Leica announces M-E: The essence of rangefinder photography

Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG today presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder portfolio: the Leica M-E.

Image © Leica Camera


Together with the new Leica M and Leica M Monochrom – the world’s first digital black and white camera in 35mm format – the Leica M-E joins the latest digital generation of Leica M cameras, now comprising three rangefinder models. Offering rangefinder technology perfected by Leica over decades, the Leica M-E represents the essence of rangefinder photography. Concentrating on the essential photographic functions and renowned dependability for all typical ‘M’ fields of use, the Leica M-E makes an ideal entry- level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography in its purest form.

Featuring a proven, high-resolution, 18 MP CCD sensor in full 35 mm format, the Leica M-E offers exceptional image quality combined with the distinct advantages of rangefinder photography, and a minimal, discreet design in an unobtrusive anthracite grey paint finish. The application of an attractive new leather-style trim, which also provides enhanced grip for steadier shooting, ideally complements the camera’s classic design.

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. This is because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder allows the photographer to frame the shot precisely, while providing a clear view of what is happening outside the viewfinder frame lines. This allows the user 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 durability and robustness. The highest quality materials, meticulous manufacturing processes and precise manual assembly guarantee functional reliability for many years to come. Full backward system compatibility – almost all lenses in the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used with the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the Leica M series.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M-E in anthracite grey paint finish is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £3,900 inc VAT from September 2012 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.

Image © Leica Camera

Leica warranty and added value services

The Leica M-E comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover). UK customers are also welcome to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair, London, for a complimentary demonstration or training session on the features of the camera. Technical support by telephone or in person is available via Leica’s London-based Client Care department.

LEICA M-E: Technical specifications

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 plate

Milled brass top cover with classic Leica M design


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

Sensitity 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


Closed type focal plane shutter for classic image exposure, with external cocking mechanism

Shutter speed

1/4000s – 240s (in Bulb), 1/180s flash synchronisation

Burst rate

Approx. 2 fps

Self timer

Off / 2s / 12s

Storage media

SD / SDHC Memory Cards

Imaging functions:

Image file format

DNGTM (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)

Colour spaces

sRGB / Adobe®RGB

White balance

Other functions

Exposure control

Exposure metering

Exposure setting

Exposure modes

Exposure compensation

Exposure bracketing

Flash Exposure Control

Flash exposure metering

Hot shoe

Flash synchronisation

Flash sync time


Focusing Methods

Optical viewfinder

Optical viewfinder framelines

Optical viewfinder correction

Optical viewfinder magnification

Optical viewfinder displays


Rangefinder effective metering basis

Other features

Start-up time

Power supply

User profiles

Sensor cleaning

Tripod thread

Dimensions (WxDxH)


Operating temperature

Menu languages

Accessories included

Software licences supplied

Optional accessories

Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shadow / Tungsten / Fluorescent 1 / Fluorescent 2 / Flash / Manual

/ Kelvin 2000-12800

Saturation, Contrast, Sharpening

Through the Lens (TTL) metering, centre-weighted with variable aperture
Centre-weighted TTL metering for flash exposure with system conformant SCA-3000/2 standard flash units
Manual shutter speed setting with direct dial, A-Mode with direct dial
Automatic shutter speed (A-Mode), Manual Exposure (M-Mode)
-3 EV to +3 EV, 1/3 f-stops

3/5/7 frames, 0.5 / 1 / 1.5 / 2 f-stops

Control with centre-weighted TTL pre-flash metering (with SCA-3501/3502 adapter, or SCA-3000 standard flash unit such as Leica SF 24D/Leica SF 58)
SCA-3502 compatible hot shoe, with centre contact
Optional triggered at first or second shutter curtain


Manual focus with optical rangefinder
Large, light bright-line rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation, optical illumination Framelines size matches image sensor size at 1m focusing distance

Eyepiece adjusted to -0.5 dpt. Corrective lenses from -3 to +3 dpt. available (optional)


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

Split or superimposed image rangefinder shown as a bright field in the centre of the viewfinder image
47.1 mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification 0.68 times)

Li-ion battery (included), 3.7V, 1860 mAh
4 Profiles
Manual cleaning function
A 1/4 (1/4″) DIN made of stainless steel in base plate Approx. 139 x 37 x 80 mm (5.5 x 1.5 x 3.1”)

585 g (20.6 oz) 0°C – 40°C

English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Battery, charger with power cables for EU and USA (different in some markets), 12V charging cable, carrying strap, body cap

Adobe® Lightroom®
All accessories compatible with Leica M9 and M9-P

End. (17/09/12).