The Leica M is an undeniably beautiful camera, and it only became more so with the release of the M Typ 240. The design is largely unchanged since the first M was released in the 50s, and while it's gorgeous and stunning to hold, it would be wrong to say that it's ergonomically perfect.
The signature M shape offers very little to grip onto, which led me to purchase one of Leica's first-party accessories for the M. It's the Leica Camera Protector — a leather half-case that snaps onto the M, adding minimal bulk but protecting the bottom plate, sides, and most importantly, giving me something for my fingers to grip onto.
Upon removing it from the box, I was immediately impressed with the build quality. Not that I expected anything less from a Leica product, but this is very nicely made. The contrast white stitching is perfect, the leather is soft but durable, and the suede-like fabric on the inside is incredibly soft. The case has the Leica logo neatly stamped on the bottom, but that's where the branding stops. This thing is dead simple, and looks exactly as minimalist as a case for an M should.
Attaching it to your M is simple. It slides over the camera like a perfectly fitted glove, and the two flaps on either side snap over the strap lugs. The fit is snug and flawless, and I never felt that there was any play at all between the case and the camera.
It does add bulk to the entire package, but I found that it was minimal enough to make it worth using given the trade-offs. The slightly raised grip on the front may look tiny, but don't be mistaken — it makes a huge difference in the handling. I feel so much more confident holding the camera one-handed. While it's obviously not meant to protect your camera in the event of a drop, I do think that using this case could mean the difference between having a badly damaged bottom plate or just walking away with a rangefinder knocked out of alignment. A small price to pay, if you ask me.
Overall, I'm very happy with the Leica Camera Protector. It feels fantastic, makes holding the camera much more pleasant, and adds a level of protection that puts my mind at ease.. at least a little bit. I've always been a big fan of using first party accessories, because nobody knows the product better than the people that created it. This is clearly made to Leica's standards, and is a winner in my book.