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Lumix Lens Maker Leica Releases Smallest Full-Frame Digicam

By Matthew Lentini | Wednesday | 22/06/2011

Leica, the company behind the lenses on Panasonic's top Lumix compact digital cameras, has come out with its own new camera and lens for the serious photographer.

Sporting a similar build to the nostalgic, retro cam chassis of the Fujifilm X100, the Leica M9-P is a compact but full-frame 18 megapixel camera with a 24 x 36mm sensor. It follows in the vein of the Leica M9 digital camera.

Leica touts this new model as the world's smallest, full-frame digital camera system, and will sit at nearly $8,000 in the States when it is released. A niche camera for the pro-photographer, if there ever was one.

It features a minimalist style that only holds the essentials for the professional photographer, and there are a range of additives beyond just the rangefinder. One feature is a 'soft release' mode that makes the shutter release button extra sensitive for when you need steady hands on a long-exposure shot.

The 18 megapixel image sensor is designed to give purists peace of mind, with the sensor capturing the full 35mm film format without compromise.

Leica has also released a lens that also sits in the high price range for its M-series of rangefinder cams, the Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.

This ultra-light, two inch long wide-angle lens has a minimum focus distance of .7m and is constructed with eight lenses in seven groups. Leica claims that the lens is ideal for superior contrast at maximum aperture.

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