Leica M for (RED)
The world’s most expensive digital camera brings a record hammer price of 1.8 million dollars
This Saturday evening saw photography and auction history in the making at the famed Sotheby’s auction house in New York. The clearly most expensive digital camera the world has ever seen, a Leica M designed exclusively for the charity organisation ‘(RED)’, found a new owner for the record hammer price of 1.8 million US dollars. This unique model was designed by Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson, both already legends in the world of design. The Leica M for (RED) was up for auction together with more than 40 other items that were exclusively designed for the (RED) Auction, the proceeds of which were donated to a charity fund for the battle against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. The hammer finally fell, and the camera went to a bidder who preferred to remain anonymous.
Dr Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG in Solms, could not conceal his enormous pleasure about the auction result: ‘Jony Ive and Marc Newson are two exceptionally talented designers, and we were particularly happy to place the Leica M in their capable hands. Their equally exceptional design and the legend of the Leica brand came together in this unique camera and played a significant role in the achievement of this record sum for the battle against disease in Africa. We are truly proud to have made our contribution to this charity success. We hope that this auction can help to prolong the success of the campaign against AIDS and other diseases in Africa and that the public eye is now more intensely aware of the plight of the people in Africa.’
With the help of this charity auction it is hoped that, for the first time in more than 30 years, a generation will be able to grow up without AIDS. At present, more than 900 children are born with the virus every day. Pregnant women can be treated to prevent mother–child infection for less than 30 cents per day. The number of infections can be reduced to almost zero by 2015.
About the Leica M for (RED):
In collaboration with Leica Camera AG and commissioned by (RED), the designers Jony Ive and Marc Newson designed and constructed 561 models and over 1,000 prototype components for the Leica M for (RED) over a period of 85 working days. The body and lens were finished in a specially formulated alloy. The leather trim typical of Leica cameras was replaced by a laser-finished body in anodised aluminium with a finely textured structure. The more than 21,000 hemispheres of this structure lend the camera entirely new and very unusual aesthetics. The Leica M for (RED) features a full-format CMOS sensor, a high-performance image processor and a Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. lens.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.