Is the New Leica M Really Here?
You may have seen our news yesterday that Adobe has added support for the Leica M to its ACR and LR release candidates. This typically means there won't be a whole lot more changes on the camera side (though not out of the question). But perhaps more importantly, it also means that a release (of camera and/or software) is imminent. Well, that day may have come. We got an unconfirmed report from the Singapore Leica Dealer at the Raffles Hotel Arcade that the new Leica M will be available tomorrow to demo... And to buy, but stock is very limited! We'll keep you posted as we get updates and will try to confirm and get more information on this! So for now, take it with a grain of salt, but...
We have a separate heads-up that you can field test the new M at Stephens Photo Centre in Manchester (UK) on March 1st and 2nd. This is confirmed. You must call ahead (at 0161 834 7755) and make an appointment for a half-hour slot. The times range from 9:30am to 5:00pm. You are advised to bring your own SD card and lens.
Update: We have thus far confirmed that there will be at least a demo unit available at Raffles Hotel Arcade in Singapore - but as far as having units on-hand for purchase... We've talked with a couple of local contacts there who say they were initially called and told units can be bought, but were called back later and told that it was an error. So it remains to be seen - chances are, if there are additional units - they're likely already spoken for. Of course they'll accept new orders - and there's even some talk that the first units on hand will be bundled with a lens. Stay tuned.
Update 2: In case anyone doubted us... Three sets sold at 10am and there's one set left. They only sold it with either one or three lenses as a set (and depended on the shop as to which) and cannot be picked up before tomorrow (the 28th). Some prices came in at an eye watering $16,000 USD. One price we got was $10,800 (Singapore Dollars) for the body alone - $8,700 USD. Thailand is seeing $9,000 USD.
Update 3: After breaking the story here yesterday, others are following suit - our friends at The.me agree February 28, D-Day the Leica M Arrives in Stores (Nearly) Worldwide. So things are looking pretty good despite some rumors pointing at May. But be patient. The anticipation and numbers of people eager to get ahold of the M are huge. Here's proof they exist (unlike unicorns and bigfoot) courtesy of Lynn:
Update 4: Well, today's the big day - release day! We're getting reports from outside of Singapore now, including the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. People that were on lists (or just lucky) are getting calls and emails as we speak. Quantities are of course limited. Each store or boutique has its own schedule as to when and how many they'll receive. Here's an explanation from Leica Switzerland (in German) saying as much:
Wir versenden heute die ersten LEICA M Kameras an die Leica Boutiquen. Die Kameras sollten daher ab morgen für einen ersten Augenschein verfügbar sein. Leider reicht unsere Startmenge nicht um alle Leica Boutiquen und Repräsentanzen mit Kameras auszustatten. Jede Leica Subsidary hat einen anderen Liefertag. Amerika und Far East werden Anfang des Monats beliefert. Europa in der zweiten Monatshälfte...
Update 5: We got word that it might be some time, like late March - before Australia (and likely New Zealand) get any stock (sorry guys!) and that there might actually only be 150 Leica Ms in the wind right now (including demo units) from the first batch. Though we have our doubts on that figure as we got a report from Switzerland that a dealer there got a batch of 15 with more due in 5-6 weeks. Dale Photo here in the USA reportedly has at least one, maybe a couple of units enroute - and will ship tomorrow. The Leica store in Washington D.C. is also delivering at least one tomorrow. The Leica store in Rome has posted pictures of the M to check out...
All further updates will be under Update on M and Accesories