The Leica M-D targets ascetics with indulgent budgets

For the easily distracted photographer with money to burn, Leica strips down its M.

Lori Grunin

Lori Grunin

Senior Editor / Reviews

I've been writing about and reviewing consumer technology since before the turn of the century. I'm also a photographer and cat herder, frequently at the same time.

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I can't hold back: I have to take out my mockery stick and bash the Leica M-D with it. After all, at $6,000 (£4,650; Australia pricing unavailable, but that's about AU$7,900) it's not only more expensive than most other full-frame interchangeable-lens cameras, but it's a more expensive version of the manual-focus-only Leica M (Typ 262) without a back LCD or the ability to shoot video. Instead, the ISO sensitivity dial takes a prominent place right the the middle of the camera back.

Then there are Leica's tag lines for it: "A step back to the future." (Oh, Leica, you had me at "A step back.") "The joy of anticipation." (Because nothing's as fun as waiting till you're at a computer to find out you've missed critical shots.)

But I mock because I don't subscribe to the theory that being able to view photos on the spot ruins my concentration or that "No LCD screen leads to more freedom for creative photography." I'm not a purist. And I know you're out there. Maybe after trying it out, Leica will be able to make a believer out of me.

The basic specs are identical to the two-year-old Leica M, including a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, reverse Galilean optical viewfinder with framing lines for different focal lengths and three frames-per-second continuous shooting for eight frames.

The camera's slated to ship in May.

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