What is to come on May 10th from Leica? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you…

What is to come on May 10th from Leica? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you…

So speculation is running wild about the May 10th announcement coming from Leica. I was invited to the event in Berlin and really hope I can make it (depends on flight and travel costs) and plan on going but so far if you search the internet you will see many rumors of what is to come. I have been keeping quiet because, well, I already have all of the new Leica products and am under a strict order NOT to talk about them.

Yep, I already have in my possession the new and much talked about M Monochrome, the new X2, the new S3 and an unfinished M10 and I am like a kid at christmas!

Well….no, that’s not true. I just told a big fat lie. 🙂 I figured that by naming this post the way I did would bring in hits from the search engines 🙂

In reality I have nothing and really can’t say what is to come. Who knows? Instead I will talk about what the internet rumors are saying and then give my thoughts and guesses. But damn, I couldn’t find my crystal ball so this is all blind…

Rumor #1 – A Black and White Monochrome M is the big announcement. Hmmm.

Well someone obviously leaked this out and now it has taken over like wildfire on the internet, unless it was a big made up rumor but I doubt it. The invite Leica sent out sort of had B&W hints all over it. Some are saying THIS is the big announcement. If so, then I think it is pretty damn cool because if Leica went with a B&W sensor then they could also have it perform amazingly well at high ISO. It would be like a classic M loaded with ALL kinds of B&W film. The DR would be better, noise would be better, high ISO could go higher and damn, I am sure it would look sexy as sexy can look. I can just imagine those crazy good B&W RAW files. My concern that is if this is what is coming…how much will Leica charge? It seems like it would cost less for them to produce but at the same tie they could charge MORE due to them being Leica and the fact that there is NOTHING like this out there, at all. I would love to have an M body dedicated to amazing quality B&W with rich output and without having to worry about noise or dynamic range. Want grain? Dial it in with ISO. Rumors are saying it will not have a back LCD but I feel that it would because you would still need to set up the camera as it is indeed digital. Guess we will see if this is even a reality on May 10th. My guess? $7500. Hope it is less though so us mere mortals can afford one. If indeed this is real.

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Rumor #2 – The M10 will be announced

I originally thought that May 10th meant M10. 🙂 But now I am not so sure. I think Leica is still working on the “10” and will announce this one at Photokina later on. They still have some special edition M9P’s to sell. I do feel that when the M10 is announced that it will have many changes from the M9. But I really do not know, these are just my opinions. May 10th though WOULD be a perfect day to announce an M10. Maybe they will mention it, maybe they will show one. I really do not know. My guess though is that the M10 will be later.

 

Rumor #3 – The X2/Mirrorless IC camera

This is a big one. Some are saying the X2 will have interchangeable  lenses. Some are even saying it will be full frame! Me? I don’t think it will have either but then again, MAYBE Leica is feeling the heat from Sony, Olympus, Fuji…wait..NO, they can’t be..they are Leica! So with that said, I think the X2 will be announced but not sure I expect an IC camera out of it though that would have been a killer move. That would have meant a new line of lenses though and with Leica having such a hard time as it is with delivering their glass, not sos use they would take on an all new mount.

The X1 has supposedly been discontinued so the facts are there… it simply is time for an X2 because like I said, Fuji, Sony, Olympus…they have all made sales of the X1 slow down to a halt. Leica needs an X2 update, just hope it is a good one!

 

Rumor #4 – Again, a mirrorless solution and R solution

Many seem to think that Leica will be releasing some sort of mirrorless camera. I have no clue if this is the case but if they do, will it be a German-made masterpiece with all new lenses or will it be a Olympus OM-D in disguise that takes Micro 4/3 lenses? Knowing Leica…they wouldn’t want to make a 3rd premium German built camera system with all new lenses, as this would hurt it’s M sales and if the X2 is NOT an IC camera, then it would hurt its X2 sales. So where does that leave a mirrorless solution? I wouldn’t put it past them to redesign a Olympus or Panasonic body and go Micro 4/3. But maybe I am just crazy. This is why May 10th will be so exciting, because I love surprises!

But me? I feel that there is something to the B&W rumors, don’t feel an M10 is coming on May 10th and I also feel they NEED an X1 update, in an X2. Just my guesses! We shall see in May! BTW, if Leica is reading this then SEND ME whatever is new and I will review it THOROUGHLY and have it posted AFTER the announcement! Good plan huh? 🙂

Using the comments below, tell me what YOU hope to see on May 10th from Leica!

