LEICA M-EThis topic was mentioned in the Leica Forum over and over:

An entry level Leica M camera.

The expected price would have benn probably less than 4,800 Euro which is the price tag for the new LEICA M-E.

What you get is a full frame digital LEICA M camera with the specifications of the previous top model LEICA M9. Technically only the USB port and the image field selector are missing. The LEICA M-E might be interesting too for design purists as it has an own anthracite grey finish and a new leather trim with enhanced grip characteristics. Additionally it has no engravings on camera front or top deck plate.

New: The LEICA M-E

The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

Leica Camera AG, Solms,presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder system at the photokina in Cologne (18 to 23 September 2012), – the Leica M-E. Together with the new Leica M and the Leica M Monochrom – the world’s first digital black and white camera in 35 mm format – the latest digital generation of the Leica M now offers three rangefinder cameras. Technically at the high level of a rangefinder technology perfected over decades, the Leica M-E stands for the essence of rangefinder photography. With its concentration on essential photographic functions for accustomed dependability in all typical M fields of use, it is the ideal entry-level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography.

Featuring the proven, high-resolution, 18 MP CCD sensor in full 35 mm format, the Leica M-E offers maximum imaging quality in combination with the distinct advantages of rangefinder photography. Its most distinctive feature is a minimised, purist, design statement. The top deck and base plate are discreetly finished in unobtrusive anthracite grey. The application of a new leather trim with enhanced grip characteristics ideally complements the camera’s classical design.

The Leica M-E is available now from authorised Leica dealers.

About the Leica M-System

Since 1954, the Leica M system has stood for an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. Because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages while allowing a clear view of what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. This allows the photographer to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields, from photojournalism and ‘available light’ exposures to discreet and aesthetic fine-art images. The functions of the Leica M rangefinder camera are consistently constructed for extreme robustness and a long working life. Highest quality materials, elaborate manufacturing processes and painstaking manual assembly guarantee functional reliability for decades to come. Full backward system compatibility – almost all lenses of the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used on the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the M series.

