What about the rumors that the Leica SL is the death knell for the Leica M System? Or about the next Leica M having an electronical viewfinder?

Only a month later the Leica M (Typ 262) proves the opposite. The Leica M262 is no successor to the Leica M240 but reduces to the essential, in this case to the rangefinder photography. New to Leica: Even the price was reduced…

In a nutshell: The Leica M (Typ 262) lacks live view and video functionality but costs 1000€ less than the Leica M240.

Leica M (Type 262): Leica Forum Discussion

Quieter and Faster Shutter Cocking System

But the M262 has its own advantages too: The shutter got a new cocking system which is quieter as the Leica M240 but enables two frames per second in single exposure mode.

Another feature of the new camera: The Leica M 262’s top deck is made from durable aluminium, which makes the camera around 100 g lighter.

Leica M262 vs M240 Comparison

The images show what has changed comparing the Leica M (Typ 262) to the M240:

leica-m262-m240-front

  • No focusing button
  • Smaller Leica Logo
  • Top deck step similar to the Leica M9

leica-m262-m240-back

  • Live View button (LV) becomes White Balance (WB)
  • No EVF socket
  • Engraving now points to Wetzlar

leica-m262-m240-top

  • No Mikrophone
  • No Video shutter release

Summary

If you are only interested in rangefinder photography – and video or live view are not important to you – you get with the Leica M (Typ 262) the same value of the Leica M240 at a reduced rate.

But the Leica M (Typ 262) demonstrates too that Leica is maintaining and developing the Leica M system – and that the rangefinder as defining features is not to be replaced by an EVF.

Leica M (Type 262): Leica Forum Discussion
Wo knows the name of all Leica M cameras?
Wo knows the name of all Leica M cameras?

Technical data LEICA M (Typ 262)

