Leica M-E Digital Rangefinder Camera, Body Only (Grey)

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Key Features

  • 18MP full frame CCD sensor
  • 2 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Manual focusing
  • ISO 160-2500
  • 2.5 inch LCD with 230,000 dots
  • Optical rangefinder with 0.68x magnification
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes
  • Built-in flash with hotshoe
  • SD/SDHC card slot
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom included

Product Description

The M-E is Leica's entry-level rangefinder model, with a feature set that's nearly identical to the Leica M-9, and based around the same 18MP full frame CCD sensor. It doesn't offer the M-9's built-in USB port, but keeps pace with an identical 2 frames per second continuous shooting mode, built-in flash with hot shoe and classic rangefinder design.


Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 5212 x 3472
Other resolutions 3840 x 2592, 2592 x 1728, 1728 x 1152, 1280 x 846
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 18 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 19 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CCD
ISO Auto, Pull 80, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Standard
Optics & Focus
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Lens mount Leica M
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 2.5
Screen dots 230,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT color LCD
Live view No
Viewfinder type Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification 0.68×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority No
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
Continuous drive 2 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Center-weighted
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Microphone None
Speaker None
Storage types SD/SDHC card
Storage included None
Remote control No
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 585 g (1.29 lb / 20.64 oz)
Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37 mm (5.47 x 3.15 x 1.46)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

Questions & Answers


ME and M prices

When the M becomes generally available do you think the new price for the ME will fall? I feel the difference in price between the two is low considering the M  is a completely new design  and that the ME is the old M9 but with a lower spec.  At £5,100 and £3,900 respectively I feel the ME should be nearer £3,000. I will have to continue with my X2 for the future. Thanks JA

Johnnhoj asked
1 year ago


It would be nice to know if it doesn't and I don't expect it will I will probably wind up with a used M9 replacing my M8.  I actually expect the used prices to drop a little there are so many good new cameras out there with outstanding IQ.  The new "M" had better be a great camera there is a lot riding on it. Continue Reading

TClair answered
1 year ago

Johnnhoj wrote: When the M becomes generally available do you think the new price for the ME will fall? I feel the difference in price between the two is low considering the M is a completely new design and that the ME is the old M9 but with a lower spec. At £5,100 and £3,900 respectively I feel the ME should be nearer £3,000. I will have to continue with my X2 for the future. Thanks JA I bought a used M9 last December for £2900 and am finding it easy to adjust to after an M4-P. It seems unlikely the price of a new ME will fall much unless the supply increases considerably (don't hold your breath). I have been using an old Tokina 17mm on an adapter and am surprised how good the results are, even if not as sharp as you get with Leica lenses. Continue Reading

PLAMBERT answered
1 year ago

No. I think it is likely the M-E would be discontinued before they lowered the price by much. The M-E was specifically created as the M9 replacement camera using mostly M9 parts to sell at a lower price point against the new M at the same original price of the M9. I can't speak for anyone else, but the distance from $5,450 to $6,950 (USA pricing of course) seems quite substantial to me. I'd have been happy to save $1500 when I bought my M9; I bought a certified Leica USA demo model to save $750. (I do remember when Rollei had three versions of the TLR on the market that were differentiated by $35-$50 for the price conscious ...!) Continue Reading

Godfrey answered
1 year ago


Does M-E have any improvements from M9?

I know what they removed from the M9 to make the M-E, but did they improve anything?  I was specifically wondering about the SD card stability, but any comments are welcome.

Kwick1 asked
10 months ago


I never encountered them, even using cards that were specifically said to be problematic the most recent firmware seems to have corrected problems folks reported can't say anything about other improvements for the ME, but I suspect it uses the same firmware as this upgrade occurred long ago Continue Reading

Artichoke answered
10 months ago

No officially stated improvements have been made. But I do hope there are AT LEAST some improvements in its sensor coatings to last long exposures well. And I havent seen any improvements as well besides the nicer (imho) leatherette. -- www.photopurple.blogspot.com Continue Reading

Pandaemas answered
10 months ago

Well I had an M9 for a year and now have had the M-E for about 8 months. I wrote a 'review' that more characterizes my impressions of an actual difference between the two cameras here. http://50lux.com/2013/02/06/finally-get-your-leica-m-e-review-here/ I don't think anyone who hasn't owned or shot with the M-E should downplay what the camera feels like in the hand without the usb port and the frame lines switch and WITH the softer leatherette covering. There's the benefits of the added moisture barriers of NOT having those two holes in the body of the camera. I bought my M9 very soon after they came on the market and as I state in my review, I notice a huge difference in the quality/feel of the cameras. But I attribute that more to just the manufacturing refinements that must have occurred over the course of three years from the early days of the M9 till now. Leica calls the M-E a refined M9. I think that's what they say. Other than the funky color scheme, I would agree 100% based ... Continue Reading

jammerbirdi_1 answered
10 months ago
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