Leica launches the Leica M Edition 60

Leica M Edition 60
No screen? No worries.

The Leica M Edition 60 is designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Leica M rangefinder design. It follows the classic Leica layout, with a separate optical viewfinder linked to a rangefinder mechanism that uses a small mirror linked to the lens focus ring – you turn the ring until the secondary image in the centre of the viewfinder lines up with the rest.

It has the classic Leica shape – heave metal construction, with neat, rounded corners and only as many external controls as are necessary.

It comes with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, but both the lens and body have been styled by Audi Design.

Inside, it's essentially the same as the Leica M-P, with a full-frame 24-megapixel sensor. It's on the outside that things change.

So where's the screen?

Where the Leica M-P (and just about every other digital camera ever conceived) has an LCD display, the Leica M Edition 60 has an ISO dial. That's it. On the top of the camera is a shutter speed dial and the shutter release. Again, that's it.

There's a ring on the lens for setting the aperture and you can set the shutter speed manually on the top for manual exposure control, or turn it to the 'A' setting for auto exposure.

Focusing is, of course with Leica rangefinders, fully manual.

How do you know your shot is good?

You don't. You do what all film photographers always had to do. Make sure you get the settings right when you shoot and find out for sure when they come back from the lab – or, in the case of the Leica M Edition 60, when you copy them to your computer.

It's not as mad as it sounds, because photographers have been shooting this way for decades. Without the comfort blanket of instant playback, you pay a lot more attention to the exposure and focus, and you no longer spend half your time checking the shots you've just taken – the Leica M Edition 60 sounds crazy, but it could just be one of the smartest things Leica has done.

We don't have a price for Leica M Edition 60 yet, but we reckon you'd better be sitting down with a glass of water ready.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.