Camera type: Leica M (Typ 262), compact digital view and range finder system camera
Lens attachment: Leica M bayonet with additional sensor for 6-bit coding
Lens system: Leica M lenses from 16 – 135mm
Picture format / image sensor: CMOS chip, active area approx. 23.9 x 35.8mm (corresponds to usable format of analog Leica M models)
Resolution: DNG™: 5976 x 3992 pixels (24MP), JPEG: 5952 x 3968 pixels (24MP), 4256 x 2832 pixels (12MP), 2976 x 1984 pixels (6MP), 1600 x 1072 pixels (1.7MP)
Data formats: DNG™ (raw data), compressed loss-free, JPEG
File size: DNG™: 20-30 MB, JPEG: Depending on resolution and picture content
Buffer memory: 1GB / 8 pictures in series
Color space: sRGB
White balance: Automatic, manual, 7 presets, color temperature input
Storage medium: SD cards up to 2GB / SDHC cards up to 32GB / SDXC cards
Menu languages: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Korean
Compatibility: Windows® 7® / 8®; Mac® OS X (10.5 or higher)
Exposure metering: Through the Lens (TTL) metering, with variable aperture, center-weighted TTL metering for flash exposure with system-compliant flash units
Metering principle / method: By measuring the light reflected by the light blades of the 1st shutter curtain onto a measuring cell: strongly center-weighted
Metering range: (with ISO 200/24) At room temperature and normal humidity, corresponds to ISO 200 at aperture 1.0 EV0 to EV20 at aperture 32. Flashing of the left triangular LED in the viewfinder indicates values below the metering range
Sensitivity range: ISO 200 to ISO 6400, adjustable in 1/3 ISO increments, choice of automatic control or manual setting, PULL 100
Exposure modes: Choice of automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture preselection – aperture priority A, or manual shutter speed and aperture setting
Flash exposure control
Flash unit attachment: Using accessory shoe with center and control contacts
Synchronization: Optionally triggered at the 1st or 2nd shutter curtain
Flash sync time: 1/80s; slower shutter speeds can be used, if working below sync speed: Automatic changeover to TTL linear flash mode with HSS-compatible and system-compatible flash units
Flash exposure metering: (with system-compatible flash units, e.g. Leica SF 26) Control with center-weighted TTL pre-flash metering
Flash measurement cell: 2 silicon photo diodes with collection lens on the camera base
Flash exposure compensation: ±31/3 EV in 1/3 EV steps can be set (only with system-compatible flash units that do not have their own setting possibility)
Displays in flash mode: (in viewfinder only) Ready: Constant illumination of flash symbol LED in viewfinder, Function check: Continued illumination or brief rapid flashing of LED after exposure, underexposure indicator: LED temporarily goes out.
Viewfinder
Viewfinder principle: Large, bright line frame viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation.
Eyepiece: Calibrated to -0.5 dpt.; corrective lenses from -3 to +3 diopter available.
Image field limiter: By activating two bright lines each: For 35 and 135mm, or for 28 and 90mm, or for 50 and 75mm; automatic switching when lens is attached.
Parallax compensation: The horizontal and vertical difference between the viewfinder and the lens is automatically compensated according to the relevant distance setting, i.e. the viewfinder bright-line automatically aligns with the subject detail recorded by the lens.
Matching viewfinder and actual image: At a range setting of 2m, the bright-line frame size corresponds exactly to the sensor size of approx. 23.9 x 35.8mm; at infinity setting, depending on the focal length, approx. 7.3% (28mm) to 18% (135mm) more is recorded by the sensor than indicated by the corresponding bright line frame and slightly less for shorter distance settings than 2m
Magnification: (For all lenses) 0.68 x
Large-base range finder: Split or superimposed image range finder shown as a bright rectangular field in the center of the viewfinder image
Effective metering basis: 47.1mm (mechanical measurement basis 69.25mm x viewfinder magnification 0.68x)
Displays
In the viewfinder: Four-digit digital display with dots above and below, displays
On back: 3“ color TFT LCD monitor with 16m colors and 921,600 pixels, approx. 100% image field, max. 170° viewing angle
Shutter and shutter release
Shutter: Metal blade focal plane shutter with vertical movement
Shutter speeds: For aperture priority: (A) continuously from 60s (ISO-dependent) to 1/4000s.,For manual adjustment: 8s bis 1/4000s in half steps, B: For long exposures up to max. 60s (together with self-timer: T function, i.e. 1st press = Shutter opens, 2nd press = Shutter closes), (1/180s): Fastest shutter speed for flash synchronization, HSS linear flash mode possible with all shutter speeds faster than 1/180s with HSS-compatible Leica system flash units)
Activation of shutter release button: By integrated motor, low noise operation
Picture series: approx. ≤12 pictures in series with 3 pictures/s, then slower
Shutter release button: Two-stage, 1. Activation of exposure metering and exposure lock (in aperture priority mode), 2. Shutter release; standard thread for cable release integrated.
Self-timer: Delay optionally 2s (aperture priority and manual exposure setting) or 12s, set in menu, indicated by flashing LED on front of camera and corresponding display in monitor.
Turning the camera on/off: Using main switch on top of camera; optional automatic shutdown of camera electronics after approx. 2/5/10 minutes; reactivated by tapping the shutter release
Power supply: 1 Akku Leica BP-SCL2 lithium ion battery, rated voltage 7.4V, capacity 1800mAh, capacity indicated in top panel display, when shutter held open (for sensor cleaning) additional acoustic warning of low capacity, maximum charging current/voltage: DC, 1000mA, 7.4V; manufacturer: VARTA Microbattery, Made in Indonesia
Charger: Leica BC-SCL2, inputs: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz, 300mA, automatic switching, or 12V DC, 1.3A; Output: DC, max. 8.25 V, 1100 mA; manufacturer: Guangdong PISEN Electronics Co., Ltd., Made in China
Camera body
Material: All-metal die cast magnesium body, synthetic leather covering, aluminum top panel, black anodized finish
Tripod thread: A ¼ (¼“) DIN stainless steel in bottom
Operating conditions: 0-40°C
Interfaces: ISO flash shoe
Dimensions: (Width x Depth x Height) Approx. 138.6 x 42 x 80mm
Weight: Approx. 600g (with battery)
Package contents: Charger 100-240V with 2 mains cables (Euro, USA, varies in some export markets) and 1 car charging cable, lithium ion battery, carrying strap, cover for accessory shoe

