Details on the New Leica M

The new Leica M is the long rumored follow-up/upgrade to the M9. The M stands for Messsucher, the German term for a combined rangefinder and viewfinder.

The new Leica M unites decades of Leica experience in rangefinder technology with a newly developed high-resolution full-format CMOS sensor that, in combination with its high-performance processor and the legendary M-Lenses, delivers outstanding imaging results. With Live View, video, and new additional focusing methods, it is the M for photographers who do not wish to miss out on any of what modern digital technology has to offer.

The Leica M features a completely newly designed high-resolution, 24 megapixel CMOS sensor in full 35 mm format. The new M delivers extremely low-noise and richly detailed images, even at higher sensitivities of up to ISO 6400. And now, thanks to the 1080 pixel, full-HD video capability of the Leica M, the impressive imaging quality is available for moving pictures, too.

The new CMOS sensor is designed and constructed for the use of both Leica M and R lenses on the Leica M. Because, with the new Leica R-Adapter M, almost all Leica-R legacy lenses can be used on the Leica M expanding the options of the Leica M into the world of Leica R photography.

In conjunction with the new sensor, the Leica Maestro processor lets the Leica M set entirely new standards in terms of image-processing speed. It processes the image data arriving from the sensor and transforms them into visible images at extremely high speeds and can also perform even the most complex processing steps very fast. Thanks to the energy-efficient imaging electronics of the processor and sensor, a single charge of the Leica M’s new 1800 mAh lithium-ion battery can last an extremely long time.

The new Leica M is the first ever M to feature Live View and Live View Focusing. This means that now, for the first time, images can be composed using the actual image produced by the lens – with complete control of depth of field, exposure, precise framing and focusing. Its large, high-resolution 3″ monitor allows precise assessment of the subject seen through the lens. This opens up entirely new opportunities for M-Photographers that previously lay far beyond the limitations of rangefinder photography, like macro and telephoto exposures, or using the monitor as a viewfinder.

Live View can be used with both M and R lenses. Indirectly, it also enables owners of R lenses to use the optional Visoflex EVF2 electronic viewfinder. The Leica M can be used with an R-Adapter, R-Lenses and a viewfinder exactly like an SLR, without using the monitor.

The new Leica M is also weather sealed with specially designed rubber seals to protect the camera body against dust and water spray. The glass covering plate of its high-resolution monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® glass. All this makes the Leica M particularly resilient and helps guarantee it a long and reliable working life.

New Leica S Lenses

In addition to the new S2 camera body, three new lenses and a close-up lens have been added to the S-System portfolio, to significantly expand the capabilities of the system.

LEICA VARIO-ELMAR-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. The first zoom lens for the Leica S medium format system. This means that S-System users now have access to a lens that possesses the flexibility to cover the majority of photographic needs and simultaneously delivers the outstanding performance of primes.

LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH. New super-wide lens with outstanding optical properties. With this lens, the system now offers a super-wide-angle lens that guarantees excellent imaging quality and is not only ideal for landscape and architectural photography, but also for indoor photography and many other photographic applications

LEICA TS-APO-ELMAR-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. Control of perspectives while maintaining highest possible image quality. This apochromatically corrected lens, provides options for parallel shifting and tilting according to Scheimpflug, and is ideal for product and object photography, in which perfect perspectives and maximum depth of field are required.

CLOSE-UP LENS LEICA ELPRO-S 180 Extending the working range of the LEICA APO-ELMAR-S 180 mm f/3.5. The Leica Elpro-S 180 close-up lens is a specially calculated accessory lens for the Leica APO-Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5 that reduces the close focusing distance to 1.1 metres. Attaching this accessory lens achieves a significant increase – around 30 percent – of the reproduction ratio of up to 1:4.5.

The New Leica S Details

Optimum image quality
The Leica S features a specially designed and more efficient autofocus system. The sensitivity range of its sensor has also been increased: its lowest sensitivity of ISO 100 allows longer working at maximum aperture in bright conditions and the highest setting of ISO 1600 ensures perfect exposures under even the most adverse lighting conditions. Ultimate imaging quality is guaranteed.

Fast and efficient
The 2 GB buffer memory plays a significant role in the increased image-processing speed. It also allows extended sequences to be shot in continuous-shooting mode. The Leica S can capture up to 32 consecutive images in DNG format with lossless compression at a maximum rate of 1.5 frames per second. In JPEG-only mode, the number of images in sequence is limited only by memory card capacity.

Intuitive handling
The intuitive handling concept of the new Leica S gets by with a minimum of control elements. All functions are displayed in a clear and simple layout on the monitor screen and settings are entered with four soft keys and a click wheel. Brand new features of the control concept are a five-way switch in the form of a mini-joystick and an even clearer layout of the user interface.

Integrated GPS
The Leica S is the only professional DSLR to feature an integrated GPS module. This allows the registration of exposure location details in the EXIF data of each image file. Local times and time zones are automatically synchronised. The software provided allows the location and capture time of each image to be plotted on a map.

Dual memory card support
The Leica S has two memory card slots for writing data simultaneously to CompactFlash and SD cards. The advantages: increased memory capacity and faster write speeds. The workflow also becomes easier, as DNG files for processing and JPEGs for image review can be saved separately on different cards.

Top connectivity
Dust- and splash-proof interfaces allow connection of the new Leica S with Macs or PCs via cable to its LEMO USB port – to read images from memory cards, control the camera remotely or to integrate studio flash systems, for example. An HD TV can also be connected for precise image review. Appropriate cables with robustly constructed strain-relief connectors are supplied with the camera.

New Additions to the Olympus PEN Series

The E-PL5 and E-PM2 feature the same 16-megapixel image sensor and image processing engine that was previously exclusive to the OM-D E-M5. But aside from the enhanced performance, there are a few notable differences between the previous and current generation of PENs.

The E-PL5 now features a removable hand grip, which can be swapped out for one of a different color. Its LCD has a more robust tilt range, so it can now face all the way forward for self portraits. The rear display also supports touch control, making it possible to change the active focus point with the touch of your finger.

The E-PM2 is a bit smaller, but improves upon the E-PM1 with a few extra physical control buttons on the rear and a grip on the front of the camera. It also supports a touch screen, although with a fixed LCD.

Canon EOS 6D – Small, Affordable, Full Frame

Just four days after arch-rival Nikon announced what it billed as the ‘smallest and lightest full frame DSLR’ – the D600, Canon has revealed its own contender – the EOS 6D.

The 20.2MP EOS 6D is a full frame version of the EOS 60D – with very similar controls, layout and dimensions. A bit lighter than the Nikon D600, it also has Wi-Fi and GPS built-in.

Canon EOS 6D key specifications :

20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
DIGIC 5+ image processor
ISO 100-25600 standard, 50-102800 expanded
4.5 fps continuous shooting
‘Silent’ shutter mode
1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
11 point AF system, center point cross-type and sensitive to -3 EV
63 zone iFCL metering system
97% viewfinder coverage; interchangeable screens (including Eg-D grid and Eg-S fine-focus)
1040k dot 3:2 3″ ClearView LCD (fixed)
Single SD card slot
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Single-axis electronic level