Leica’s $6,000 M-D camera doesn’t have an LCD screen

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It’s true: Leica is really releasing a high-end, luxury digital camera without an LCD for reviewing snapped photos. The company is breaking away from what’s usually seen as a fundamental piece of modern cameras so that it can “bring back the joy and anticipation of waiting to see how pictures turned out.” See, I’m the kind of person who would substitute “joy and anticipation” with “anxiety,” so clearly this camera isn’t for me. Anyway, the Leica M-D (Typ 262), as it’s officially branded, doesn’t include a screen of any sort. Where one would normally go, you’ll instead find an ISO dial. It’s certainly… different looking. Looking beyond that, the M-D has a pretty great all-black design that omits Leica’s famed red logo in the name of consistency.



Without a screen or any kind of Live View, there’s also no menu system to be found. You get physical controls for the essentials (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), but producing quality images is all up to you. Sure, some of those dials have an automatic option, but without any way of reviewing your photos on the fly, there’s really no way of telling whether you got the exposure you were trying for — other than sheer intuition and hope, maybe. Then again, most people buying this will probably be incredibly well-versed in manual photography.

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Leica M-D front PNG

And this is still a Leica, so the images that it puts out look rather stunning. As far as the technology inside, the M-D is largely similar to the Leica M Typ 262, with the company’s Maestro image processor and a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor. That’s for stills only; did you expect this LCD-less camera to record 4K video? You don’t even get the option of shooting JPGs; the M-D automatically saves all images in RAW DNG format. If you want to see what a $6,000 camera with no LCD can do, Leica has put together this gallery with some sample shots by photographers far more skilled than you or I. At least some people can pick up the M-D and capture incredible shots; I’ll have to stick with my Fuji X-T1 with not one but two screens; one on back, one in the viewfinder. But if you’re in the market for this, you can order one beginning right now for $5,995.

Leica M-D back PNG

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