Leica's known for putting out limited editions of its cameras drafted by high-profile designers or for luxury retailers -- Hermes, Audi, and Neiman Marcus versions come to mind -- but the company's entering new fanboy territory by enlisting the creator of Apple's current signature looks, Sir Jony Ive, to create a single limited edition of the new Leica M.
The camera will go up for charity auction in collaboration with U2's Bono.
The Leica M is the company's just-announced 24-megapixel CMOS-based rangefinder, its first to incorporate Live View and video; some might say it's the most digital of Leica's homegrown digital cameras (not counting the ones joint-developed with Panasonic), making it an appropriate choice for what I believe is Leica's first consumer-electronics-designer collaboration. It seems like a good match: for photography, Leica fans rival Apple's in their enthusiasm for shiny devices, and have long shown a distinct willingness to part with large sums of money as individuals, as opposed to en masse, and the choice will engender a huge amount of buzz on the CE blogs, expanding Leica's audience. Design work hasn't begun, but I'm sure there'll be a lot of concept art to keep you entertained while we breathlessly await the official unveiling.