Leica M celebrates 60th birthday with screenless M Edition 60

It’s back to basics with this Audi-designed limited edition rangefinder
Leica M celebrates 60th birthday with screenless M Edition 60

A new Leica M rangefinder? Oh hell yeah, baby!Calm down for a second. Yes, this is a new M series camera, but it’s not just any old M series camera: it’s a special limited edition model released to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first true M, the Leica M3. Its name? The Leica M Edition 60, appropriately enough.

So is this digital or film-based?It’s a digital camera, but not as we know it. For starters, there’s no screen, so y–

What?! No screen?Correct. Leica describes the M Edition 60 as “the first digital camera to concentrate exclusively on the bare functions required for digital photography” – shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus. So on the back there’s no screen, but rather an ISO dial to change sensitivity.

Where's the screen? It's been replaced by an ISO dial, mate

How do I frame my shots?Through the viewfinder, silly. Reviewing them? Well, that’s another matter entirely. All images are saved as raw data in the DNG format, and you won’t be able to look at them until you’ve transferred them onto a computer.

Why?The idea is bring photography back to basics, and have the user concentrate on the most important aspects of taking a shot: composition, focus, exposure… you get the idea.

That's not aluminium, for once – it's stainless steel

Just like in the good old days, eh? What about specs?Leica’s consciously moving away from boasting about specifications here, but the guts of the M Edition 60 are essentially the same as those of the M-P: that means a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor and 2GB of RAM for fast processing. It also comes with a Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 lens.

It doesn’t look the M-P though…That’s because both the body and the lens have been specially reworked by Audi Design. They’re way more retro than Leica’s current range, and made of stainless steel. The camera body also has leather trim. Swanky, eh?

The Leica M Edition 60, yours for a paltry £12,000

Indeed. OK, how much? I’ve been saving up for a while…Hope so. The Leica M Edition 60 is priced at £12,000, and only 600 are being produced. If your savings can stretch that far, get yourself down to the Leica Store in Mayfair or Burlington and pick one up.