Unveiled: Leica Provides Bare Essentials with Screenless M-D (Typ 262)


Leica aims to create professional and unique cameras for dedicated subsets of the photography world, and with the M-D (Typ 262) Digital Rangefinder Camera, the company is attempting to pare down to the bare essentials for pure photography. The M-D’s most notable “feature” is the omission of the rear LCD screen, which Leica boasts as a way to bring back the anticipation and experience of shooting film while removing all complications from operation. Of course, with no screen there is no video or live view, so photography purists will be pleased and inclined to focus solely on their images.

With a clean, intuitive design, Leica hopes the M-D will bring photographers back to their basics and focus more on creating great images than the technology behind them, or a need to share immediately with others. This smooth handling is provided by the use of a standard 0.68x bright-line viewfinder along with a top shutter-speed dial, manual aperture and focus with M lenses, and an ISO dial in place of the LCD screen. There is also an additional rear thumb wheel for making needed adjustments to select settings, as well as changing exposure compensation. The body is of the utmost quality in true Leica fashion, with a magnesium/aluminum body, a leather covering, and a brass top panel and base. Additionally, it has a black-lacquered finish that will age beautifully with use.

Getting to the tech, Leica has equipped the M-D (Typ 262) with a full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor that can operate at sensitivities of ISO 200-6400. It shoots only in lossless compressed DNG raw files to guarantee that photographers will have the most information to work from later on. Users can also shoot continuously at 3 fps and benefit from a 1GB buffer for extended shooting at these speeds. A hot shoe is available for using an external flash, and the camera accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

With a design reminiscent of a classic film rangefinder, the M-D (Typ 262) may be just the camera for photography purists, as well as those looking to move back to simpler times and focus solely on making great images.