At Photokina 2012, Leica surprised its visitors by presenting the Leica M and X2 – Paul Smith edition. The Leica M is the first camera to implement a newly designed and constructed CMOS image sensor, and to feature additional focusing methods and functions like live view and full HD video capability. It unites the advantages of digital technology with a rangefinder technology that has been continuously perfected over decades. At the same time, it remains true to the values of the M-System, while expanding the opportunities offered by rangefinder photography, and, for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica R legacy lenses.
The Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology; the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M and R Lenses. This development transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors to a CMOS sensor. The sensor offers you a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 6400. In combination with the high-performance, Leica Maestro processor, this new, full format sensor guarantees maximum imaging quality and speed. Leica M can also shoot video at 1080p HD with 24/25fps.
The Leica M offers new features like live view, live view focus, the focus tracking highlight and so on. Image composition can now take place in real time with the Live View. A useful feature for photographers using the live view is its two additional focusing methods – Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking that can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera.
On offer are also some interesting accessories. The new Leica R-Adapter M allows almost all R-Lenses to be mounted on the camera. Some of the other accessories are the Leica EVF2, Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module. The Leica M will be available from authorised dealers in early 2013 with an approximate rate of 6200 Euros.
The Leica also presented a new special edition, the Leica X2-Paul Smith. The X2’s look was developed from the creative mind set of the international fashion designer by himself. You might find most of Smith’s collection of work in bright and lively colours. Likewise with the Leica he has brought life to the very look of the Leica X2 body. This special edition is limited to 1500 examples and is likely to be an exclusive lifestyle product. The metal top plate of the camera is finished in dazzling bright orange while the dials on the top, for setting the aperture and shutter speed retain the classic black design of the X2. A hand-drawn, engraved light bulb ‘doodle’, with which Paul Smith calls attention to the unusual pop-up flash on the top, is a further design highlight. The designer chose an eye-catching brilliant yellow for the metal base-plate of the Leica X2 Paul Smith edition and a premium natural cowhide leather finish in ‘Racing Green’.
Leica calls this as an X2 makeover. The camera includes a stylish camera strap and a camera protector in taupe-coloured, premium calfskin. Even the lens cleaning cloth labelled ’Paul Smith for Leica’ and a certificate of authenticity is part of the package. In addition to its own unique serial number, each camera also bears one of the series of consecutive limited edition numbers, plus a special package in coordinated colours. The Leica-Paul Smith Edition will be available at select authorised Leica dealers globally in October 2012.