Leica Camera AG are in 2016 celebrating ten years of M-Photography in the digital age
The Leica M8 launched in 2006 but the Leica M9, introduced three years later, was the first digital Leica rangefinder camera with a full-frame sensor. In 2016, no less than five Leica M digital rangefinder cameras are available, including the unique M-Monochrom with its black and white sensor.
In 2014, the company released a special Leica M ‘100 years of Leica photography’ Centenary special limited edition of its 24-megapixel full-frame M (typ 240), limited to 500 examples worldwide. Each is engraved with the ‘100 years of Leica’ logo on the top plate. The M (Typ 240) itself is the world’s second full-frame mirrorless camera and was announced at Photokina 2012, and which also could be ordered ‘à la Carte‘ in 2015 with photographers able to choose from a range of customisable options to create their own personalized look. It followed the M9 which was released in 2009. The later model has an even quieter shutter and superior high ISO performance, making it even better for “photography at the heart of the action,” as Leica themselves put it.
All Leica M cameras enjoy the highest level of craftsmanship and superior materials in their construction, which contribute to their longevity as well as their perpetual appeal and retention of value on the used market. Their legendary status is also of course founded on a long tradition of excellence in optical manufacture going back many decades. Leica’s current lineup of digital M rangefinder cameras continue the renowned standard of quality and design of their M film cameras, such as the popular Leica M6 (pictured below). This was a later version of Leica M used by many well known 20th century photographers – particularly street photographers and photojournalists who valued this type of design along with portability and reliability. Henri Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand are but two. In recent times, images of Winogrand’s last owned Leica M4 camera later made an appearance at the popular website cameraquest.com.
An important role in this is played by consistent adherence to the principle of system compatibility, which ensures that almost all Leica M-Lenses manufactured since 1954 can be used with the digital Leica M models