Leica Digital M in the works

Leica's forays into the digital world have been something of a mixed bag, with some of the more prominent Leica-branded or Leica-compatible cameras — including Epson's R-D1 rangefinder and the Panasonic-built Digilux line — being made by other companies. Now, however, word is trickling out that Leica is planning a product the company had previously said would never see the light of day: a digital version of the Leica M rangefinder. According to reports, the Digital M will be powered by a 10 megapixel Kodak imager, will come equipped with a full range of new lenses, will have a 1.3x focal-length conversion ratio, and will debut at Photokina 2006, with a full rollout sometime in 2007. If you've got a pile of Leica lenses and can't bear to wait, you can always pick up an R-D1 to tide you over; it'll handle your glass, and sells for a mere $3,000.