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Tuesday, 11 June 2013


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No Mike, you didn't miss a thing.

"...judging from the price it must be a pretty significant product." Oh how deceiving such judgements can be!

Move along, there's nothing to see over there.

Thom Hogan thinks it's the Mini-M: http://www.gearophile.com/newsviews/was-this-the-right-leica.html


That's what it is. Another no big deal.

Considering the Fuji X-E1 allready exist, I fail to see the need for this....

"... judging from the price it must be a pretty significant product."

Or a Leica.

Slow, fixed, 2.5x, non-retracting zoom, no IS, all other specs ordinary or below average. Lens and sensor system need to be Serious Magic to justify half that price.

Ah, but wait, it has rounded body ends and the Red Dot.

Then again, my Oly PM-2 only has excellent IQ, IBIS, a smaller, retracting, 3x zoom slightly faster on the long end, the options of my other lenses covering 18-600 mm eq. focal lengths and is smaller and lighter, of value to me in a P&S.

The E-M5 is still much lighter and includes an EVF and really effective 5-way IBIS. I assume similar things are true of other ILCs.

Time will tell, of course. There is a digi Leica that might be worth my money if I shot mostly B&W. The MM's smoothly graduated, delicate, detailed, tones do seem to be unique and special.

If this thing does that for color ... but no, that would be for the flagship cameras.


They are playing, sir. They are, you know... (Sorry, cannot help...After the Lunatic and then this Vario...).

Yes - it is. Mind you they were calling one of the compacts the 'Nano M' in that silly teaser campaign.

Seriously misguided. As is the lens in this thing, even if it's amazing.

It is, indeed, the so-called Mini-M from the Leica teaser. Reality is far less impressive than the marketing collateral in this case.

This is a really expensive poorly thought out camera, with a designer label

If you wanted a mini-M, a Fuji X100S would be a better choice.

Ho-hum. Yawn.

Well...someone will love it, not anyone I know or even know about. But surely, out of 7.6 billion souls on this rock Leica might scratch up a couple of thousand red dot status seekers.

Hey, wait a minute, why not just sell peel and stick RED DOT's for a $100 a pop. You could stick them on anything. I want one for my Vivitar Ultra Slim & Wide.

$140 for a lens hood?

Is that the first time that Leica is 30% cheaper than Sony?

Quoting Leica:

The superior performance of the Leica X Vario is revealed in naturally lit situations, and is enhanced by its lens hood. But the camera also shows its true strengths in difficult lighting situations and failing or low light. Thanks to its large sensor and fast Leica lens, it allows exposures to a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12500 and thus offers even greater scope for creative experimentation.

With a 3.5-6.4 maximum aperture? Clearly, the "X Vario" moniker is a misnomer. The true name must be Leica's Own Lunar.

Or LOL for short.

All this analysis. Is anything to do with Leica rational?

No, no Chris, then they had to attach the handle of a ax (wood) to it, maybe the'll do that in special Ax-men 10 anniversary edition. But at least it's the first Leica that brought tears to Steve Huff's eyes (and not of joy). And for the first time I do not completely agree. It's a great camera to bring to a fashion show if you are called Beckham (the x100 is showing way to much good taste and common sense David :-)). Allthough the combination of a not to stellar sensor, no IBIS or OBIS or any IS what so ever, and a slow zoom, well maybe he can attach it to a Metz 60CT....

Greets, Ed.

P.S. Leica has officially joined the ranks of the luxioury brands like Louis Vutton, Hermes and Moet et Chandon....according to their own website. So lets forget about them as serious camera makers, and concentrate on the real brands.

Even though I think I know why, I still want to ask 'Why?'

What does this bring to the table for the consumer? Obviously Leia is trying to tap a revenue source, and that's good for them, but for the serious photographic community there's not a lot to see here.

One could possibly justify the cost of an M, as it is unique in that it is the only digital rangefinder in the market, is of very high quality and has excellent optics available. But the thing is that it's unique - nobody else makes one. With this new body the only thing that is unique is that it is made by Leica, which is worth something, but not $3k to most photographers who understand their options.

I've been shooting an M6, and part of the magic (and there is magic of some sort) is the experience of the rangefinder. Zone focusing, reading the light, setting your aperture on the lens, everything can be done in advance, etc. It presents a different approach to the way one shoots, which is unique. Also unique is the heft, the feel in your hands, the sounds it makes. Can a camera differentiate itself purely based on these later physical characteristics? Or are they just putting lipstick on a pig?

if they dare to and go where nikon so far dare not to go (nikon fm3d), should release an m with no lcd, hand cranked powered (power not the issue it is film cranker), shutter, iso, +/- and a centre metered optional meter). playing with a manual lens today and so miss a simple camera of 1970s.

(i know it is just epson r2d2 dream again)

ok (just imagine you saw the microsoft guy shouting developer) leica leica leica leica leica leica!

hasselbald no more contax no more rolleiflex no more ... have to cheer for leica.

