The new Leica M represents the most significant turning point in the history of Leica rangefinder photography to date. With features such as Live View and an in-house developed sensor, the symbiosis of tradition and technological progress yields a remarkable result.
Leica's most current rangefinder model was the first to offer spot and matrix metering, as well as featuring not only a Leica image processor, but also a CMOS sensor developed in-house by Leica. The M also offers HD quality video recording, LED bright frames and a spray and dust resistant camera body.
The most distinguishing hallmark of the new Leica M is its Live View mode with focus control. While it has long been an established feature in mirror reflex cameras, in rangefinder photography Live View presents the only opportunity to view the image through the lens and adjust the depth of field prior to making the exposure.
Incorporating Live View into the new M resulted in extensive changes compared to its predecessor, the M9. The display monitor grew to 3 inches, offering a considerably higher resolution of 920,000 pixels, while the M's sensor now offers a resolution of 24 megapixels as well as a higher maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400.
In essence, the new Leica M comes closer to the ideal of a fast, sensitive and discreet high-performance rangefinder camera than any of the digital M models that have gone before.