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Leica strips display from digital camera in 60th anniversary return to basics

"Working with the Leica M Edition 60 intentionally demands the same care and attention as working with an analogue model."

2014 marks 60 years since the release of the Leica M3, a camera as legendary as any other in history — it kicked off the German manufacturer's seminal line of M-series rangefinders which continues to this day. And now Leica is celebrating in style with a new entry in the series: the Leica M Edition 60, a seriously unique digital camera.

The M Edition 60 is a special version of the M-P Type 240 digital rangefinder, but there's a twist — the new model features no screen at all, forcing you to use it as if it were a film camera. "Working with the Leica M Edition 60 intentionally demands the same care and attention as working with an analogue model," says the company in a statement. "Only the sensor and the entire electronics reflect the state of the art of contemporary camera technology." The screen has been replaced with an ISO selector dial, which at least means you'll be able to alter the sensitivity of your photos more often than you could with a 36-shot roll of film.

"With the Leica M Edition 60," the company says, "photographers compose and frame each subject in the viewfinder, set the aperture and shutter speed and press the shutter release at the decisive moment. Instead of the constant distraction of technical features and the checking of menu settings and controls, they enjoy the freedom to concentrate completely on their subjects. With this concept, Leica is once again the synonym for an art in which technology plays a role subordinate to the essentially creative aspects of photography."

If this sounds good to you, you'd better act fast (and no doubt have money to burn) — Leica hasn't yet announced the price, but there'll only be 600 units of the M Edition 60 sold worldwide. The camera will be packaged with a Summilux 35mm f/1.4 lens and go on sale for €15,000 (about $19,500) from October.

Hands-on photography by Vlad Savov


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