The problem with the Sony NEX 7 (or 6 or NEX whatever) is that they have overly contrasty EVFs, a poor selection of quality lenses (unless you want to pop for the new Zeiss Touits), and all the character of a washing machine.

Use any of the X-Fujis, on the other hand, and they just make you want pick them up and get out and generate meaningful work.

Gosh, when you posted the article linking to an interview with a Leica executive, I replied that I could respect their honest, competent strategy. They sounded like they know where they stand in the market and who their buyers are. I'd love to hear from that executive again on this camera, because my faith is wavering ! Rangefinders are unique, the S is ... just awesome. The X2 was a nice camera that's just overpriced ... but now we've got overpriced and underspec'd. I'm guessing that it's intended to be a high end toy for the wealthy (because while undoubtedly a very competent photographers tool, you can do better for less). But a respectable toy for the wealthy, unlike the Hassy Loony, which still seems like an April Fools joke that someone forgot to take down.

What a relief! It would have been torturous for me if this new product had a R solution.

Not excited about this overpriced misleading product.

I can buy a Rolls Royce Phantom for £255,000 or a new VW Beetle for £15,500

I don't think Rolls Royce are worried.

It's like 'If you have to ask the price you can't afford it', if you don't understand it it's not for you, so its no good bleating about I can get camera X for 1/6th of the price or whatever. All that talk is irrelevant.

I imagine Leica know their market very well and have no intention of getting down and dirty with the hoi polloi

It appears that Leica has little respect for the intelligence of the nouveaux riches. They seem to think everyone with a wealthy bank account and an incipient awareness of photography will buy this just because it's a Leica. (Alas - they will...)

In a serious vein (or  perhaps vain), I'm a recovering Leicaphile--on step 9 of the 13 step program. I annually mingle (but could never blend in) with the ultra-rich for a few days every year at the August Monterey / Pebble Beach auto events. Leica as neck jewelry is much in vogue here--this being the one week migratory home of the Monty Python-esque "upper class twit", (mostly sans class). I wonder around with two m4:3 cameras (marking me either as an expert or Jeeves the camera carrier) so I've been frequently asked to assist with vexing technical issues. They're on the level of "how do I see the pictures?" and "is this on?" as well as "how do I load this?" (an M9).

A few years ago I came across a chap with an M series film Leica around his voluminous neck, at (ample) belly button level, lugging a perfectly clean, rarely opened Billingham bag that appeared to be bulging. We got to chatting (I assumed he was interested in photography). I love fine (unaffordable) cameras and vintage (omygawdhowmuch?) cars, and I felt he was a kindred spirit. "My wife surprised me with all this stuff for my birthday last Friday" as he opened the bag containing another body and half dozen lenses "and I couldn't leave the hotel without it". "It" was about $ 35,000 in THOSE days. "I shot about THIRTY NINE (??) photos, and can"t figure out how to get it out and reload film". "I had a nice Minolta with a zoom lens and a motor-shot some good pictures with that." No friends, I did not offer to exchange either of my cheap, zoom M4:3 cameras - i'm inherently pretty honest and he was already being punished for no reason. 

Never underestimate the buying power or the "gotta be seen with" attitude of the twit folks  - Leica will sell all they can artisanally handcraft in their olde worlde craftsman factories, and the two hundred dollar lens hoods  and $800 viewfinders will always be in short supply. And Hermes has owned a large chunk of Leica for many, many years.

Well, it is helpful sometimes to compare and see what you get for your money. I made a quick check here in Germany on Amazon.de, here is what you get for € 2,450 ( leica mini price in Germany ):

Fuji Ex1 with kit lens € 1,200:-
fuji X-pro 1 Body € 1,263:-


Olympus OMD with kit Lens € 1,099:-
Olympus E-P5 with kit Lens € 1,099:-


Sony Nex 7 KB with kit Lens € 1,069:-
Sony Nex 6 LB with kit lens € 868:-

I don´t know a lot about cameras but it seems you can get a lot of camera gear for € 2,450

All this hype about a "Mini-M" had me thinking of a modern counterpart to the CL/CLE which I might have bought: an APS-C body selling for less than half of an M that would take M lenses, attracting to Leica/M lenses/rangefinder cameras people who were unable or unwilling to buy an M. People like me. But at least this decision keeps me from temptation.

I donno. Started with the Leica M, way back when, in the 70s. These days? Would not touch the digital versions of it with a ten foot pole. I mean, why bother, when my Nokia 808 PureView sports a decent sized 41MP sensor, ergo its output is stellar. Who needs more, for always with you in the pocket, as a camera should be, or why else own it? Edsel. Kodak. Leica. So it goes...

If you know the history of the Leica CL, you know why Leica is extremely reluctant to produce a digital version. Simply put, they are worried that a smaller, lower cost version of their M-mount cameras--one that accepts the same lenses--will cannibalize sales of their larger, more expensive cameras that have significantly higher profit margins. It also makes it harder for them to justify the cost of the lenses. Instead, they firmly segregate their market between those who can and will pay to own a "real" Leica and those who are mainly paying for the name. I don't mean this as a slam at either market. As long as the owners are happy, who am I to judge?

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