5 Reasons Why the Leica M Camera is a Must-Have for Photography Enthusiasts

The Leica M camera is a legendary piece of photography equipment that has been a favorite among professionals for decades. This blog post dives into the top 5 reasons why this camera is a must-have for any photography enthusiast.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Leica M article cover photo

Key Features

Nov 19 2015


24 megapixels


Sensor TypeFull frame

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Overview of the M

When it comes to high-quality cameras, few can match the legacy of the Leica M camera. This iconic piece of equipment has been favored by professional photographers for generations due to its exceptional performance and quality. In this blog, we explore in-depth five reasons why owning a Leica M camera is a must-have for every aspiring photographer. From its unique design to its versatility and reliability, we delve deep into what makes this camera stand out from others in the market. So whether you are new to photography or a seasoned pro, keep reading to discover why the Leica M camera should be your go-to piece of equipment.

Leica M Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Leica M camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Excellent image quality
Manual focus precision
Iconic design
Durable build quality
Full-frame sensor
High resolution
Wide range of lenses available


Very expensive
No autofocus
Limited video capabilities
Slow continuous shooting speed
No image stabilization
No built-in flash
Limited ISO range

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Leica M

Weather sealed
Dimensions139 x 80 x 42mm

Weather Sealing

The Leica M is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (rangefinder)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution921k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 921k dots. This makes the Leica M not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


M includes a optical (rangefinder) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of 0.68x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Leica M has a 24MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 24 pixels. Leica M has a native ISO range of 200 - 6400 which can be boosted to 100 - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Nov 19 2015


200 - 6400

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISO100 - null
Max resolution5952 x 3976 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Leica M camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the M is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Full frame



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life
Battery ModelBP-SCL2
Wireless Connectivity


The Leica M supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Leica M uses the BP-SCL2 model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Leica M does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Leica M boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


Leica M does not have autofocus (AF)

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Leica M?

The Leica M features a CMOS sensor

Is the Leica M weather sealed?

No the M does not have weather sealing.

When was the Leica M announced?

The Leica M was announced on Nov 19 2015

Does the Leica M have in-body image stabilization?

No the M does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Leica M?

The M has a native ISO range of 200-6400, which can be expanded to ISO 100-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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