FrontRunners: Leica M9 Titanium
The limited-edition Leica M9 Titanium (www.leica-camera.com) is a metallic marvel created in collaboration with famed Italian automobile designer Walter de’Silva, head of the design team for Volkswagen Group and its Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini brands. De’Silva’s influence is most apparent in the camera’s faceplate, which is covered in the same type of leather used for the interior of Audi’s A8. The leather’s embossed diamond pattern enhances the holder’s grip. For durability, the $26,500 M9 Titanium—limited to just 500 examples and featuring a special Titanium version of the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH lens—has been fitted with an outer casing made from its namesake metal and a scratch-resistant sapphire-crystal image display. Also unique to the M9 Titanium are removable, side-mounted leather finger loops (not pictured) that enable steadier one-handed picture taking. Like the flagship M9, the Titanium version has a full-frame image sensor that is compatible with nearly any M-System Leica lens, including those designed for film cameras, and captures images in as much as 18 megapixels of resolution.