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The new Leica M-E is a Leica M that shoots video – but not in 4K

The new Leica M-E is a Leica M that shoots video – but not in 4K

Leica has announced its latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the Leica M-E (Typ 240), a 24-megapixel body that is essentially a Leica M that shoots 1080p video. Yes, a new and expensive camera in 2019 that doesn't shoot 4K – though it does come in 'anthracite grey'. How very Leica.

The M-E packs a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor with a delicate ISO range of up to 6400, which is enough for Leica to describe as "exceedingly high resolution and light sensitivity". 

• Read more: Best Leica cameras

The Leica M-E comes in an exclusive anthracite grey

The Leica M-E doesn't shoot 4K, but it comes in an exclusive anthracite grey

The creative marketing continues with the company's assertion that you can achieve the "Leica Look in Full-HD", which enables you to "capture stunning videos using a dedicated recording button, adding yet another dimension to your creative pursuits." A dedicated record button, you say? And 1080p? How very Leica.

Still, nobody buys a Leica for cutting-edge technology. They do, however, buy a Leica for the gorgeous design and build, and the M-E has that in spades. 

The rangefinder body (the M stands for ‘Messsucher’, meaning rangefinder, if you ever wondered) is dust and water spray resistant, with the top and base plate finished in an anthracite grey paint specially developed for the camera – though the genuine leather trim makes it somewhat less appealing for the ethically minded. 

The Leica M-E comes with "a dedicated recording button"

The Leica M-E comes with "a dedicated recording button" – how very nouveau 

The M also means that the camera uses the bayonet M mount, and the Leica M-E is compatible with nearly every M lens ever produced. The camera looks visually the same as the standard Leica M, down to button layout and rear screen, though it isn't clear if it's a touchscreen like the Leica M-10P.

The Leica M-E will be available from the end of July. The company didn't announce pricing, only that buyers will "benefit from its exceptionally favourable retail price" – which retailers have revealed as £3,500 / $3,995. How very Leica indeed. 

Read more: 

The 10 best Leica cameras in 2019
Hands on: Leica Q2 review
Leica launches Project Z to support and showcase young photographers

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web 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 as diverse as 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, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. 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.