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".
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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 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.