News / Rumor Leica mirrorless camera

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I've used Leica for over 20 years. I have bought in that time over a dozen bodies, LTM, M, R, D-Lux and Digilux, some new, one a la carte. I have bought lenses from 28 to 135mm, again some new. I *was* their primary customer... But they have released nothing since the D-Lux 4 that has floated my boat and the T is not there either. I really want the company to be staggeringly successful - but it is like watching your kids make their way in the world; they can't be told, they have to make - and hopefully learn from - their own mistakes, and if they fall - or fail - it will hurt.

I would like to see the touchscreen from the T in the next M, to lose the pockmarking of buttons. I would like to see that M body the same basic dimensions as my M2; it can be done, by making the lens mount stand proud of the body. I want to see a Leica worthy of the name, not a polisher's product...
 

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
i'dve been happy if they used an updated ccd sensor from the m8. or like you said, a monochrome sensor. my point is 40 minutes polishing a piece of metal is a gimmick, and for years now leica has forfeited leadership for gimmickry; the illusion of 'build quality' vs having 'something of quality' to build. at some point you piss enough of your history away to where youre irrelevant, and imo, theyre well on their way.
The reality is that for all but a precious few people, Leica is already irrelevant. They could compete when cameras were boxes with glass in front of them, but now they are computers with complex imaging sensors, two disciplines that Leica has (comparatively) very little of.

I guess they could try to develop their own sensors, but the cost of design, fabbing, and with their short production runs, their cameras would likely be multiple times more expensive than they are now!
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
out of honest curiosity, whose sensors did they use in the m8 and m9?

you know, my problem is i dont want them to be irrelevant. i just want them to make a better pig vs giving us a 40 minute video of them putting lipstick on an old pig.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
I really want the company to be staggeringly successful - but it is like watching your kids make their way in the world; they can't be told, they have to make - and hopefully learn from - their own mistakes, and if they fall - or fail - it will hurt.
Interesting way of putting it. I feel that way about Subaru. I used to love the Outback back when it was a wagon, not a crossover. With a turbo 4 cylinder. In the redesign before the very latest 2015 redesign they made it bigger and, well, uglier and used a new form of automatic transmission (to increase mileage). I was devastated and skipped that generation and went for a VW GTI instead. That said, they are selling like hotcakes and Subaru has become far more successful. Still, like watching your kids... the days of the more compact, nicer looking 4 cylinder turbo are gone... :frown:
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
really? cool, thanks.

now the nikon df, thats not a sony sensor, right? seems to have a unique rendering. why couldnt they futz around with that sensor. would it be so much more expensive? i know that camera has taken a lot of heat, but in my mind at least nikon tried to do something different. drop down to 12mp, have a unique look and staggeringly good high iso performance.
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
... D-Lux and Digilux, some new, one a la carte.
At the risk of going far off topic, I've been meaning to ask you, Bill, why it is you choose the Leica product for these compacts rather than the Panasonic one. The price difference is so great (here in Oz anyway) that, although I've been tempted, I just cannot bring myself to do it. Is there something that Leica does in terms of the soft/firmware or even the hardware, that makes it a better product? I'd really like to know because I'm awfully tempted by the Leica version of the Panasonic LF1. The Leica in that maroon colour looks too darned sexy to be ignored :)
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
yeah, i think youre right andrew. bottom line, there are options beyond the omnipresent sony sensor if one cares about differentiation. additionally, there are options beyond cosmetics if one cares about being a luxury camera company (vs luxury product company)
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
At the risk of going far off topic, I've been meaning to ask you, Bill, why it is you choose the Leica product for these compacts rather than the Panasonic one. ...
Fair question. The answer is that I chose the camera best suited to my needs at the time. I had a couple of Panasonic LXes before the D-Lux 4. Up to that point there was no functional difference between Panasonic and Leica variants. The D-Lux 4, however, came in with a revised body shell which in and of itself was as comfortable to hold as a bar of soap, but which took a reasonably substantial accessory grip. I have large hands, with reasonably slender fingers and that made a real difference for me. Likewise, I had a Panasonic LC-1 from new, because the Digilux 2 had no built in grip and was only available with a shiny silver top-plate. It is only recently that I acquired a Digilux 2 - had it been an LC-1 in the window, I would have been happier, but in the secondhand market, you get what you can, and that lens and sensor combo is to die for.

In general, however, there are only a limited set of proven, tangible differences between Panasonic and Leica variants; you pay more for the Leica and for that you get a longer warranty and better bundled software. There are minor bodyshell differences, that sometimes result in non-interchangeable accessories being available - c.f. the D-Lux 4 grip referred to above, the Leica variants hold their value better in the long term on the secondhand market... and that's it. Having had examples of both, I can tell you that there are no "firmware tweaks", "better lenses" or "special coatings" - the image chain - the bit that really matters - is the same from front element to SD card slot and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sent from another Galaxy
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
...Having had examples of both, I can tell you that there are no "firmware tweaks", "better lenses" or "special coatings" - the image chain - the bit that really matters - is the same from front element to SD card slot and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sent from another Galaxy
Thanks for that, Bill. I was thinking that there must be some difference. I was tempted by the look of the Leica, but the inclusion of Lightroom no longer appeals as I have switched to Aperture which is now faster on my mac mini, than LR. So, there is no real reason to choose one over the other, for me. :)
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
I was having a hard time justifying $2000 for a slow zoom, even if it's optically perfect. Looks like it isn't optically perfect after all. Leica has some explaining to do for representing that the zoom lens is optically corrected, as opposed to in camera digital correction.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/leica-t-typ701/6
Wow, quite some "cooking" ongoing there. But Leicaholics will still find reasons to explain why USD2k is even inexpensive for a Leica lens and only possible because it`s not made in Germany (or else it would be priced at 3k):eek:
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
... Leica has some explaining to do for representing that the zoom lens is optically corrected, as opposed to in camera digital correction.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/leica-t-typ701/6
Thing is, they don't, in any of their publicity material. What the DPR report actually says is "... we heard that they relied on optical corrections..." I cannot help but feel that this is a bit of a (manufactured) storm in a teacup. I am surprised at DPR - this feels like sloppy journalism.



