$9,300 'Batman Leica' camera officially announced – and the paint rubs off

$9,300 'Batman Leica' camera officially announced – and it brasses with use
(Image credit: Leica)

UPDATE: Leica has now officially announced the Leica M10-R Black Paint Finish, a limited edition version of the base M10-R with a "less robust" glossy black paintjob that enables the camera to 'brass' with use and age. 

"Most Leica models are finished in black chrome or black anodized with a matte satin surface," says Leica. "Yet the exclusive special edition Leica M10-R features a unique glossy black paint finish. This previously classic look might be less robust compared to modern equivalents. But with time it develops its own inimitable patina."

With an all-black finish worthy of The Dark Knight, and a price tag suited to Bruce Wayne's checkbook, the Leica M10-R Black Paint Finish costs $9,295 / £7,500 / AU$13,900 and is limited to 2,000 pieces worldwide. 

"Many photographers treasure these signs of wear that reveal the brass on the cap, bottom cover and the function wheels after intensive use. Now, the Leica M10-R too will expose these authentic characteristics over time. Its unique patina bearing witness to the passing of time—capturing more than just events but telling its very own story.

"The exclusive design variant of the Leica M10-R combines all the modern technology associated with its model with classic design elements. In addition to its glossy black paint finish, the cap features the famous Leica script and "Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Germany" engraving. Both the ISO and the shutter speed dial feature characteristic cross knurling and the release button—a silver glossy chrome finish. These special details are thanks to the rare black glossy classics Leica M3 and Leica M4, which continue to delight Leica fans to this day. The emblematic red Leica dot has also deliberately been omitted."

ORIGINAL STORY (23 Jun 2021): A Leica worthy of Batman is about to be revealed, as the Leica M10-R Black Paint limited edition camera has been leaked online. 

"Does is come in black?" quipped Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins when taking the Batmobile (well, Tumbler) for a test drive. Well, now he can ask the same question of the Leica M10-R and the answer would be a resounding yes. 

• Read more: Best Leica cameras

Now, if you're familiar with the Leica M10-R, you'll probably know that it was already pretty darned black to begin with. As is the manufacturer's wont, however, the Leica M10-R Black Paint enables you to pay a premium for a limited edition of the camera that removes the signature Leica red dot (which you were paying a premium for in the first place).

Still, you wouldn't find Batman running around with a giant red dot on his costume (though the late Eighties and early Nineties movie Batmen were fond of having a giant yellow logo on their chests), so we're sure this is a camera that Bruce Wayne would be all over.  

And that's just as well, because according to Leica Rumors it will carry a price tag of €8,390 – approximately $10,000 / £7,180 / AU$13,260. So far we've only got these three limited views of the camera, courtesy of a leak by Nokishita, though Leica Rumors notes that it is due to be announced on 24 June. 

Aside from the Dark Knight paint job, expect the Leica M10-R Black Paint to have the same specs as the original model. That means it'll pack a high resolution 40.9MP full-frame image sensor, with ever-useful 2GB internal memory (and an SD card slot), rangefinder focusing, 4.5fps burst shooting and no video capability whatsoever.

We can't deny it's a pretty camera – though we're always slightly confused that you'd spend the price of a kidney on a Leica, and not want the red badge on the front! 

Read more: 

Leica M10-R review
Leica M10 Monochrom review
Best Leica M lenses

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.