is rubbish),
    max. 500 g – with battery,
    size not larger than M6.
    Thank you Leica !

  25. Leica Q (and a little T) was the best camera leica has released since m7 , they have not coped well with the digital age. A digital Leica m with out the optical finder would have been much suited than this. A film leica m would be more basic , pure and whatever the sh*t this is. They could even make a interchangeable leica Q but nooooo , they wanted to make it big with more than 1kg lenses…

  26. what a load of bollocks. Sorry, but this is just Fart miasma.
    They may as well chucked a winder on too, and let the back open so you could put your packed lunch inside.
    Alas for Leica and Leica M lovers

  27. It would be more perfect if it took no image when the button was pressed. That way there would be no way to disprove those shots you took were your best yet.

  28. This is again odd technology, same M262 sh… different package. Don’t be a modern slave to technology. I am pro living from my cameras and lightning every single day!
    If You want lifetime Leica camera, do Yourself a favor and by yourself Leica M7, MP, M-A or what ever film camera they also doesn’t implement LCD! Leica M246 cost as much as M7/MP with 50 summilux ASPH and it shoot only B&W… Although it’s nice B&W with nice tones. And now this… 6K $ without LCD, back to basics…marketing sh.t ?! Big F… No Way for such a limited digital box! And Yes I had M3, M7, M9… and R8

        • Because digital is so easy… You run home (or do it on the fly), yank your sd card out, into the card reader, connect, connect… Hey, an image!

          • That’s cheating I always drop it on any square millimeter of free shelf space where the chance of it dropping behind the books or bookcase is highest. We’re not making images for us we’re making them for the mathematical beings that will excavate this planet once our sun burns up. Your also going to save years on never editing anything again and feel a massive swell of confidence in your photography and lower your blood pressure with my 20 step photography for profit masters program that can be yours for only 69.99. If you recruit a friend it’s just 59.99 when his or her verified payment clears.

  29. I have an M (240) and Leica’s Noctilux 0.95 50mm lens. I find that it’s very difficult to focus the Noctilux accurately without using ‘Live View’ or the EV-2 electronic viewfinder. I use the ‘back’ of the M (240) simply to check my exposure settings and my focusing. It’s easy to be an f-stop or two over-exposed when you can’t take a light meter reading.

    • don’t know about Leica but film SLR cameras had a match the needle for exposure and a focussing prism which was a little circle which you focus with and or the split prism in the centre.

      When using the Canon 5D mk II and the 50 mm f/1.2L, I could use a matt focussing screen which helped to focus but was too dark to use with other lenses.

  30. I know it doesn’t compare to this camera, but I love to turn the flippy screen of my D5300 around and shoot without the display.
    I’ve done it for a three day vacation recently and some images turned out to be the best I’ve ever shot. (Of course you still get exposure information in the viewfinder of the Nikon, don’t know for this one here)

    • Same here, with my Nikon D5100. When shooting rapidly, there’s no time or inclination to chimp every shot, but I would struggle not being able to review a few images when I’m having a break during a photo-walk or day out.

  31. Common sense suggests the cheaper model with an LCD screen but omitting Live View makes most financial sense, personally I love the M type 240 but I can imagine there will be a small market, where the idea of no screen brings a welcome simple approach to rangefinder photography.

    So KUDOS to Leica for thinking different although it will not be for me.

    • In theory, it seems like it could be.. neat to shoot with, in a nostalgic sort of way.
      But in practice, I can see it not being that great of an idea.

      For this camera to be enjoyable in any sort of way, you better be on your game and be ready to take 3-4 times as many photos than normal to make sure you nailed the focus & exposure, which means wading through 3-4 times as many photos in post processing.

      And… That just doesn’t sound like fun to me personally. Leica made it easy to pass on this model.

  32. What Leica needs in the M lineup is a new Sensor. The CMOSIS sensor was showing it’s age compared to the Leica Q, the top ISO6400 on the dial just underscores it. “An Ancient ISO Dial is no match for a new sensor by your side”.

  33. I wonder whether leaving out the rear LCD provided no opportunity to make the body slimmer, in an ideal case to the dimensions of the original M3.

