This designer reimagined the Leica M as super minimalistic camera

Mar 17, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

This designer reimagined the Leica M as super minimalistic camera

Mar 17, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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Leica M reimagined thumbnail

We all like Leica M cameras. They look retro but they are slick and refined, which are just a few reasons why people want to buy them. I don’t feel like Leica needs to change anything significant about their look. Wencheng Zhang, a Shanghai-based industrial designer, seems to disagree with me. Zhang showed a personal project of his, which completely shifts the design of the Leica M. He calls it “The Leica M Reimagined.”

The Leica M reimagined

Leica M reimagined silver

Based on the Ur-Leica Replica, Leica’s first camera, Zhang aimed to create a simple, minimalist design. However, it’s easy to point out that Zhang’s design is much more minimalist than that of the UR-Leica Replica.

Leica M reimagined shutter dial

Zhang had no intention of hampering the ergonomics in the redesign, although looking at the design caused some skepticism in me to pop out. The shutter and shutter dial are both flat to the camera’s surface, which I feel would make them hard to find with your fingers. Not to mention, I doubt spinning that shutter dial will feel as convenient as any regular dial.

Leica M reimagined screen

The reimaged version is also digital, which is evident from the large display at the back of the camera. I don’t mind reimagining a classic film camera to the digital age, but there are no buttons to control the digital aspect of the camera, and I don’t understand why. Instead, the massive display has touch controls, which I’m normally all for, but there is a problem here as well. Because the screen takes away the majority of the camera’s rear surface, you are guaranteed to accidentally use the touch controls with your cheeks.

Conclusion

Personally, I wouldn’t say I like this look. It smoothes out details about the original to the point it loses its charm and personality. This approach feels similar to what has happened with logos in the past decade.

[via Design Milk]

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Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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5 responses to “This designer reimagined the Leica M as super minimalistic camera”

  1. Fazal Majid Avatar
    Fazal Majid

    Looks like a Leica T crossed with a M viewfinder.

  2. Pragmatic Photog Avatar
    Pragmatic Photog

    Eye (presence) sensor would assist focusing, switch off the rear monitor and disable touch functionality. People have different dominant eyes, so positioning the viewfinder to the extreme left can cause “nose smut” issues.I’m not sure if cutting the plane accomodating shutter release button and exposure dial at an angle so it leans forward is a good idea. The ridge might be uncomfortable to the index finger. Good luck having the exposure dial entirely flat with its surroundings. Why would you need one in the first place if everything else went into the onscreen menu system. How do you switch the camera on? Or release the lens? And for sure the upcoming Leica M user does not need a fricking hotshoe (e. g. for flashes the body does not have either), camera strap or tripod. So if the design sticks to the “form over function” principle, all the goals have been met.

  3. Maciej Avatar
    Maciej

    look unusable :)

  4. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    Reimaging a Classic? Why?