The new LEICA M (Typ 262):
The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

Wetzlar, 19 November 2015. Leica Camera AG presents a new digital rangefinder camera, the Leica M (Typ 262). Together with the Leica M and M-P (Typ 240) and the Leica M Monochrome (Typ 246), this increases the number of digital M-Generation cameras to four. Technically at the highest level of a rangefinder technology perfected over decades, the Leica M (Typ 262) stands for the M-Philosophy in its purest form. Its concentration on the essence of rangefinder photography and intuitive handling makes it the ideal tool for experiencing the unadulterated fascination of photography.

Although the Leica M (Typ 262) digital rangefinder camera embodies all the essential advantages of the Leica rangefinder system, it consciously declines to sound out the limits of the technically possible. Just like all other digital M-Cameras, the Leica M (Typ 262) features a high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor, albeit one that is dedicated exclusively to rangefinder photography, and supports neither video recording nor Live View. Its 24-megapixel resolution ensures exceptional imaging quality and extreme sensitivity and makes the Leica M (Typ 262) the ideal camera for photography in available light situations. At the same time, the camera’s Maestro processor guarantees fast processing of captured images and immediate readiness to shoot.

The clear and functional lines of the Leica M (Typ 262) design concept reveal its concentration on essentials. The top deck is made from durable aluminium, which makes the camera around 100 grammes lighter and even more ergonomic than its sister models. The ’MADE IN GERMANY’ engraving is located on the back of the camera. Further differences are the reduced size of the logo and the step at the end of the top plate that are both familiar from the Leica M9.
In addition to its purist looks, the hardly audible shutter of the Leica M (Typ 262) also guarantees maximum inconspicuousness when shooting. An invaluable advantage in photographic situations where discretion is essential. As an aid to this, the camera features a shutter cocking system that is considerably quieter in single exposure mode than that of the M (Typ 240) and enables a shutter release frequency of up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the M (Typ 262) has the same sequential shooting speed as its sister model and shoots up to three frames per second.

The handling concept of the Leica M (Typ 262) fulfils everything that discriminating photographers expect from a Leica M. This includes the typical rapid manual focusing process with the coupled rangefinder and the focusing ring of the lens and the option of selecting automatically determined or manually set shutter speeds. Due to the omission of Live View and the video function, the menu is extremely lean and consists of only 2 pages and ensures that all setting options are rapidly accessible at all times. The white balance value is set by a dedicated button on the back of the camera.

The Leica M (Typ 262) is on sale now.

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+

9 Comments

  1. Good on Leica for the M (Type 262).
    Better price.
    No Video
    White Balance Button

    I’d love a firmware for my M-P
    to make the M(Movie) Button into a W/B Button

  2. Not interested in any Leica camera without CCD sensor..

  3. An interesting variation but as a retiree still cannot afford to buy it to replace my old M8.

  4. This is a version that I like most…I will buy one as I am only interested in pure range-finder system using M-lenses without compromise for image quality.

  5. […] new Leica M (Type 262) is available for preorder at several Leica dealer! The Camera in a nutshell: The Leica M (Typ 262) […]

  6. It is just about impossible to focus the 50mm 0.95 Noctilux lens wide open without the use of the ‘live view’ feature. The optical rangefinder on the M240 is just not up to that task.

  7. I think this is a good move by Leica. To me, the M-E feels like an ugly M9 – the grey colour signalling that you don’t have the money for a “real” one. Apart from the reduction of features, the M (Typ 262) is differentiated from the 240 physically, and at least from these product photos, it looks really nice.

  8. I also would like an updated CCD sensor in this body, the CMOS is just not for me.

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