A List of Digital Leica M Cameras why isn't this on leica.com?
There really should be a definitive list of digital Leica M cameras, and I’m happy to turn this blog post into a link to that list. Until then, I hope this helps someone.
I don’t know why Leica make it so hard on us to buy their cameras. I can barely keep track of which camera I want, short of knowing that I want a digital Leica M. I have a film M7 that is a freakish combination of sculptural art work, exquisite functionality, and a tool that makes photography enjoyable to the point of giggles and produces results so good that they don’t make sense when compared to the simplicity of the process. That said, I still want the digital version because film really is a pain in the neck. If only I could remember which digital version I wanted.
The film versions are pretty simple. The M7 has a meter and thus modern1 conveniences like automatic shutter speed. Other Leica M film cameras don’t have meters. Or some may. Whatever, I’ve already got one and, as Monty Python’s French Soldier said, Oh yes, it's very nice!2 and Ferris was right: It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. 3
But I don’t have a digital one. And as part of the long (yet almost certainly inevitable) process of getting one, I needed some notes on what the options are. If someone else has made this list, I couldn’t find it, and I’m sorry for (a) not just linking it to your information and (b) for spending the time I did making my own list when you already had one.
|Name||Price 5||MP||Year||Comments||Top plate|
|M8||ebay||10||2006||not full-frame, while all the rest are||brass|
|M8.2||ebay||10||2008||M8 that is quieter, nicer LCD glass, more discreet||brass|
|M9||$3,800||18||2009||Ken says it's the best camera ever made|
|M9-P||$5,400||18||2011||M9 with sapphire covered LCD and nicer cosmetics|
|M9 mono||$5,000||18||2012||b/w only; precursor to the typ 246|
|M-E (typ 220)||$4,500||18||2012||basically a less expensive M9 with no losses over the M9|
|M (typ 240)||$6,400||24||2012||video||brass|
|M-P (typ 240)||$7,000||24||2014||video, more black and a bigger buffer than the M (typ 240)||brass|
|M-Mono (typ 246)||$7,500||24||2015||black-and-white only|
|M (typ 262)||$5,200||24||2015||no video||aluminum|
|M-D (typ 262)||$6,000||24||2016||A digital camera with no screen|
It seems to me that the M Typ 262 is the best option of that list, at least for me. The M-E is probably just as effective and fun, but since the savings of $700 would barely buy a suitable lens, it might not be worth it6, plus everyone knows that megapixels are what define good photos. I think it was Cartier-Bresson who said “Megapixels plus Aperature Priority equal Art”, or something like that—it was in French and I can’t be sure of the translation. As for video, I have an iPhone for video, and it probably does a better job than either of the typ 240 do in my hands.
Modernity here defined as sometime after the 1940s. As if your megapixels are really that cool… because Ken Rockwell asserts they aren’t, and he’s got enough self-confidence for himself, you, me, and a goodly fraction of the Internet, so there’s that.
This page could change at any time; if you are really concerned
about the history of it, you’ll have to follow the changes via
Prices change over time. Plus, eBay. So these are basically meaningless. Sorry. Google some stuff, you’re a grown-up looking at multi-thousand-dollar cameras for goodness sake.
However, I’m open to advice.
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