When one of the most famous manufacturers in photography launches a new professional camera, it always creates an interest and of course debate.

Leica has announced the M9P, carryinging on a tradition of ‘P’ models from the M4 series. Here are the details:


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Leica announces the Leica M9-P: the essence of discretion

Designed particularly for professional photographers, new ultra-discreet version of the Leica M9 added to Leica rangefinder portfolio

21 June 2011, 18.00 GMT: Leica today presents a new version of the world’s smallest, full-frame digital system camera: the Leica M9-P.

This new model will sit alongside the Leica M9 in the company’s rangefinder portfolio, providing an alternative, even more discreet and resilient design that further reinforces the quintessential nature of the M9 – and particularly meets the needs of professional photographers.  The new model will be available in a classic silver chrome or subtle black paint finish.

Offering the same technical specifications as the highly successfully Leica M9, the M9-P combines all the benefits of the original: compact size, full-frame, 18 megapixel 24 x 36mm sensor (35mm format),
sophisticated image processing and robust construction, with features designed for the professional user or photographers who prefer a pure, even more unobtrusive styling.

The Leica M9-P includes a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen. This material is so tough that the screen can only be produced using special diamond cutting tools and is one of the world’s hardest materials. As a result, the sapphire glass LCD cover is extremely resistant to wear and almost unbreakable, meaning many years of reliable use. In addition, thanks to an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover, reviewing images on the display during composition and after capture is further improved, particularly in unfavourable lighting conditions.

The external covering of the body of the M9-P, finished in vulcanite leatherette, features a more coarsely-textured finish that ensures a steady grip when shooting, making the M9-P feel particularly safe and secure in the hand.

A further understated feature of the Leica M9-P is its minimalist styling, which is focused on the most essential features. Many professional photographers using Leica cameras have been known to tape over the Leica ‘red dot’ logo to make their equipment as inconspicuous and discreet as possible. For this reason, the Leica red dot logo and the M9 lettering on the front have been omitted. Instead, the top plate is engraved with the Leica name in classic script form.

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Since 1954, the Leica M system has represented an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. With a Leica M, the photographer becomes a ‘part of the action’ in the process of capturing challenging, authentic and creative images.

The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages, while allowing a clear view of the scene 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 of photography, from photojournalism, reportage and ‘available light’ to the capture of portraits and aesthetic, fine-art images.

Another significant advantage for unobtrusive photography is the almost silent shutter, a feature of both the M9 and M9-P. Moreover, when longer exposure times requiring an extremely steady camera stanceare essential, only a slight pressure on the shutter release button in ‘soft release’ mode is required.

Photographers can also select the most appropriate moment for re-cocking the shutter. The functions of the Leica M are consistently constructed for extreme durability and a long working life.

The highest quality materials, intricate manufacturing processes and meticulous manual assembly at Leica’s facility in Germany guarantee functional reliability for years to come.

In line with Leica’s commitment to system compatibility, almost all Leica M lenses built since 1954 can be used with the M9 and M9-P – an important factor in the enduring value of the M series.

The 18 megapixel image sensor, specifically designed and developed for the M9, enables capture of the full 35mm film format without any compromise. All M lenses mounted on the M9 and M9-P therefore offer the same focal

length as originally intended, and the enormous potential performance of the extensive M lens portfolio, with focal lengths from 16 to 135mm, can be fully exploited by both cameras.

Pricing and availability in the UK

The Leica M9-P (available in black paint or silver chrome) is scheduled to be available in the UK from June

2011 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. The UK

suggested retail price of the Leica M9-P is £5,395 including VAT.

 

Leica warranty and added value services

The Leica M9-P comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary

accidental damage cover), both of which commence from date of purchase.

 

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LEICA M9-P: Technical specifications:

Camera type:  Compact digital view and rangefinder system camera

Lens mount: Leica M bayonet with additional sensor for 6-bit coding

Lens system:  Leica M lenses from 16 to135 mm

Image format/ image sensor 5270 × 3516 pixels (18.5 megapixels) CCD sensor, active area approx. 23.9 × 35.8mm / 5212 x 3472 pixels (18 megapixels) (corresponds to the effective image format of Leica M film cameras)

Image file formats Adjustable, DNG™: 5212 × 3472 (18 MP)

JPEG: 5212 × 3472 (18 MP), 3840 × 2592 (10 MP), 2592 ×1728 (4.5 MP), 1728 ×1152 (2 MP), 1280 x 846 pixels (1 MP)

DNG™ (RAW data), choice of uncompressed or slightly compressed (by non-linear reduction of colour depth), 2 JPEG compression levels

File sizes DNG™: 18 MB (compressed) 36 MB (uncompressed)

JPEG: approx. 2 to10 MB (depending on image content)

Colour spaces Adobe® RGB, sRGB

White balance Automatic, manual, 7 presets, direct colour temperature selection

Storage media SD cards up to 2 GB / SDHC cards up to 32 GB

Menu languages German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Russian

Compatibility Windows® 7, Windows® XP/Vista®; Mac® OS X (10.6)

Exposure metering Through-the-lens (TTL) metering, centre-weighted at working aperture.