    • That would have meant redesigning the whole body. That’s a no no from a money making perspective.

      Leave some features out, nigh zero development costs, no retooling tonspeaknof, up the price, limited production run.


    • You’d think they’d get away with having a much slimmer camera shrinking video capabilities, LCD breakout and what not but chances are most of that stuff is still in there rather than a big waffle iron of a cooler. it looks like it’s the same size as a 240 due in large part to them not being forced into designing a new battery + dock + charger standard. This is either a processor upgrade or them diverting new screens to the next generation of cameras or just them having given video an honest attempt but not getting any takers going ‘Well what do you actually need to make an image.’
      If they really wanted to make a skinny camera they’d have to M6 it and offset the sensor even more to get a skinnier battery to lay flat (horizontally/parallel to the sensor) The battery compartment is still the fattest part on a modern Leica and the 3-4mm you’d save moving the SD card out of there is negligible though handy as I’ve realized with the X-pro (even if I’m still somewhat preferential to only risking one hinge when swapping cards or batteries). Their approach seems to be to shorten in lengthwise above all else and without a screen you are effectively getting a smaller camera as your grip is vastly improved the further in you get with your thumb.

    • It did, they just didn’t want to have to spend more money retooling for a new body. That would take too much effort.

      (I say that tongue-in-cheek, but sadly I believe that’s exactly the case).

  34. Leica is committing suicide……having to download from the SD card to see any image on a digital camera??? How nice Fujifilm has developed the hybrid viewfinder and Leica cannot follow it to let the photographer review the photo they just have taken. Just arrogant Leica is what I can say……

    • It’s a choice they are giving, so not suicide by any means. This is not some new top model, its a 5th M model for those who would want this, and I know hundreds who have been waiting, so it’s a choice, which is a good thing. A new M will arrive this year (my prediction) which will be the modern M. This is more for purists, and in the Leica world, there are a ton of purists. If this were the only M one could buy, that would be a different story.

    • The function button on top allows you to see remaining shots on SD card and percentage of battery left and percentage of SD card left.

        • It’s displayed in the viewfinder along the bottom, in the same place that the shutter speed and exposure comp. is displayed. You can also use this function button to set the time and date, by first switching the camera onto bulb mode and then holding down the function button for 12 seconds.

          This is how to see the remaining shots on a SD card, taken from the manual…

          Displaying the memory card capacity
          You can display the number photographs that can still be taken in the viewfinder:
          1. Turn on the camera
          • The battery capacity is displayed first.
          2. Press the function button 1x
          Only necessary if the viewfinder display has switched itself off again even though the camera is switched on:
          3. Press the shutter release button to the first pressure point 4. Press the function button 1x
          • The relevant value is displayed.
          3s after the shutter release button has been pressed to the first pressure point, or after the function button has been let go, the display returns to the normal state.
          When the card’s capacity limit has been reached, Full always appears, irrespective of whether the viewfinder display was switched on before or not.

          • What`s normal state. Shouln`t number of pictures remaining be permanently displayed when the camera is powered on?

          • It’s amazing that they’ve created such a digital experience just to see the shots remaining. A film camera would constantly show the shots remaining, because it’s an important thing to know. Just glance at the top of a film camera and you know. But for this M-D, seeing the shots remaining is a button-pushing experience. It’s basically a loss of functionality for the sake of what … style?.

  35. I can’t understand why every M240 variant doesn’t have the 2 Gig buffer of the M-P. Once Leica figured out how to put a 2 Gig buffer into a M240 body, why have they made more cameras with the 1 Gig buffer? I hit the buffer on my M240 all the time, and I’m sure I’d hit it frequently on this camera as well.

  36. What if there’s some form of malfunction and images are being screwed up at time of writing? How will you know? I’ve shot with an M8, M9 and M240 and this has occurred on more than one occasion.

    • Right! This camera is definitely not suitable for wedding photography. It is too risky. You cannot ask the bribe and groom for next appointment to shoot.

    • For better or for worse, this camera is for people who are not concerned about such a malfunction.

