Leica could announce a new film camera in October: will it be the Leica ME?

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Leica is world famous for producing some of the best cameras in the industry, and it is the only camera manufacturer that still manufactures and sells new 35mm cameras, the Leica MA and Leica MP. Leica Rumors (opens in a new tab) recently reported receiving reports that a new film camera made by Leica may be announced in October. Is there any evidence? Let’s investigate.

The best Leica cameras (opens in a new tab) that you can buy today include both film models and digital models. Leica first announced the Leica MA, a fully mechanical camera, in 2014, and began producing the Leica MP, a mechanical camera with a built-in light meter in 2003. These cameras are 8 and 19 years old respectively. need to be upgraded. – but how do we improve “mechanical perfection”?

Having used the wonderful Leica MA extensively, it’s hard for me to see Leica improving on this camera. Yes, it is 8 years old, but there are 60 year old Leicas still in use today and maintained by Leica. However, I can see Leica improving or developing a side project based on the Leica MP.

LeicaMP

(Image credit: Leica)

Film photography never really died, as many thought when the digital revolution took hold of the industry. Now that the cinematic resurgence has taken hold (opens in a new tab)and many choose a Leica M6 film case or opt for the advanced Leica M7, it only makes sense that Leica would launch a new film case in the market to meet the demand.

It could take many forms, and according to rumors, this new film camera has already been tested by photographers in the field, with an announcement expected in October and a press event planned in Germany.

My best guess is that this new accessible Leica film camera will carry over the design styles of the Leica M11 (opens in a new tab)Leica MA (opens in a new tab) and the Leica M7. After all, the Leica M7, whose production started in 2002 and stopped in 2018, was the most advanced Leica film camera. It featured Aperture Priority mode, so the camera itself chose the right shutter speed to do your f-stop by offering alternative shutter speeds that traditional Leica film cameras don’t. had not.

The M7 also featured a DX code reader, so you set your ISO dial on the back to DX and whatever film you put in, as long as it had a DX code, the M7 would automatically set the ISO camera, a feature that was only available on the M7 at the time. The Leica M7 also featured TTL flash metering, down to 1/1000th of a second!

Leica M7

(Image credit: Leica)

I personally believe that if the rumors are true and this new Leica film camera will be announced in October this year and is aimed at attracting film enthusiasts to the Leica brand, I can see it reborn as M7 under the Leica ME brand with a Type Number. Seems the logical route for Leica, it happened with the M9 series where Leica introduced a more accessible camera called Leica ME (typ220) which was still an M9, but did not feature a USB connection and was only sold in anthracite gray color.

The ME also made its appearance when the Leica M (type 240) was announced. As before the Leica ME (Typ 240), this was an entry-level camera for the new M system.

Leica ME

(Image credit: Sebastian Oakley/DCW)

What we want to see from a new Leica

1. Design

Same design style as the M11, with a charcoal gray color or also available in chrome and black paint.

2. Aperture priority mode and DX drive

If this new film camera featured the same aperture priority as the M7, it would give confidence to new film users and allow them to learn the rangefinder system, without having to worry about whether their images will be correctly exposed.

DX code reading is now a must-have feature, many movies support it, and again, it’s a set-and-leave-it feature – after all, Leicas are easy to use.

3. Electronic shutter

There is something to be said for the new electronic shutter in the M11 or even the Q2 series of cameras and I can see Leica putting it in a new film body, the traditional 1/1000th second speed is good , but if it could be extended with an electronic shutter, it would be the fastest shutter speed film camera there is.

4. LCD frame counter

The traditional Leica MA/MP frame counter is good, but it’s something hard to read when you’re in a rushed or poorly lit environment, it’s a long shot, and something I’d like to see happen materialize – an LCD frame counter in the style of that of the M8. All it takes is a little hoop with a ready-to-use digital stack and frame counter and it will please any Leica devotee – I would definitely buy one!

If you are invested in the Leica brand, you might also like to discover the best Leica M lenses (opens in a new tab). Film photographers should check out our guide to best film for 35 cameras, roll film and sheet film.

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