Centre-weighted TTL metering for flash exposure with system-compatible SCA-3000/2 standard flash units

Metering principle Measured by light reflected by bright shutter blades on the first shutter curtain

Metering range (at ISO 160/23°) At room temperature and normal humidity, equivalent to EV 0 to 20 or f/1.0 and 1.2s to f/32 and 1/1000 s. Flashing left triangular LED in viewfinder indicates values below metering capability

Metering cell for available light (continuous light measurement) Silicon photo diode with condensing lens, positioned

in the bottom centre of camera base

Sensitivity range ISO 160 /19° to ISO 2500/35°, adjustable in 1/3 ISO increments, with aperture priority A and manual exposure setting, choice of automatic control or manual setting,

automatic control in snapshot profile

Exposure modes Choice of automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture selection – aperture priority A – with corresponding digital display, or manual setting of shutter speed and

aperture and adjustment using LED light balance with indication of correct exposure, or risk of over-exposure / camera shake (with snapshot profile only)

Flash unit connection Via accessory shoe with centre and control contacts

Synchronisation Optional synchronisation, on first or second shutter curtain

Flash synchronisation speed 1/180 s; longer shutter speeds possible

Flash exposure metering (With SCA-3501/3502 adapter or SCA-3000-standard flash unit, e.g. Leica SF 24D /

Leica SF 58) Flash exposure control with centre-weighted TTL pre-flash metering

Flash metering cell 2 silicon photo diodes with condensing lens in camera base

Flash exposure compensation ±3 1/3 EV in 1/3 EV steps, adjustable on SCA-3501/3502 adapter

On Leica SF 24D, ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps with computer control or from 0 to -3 EV in 1 EV steps. On Leica SF 58, adjustable in all modes ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps

Displays in flash mode Flash ready: flash symbol LED in the viewfinder constant

Correct flash exposure: LED constant or flashes rapidly after exposure

Under-exposure: LED extinguished after exposure

Viewfinder principle Large, bright-line frame viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation

Eyepiece Adjusted to -0.5 dioptre Correction lenses for –3 to +3 dioptre available

Image framing By activating two bright-line frames: for 35 and 135mm, or for 28 and 90mm, or for 50 and 75mm.

Automatic activation when lens is attached. Any pair of bright-line frames can be activated by using the image field selector

Parallax compensation The horizontal and vertical difference between the viewfinder and the lens is automatically compensated in accordance with the relevant distance setting, i.e. the viewfinder bright-line automatically aligns with the subject detail recorded by the lens

Matching of viewfinder and actual picture The size of the bright-line frame corresponds exactly to the sensor size of approx. 23.9 x 35.8mm at a setting distance of 1 metre. 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 distances shorter than 1 metre

Viewfinder magnification (for all lenses): 0.68×

Large base rangefinder Split or super-imposed image rangefinder shown as bright field in the centre of the viewfinder image

Effective rangefinder base 47.1 mm (actual rangefinder base 69.25 mm × viewfinder enlargement 0.68×)

Viewfinder display (Lower edge) LED symbol for flash status. Four-digit, seven-segment digital display with dots above and below, display brightness adjusted for ambient light, for: Warning of exposure compensation, display for
automatically generated shutter speeds in aperture priority mode, indication of use metering memory lock, warning that the metering or setting ranges are over- or under-

exposed using aperture priority and counting down exposures longer than 2s.

LED light balance with two triangular and one central, circular LED for manual exposure

setting. The triangular LEDs give the direction of rotation of the aperture ring and shutter speed setting dial to adjust the exposure. Also as warning for over- or under-exposure

Displays on rear panel 2.5″ monitor (colour TFT-LCD) with 230,000 pixels. M9-P LCD with sapphire crystal

Shutter Microprocessor-controlled, exceptionally low-noise, metal blade shutter with vertical movement

Shutter speeds For aperture priority (A) continuously adjustable from 32s to 1/4000s. For manual setting 8s to 1/4000s in half steps, B for long exposures of any duration (inconjunction with self-timer function, i.e. 1st release = shutter opens, 2nd release = shutter closes, (1/180s) fastest shutter speed for flash synchronisation

Shutter cocking Using low-noise integral motor, optionally after releasing the shutter release button

Series exposures Approx. 2 frames/s, ? 8 frames in series

Shutter release Three levels: Exposure metering on – Metering memory lock (in aperture priority mode) – Shutter release

Integrated standard cable release thread

Self-timer Delay optionally 2 (aperture priority and manual exposure setting) or 12s (menu setting), indicated by flashing LED on front of the camera and corresponding display on the monitor

Camera power on/power off Using the main switch on the camera’s top panel, selectable automatic power-off for

camera electronics after approx. 2/5/10 minutes, reactivation by pressing the shutter release button

Power supply 1 Lithium-ion battery, nominal voltage 3.7 V, capacity 1900 mAh Capacity display in monitor, when shutter held open (for sensor cleaning) additional

acoustic warning when capacity is low Battery charger Inputs: 100–240 V AC, 50/60 Hz, automatic switching, or 12/24 V DC

Output: 4.2 V DC, 800 mA

Camera body material All-metal die-cast magnesium body, KTL dip painted finish and synthetic leather covering.

Top plate and base plate in brass.

M9: black or steel-grey paint finish

M9-P: black paint finish or silver chrome version, LCD with sapphire crystal

Image field selector Allows the bright-line pairs to be manually displayed at any time (e.g. for framing comparisons)

Tripod thread A 1/4 (1/4 “) DIN, stainless steel, integrated in base plate

Operating conditions 0 to +40°C

Interface 5-pin Mini-USB 2.0 high-speed socket for fast data transfer

Dimensions (W x D x H) Approx. 139 × 37 × 80 mm

Weight M9: 585g M9-P: 600g (including battery)

Accessories included Battery charger 100–240 V with two mains cables (EU, USA, may differ for other markets), car charger, Lithium-ion battery, USB cable, carrying strap, body cap,

instruction manual. Software: Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3 (downloadable – licence code included)

End. (21/06/11).