updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011
Leica M9-P and new 21mm lens arrive
Leica on Tuesday introduced an uncommon camera tailored to the pro side of its audience. Compared to the original M9, the M9-P has a scratch-resistant and also anti-reflective sapphire coating on the LCD to protect it outside. The iconic red Leica logo has also been pulled off to reduce distractions and make it less of a target for thieves.
Instead, the logo has been moved to an engraving on the top. Leica has gone to the extent of including a coarser leather texture to improve the grip.
The design continues to center on an 18-megapixel, full-frame sensor with an interchangeable lens system. Along with the deliberately evocative look, its most unique extra is an elaborate shutter that's both quiet and has an extra-sensitive mode to avoid blurring the shot by jerking the camera during a shutter press.
US pricing isn't yet available but will probably crest over the $7,000 of the regular M9. A new lens, the 21mm f3.4 ASPH, is relatively short and ideal for traveling but is still wide-angle enough and bright enough for portraits and landscape shots. Its cost is also an unknown. Both the camera and the new glass are due in at least some countries by the end of the month.