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Ten years of digital M

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This year the digital M is celebrating its tenth birthday. For this reason, Leica is making a special offer that’s valid until October 31, 2016: photographers who decide to purchase a digital M system can trade in their former camera and will receive an additional 500 euros above the current value. You can find more information about this at: www.leica-camera.com.

The decisive impulse to push ahead with the development of a digital M came in 2004, with the appearance of an Epson-branded digital rangefinder camera. At first, the R-D1, based on a Cosina/Voigtländer Bessa R and sporting a 6 MP sensor and a crop factor of 1.5, seemed to confirm that it would be an act of violence to experiment similarly on the venerable M system. However, the competitor also suggested an unexpected angle: perhaps rangefinder photography would be much more attractive if it dropped its reliance on film, the availability of which was shrinking faster than even the biggest pessimists had held possible.

Considering this, it is little short of a miracle that the M8 was designed and completed within two years and introduced in 2006. Nevertheless, on the whole, the M8 was a successful evolutionary step. The story of the compact precision camera with manual focusing was able to continue, and 2009 saw the solution with a sensor in ‘Leica format’. The enormous response to the M9 can be seen as clear evidence of the timeless relevance of the principles it embodies.

And now the success story continues: the product portfolio currently includes five different, digital M cameras – the M240, the M-D, the M262, the M Monochrom and the M-P –, each in line with the diverse demands made of the system.

You can see how renowned photographers work with digital M cameras from the LFI loan pool at: m-magazine.photography/publications.

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