Sent from another Galaxy
 
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rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
i read similar in several sites at time of launch, and my clear recollection was they 'heard' directly from leica reps during an intensive pre release briefing, and moreover that this was a point of particular emphasis. as ive read on other forum sites, for many there is simply nothing leica can do--including putting out a $4000 camera that they intentionally didnt tell anyone couldnt render black (m8)--for which leica deserves a properly-rendered-black eye. 'seemingly' awful behavior is either a result of a grand anti leica conspiracy or the stupidity of the general public. its not like their entire strategy is based on (illusory?) superior build quality, right? just superior packaging and pricing. shiney, wow, me likey! ):
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2014/05/02/the-leica-t-software-correction-conspiracy/

Here's Steve Huff's take on this. I think he's basically right. Nevertheless, even though my tiny Panasonic 12-32mm might not be perfect and certainly is no Leica lens nor is it comparable - but it renders pretty nicely without a lot of auto-correction (I know that because the PM1 isn't exactly good at this when using Panasonic lenses) ...

Generally, I'd say that people who are into premium products have no business complaining about premium prices - those are part of the deal. Even so, in the case at hand and for the price asked, the Leica T had better beat the RX1(R) and the X100(s), at least while using the 23mm - because if a camera of this calibre doesn't compel at $4000, I guess that hardly anyone will shell out $6000 either way (give or take a couple of hundred quid).

Leica buffs, however, *will* buy this very handsome camera with its premium appearance, feel and price and admittedly high-class performance. If anyone else will do this remains to be seen - especially since that kind of money ($6000!) will get you a X-T1 with three high-end Fuji primes or at least two if you include a Touit - or a RX1R *and* a X100s *and* a GR or Coolpix A with accessories - or a whole stable of Sigmas - or even a X Vario *and* a X2, including even the original EVF and grips --- or a E-M1 and *all five* high-class Olympus primes (12mm, 17mm, 25mm, 45mm, 75mm), including top-of-the-game image processing ... :p

I think you can see where this is going - even if the T is an impressive camera, it'd take a lot(!) more in terms of performance at that price to convince me.

M.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
the point it seems to me is leica is no longer putting out premium products--theyre instead misleading or outright lying about their products premium-ness, like with the m8 and with this zoom. turns out, countra to the intentional emphasis by leica on optical correction justifying its 'premium-osity', it is in fact a rather middling lens compared to existing apsc, and id bet m4/3, zooms. the only thing any longer premium about leica is their pricing. next we'll find out the only slab of metal polished for an hour to be used as a camera body (you know, the shiney wow body containing everybody elses sony sensot) is the one in that godforesaken video!
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Ah, okay, now I see your point more clearly ... It's a bit of a conundrum for me personally, though. Unless I have handled the T, shot with it and examined the pictures I got, I simply can't be sure that this camera is indeed as overpriced or even underwhelming as it appears *to me*. I must say that I have seen pictures taken with it that were downright beautiful and very high quality. But as always, there's no way of telling if those were representing the average or the very best (I bet it was the latter, though). Are *they* worth the price tag? In my opinion, no, most definitely not. But I can't be sure - and probably never will because of the prohibitive pricing.

I don't care for a zoom at that price with that kind of aperture and no image stabilisation, period. *If* I was ever going for an APS-C zoom without stabilisation, I'd go for the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 on a Nikon D7100 (I could get *two* of those for $4000, in fact a lot less - but wait, they'd not count as "compact" :p).

As for where the effort (and thus, budget) goes, I'd actually rather do without the hour of hand-polishing - if they put every penny saved this way into development, we'd all be happier with the outcome ... And judging from the M, they do have the brains and capabilities to produce fantastic cameras. I can't blame them for putting out another hip product, but if they had aimed at me as an enthusiast, they missed by a considerable margin. Interestingly, while it may not *look* that way, I think the X Vario was already pretty much laid out like that, albeit for the a bit more traditionally oriented hipster (the San Tropez crowd ...). I find this quite a bit off-putting, really. And that's why I'll probably stop looking into the direction of Leica altogether. The alternatives are more appealing *and* way more interesting, especially if I want something Leica used to stand for ... (I explicitly exclude the M from this line of thought, though).

M.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
amen matt, well said. i couldnt agree more. personally, i want leica to succeed, but because they actually return to not only 'quality build' but 'quality rendeting and user experience'. imo, theyre now only succeeding at quality marketing and pricing.
 

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