2015 has been an active year for Leica, having announced not one but four digital mirrorless cameras. The latest in this series of releases is the Leica M (Typ 262), an entry-level model that Leica calls “M in its purest form.”
Leica M (Typ 262)
The new M (Typ 262) retains many of the most desirable features of the other M cameras, such as a high resolution 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor, timeless design and exceptional handling, while omitting features that could be considered superfluous to the photographic process including video recording and live view.
As Leica states in the press release, “no other camera stands so firmly for a focus on ‘Das Wesentliche’ – a focus on what is truly essential for serious photographers.”
Since the top plate has been engineered from aluminium instead of brass, the new M, at 600 grams, is 100 grams lighter than the original. It also features a reduced two-page menu system and an updated “cocking shutter” system that is supposedly quieter in single exposure mode than that of the M (Typ 240). The only significant physical difference is the dedicated white balance button on the rear, which has taken the place of the live view (LV) button on the original M.
Many were wondering whether Leica would ever release an entry-level M model for those lacking the funds to purchase the original M, and while it is certainly cheaper at £4050/$5195, it still remains a hefty investment.
That said, doing away with video was a wise move, as it has never been Leica’s forte anyway, and the lighter build will certainly prove appealing. The only feature whose loss I’ll personally mourn is Live View but I admit it isn’t essential on a rangefinder like this.
Shipping of the Leica M (Typ 262) will begin on November 25th 2015.
Leica M “A La Carte”
In addition to the Leica M (Typ 262), Leica has also introduced the new M “A La Carte” program whereby users can choose from a selection of features and create a camera that matches their unique character. Available for both analogue and digital Ms, you can choose to have a premium leather finish in a variety of colours, engravings, and other bespoke options to make your M as personal as possible. On top of that, you also receive a 2GB buffer memory as standard.
The option to customise one’s camera has proven quite popular with Fujifilm users (the X Signature service), so there is no reason it shouldn’t be just as successful with Leica users as well.
Are you interested in the new Leica M (Typ 262) or the “A La Carte” option? We invite you to share your thoughts below!