Leica M-E review

November 3, 2012

Leica M-E



Price as Reviewed:


Released simultaneously with the Leica M, the M-E is pitched as Leica’s entry-level rangefinder, but at £3,900 it doesn’t come cheap. Richard Sibley sees how it fits into the range. Read the Leica M-E review...

Our verdict

With only a few slight differences between the Leica M9 (and M9-P) and the new M-E, the £600 gulf in price between the cameras does make the M-E seem like more of a bargain. For those with newer lenses, the features lacking in the M-E certainly won’t be missed. However, despite the high quality of the build and the images it produces, the camera is left wanting in some areas, notably its LCD screen – £3,900 is still a lot of money for a camera with only a 2.5in display.

If money isn’t a concern, the Leica M looks the better option, as it should be for the extra £1,200 that it costs, and we look forward to testing one when it becomes available. However, for those who really want to own a digital Leica rangefinder camera, the M-E is the most affordable option yet, even if the specification is already looking a little dated.

  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, plus custom
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Memory Card: SecureDigital/MMC and SDHC
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Viewfinder Type: Optical, approximate 28mm field of view, with brightlines
  • Output Size: 5216 x 3472 pixels
  • AF Points: N/A
  • Field of View: Approximate, indicated with brightlines
  • LCD: 2.5in TFT with 230,000 pixels
  • Sensor: CCD with 18 million effective pixels
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x
  • Exposure Modes: Manual, aperture priority
  • Weight: 585g (without battery or card)
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • Drive Mode: Max 2fps for 8 frames
  • File Format: DNG (raw), JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Dimensions: 139 x 80 x 37mm
  • Metering System: Centreweighted using three reflective bars on shutter curtains
  • Connectivity / Interface: None – no HDMI or USB
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • ISO: 160-2500 plus ISO 80 ‘pull’ setting
  • Lens Mount: Leica M
  • RRP: £3,900 (body only)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual focus only
  • DoF Preview: N/A

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