Last Saturday evening photography and auction history was made at the famed Sotheby`s auction house in New York. The most expensive new digital camera the world has ever seen, the Leica M designed exclusively for the charity (RED), was purchased for $1.8 million. The bidder preferred to remain anonymous.
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.
This unique model was designed by Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson, both 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.
Dr Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG in Solms, said: `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.`
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