At a recent charity auction conducted by Sotheby’s in New York, the German brand Leica made history once again. This time with its M Typ 240 digital camera, specially designed by Apple’s Sir Jony Ive and the renowned designer Marc Newson. Proceeds from the auction went to benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a dream project of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The exclusive and unique camera was sold for the record price of $1.8 million.
Leica is a German company dedicated to the manufacture of precision optical instruments. It is known worldwide for creating compact products made of high quality materials, especially its cameras, geosurvey equipment and microphones. In fact, the brand’s classical model “M” has become a fetish worshiped by all photography lovers. The brand differentiates itself from the competition by developing digital technologies that fit the historic excellence of its optical lenses, which result in digital cameras with optimal quality, design and operation
The designers behind the Typ M 240 have extensive expertise in the fields of industrial design. The Australian Marc Newson is internationally renowned for avant-garde creations, in particular his flagship Embryo chair for which he has won multiple awards all over the world. Equally recognized is the work of the British designer Sir Jony Ive, vice president of Apple Corp. who was responsible for the iMac G3, iMac G4, MacBook and the PowerBook, as well as the coveted iPod and iPhone, products that have revolutionized the industry of mobile devices.
Marc Newson, Bono, Sir Jonathan Ive.
The generous donor who purchased the camera at auction, not only acquired an excellent digital camera, but also an exclusive piece of art and technology, which combines Ive’s technical expertise and exquisite taste, as well as Newson’s titanic creativity. Jonathan Newson, Jony Ive and the singer Bono were at hand, during the event, to raise funds for the humanitarian cause.
This jewel of photography features the classic look of the “M” line, but has a magnesium structure, and its frame is made entirely of anodized aluminum. It also comes with the enhanced features of the M Typ 240 model: 24MP resolution, latest generation full-frame, CMOS sensor with excellence image processor, 3-inch screen and the ability of high definition filming with almost cinematic quality.
These attributes were sufficient to assign the camera an initial auction value of $500,000, although event organizers estimated that the sale would reach around $750,000. The surprise came when the bidding reached $1.8 million, and the auctioneer´s hammer sealed the transaction that made the Leica M Typ 240 the most expensive digital camera in history. The best news is that the sale benefits an organization, which fights to end communicable diseases in the most neglected areas of the planet.
Interestingly, Leica also holds the record for the most expensive analog camera ever sold: Leica Series 0 from 1923, which was auctioned for $2.77 million. The Leica M Typ 240 designed by Ive and Newson is a highly prized gem among connoisseurs and experts for its quality, design and state-of-the-arts technology. ■