The Leica M9-P is the latest of the legendary M-series cameras and, as the name suggests, an upgrade of the full-frame M9 digital rangefinder launched in 2009.
Our M9-P is imposingly black, and one of the first changes you notice is that the Leica red dot logo – a mainstay of Leica's since the M6 was introduced in 1984 – has gone. A lot of people have removed the dot or covered them over the years, to make their expensive camera less conspicuous. There's also no sign of the model number on the front, making the M9-P extra stealthy.
The top plate has the traditional Leica logo engraved on the top, in an old-school stylee. Ah, and there's the model number, subtly engraved into the hot shoe. The overall minimalism is pure class.
We paired the M9-P with a 35mm f2 Summicron-M – a classic street photographer's lens. If only we could find a street we felt safe photographing...
The other big change over the standard M9 is the sapphire crystal protecting the LCD, much like that on the M8.2 but with a better anti-relective coating. That 2.5-inch screen is feeling a bit small and lo-res now, though.
And here are a few shots of the Leica M9-P alongside the fixed-lens Fujifilm FinePix X100. The M9-P is a far bigger, heavier, classier camera – however, that makes it far less comfortable to hold. You might want to think about buying the £210 Handgrip M accessory for a full day's shooting, although as there's no autofocus, you'll find your focusing hand helps take a lot of the weight.
The Leica M9-P is on sale now for £5395 body only. Yes, it's bloomin' expensive, but hopefully we'll have a review very soon to tell you whether it lives up to its price tag.