Beautiful Jony Ive-designed Leica M camera revealed ahead of charity auction

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It’s been more than a year since we first received word that Apple’s design wizard Jony Ive was going to be helping Leica design a limited-edition camera. The device, along with many others, was to be auctioned off for charity.

But the radio silence on the project ended today, with the German optics company revealing the ‘The Leica M for (RED).’ It’s a one-of-a-kind camera, designed by Ive, and it’s set to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s late next month…

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Here’s the press release from Leica’s Google+ page:

“Leica Camera is pleased to present The Leica M for (RED), designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson. The camera, based off the Leica M, will be auctioned off at Southeby’s on November 23rd 2013 to raise money for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

From a design standpoint, it features a laser machined aluminum body and an anodized aluminum outer shell. A total of 561 models and nearly 1000 prototype parts were made during the 85 days it took to create of this unique, one of a kind camera.

The camera has s a full-format CMOS sensor, high performance processor and new Leica APO-Summicron –M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens representing the best in photography along with its innovative design.”

Initial feedback of the design seems to be a mixed bag of folks who hate that Jony Ive brought his signature ‘laser machined aluminum’ to the classic camera, trying to make it something it’s not, and those who absolutely love it.

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I’m neither a camera expert, nor a design expert, but I think it looks sharp enough. What matters is that it’s made by Ive, which alone should help it raise a lot of money, And that was the whole point of this entire collaboration project.

As mentioned in the above release, all proceeds from the auction will go to Product (RED), which fights against diseases around the world like AIDS. Apple has long been a partner of the charity and is its largest corporate contributor.

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What do you think of Jony Ive’s camera?