Leica Camera AG presented Saturday a new $6,000 Rangefinder camera that lacks a monitor screen and only shots in RAW/DNG format. This weird piece, designed by the German manufacturer, seeks to attract purists of photography, who are interested in shooting manual, with a “hardly audible shooter” that goes unnoticed.

The recently developed Leica M-D is the first model of the M family that does not have a monitor screen, which is usually located on the back of the body, to visualize pictures after being taken. This space has been substituted by an ISO sensitivity setting dial, said Leica in a press release issued Saturday.

The Leica M-D Camera packs high-tech components in a no-nonsense throwback body that eschews menus for manual control. Credit: Uncrate

Almost all technical characteristics of the Leica Rangefinder system are included in the M-D, such as shutter speed, aperture, distance and ISO sensitivity configuration. Leica has remarked that the camera intentionally omits the screen, to encourage photographers to focus “on what is essential: the picture”.

Leica’s new camera is specially designed to slip the past, even when it costs $6,000

It features the same 24-megapixel, high-resolution CMOS full frame sensor that uses the Leica M model while it does not support video recording. The Maestro processor is in charge of quickly processing images, that are uniquely saved as RAW in DNG format.

“The M-D expresses purely functional, formal clarity and features design characteristics such as a top plate in brass with a step at the end citing the design of the Leica M9. The Leica red dot logo has been omitted from the front of the camera in favour of its unobtrusive appearance.” Said the German company.

Leica added that the shooter of the M-D is hardly audible, in order to guarantee discretion and “maximum inconspicuousness when shooting”. The cooking system of this model is “considerably quieter” in single exposure mode when compared to the M model. Nonetheless, it maintains the same speed shooting as its sister, of up to three frames per second.

The viewfinder has a 0.68X magnification and its ISO range goes from 200 to 6400, said Engadget. The M-D body is all black and comes with a real-leather carrying strap in full grain cowhide. The camera can already be ordered from a price of $6,000.

Non-purist photographers may still prefer the Leica M digital Rangefinder, which has almost the same features as the M-D, but contains a 3-inch screen and is capable of recording video. It can be acquired on Amazon for around $6,300. 

Source: Leica Press Release