In 2009 Leica released the M9, a digital camera with a 18.5-megapixel Full Frame CCD image sensor. They subsequently commissioned Walter de’Silva, the chief designer of the Audi Design Team, to design a special edition of the M9. A car designer, and a non-photographer. In late 2010 the product of the commission was released, the Leica M9 Titanium.
Only 500 of the Leica M9 Titanium cameras will be made. And yes, the camera body is made of titanium, as are the metal parts of the lens and lens hood. So adding the limited edition concept to the precious metal material, you could hazard a guess that this camera is expensive. It is. In UK money, about £20,000, Australian $35,000 or so.
Also part of the package is a shoulder holster, a carrying strap and finger loops in two different sizes, all made of the same premium grade leather that wraps around the camera body. You’ll see how they work in the video below.
With this camera I don’t think about value, or its specifications (listed below), however good they may be. I simply look at the pictures and marvel at a great designer given free reign, who created a very desirable object. And a great camera.
Video – Leica M9 Titanium’s finger loops and holster
Leica M9 Titanium specifications
Camera type: compact digital view and rangefinder system camera
Lens mount: Leica M bayonet with additional sensor for 6-bit coding
Lens system: Leica M lenses from 16 – 135 mm
Lens: Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH
Picture format/image sensor: 5270 x 3516 pixels (18.5 mPixels) ccD chip, active area approx. 23.9 x 35.8 mm / 5212 x 3472 pixels (18 mPixels) (corresponds to the usable format of analog leica m models)
Sensitivity range: optical design number of lenses/groups: ISO 80/19° to ISO 2500/35° aperture priority A and manual exposure modes, choice of automatic control or manual setting, with snapshot profile automatic control.
Viewfinder: LED symbol for flash status. Four-digit, seven-segment digital display for exposure control. LED light balance with two triangular and one central circular lED for manual setting of exposures.
Shutter: Microprocessor-controlled, low-noise, vertical travel metal blade focal plane shutter
Camera body: external parts made of solid titanium with special coating to protect against fingerprints. Partially covered with slip-resistant calf leather.