Embodying Leica's philosophies in the most essential form, the M-D (Typ 262) is a digital rangefinder that heavily emphasizes manual control and room to concentrate solely on the scene at hand. By omitting virtually all automatic features as well as a rear LCD screen, the M-D's simplicity is its core attribute, and affords unencumbered access to the four basic elements of photography: shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and focus. This simplicity is carried over to the operating aspects of the camera, including its manual rangefinder focusing mechanism, clear 0.68x-magnification optical viewfinder, and stills-only recording in the uncompressed DNG raw file format. Beyond handling and design, the M-D is, of course, also characterized by notable imaging performance aided by the full-frame MAX 24MP CMOS sensor and Maestro image processor that afford a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and up to 3 fps continuous shooting. Designed as a camera for the pure photographer, the M-D maintains Leica's dedication to their heritage in crafting simple yet highly functional tools as well as an admiration for the basic elements of photography itself.
In regard to operation, the M-D is equally minimal due to its lack of a rear LCD screen, which has been replaced with a manual ISO selection wheel, as well as the omission of video recording and virtually all automated functions.
Utilizing the analog dials on the back and top of the camera, sensitivity can be adjusted, in 1/3 EV steps, from ISO 200 to 6400, and shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 8 seconds plus bulb for up to 1 minute, can be controlled. Aperture control is available on any attached M-mount lens, and an aperture priority setting can be utilized along with the in-camera heavily center-weighted exposure meter.
The rangefinder mechanism displays split or superimposed bright field images within the center of the viewfinder to benefit accurate manual focusing control. The effective rangefinder metering basis is 47.1mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x).
- Brass top plate maintains a classic feel and is complemented by an all-black lacquered finish for a svelte appearance.
- The camera body is constructed from magnesium and aluminum alloys and finished with a black synthetic leather covering.
- Quiet shutter mechanism benefits discreet, inconspicuous shooting methods.
- Eschewing a rear LCD screen and video recording capabilities, this stills-only camera features few physical controls for exposure adjustment, including a rear ISO dial, top shutter speed dial, and a drive mode selector.
- Leica M mount is compatible with a wide range of both current and legacy rangefinder lenses, ranging in focal length from 16mm to 135mm.
- Images are exclusively recorded in the DNG format.
- A top hot shoe permits working with an external flash and the top sync speed is 1/180 sec.