Ahhh the Leica. Every time I hear about another gorgeously crafted chunk of metal coming from the guys in Germany, a slight tear is shed. The red circle is a staple among photographers. Some are lucky enough to be part of the owners group, others covet the brand hoping to find one hiding amongst their gear bag one day. Sure, there are many that feel the Leica is an overpriced piece of gear, especially as we are now well within the digital age. Sure, the heyday of the brand may have been in 1950’s when everyone was shooting 35mm film. But, with cameras like the new Leica M-P, they still hold true as one of the most coveted camera manufactures on the planet. In a circle of photographers, the only brand that turns heads in a Leica. A cool factor the other makers have yet to master.
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Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents a further model in the Leica rangefinder camera segment. Based on the otherwise identical Leica M, the Leica M-P offers all the technical advantages of the Leica M-System and several additional features, for example an enlarged buffer memory. The ‘P’ in the name of this camera indicates the particularly discreet and enduring design concept with which the Leica M-P joins the line of Leica M-Cameras conceived especially to fulfil the needs of professional photographers.
The buffer memory capacity of the Leica M-P has been increased to 2 GB – twice the size of that of the Leica M. This guarantees that the Leica M-P is immediately ready to shoot in almost all situations. This is a particular advantage when shooting pictures in rapid succession, as the image data needs to be buffered directly after the shutter is released, before writing to the SD memory card. This means that users can now react to events with even greater spontaneity to capture the decisive moment in almost every photographic situation.
In terms of design, the Leica M-P is based on the typical characteristics of the Leica rangefinder system and focuses in particular on robustness and a long product lifespan. The use of an extremely scratch-resistant sapphire crystal cover for its LCD monitor is one example of this. This material is so hard that it can only be worked with special diamond cutting tools and is one of the world’s hardest materials. In practical terms, the sapphire glass LCD cover is almost unbreakable and offers resistance to many kinds of wear and stresses, meaning that the camera is ideally equipped for many years of use. Thanks to an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover glass, image reviewing is now even better, even in difficult lighting conditions, and allows photographers to assess and check every subject with optimum precision both before and after exposure.
The unobtrusive and minimalistic look of the Leica M-P provides even greater discretion in decisive shooting situations. Many photographers who already use Leica M-Cameras actually tape over the red Leica logo to make their work as unobtrusive as possible. For precisely this reason, this identifying feature has been omitted from the new rangefinder camera. Instead, the top plate of the camera is engraved with a subtle Leica script.
Other new details of the camera include a frame selection lever with which bright-line frames for six different focal lengths can be projected into the viewfinder to simulate subject framing. The corresponding frames are shown in pairs for the focal lengths 28 and 90 mm, 35 and 135 mm or 50 and 75 mm. This avoids the need to change lenses to assess suitable subject framing, offers greater creative freedom and allows photographers to concentrate fully on composing their pictures.
The Leica M-P is available now from authorised Leica dealers in two different versions: a black-paint version and a traditional silver chrome version. The Leica M-P complements the Leica M. Both cameras will be marketed together. The new camera is not yet in stock, but you can pre-order it now at B&H Photo.
Always ready to capture the decisive moment
The Leica M-P features a two gigabyte memory buffer. This makes it twice as fast at capturing shots in sequence than the Leica M.
Extremely scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass is used for the protective cover of the LCD monitor screen of the Leica M-P. This is one of the world’s hardest materials and is almost unbreakable. An anti-reflective coating on both sides of the monitor cover glass also improves image reviewing, even in unfavorable light.
The Leica M-P enables authentic images to be captured from the heart of life itself. Its compact size, minimalist design and almost silent shutter make it the ideal companion for unobtrusive photography. For this, even the Leica logo was omitted. Instead, the top plate of the Leica M-P is graced only by a classical Leica script.
Maximum image quality
Exceptional image sharpness and the finest rendition of details. The Leica M-P is equipped with a 24 megapixel, high-resolution, full-frame (24×36 mm), CMOS sensor – the Leica MAX 24 MP. In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro image processor, this ensures outstanding pictures with every exposure. A further benefit is extremely low image noise – a factor that makes the Leica M-P ideal for available light photography.
Sharp pictures guaranteed
The classic rangefinder (a combined viewfinder and rangefinder) enables fast and accurate focusing with absolute precision. Two additional focusing methods provide even more creative opportunities. ‘Live View Zoom’ offers 10-fold magnification of the Live View display and ‘Live View focus peaking’ can automatically highlight sharply-focused contours in a choice of red, green or blue. This range of options means that you always have focusing effortlessly under complete control.
Moving pictures with the Leica look
The unique imaging qualities of Leica lenses are naturally also available for the 1080p, full-HD video recording capability of the Leica M-P. Perfect exposure control and recording settings allow photographers to complement their still pictures with professional video recordings – with the typical, premium quality look that is a hallmark of Leica photography.
Live View is a common feature of both the Leica M-P and the Leica M. It allows subjects and scenes to be composed through the lens – with full control of depth of field, exposure, framing and sharpness. The large, high-resolution 3″ monitor screen (920,000 pixels) of the Leica M-P is ideal for the precise assessment of sharpness, exposure and the colours of a subject. Like many of its legendary M ancestors, the Leica M-P, has a frame selector to aid the photographer in the choice of the optimum focal length for a subject or scene.
For long shoots
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery (1800 mAh) of the Leica M-P offers impressive performance and high capacity for shooting for long periods between charges. This ensures constant readiness for longer shooting sessions. A single full charge is sufficient for a multitude of exposures and guarantees that the M-P will never let you down, even in remote locations.
In the Leica M-P, the traditional, highly-regarded exposure functions of the M-System are united with cutting edge ergonomic design. Thanks to an easily accessible thumb wheel on the top plate, intuitive menu navigation and a user-friendly menu interface for the monitor screen on the back of the camera, photographers can concentrate on the essential – their pictures.
Photography in any weather
It is not uncommon that our cameras last a lifetime. Thanks to body components machined from solid brass, a full-metal, magnesium alloy chassis and a sapphire crystal screen protector, the body and monitor screen effortlessly resist the issues of everyday photography. Specially designed rubber seals protect the camera body against splashes, moisture, dust and inclement weather conditions.
The high image data processing speed achieved by the combination of the Leica MAX 24 MP sensor with the Leica Maestro image processor is astonishing. Thanks to short buffering times and a particularly large, two gigabyte memory, exposures can be captured in rapid sequences without missing a shot. The various independent segments of the processor make it possible to process one image while the previous image is being written to the memory card.