Leica M camera gets pared down and prettied up

Leica bids farewell to basic black and shiny silver for its Leica M Typ 240 model and unveils a less expensive, stripped-down Typ 242.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read

Leica's taking camera customization to a whole new level.

Sure, Pentax paved the way for the rainbow of on-demand custom color combinations, and Leica's always offered custom engraving on its cameras, but Leica's taking personalization a step further and allowing you to select specific features for the Typ 240 full-frame interchangeable-lens camera with its new a la carte program.

In addition to selecting the leather accent color -- with matching accessories -- from a palette of middle gray, bright red, dark blue, dark red and green (with fancier names), and two different embossed patterns, you can choose a body finish of black chrome, silver chrome or black enamel and a custom engraving.


Your new Leica color palette.


Now, however, you can choose to add a frame-selection lever for simulating six different focal lengths (so that you can wish you had a different lens for the shot); decide whether you want the back display to use Gorilla Glass or sapphire crystal glass; opt for silver or black on the back navigation button; decide yea or nay on the presence of video recording and all the associated controls and menu options (starting in April 2016); and to -- OMG -- drop the red Leica badge on the front.

The price of the customized Typ 240 will vary depending upon options and ship by the end of November. You can check them all out with the configurator.


The new entry-level Leica M.


Want a Leica M but don't have the $6,000-plus (£4,000, AU$7,500) to sacrifice to the gods of photography? Now there's an entry-level model that will only require an offering of $5,195 (directly converted, roughly £3,400, AU$7,200). The Typ 242 has the same basic internals as the rest of its siblings, but lacks live view and video and has a quieter shutter than the Typ 240 so that you can concentrate on the "essence of rangefinder photography."

The Typ 242 is also slated to ship by the end of November, in time to make it onto your gift wish list.