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Photokina 2012: Leica announces new D-Lux 6 and Leica M models

Luxury camera maker Leica is out in force at this year’s Photokina event, and has revealed four brand new cameras for 2012. The pick of the bunch? The brand new Leica M, and the D-Lux 6, we’d say.

The new Leica M represents the company’s famous rangefinder model reborn, and it also ushers in a new naming scheme for the range. Previously we’ve had numbered models, such as the M6 and M8, but from now on it’s just letters.

A brand new imaging sensor sits at the heart of the Leica M, with a new design and a new name: the Leica Mac CMOS sensor. It’s a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor in the 35mm format, and has been designed to work beautifully with Leica’s own lenses.

The rear of the camera sports a 3-inch 920k-dot screen on the back for live view and playback functions, as well as a traditional viewfinder. The screen itself is covered and protected by a sheet of Gorilla Glass.

Leica’s new M camera will do Full HD 1080p video recording, as well as take high-resolution still images. Its body is finished in the familiar Leica style, with the top and bottom being plates machined from solid brass, and a synthetic leather strip running around the centre of the camera.

If you’ve ever looked at a Leica camera before, then you’ll know that they don’t come cheap. The new Leica M will set you back a tidy £5100 from early 2013.

D-Lux 6

For those who want something stylish when it comes to a compact camera, Leica has the new D-Lux 6. This new model is a result of the company’s partnership with Panasonic, and is effectively the Panasonic Lumix LX7 but rebranded.

The Lumix LX7 is a brilliant little camera as it is, but Leica have tweaked it to their style. It packs a 12.7-megapixel CMOS sensor, which combines with a 24-90mm f/1.4 lens with 4x zoom.

The D-Lux 6 is very compact, but fits in plenty of manual controls for those who want more control over the photos they take. The lens has a manual dial for zoom, and you’ve also got options to set the ISO, which runs up to 12,800.

On the back of the camera you’ll find a 920k-dot display in the usual 3-inch size, and Leica will also be offering an electronic viewfinder as an extra, which slots nicely into the hotshoe on the top of the camera.

The D-Lux 6 comes in significantly cheaper than the Leica M, with a price tag of around £600. It will become available in the UK this November.

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