In the world of modern day gadgetry it’s easy to get swept away by convenience and customization, but those same things often come at the expense of quality and uniqueness. Take photography for example. Sure, we can now filter and manipulate the same picture a million different ways over, or view it on an LCD screen to determine if it came out to our liking, but those options frequently drain the same picture of its magic or spontaneity, making at least some of us yearn for a time where an unexpectedly great moment captured on film was in and of itself pure magic. In that regard something like a filter or an LCD screen is basically a distraction from the essence of what photography is supposed to capture.
The new M-D Camera from Leica is here to remind us that the natural, spontaneous beauty of a subject is still far more provocative than some photo that’s been customized or perfected to death. That’s why the camera features no LCD screen, no menu system, and no video capture. It has shutter speed, aperture, distance and ISO values and that’s it. Expect pure, superior resolution that’s still technologically compatible thanks to a state of the art digital rangefinder, but none of the allowances that discreetly suck all the magic out of the process. You take the photo and find out if it was great after it’s developed. Not every picture will be a winner–but the winners will be spectacular.
We’re not trying to sound stodgy, and of course there are benefits to LCD screens and filters and the zillion other features of any given device. But cameras like the Leica M-D ask that every now and then we try to remember that photography is supposed to be about the photograph, not the photographer, and it’s supposed to capture a special moment in time, not represent our ability to drain that same moment of all its spontaneity.