Leica M: Is This the Craziest Full-Frame, HD Video, Interchangeable Lens Monster Ever Made?

Illustration for article titled Leica M: Is This the Craziest Full-Frame, HD Video, Interchangeable Lens Monster Ever Made?

The new Leica M is German camerasmith's latest photo-slaying, digital full-frame camera in the tradition of its M-series rangefinders. It's the long rumored follow-up/upgrade to the fabulous (and fabulously expensive) M9 from a few years ago. Behold the bonkers camera you'll be drooling over for the next couple of years.

Illustration for article titled Leica M: Is This the Craziest Full-Frame, HD Video, Interchangeable Lens Monster Ever Made?
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The M9's 18-megapixel 35.8mm x 23.9mm sensor has been replaced by a higher-resolution 24-megapixel full-framer on Leica's latest top M-camera. The Leica M goes up to a standard ISO of 6400 and features a new, faster Maestro image processor, and even improved—gasp!—focusing methods. In a significant step forward, the camera also features 1080p HD video recording.

Illustration for article titled Leica M: Is This the Craziest Full-Frame, HD Video, Interchangeable Lens Monster Ever Made?

Importantly, in addition to working with Leica's M-series lenses, the new sensor is specially designed to also work with Leica R-series lenses. And because this camera's likely to be a significant investment you'll be pleased to learn it has a new "splash-proof" body.

Illustration for article titled Leica M: Is This the Craziest Full-Frame, HD Video, Interchangeable Lens Monster Ever Made?
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Leica is also putting out a new Leica M-E camera, which sports a spare design more in line with the Leica tradition we're used to. Like the M-9, The M-E sports a 18-megapixel, full-frame sensor, and its 20-ounce build is more compact than the 23-ounce Leica M.

The Leica M will reportedly be out next year for $7000. The Leica M-E is available now for about $5500.

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Once upon a time Leica's 35mm rangefinder-style cameras used to exist in a vacuum, but they're not alone anymore in catering to the classy street photographer with cash to burn. The new $2800 Sony RX1 offers a full-frame sensor in a compact package much like the Leicas do. And for under $2000 you can pick up one of Fujifilm's hot, vintage style X-series cameras. Whether or not Leica stands alone anymore—and whether or not any of us can actually afford the new cameras—they're still unbelievable works of engineering. [Leica and Leica]

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DISCUSSION

MyFakeInternetName
MyFakeInternetName

Honestly, I really used to want a really good camera. I bought one when we had our daughter - knowing I was about to become a part time photographer for the family ;) But then, as time went by, it was just too slow. Get camera out, turn camera on, focus camera, take shot, turn off camera, put camera away. The pictures were wonderful, but I found myself missing moments because I was fiddling with it too much. My phone (I'll just leave the model out to avoid a flame war) takes really good pictures. As good? No. Night shots? Not so much with the really good. Sometimes a little blurry? Yep. On the flip side, it's with me 100% of the time, and ready to take a picture in 2 seconds. That's priceless, and worth the cons. YMMV.