Friday, December 21, 2012

Leica M-E: Almost for Me

Leica M-E

While Leica added significant new features to the Leica M Type 240 and S Type 006, they removed two features from the M-E: the USB port and frameline preview lever. Both of them were extraneous and detracted from the camera's simplicity, and their removal suggests a reaffirmation of minimalism to counterbalance the complexity of the M and S. These changes lower the camera's cost a little, but the real upshot is a better looking camera. The M-E also has the new leatherette covering that is less shiny and doesn't remind me of cottage cheese.

Someone must have used the USB port, right?

On the other hand, I'm frustrated by the new grey paint finish, the absence of the top plate engraving, and the inclusion of the red dot. We've gone through this ugly/pretty cycle twice already with the M8 -> M8.2 and M9 -> M9-P. The Leica M9-P's top plate is as definitive as a digital M can get, so I would have preferred it if they had stuck with that one. It's nice when digital cameras, especially Leicas, don't exhibit traits of planned obsolescence, i.e., when they're clearly made to last. No doubt there will be an M-E.2 in about a year and a half, and it could be the most beautiful digital M ever.

Imagine the M-E with the M9-P's top and bottom plates.