Incorporating the most basic form of Leica's philosophies, the M-D (Typ 262) digital rangefinder, strongly emphasizes manual control and the ability to concentrate totally on the scene at hand. By excluding virtually all automatic features along with a rear LCD screen, the simplicity of the M-D simplicity is its main attribute, and allows unencumbered access to the four elemental elements of photography: aperture, shutter speed, focus and ISO. This simplicity is carried over to the operational functions of the camera, including its manual rangefinder focusing device, clear optical viewfinder with 0.68x
magnification, with only stills recording using uncompressed DNG raw file format. Looking past handling and design, the M-D is, naturally, also symbolized by notable imaging performance assisted by the full-frame MAX 24MP CMOS sensor along with Maestro image processor which delivers a top end sensitivity of ISO 6400 and up to 3 frames per second continuous photography. Engineered as a camera for the professional photographer, the M-D maintains Leica's devotion to their heritage in building simple yet highly functional tools along with a reverence for the basic elements of photography itself.
M-D (Typ 262)
Clearly inspired by its sister model, the M (Typ 262), this M-D version is an even further pared-down rangefinder characterized by its minimalist design and simple interface. Featuring an all-black color scheme, the sleek camera body is also physically distinct by its omission of the Leica red dot as well as a classic brass top plate with historically inspired Leica engraving.
In regard to operation, the M-D is equally minimal due to its lack of a rear LCD screen, which has been replaced with a manual ISO selection wheel, as well as the omission of video recording and virtually all automated functions.
MAX 24MP CMOS Sensor and Maestro Image Processor
Benefitting the simple and clean design is a high-resolution full-frame 24MP Leica MAX CMOS sensor and Maestro image processor, which combine to deliver vivid image quality with minimal noise, smooth color and tonal gradations, and exceptional clarity. The combination of both these technologies also avails a continuous shooting rate of 3 fps, or 2 fps in single exposure mode, which works in conjunction with a 1GB buffer for sustained shooting up to 8 consecutive frames.
Utilizing the analog dials on the back and top of the camera, sensitivity can be adjusted, in 1/3 EV steps, from ISO 200 to 6400, and shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 8 seconds plus bulb for up to 1 minute, can be controlled. Aperture control is available on any attached M-mount lens, and an aperture priority setting can be utilized along with the in-camera heavily center-weighted exposure meter.
Optical Viewfinder and Rangefinder
The optical viewfinder is a large, bright-line 0.68x-magnification rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation and frame lines, which are set to match the image sensor size at a focusing distance of 6.6'. The automatic image field limiter recalls pairs of bright lines depending on the lens attached: 35mm and 135mm; 28mm and 90mm; or 50mm and 75mm.
The rangefinder mechanism displays split or superimposed bright field images within the center of the viewfinder to benefit accurate manual focusing control. The effective rangefinder metering basis is 47.1mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x).
Brass top plate maintains a classic feel and is complemented by an all-black lacquered finish for a svelte appearance.
The camera body is constructed from magnesium and aluminum alloys and finished with a black synthetic leather covering.
Quiet shutter mechanism benefits discreet, inconspicuous shooting methods.
Eschewing a rear LCD screen and video recording capabilities, this stills-only camera features few physical controls for exposure adjustment, including a rear ISO dial, top shutter speed dial, and a drive mode selector.
Other Camera Features
Leica M mount is compatible with a wide range of both current and legacy rangefinder lenses, ranging in focal length from 16mm to 135mm.
Images are exclusively recorded in the DNG format.
A top hot shoe permits working with an external flash and the top sync speed is 1/180 sec.
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The Leica is both a product of the twentieth century's inventive spirit and the means by which that spirit could be documented for posterity. As the first handheld camera, the Leica made possible a new kind of documentary photography, and included among its devoted fans are many of the century's greatest photographers. Its combined qualities of precision and compactness made it an essential tool for photographers everywhere, and today more than ever the Leica is prized by collectors.