Last Thursday Leica announced the new M-D and it’s been on my mind since they did. The M-D is, as I understand it, an M Type 262 but without the LCD screen or menus. A while back they released the special edition M60 which I believe was the inspiration for this camera but at around $20,000 it’s not the type of camera I’ll ever get my hands on. The M-D isn’t cheap by any stretch either with a CDN retail price of $7700 at Broadview Camera without a lens you’re looking at a serious investment (also that I’ll never likely be able to afford) but I can’t stop admiring it.
Why? It’s simple, no, I mean it’s simple. You control the aperture, the shutter speed, the ISO (in place of the LCD screen and buttons) and the size of the memory card…That’s it. No fuss, no muss. No chimping, no 4K BS, no fiddling, no farting around with features and options only to miss the moments we want captured. The files are only raw DNG’s so you can play a bit in post if you must but if you miss your exposure, you miss it. Oh and to use it you have to have some semblance of understanding of how to create a photograph and more so, how to create the photograph you want to take. It sounds absolutely glorious. I still love shooting film, I love the anticipation of seeing what you got and more so, if you got it. It puts you more in the moment and that’s great. We’re living in a time of features, features, features, now, now, now and everyone seems to have forgotten the basics…Keep It Simple Stupid. That said, Leica seems to have remembered. While I can’t expect that they’ll sell a ton of M-D’s I do sincerely thank and admire them for making them anyway and I wish that other (more affordable) manufacturers would consider a “purist” option. Could you imagine a purist X-Pro2 or X100P? That would be so rad. Sure, you can gaffers tape the LCD but that’s not “it”, Leica on the other hand, gets “it” and I appreciate that.