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A Collector's Camera @ € 40,000

Two monumentous recent events have served to further reinforce Leica's reputation as an indisputable monarch in the world of high-end photographic equipment: A Leica camera from 1923 sold for a record-breaking price at auction, and the company has released a special limited-edition collector's version of their M9-P model.

The Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès' camera: exquisite Leica design with handworked Hermès leather.

The Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès' follows in the footsteps of previous M-System cameras (the Leica MP and M7) to bear the work of Parisian fashion house Hermès. Both companies have a passion for master hand craftsmanship, and their partnership maximizes on this passion to create a one-of-a-kind masterpieces that are as beautiful as they are functional. Make no mistake, with the price tag these models command, they are aimed at only the most affluent of collectors, but for photography lovers with the necessary finances, they truly are a breath-taking investment. And judging by the 2.16 million euro recently brought at auction by a limited production prototype Leica camera from 1923, it's an investment that seems likely reward the lucky few who manage to snap one of these up handsomely.

Leica M9-P

At its heart, the ‘Edition Hermès' is a modified Leica M9-P – the smallest digital camera on the market to feature a full-format sensor. With a specially designed 18-megapixel sensor and highly refined proprietary processing, the M9-P is widely recognized as one of the great triumphs of digital camera design. As its name implies, all of the hugely powerful M-series lenses can be used, and the camera's digital sensor has been  specifically optimized for these optics. For instant photo reviewing, a tough sapphire-crystal LCD monitor with dual-sided anti-glare protection provides ultra-high resolution image reproduction.

‘Edition Hermès'

The special edition MP-9 ‘Edition Hermès' is set apart by a few small but lush details. The most immediately obvious of these is the luxurious ochre-colored ‘Veau Swift’ calfskin leather finish. Matching leather is also used for the camera’s strap. The camera body itself sports a few minor stylistic refinements: The Leica logo, frame selector, and accessory shoe are conspicuously absent from the camera’s top plate, and the multifunction wheel, shutter speed dial, and shutter release have all received exceptionally sleek re-styling. A silver chrome finish is paired with immaculately matched lenses finished in silver chrome.

Two collector’s sets

Currently, the Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès' is only available in a limited edition set of 300 examples boxed with the Leica Summilux-M 50 mm F/1.4 ASPH lens. The price is 20,000 euro.

As of June 2012, a second set will be made available, the Edition Hermès - Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas featuring three lenses – a Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm ASPH, a Leica Summicron-M 28 mm F/2 ASPH, and a Leica APO Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH. For the serious professional photographer, this is enough glass to capture anything you could possibly dream of. The second set also includes an exquisitely detailed matching Hermès shoulder-bag for carrying the camera and spare lenses, and a two-volume bound collection of black and white work by Jean-Louis Dumas shot on a Leica M camera.

The Edition Hermès - Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas will be limited to 100 pieces worldwide, and will be available at a price of an incredible 40,000 euro.

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