Technical Data LEICA M-E

Unique Product Name Leica M-E (Typ 220), anthracite grey paint
Camera type Compact digital view and rangefinder system still camera
Lens mount Leica M bayonet with additional sensor for 6-bit coding
Lens system Leica M lenses
Top Cover Milled brass top cover with classic Leica M design
Material All-metal case made of die-cast magnesium; synthetic leather covering.
Cap and base plate made of brass
Image Sensor KAF -18500 18 MP CCD Sensor
Number of effective Pixels 18 Million Pixels
Sensitivity range ISO 160 – ISO 2500, Pull 80 available, Auto ISO
Imaging Platform DSP based computing platform with Leica imaging algorithms
LCD Monitor 2,5” TFT Display with 230.000 Pixels
Shutter Closed type focal plane shutter for classic image exposure, with external cocking mechanics
Shutter Speed 1/4000s – 240s (in Bulb), 1/180s flash synchronization
Burst rate approx. 2 fps
Self timer Off / 2s / 12s
Storage Media SD / SDHC Memory Cards
Imaging functions
Image File Format DNG™ (RAW data uncompressed or nonlinear compressed), JPEG
File Size DNG: 18 MB (compressed)/36 MB (uncompressed), JPEG: Resolution and image content dependent
Available JPG Resolutions 5212 x 3472 (18 MP), 3840 x 2592 (10 MP), 2592 x 1728 (4.5 MP), 1728 x 1152 (2 MP), 1280 x 846 pixels (1 MP)
Color Spaces sRGB / Adobe®RGB
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade /Tungsten / Fluorescent 1 / Fluorescent 2 / Flash / Manual / Kelvin 2000-12800
Other functions Saturation, Contrast, Sharpening
Exposure Control
Exposure Metering Through the Lens (TTL) metering, centerweighted with variable aperture
Center-weighted TTL metering for flash exposure with system-conformant SCA-3000/2 standard flash units
Exposure setting Manual shutter speed setting with direct dial, A-Mode with direct dial
Exposure Modes Automatic shutter speed (A-Mode), Manual Exposure (M-Mode)
Exposure Compensation -3 EV to +3 EV, 1/3 f-stops
Exposure Bracketing 3/5/7 frames, 0.5 / 1 / 1.5 / 2 f-stops
Flash exposure Control
Flash exposure metering Control with center-weighted TTL pre-flash metering (with SCA-3501/3502 adapter, or SCA-3000 standard flash unit such as Leica SF 24D/Leica SF 58).
Hot shoe SCA-3502 compatible hot shoe, with center contact
Flash Synchronization Optional triggered at first or second shutter curtain
Flash Synch time 1/180s
Viewfinder / Focusing
Focusing Methods Manual focus with optical rangefinder
Optical Viewfinder Large, light bright-line rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation, optical illumination
Optical Viewfinder frame lines Framelines size matches image sensor size at 1m focusing distance
Optical Viewfinder correction Eyepiece adjusted to -0,5 dpt. Corrective lenses from -3 to +3 dpt. available (optional)
Optical Viewfinder Magnification 0,68x
Optical Viewfinder Displays In the viewfinder LED symbol for flash status (at bottom). Four-digit seven-segment LED digital display, brightness adapted to ambient conditions, for: Warning in case of exposure correction; display of automatic shutter speed in automatic mode; advisory indicating use of metering memory lock.
LED exposure monitor with two triangular and one central circular LED with manual exposure setting
Rangefinder Split or superimposed image range finder shown as a bright field in the center of the viewfinder image
Rangefinder effective metering Basis 47.1 mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification 0.68 times)
Start up time <1s
Power Supply Li-ion battery (included), 3.7V, 1860 mAh
User Profiles 4 Profiles
Sensor cleaning Manual cleaning function
Tripod Thread “A 1/4 (1/4″”) DIN made of stainless steel in base plate”
Dimensions (W x D x H) approx. 139 x 37 x 80 mm
(5,5 x 1,7 x 3,1 in.)
Weight 585 g (20.6 oz)
Operating Temperature 0°C – 40°C
Menu languages English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Accessories Included Battery, Charger with power cables for EU and USA (different in some export markets), 12V charging cable, Carrying strap, Body cap
Software licenses Supplied Adobe® Lightroom®
Optional accessories All accessories that are made for the Leica M9 / M9-P

About The Author

Andreas is Photo Engineer and lives in Bonn, Germany. He runs the international Leica Forum, the Systemkamera Forum (about CSC cameras) and the Fuji X Forum. Google+


  1. This is a brilliant move by Leica and contains all the elements required for the type of work I do.I also love the colour scheme.

  2. Very nice. I like minimalist cameras. Wish the price were 800 euros less, though… that would put it within range for me.

  3. Traditionally, Leica has always made a stripped-down, minimalist camera. This stated with the model 1 that introduced the Leica camera (Leitz Camera -Lei-ca) to the world in 1925. The model 1 evolved to the 1A, 1C, 1F and 1G in the screw-mount cameras and was followed by the M1 in 1959, the MD in 1964, the MDa in 1967 and the MD2 in 1977. The 1C/1F/1G and the MD models did not have viewfinders. Mostly intended for laboratory or copying use or with the Visoflex reflex housing, these cameras could be used for normal, if slower photography using auxiliary viewfinders that slotted into the accessory shoe and, if needed, a separate rangefinder. I have the MD and use it with a viso 11 for a 280mm Telyt lens and an MDa with 35mm lens and fixer as a sort of point-and-shoot camera. Focus is by the hyper focal method – far quicker than electric autofocus as it is not focus at all. I also use the black MD2 camera with a 21mm f3.4 Super-Angulon and cider for city shots. The coverage is amazing.
    These cameras are far more basic than the new M-E, but show just what can be achieved with the most basic of kit. I hope that purchasers of the new M-E derive every bit as much pleasure from using it as I do my old trio.

  4. I can not find out anywhere what exactly the “A-Mode” exposure mode is and likewise does the Leica M-E read exposure with most older Leica M Lenes? Could perhaps the “A-Mode” acutually be Aperture Priority Mode as on almost all serious digital cameras?

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