There are cameras that try to go retro by sporting old school external bodies. And then there’s the Leica M Edition 60, the German manufacturer’s 60th anniversary limited edition model, which takes the whole idea of nostalgia about as far as any serious digital photographer would be willing to go.
Essentially the same camera as the M-P Type 240 digital rangefinder, the M Edition 60 takes it back a ways with the conspicuous absence of any LCD screen. Instead, users of this unique throwback will have to peer through the camera’s traditional viewfinder to frame their shots just like the old-timers did it. Photo sensitivity can still be manipulated the ISO selector dial, and aperture can be set directly by physically manipulating the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH lens.
Early previews indicate the camera isn’t just lacking a viewfinder or display, but there’s also no support for autofocus, HDMI, or USB. Photographs are stored on SD and the only supported format is RAW.
According to Leica, the M Edition 60’s distinctly old-fashioned design provides artistic benefits through two methods: eliminating the constant distractions inherent in the minutiae of innumerable digital controls, and allowing the photographer to use his or her eye to frame shots. If that sounds a bit like “novelty” speak, bear in mind Leica is only producing 600 units priced at about $20,000 apiece. Collectors can get their spending on for the M Edition 60 starting sometime in October.