In 1973, Leica introduced their first camera with electronic metal-blade shutter and exposure control. Launched as the successor to the Leicaflex series, the Leica R3 was the result of a collaboration between Leica and Minolta that had begun in 1971.
Though closely based on Minolta's XE-1, the Leica R3 differentiated itself by offering not only spot metering, but also integrated centre-weighted metering (selected via a small lever below the shutter speed dial).
The camera's metal-blade shutter, jointly developed by Copal and Leitz, offered electronically controlled exposure times from 4 to 1/1000 second. A mechanical shutter speed of 1/90 second was also available.
Another useful detail was the self-resetting lever for multiple exposures, located below the film advance winder.