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Leica outs surprise M9-P

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Available in black paint or silver chrome, the Leica M9-P is scheduled to be available in the UK from June 2011 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair. As well as the more descrete finish (albeit wit the Leica sript engraved on the top-plate), the Leica M9-P includes a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen, like the M8.2. The UK suggested retail price of the Leica M9-P is £5,395 including VAT but there's no word as yet on pricing and availability in the USA.

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Leica announces the Leica M9-P: the essence of discretion

Designed particularly for professional photographers, new ultra-discreet version of the Leica M9 added to Leica rangefinder portfolio

21 June 2011, 18.00 GMT: Leica today presents a new version of the world’s smallest, full-frame digital system camera: the Leica M9-P. This new model will sit alongside the Leica M9 in the company’s rangefinder portfolio, providing an alternative, even more discreet and resilient design that further reinforces the quintessential nature of the M9 – and particularly meets the needs of professional photographers. The new model will be available in a classic silver chrome or subtle black paint finish.

Offering the same technical specifications as the highly successfully Leica M9, the M9-P combines all the benefits of the original: compact size, full-frame, 18 megapixel 24 x 36mm sensor (35mm format), sophisticated image processing and robust construction, with features designed for the professional user or photographers who prefer a pure, even more unobtrusive styling.

The Leica M9-P includes a scratch-resistant, sapphire crystal covering on the LCD screen. This material is so tough that the screen can only be produced using special diamond cutting tools and is one of the world’s hardest materials. As a result, the sapphire glass LCD cover is extremely resistant to wear and almost unbreakable, meaning many years of reliable use. In addition, thanks to an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the cover, reviewing images on the display during composition and after capture is further improved, particularly in unfavourable lighting conditions.

The external covering of the body of the M9-P, finished in vulcanite leatherette, features a more coarsely- textured finish that ensures a steady grip when shooting, making the M9-P feel particularly safe and secure in the hand.

A further understated feature of the Leica M9-P is its minimalist styling, which is focused on the most essential features. Many professional photographers using Leica cameras have been known to tape over the Leica ‘red dot’ logo to make their equipment as inconspicuous and discreet as possible. For this reason, the Leica red dot logo and the M9 lettering on the front have been omitted. Instead, the top plate is engraved with the Leica name in classic script form.

Since 1954, the Leica M system has represented an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. With a Leica M, the photographer becomes a ‘part of the action’ in the process of capturing challenging, authentic and creative images.

The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages, while allowing a clear view of the scene outside the viewfinder frame. This allows the photographer to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields of photography, from photojournalism, reportage and ‘available light’ to the capture of portraits and aesthetic, fine-art images.

Another significant advantage for unobtrusive photography is the almost silent shutter, a feature of both the M9 and M9-P. Moreover, when longer exposure times requiring an extremely steady camera stance are essential, only a slight pressure on the shutter release button in ‘soft release’ mode is required.

Photographers can also select the most appropriate moment for re-cocking the shutter. The functions of the Leica M are consistently constructed for extreme durability and a long working life. The highest quality materials, intricate manufacturing processes and meticulous manual assembly at Leica’s facility in Germany guarantee functional reliability for years to come.

In line with Leica’s commitment to system compatibility, almost all Leica M lenses built since 1954 can be used with the M9 and M9-P – an important factor in the enduring value of the M series. The 18 megapixel image sensor, specifically designed and developed for the M9, enables capture of the full 35mm film format without any compromise. All M lenses mounted on the M9 and M9-P therefore offer the same focal length as originally intended, and the enormous potential performance of the extensive M lens portfolio, with focal lengths from 16 to 135mm, can be fully exploited by both cameras.

More information can be found at www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.

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