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  • The Leica M (Red) Camera: Interesting and Charitable
Technology Articles > Photo, Video & Audio > Digital Cameras > The Leica M (Red) Camera: Interesting and Charitable

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A special project from Apple designers Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson: the Leica M (RED) Camera. This Leica camera will be offered at a Sotheby's auction in November, and the camera will be auctioned off for charity. Pictures of the new camera were just released on Tuesday, and they show us a bit of what the camera has to offer.

The camera, along with 40 other items chosen by Newson and Ive, will raise money for the 'Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis' as part of the 'Product Red' initiative started by U2's 'Bono'.


This Leica camera is based on of the design of the Leica M camera, and careful thought went into the shape and size of this unique camera: it took them many tries to get it just right (561 different versions were created, with just about 1,000 prototype parts, before the model up for auction was finalized.)

Both the body and the lens were fashioned out of a custom, laser engineered alloy, and it's all housed in a textured anodized aluminum outer shell. In all, it took 85 days to perfect this model.

All buttons and dials included on the top and back are common to most digital cameras. The dials at the top are texturized, while the buttons on the back are simple and small.


The camera designers wanted to bring photographers what they call "an uncompromised photography experience," and included a high performance processor, full-format CMOS sensor, and Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens.

Not much information is available about the camera, but if it is based off of the M (Typ 240) camera by Leica, it's going to feature many great selling points like dust and splash resistance, clear and crisp images no matter what the ISO, a compact size, and adapters to make it compatible with just about all add-on lenses.

It also features a quiet shutter, and the buttons on the back are the same as on the original model. It's a rangefinder camera, so you'll find that macro and telephoto shots aren't as great as you'd like them to be.

Additional Information

As previously stated, this item is being offered to raise money for a charity, so it's not something you're going to find for sale at this time. Apple is actually donating many items to charity. Some other items they've offered for auction: one-of-a-kind 18ct rose gold Apple EarPods, a 2012 Range Rover, and a Steinway & Sons piano. All are unique to this auction, designed by Ive and Newson themselves.

They've raised a total of $65 million in contributions according to the (PRODUCT) RED Twitter account. How did they do it? They offered customers models of their iPod shuffle, nano, touch, iPad Smart Cover, and iPhone 4S bumper in a special red-colored, all bearing the (PRODUCT) RED brand. A portion of the sales of these items went straight to the charity.

Seeing as the Leica M (Typ 240) that the camera is based off of sells for about $6,950.00, you can bet that even if this camera were to be offered for sale in the future, it wouldn't be the first choice for amateur photographers!