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Rene the dark horse and hi-res Wilson join the queue. But new Leica delights still to come

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That invaluable source of info on future Leicas, Leica Rumors, has disclosed the in-house code names for two new Leica cameras which have been heralded over the past few months. According to reports, the new Monochrom, the M11-M, will be announced next year. During development, it is to be known as Rene.

The second sure-fire arrival in 2023 is the Q3, and it is known to insiders as Wilson, according to Leica Rumors. The site shows convincing screenshots of the code as confirmation. This news will certainly please our long-time reader John Wilson in the USA, who will probably place himself on the waiting list…

Leica E?

More interesting for me, however, is yesterday’s Leica Rumors roundup of the next cameras from Leica. In addition to the M11 Monochrom, the Q3 and a reporter edition of the SL2-S (yawn…), there is the enticing prospect of a Leica M camera with EVF instead of a rangefinder.

LR suggests it could be called the RM, although I doubt M will feature in the name. As I said in my article on 15 June 2022, Stefan Daniel has made it clear there will never be an M camera without a rangefinder. Therefore, if we take his words literally, there might well be an EVF-equipped M-mount camera, but it won’t be called an M.

So I’ll put my money on it being called the Leica E. This is logical since M stands for rangefinder (in German, Messsucher), and E would represent “electronic” (viewfinder, either in German or English). Makes sense to me.

As an outside bet, though, I agree that “ME” is possible if Stefan can find a way of eating his words. There is precedence for the use of ME on the final incarnation of the M9.

This rumour underlines my conviction that such a small EVF-equipped camera would use the M mount, not the L mount. I know many readers feel strongly on this, favouring the L mount. But while we can’t rule out, for instance, a Q-based ILC with L mount in the future, I believe we will see an M-mount camera with EVF in a rangefinder-style body soon.

Film’s not dead

Finally, LR mentions a camera of which I have heard whispers from my own sources in Germany. It could even come this year, according to LR. It is said to be a cheaper film camera, undercutting the M-A (currently £4,200) and the MP (£4,400). Both these cameras are on backorder, and waiting lists are long. Leica simply cannot make enough of them.

According to my sources, this new camera will likely feature metering, unlike the M-A, and will use less expensive materials than the brass-bound MP. Whatever it is called, such a new camera will inevitably look much like the M6, and LR’s mockup appears to confirm this. After all, if we exclude the M5, the M6, MP and M7 were the only M film cameras to feature metering. It wouldn’t be an M5 lookalike (once bitten, etc) or an M7 (too complex for a cheaper camera), so that leaves just the M6.

If this is so, it will be interesting to see how much cheaper it is than the MP. I suspect £3,800, including tax in the UK, would hit the right spot. The M6 is the most popular M film camera among younger street photographers, and, as a result, prices of used models have rocketed to the point where the additional £1,000 or so for a brand-new model is attractive. I am sure such a revival of the old trooper would be welcomed.

We have an interesting couple of years ahead.

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Via Leica Rumors

Featured image of M6: By Phcoll – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4422162


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11 COMMENTS

  1. An EVF M-mount camera is an intriguing idea & I don’t think it will hurt the sales of the M & Q. For people who love rangefinders, they will always be dedicated to the M. At the same time, people who like the Q don’t want to carry extra lenses to add weight. However, it will impact sales on the SL/SL2 to some extent but the SL/SL2 do offer auto focus. Honestly if Leica makes such camera along with new versions of the WATES & MATES, that could be the upgrade option from my CL!

  2. An M body with an EVF surely must be due an award for the longest running Leica rumour, ever. Every time a new camera body offering is in the air, the EVF M-Body picture gets rolled out again. Even though Leica have shut the idea down, out comes the picture AGAIN. Don’t get me wrong. I would sell organs in order to get one but it would take sales away from the SL system, the M system and the Q system too. I just don’t see the business case. (Please feel free to throw this post back in my face when the E system is announced next week).

  3. It may be true, but Leica Rumors gets it wrong more often than it gets it right. The original “Wilson” rumor came from a Japanese blog poster.

    Leica Rumors belongs at the photographic store checkout in the magazine rack, populated by headlines like “Nikon stole my baby!” and “Ilford caught in developing romance”.

    Let’s see…

  4. M-E makes sense as the code was used for the budget M digital cameras, so a cheaper (?) EVF only version of digital M can be the next M-E. I am guessing as early as the one that follows the M11 and it seems there won’t be an M-E following the M10.

    I am still not sure about the budget level M film camera. If they can’t make the MP fast enough, why bother making a cheaper version?

  5. I will go on list if you can promise me JONO will review like HEMINGWAY! Ha! Serious now do I wait for 3,or drive myself crazy w Q2 or Q2m decisions decisions!

  6. After banging on about an M sized camera with EVF on every possible forum and website over the last 3 years, I’ve slowly started to think that OVF with rangefinder is better.
    I recently acquired the new Sony A7iv and while it is one of the best cameras in terms of IQ, I’m getting bored with zoom in / use peaking to check the focus for manual lenses. I’ve slowly started to appreciate the real world view instead through the EVF after too much screen time over the last 2 years. AF is fantastic of course and Sony is releasing great lenses such as small 24, 40 and 50 that are like elmarits.
    I’m still excited about this news of “ME” but don’t know if I should wait for that or just buy an M11.
    Anyway, that’s just my rambling…

    • I enjoy manual focus with the rangefinder and tend to prefer an AF lens on a mirrorless camera. But I think there is a demand for an M-Len’s compatible mirrorless camera, if only get get rid of all those adapters and the extra few grams they add.

    • Hi Mahesh, I love rangefinder focusing, but I would strongly prefer an evf m camera for lenses wider than 28mm and for my brilliant m apo 90mm/2. I DO NOT like attaching Frankenstein accessories such as finders onto my elegant Leica M11. I would buy a Leica M with built-in finder as a second camera. It would also make a great camera when the rangefinder needs the inevitable tune-up that takes Forever for non celebrity photographers like me.
      I do not find manual focus difficult on my SL2-S. However, it does help to practice. It also is critical to adjust your jpeg sharpness and contrast settings to be higher as the evf image is provided by jpeg image even if you are only shooting raw. Be aware that jpeg settings also impact the histogram – the histogram comes from the jpeg settings and not the real captured raw file. Hence, many camera reviewers critique camera histogram, highlight flashing, exposure accuracy without realizing that the camera is assessing a jpeg image which depends the jpeg settings even if you are only shooting raw.

      By the way, I sold my lovely SL2 camera and kept my SL2-S as my M 11 is my high resolution camera and my SL2-S is my low noise camera. My wife was right; how many cameras do I really need? That could be a great article. Now when is that m11 monochrome coming out?

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