Leica is poised to announce a limited edition ?Safari? version of its M.8.2 digital rangefinder camera, Amateur Photographer (AP) can exclusively reveal.

Though there is not yet any official word from Leica, a well-placed industry source has told AP that internet-based rumours about the camera are true.

Customers will pay a premium for this special edition. A website in the Netherlands has already listed the M8.2 Safari, quoting a price of ?7,500 in a kit with a Summicron 28mm f/2 lens.

The standard M8.2 carries a current UK price of around £3,990, body only.

We understand that the M8.2 Safari will feature a green covering, the same vulcanite finish as the original version, plus silver-coloured dials.

Only 500 of the cameras will be launched worldwide, so it is likely to become a collector?s item.

A Leica spokesperson remained tight-lipped about the upcoming launch.

However, AP understands that official details about the new camera will be released before the end of this month.

Announced last September, the 10.3-million-pixel M8.2 is an updated version of the Leica M8 which is the firm?s first digital rangefinder camera.

Features on the M8.2 include a ?low vibration, extra quiet’ focal plane shutter with the option to suppress the re-cocking of the shutter until a later moment. At the launch of the M8.2, Leica described this feature as a ‘substantial improvement’, in that it enables ‘more discreet’ photography.