Today, Leica Camera has announced the new M (Typ 262), a streamlined version of the M (Typ 240) with no live view or video, lighter weight care of a new aluminum top plate, a quieter shutter, and a simpler menu. The M (Typ 262) can be seen as an updated version of the M9-based Leica M-E: designed to be the best digital rangefinder photography experience possible with the fewest distractions. The sensor is the same 24 megapixel Leica MAX CMOS found in the M/M-P (Typ 240).
It seems that Leica was listening to those seeking a pure, unadulterated rangefinder experience with updated sensor technology. Leica went a step further in creating what is essentially a next generation M-E. Instead of just cutting out features such as live view and video, they also swapped out the brass top plate for a lighter weight aluminum one, shaving off 100g (3.5oz), and updated the shutter mechanism for one which is quieter. Menus have been slimmed down as well, with only two pages of options. It's nice to see some innovation here rather than just stylistic changes, and a real focus on what makes an M an M.
Other changes are the elimination of the M (movie) button on the top of the camera, as well as relabeling the LV (live view) button to the left of the LCD as WB (white balance). Note that there is no ability to mount the EVF-2 electronic viewfinder, as the port has been removed.
While this might not be a replacement for the M (Typ 240), it most certainly shows Leica's commitment to meeting the needs of its user base. Since the M (Typ 240) launch, there has been a growing sentiment for a simpler, more streamlined back-to-basics M experience, but with the image quality benefits of the latest sensor technology.
Pricing comes in at $5,195 in the US. Full specifications, images and ordering information can be found online here: Leica M (Typ 262). You can also call us at 305-921-4433 or email for more information.
The full release, from Leica:
Leica Camera presents the Leica M (Typ 262), a camera which embodies the M rangefinder philosophy in its purest form. The Leica M focuses on the essential functions for photography and an intuitive handling concept. It is the most compact full-frame camera system with access to the best lenses in the world. The Leica M (Typ 262) is dedicated to the essence of digital M rangefinder photography. It is a streamlined experience, eschewing the contemporary features of video and Live View to focus on the tried and true methods of using a rangefinder camera. Now with a top plate made of aluminum, the Leica M (Typ 262) is lighter than its M and M-P (Typ 240) siblings by nearly 100 grams.
Benefits at a Glance
- Compact digital M camera concentrating solely on the traditional rangefinder focusing and picture taking methods
- Top plate made from durable aluminum, making it lighter
- Streamlined and simplified menu system, consisting of only 2 pages
- Dedicated button on the back of the camera for White Balance (WB)
- Quieter shutter mechanism for more discreet shooting
- 24 megapixel CMOS sensor (still-pictures only) ensures exceptional image quality
- Leica Maestro processor for fast recording of captured images
- ISO values up to 6,400 ensure great quality images in low light
- Fast and accurate manual focusing
- All the essential controls and functions logically and ergonomically placed
- LCD made of scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass
The images from the Leica M (Typ 262) are characterized by outstanding contrast, exceptional detail resolution and low image noise. It is ideal to shoot with available light.
The Leica M (Typ 262) features a shutter cocking system that is quieter than that of its sister models the M and M-P (Typ 240). In single exposure mode, the shutter release frequency is up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the Leica M (Typ 262) has the same burst rate as its sister model and shoots up to three frames per second.
The low noise and compact size of the camera allows photographers to not only get close to the action, but to the heart of where it is all happening.
Looks like a smart move on behalf of Leica. I am sure many users will appreciate both features, especially the quieter shutter. Having said that I would not like to give up the live view of the 240, especially when doing architecture stuff with my wide-angle lenses … 😉