  37. This is the digital camera I’ve wanted, and the price is what I expected. Hope it is still around when I save up enough…

  38. Beautiful! One more step towards the perfect digital M. I was hoping removing the LCD would allow Leica to make the M-D as thin as an M7, but I guess if they did that now there would be a less compelling reason to buy future M models. My prediction is it will be another 2 iterations before we will see a digital M in a film body.

  39. When people of my generation were young, we shot in the way this camera obliges you to do: by manipulating the four essential parameters. The fact that Leica still makes this kind of camera’s makes my hearth beat faster. (But why not right from the start, when they launch a new generation?!!)
    Since I shoot digital, I always try to use my camera in this way: with immediate manual access to those four parameters, because for me, that’s the only approach to photography. So should I wanna shoot with this Leica? Of course, I would! I can vividly imagine the thrill of it. I don’t use the LCD for looking back anyway.
    The thing is, I wouldn’t wanna have to àlways shoot with it. Still, it would be kind of a fun camera, to shoot like in the old days from time to time, but still have digital IQ. For those times that I just feel for it.
    But when I think of my A7RII, the tiltable LCD, to me, is essential for shooting close to the ground (my joints are getting less flexible – which is a euphemism) or at belly position. I wouldn’t wanna have to do without it anymore. And the white balance function is not too bad neather, but less essential. And next to that, the A7RII offers so much more in so many important areas, that the Leica would really be close to a gadget, that you own just for the thrill of it. An extremeley expensive gadget.
    I guess I would seriously consider this M-D when I would make say four times my present income…

  40. Maybe I’m becoming senile, but I think this is nutty. I could live without live view. I could certainly live without video. But having to download from the SD card to see any image on a digital camera??? I don’t get it. And the pricing…the M262 (with rear screen) is $5195. This model (no screen) is $5995. You could buy the former, obscure the screen with leatherette, and save $800. Something must be wrong.

    • The M262 is made from aluminum, the M-D from brass. That explains most of the prize difference.

      • Yes Aluminum vs. Brass. Like Brass has any significant value. Now if it was Aluminum vs. Gold. That’s worth paying for 🙂

      • From the time it was first released, I thought that the M262 was a bargain, at least in Leica terms. It has the same sensor and processor as the M240, with a quieter shutter. You don’t get live view or video, but those are not critical features for me. I haven’t bought one yet, but if I were going to get a digital M, that would be the model I’d be interested in.

    • IMHO, this is one of the most ill-conceived ideas ever to come out of any manufacturer. It’s being reductive just for the sake of being reductive. It would be like removing the rapid-rewind lever innovation from film cameras back in the 1970s, (and saying it’s a return to “core features”); or perhaps more appropriately, removing all gauges in your car’s IP … hell, removing the whole IP itself.

      Just out of curiosity, how does one select white balance, RAW and/or jpeg, date/time/EXIF customization, or any of the other many features digital cameras possess that necessitate a large, legible information screen?

  41. I’m getting really confused by these model names? Are there two different “Typ 262s” now? M-D (Typ 262) and M (Typ 262) … And M (Typ 240) and Messersucher BF109 and whatever…. Are they trying to compete with the likes of “OM-D E-M5 Mark II” or something?

  42. The function button on top can be used to show you shots remaining/percentage of SD card used and percentage of battery remaining, inside the viewfinder. The function button coupled with the scroll wheel can change the exposure compensation.

    I want one as well, this will brass nicely and look beautiful when it does!

  43. The Edition 60 does not have the rear wheel, but this one retains the wheel. Wonder what it’s for when it does not have the LCD screen.

    • For the ISO
      ISO has nothing to do with LCD screen
      I dont think i want one. I use the screen quite often, as i am not such a good photographer and i do make mistakes

        • Exactly… the big silver thing … coolest aspect of this camera … So that leaves the question unanswered … what’s with the thumb wheel?

      • Exposure compensation indeed, but just in A mode… Of course.

        But no way to format card in camera, no way to select lens for non-coded ones, that’s a bit more than I’m ready to give up.

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