We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
A full-frame, interchangeable lens camera, the Leica M-E Digital Rangefinder Camera embraces the philosophy of “less is more” with its use of a digital rangefinder. By focusing on the most important photographic operations, the M-E is able to create high-quality photographs in a short amount of time and with little noise.
The camera is equipped with a full-frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor while maintaining a small, sturdy, and well-designed body.
Due to the use of an 18MP CCD sensor in full 35mm size, high-resolution imaging is possible, and the absence of a low-pass filter allows for photographs with fine details and improved visual impact. The sensor works well with the small M-system and M-series lenses, resulting in consistent exposure throughout the full sensor surface area.
The camera’s interoperability with the whole line of outstanding Leica M-series lenses allows for greater shooting versatility while still producing crisp images.
It is possible for the M-E to perfect just those characteristics that contribute to a better photographic image since it has chosen not to add capabilities such as Live View and Video functionality within the camera.
This is accomplished by the use of an optical viewfinder/rangefinder and the smooth, precise focusing ring of a Leica lens, which allows for quick and accurate manual focusing. Shutter speeds ranging from bulb mode to 1/4000th of a second can be set manually or automatically decided by the camera, depending on the situation.
With its closed-type focal plane shutter and external cocking mechanism, the shutter mechanism is both quiet and smooth in operation.
With a 2.5-inch TFT LCD screen with 230,000 pixels for clear image playback and menu control, and an all-metal casing made of die-cast magnesium with an attractive gray finish and a real leather wrap for a good grip as well as good looks, the camera is a good all-around choice for any photographer looking for a high-quality camera. A hot shoe mount is provided for attaching an optional flash if desired.
Those looking for a pure photographic system that generates images of uncompromising quality will find this to be the best camera for them.
Full-frame CCD sensor with 18MP resolution
The small design of the M-E, as well as the high-quality Leica M-series lenses, make the very sensitive full-frame CCD sensor an excellent match for their high light sensitivity.
Sharp, high-quality pictures are produced by uniform light exposure throughout the sensor’s whole surface from corner to corner.
The low-pass filter has been omitted.
Fine details and a particularly realistic visual impression are achieved with the lack of a low-pass filter, which is otherwise used to achieve this effect.
Optical Viewfinder/Rangefinder (also known as a rangefinder)
With the help of the wide, crisp, bright-line rangefinder with 0.68x magnification and automated parallax adjustment, users may manually focus the camera.
The frame lines on the viewfinder correspond to the image sensor’s size, which is 3.2 feet (1 m). A bright area in the middle of the viewfinder image indicates the presence of a split or overlaid image rangefinder.
The eyepiece has been calibrated to -0.5 diopters. During the use of the optical viewfinder, an LED display is displayed, which displays auto shutter speeds and exposure correction cautions.
Through the Lens (TTL) metering is used for exposure metering, which is center-weighted with variable aperture. There are two exposure modes available: Automatic shutter speed (Aperture Priority A-mode) and Manual Exposure (also known as Manual Exposure) (M-mode). The exposure adjustment ranges from -3 EV to +3 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
Design that is both attractive and durable
The top cover is milled brass, while the body is made entirely of magnesium. The finish is anthracite gray, and the leather trim is black.
The file format and size of an image
The M-E captures images in both DNG (raw data uncompressed or nonlinear compressed) and JPEG formats, depending on the situation.
The compressed DNG file size is 18 MB, while the uncompressed file size is 36 MB (uncompressed). The exact size of a JPEG file is determined by the resolution and content of the image.
Up to four sets of camera and exposure settings may be kept under a user-selected profile name and retrieved quickly whenever they are needed in the future.
Languages Available on the Menu
English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese are some of the languages spoken in the world.
Functions that are not listed above
Saturation, contrast, and sharpening are all options.
The Leica M-E is compatible with all extra accessories that are compatible with the Leica M9/M9-P digital cameras.
A complimentary copy of the Adobe Lightroom program is also provided.
Leica M-E (Typ 220) Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||5212 x 3472|
|Other resolutions||3840 x 2592, 2592 x 1728, 1728 x 1152, 1280 x 846|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2|
|Effective pixels||18 megapixels|
|Sensor photodetectors||19 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (36 x 24 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, Pull 80, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||80|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, Standard|
|Lens mount||Leica M|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen type||TFT color LCD|
|Viewfinder type||Optical (rangefinder)|
|Minimum shutter speed||4 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|External flash||Yes (Hot-shoe)|
|Flash modes||Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync|
|Continuous drive||2.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC card|
|Battery description||Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||585 g (1.29 lb / 20.64 oz)|
|Dimensions||139 x 80 x 37 mm (5.47 x 3.15 x 1.46″)|