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109 thoughts on “What is to come on May 10th from Leica? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you…

  1. Hi everybody!
    they just told me from a very very very trusedt source that the announcement of the 10th of May will not affect at all theM9 owners. That means no M10 for the time being and most probably an X2 announcement.

  2. I do not follow Leica news all that much, so I can not even guess what is coming. However, I do love the Leica brand and wish they would come out with a Micro 4/3 camera and not for the camera per se, as I wouldn’t be able to afford it, but for the lens system that could be used on Panasonic/Olympus. I own the Olympus PEN P-3 like many others (who own a Micro 4/3). I would be tempted to buy a high-end Leica lens for it. What a gateway to get people into the Leica brand.

  3. There are Leica’s capabilities, in terms of technical competence and quantitative production capacity, and the gear heads’ wish lists. At the moment, only the M9 and the basic Summicrons are available new, everything else is on backorder, nothing M is on sale. So I wonder which direction Leica wants to go. Sony and Fuji made me sick, with early announcement of gear that remained unavailable since months.

    Leica could find an OEM to make a mirrorless M-mount body with electronic viewfinder that is cheaper to make than an M9 or even a used M8. Manual focus only, AF in lens (and new lenses) or AF in body (moving sensor). 24x36mm or APS-C sensor or in between. Lower cost standard and wideangle lenses for APS-C. All is possible and a matter of how much Leica (and the new shareholder) is willing to invest and to risk. In fact with the patent for the M mount expired the OEM would not need Leica’s permission.

    Compared to pricing for conventional SLRs, Leica users in the recent past were willing to invest insane amounts of money into the Leica M, knowing it is a unique system and an investment for life and beyond. M lenses and classic M bodies (M1/2/3/4) still hold their value. Customers today would be more willing to invest in a digital Leica M rangefinder body, if the digital innards were upgradable or even replaceable by the user. The latter requires more compact innards, an exact re-adjustment of the sensor in relation to the lens mount and a flexible user interface.

    For me proportions and controls of the classic Leica M M2/3/4/6 (not the taller M6TTL, not the thicker M8/9) are the holy grail. At times I find the practice of reviewing images on the LCD screen and the multiple buttons next to it distracting. I wonder whether these functions could be farmed out to an external iPhone, iPad or similar device, keeping the M body simple, clean and compact.

  4. Sounds like people started out making predictions, and then changed to posting their wish lists.

    OK; on the M10, I’d like to see something to take the place of the wind lever from the film Leicas. The basic Leica M body is roughly the shape of a bar of soap, and has nothing to hook your thumb on to stabilize your grip; the “Thumbs-Up” has demonstrated that there’s a market for an add-on to provide this. Why not build it in?

  5. A Leica representative told me on saturday:
    M10 and EVF in September on Photokina
    X2, M9 black and white and a new “small” camera presented in May

  6. Wishes for the M10:
    -Better watterproofing (like liquipel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=AsXWBHj2vCY
    – better Iso performance and overall image quality
    – no AA filter (but still no problem with moire. Fujii can do it so should leica)
    -better battery performance
    – don’t lose the bottom plate. I like it.
    -better lcd screen.

    I don’t know if I would even use any live view or viedocapture, but who knows.

    Manual winding (like all the film leicas) was mentioned on leicarumors wish list , and I actually really like the idea.

  7. My M10 recipe:

    – Color CMOS ~20 MP
    – Live View down to 1:1 zoom ratio (but keep the RF)
    – LCD 800×480
    – Magnesium body (sturdy but lighter), with proper grips.
    – New firmware (with lots of improvements, e.g. RAW lossless compression)

    Finally add a new “kit” lens: 28 Summilux, and a new uber lens: 35 Noctilux.
    Finish with a Leica-R adaptor

  8. I just hope they will not come out with anything that use R lenses…that would make the price of the used R go back to impossible (for common mortals) leica standards…and so destry the wonderfull plan to get a leica set to use with a nex or similar…what you guys think???

  9. Hey Ed, you have a connection where you get 60% off the price of a new Leica.
    That “connection” has a name. Either your wife’s or your mother’s!

  10. Interesting comment regarding no back LCD and I hope this is a reality. Having a custom menu being created through an application and writing this to chip (similar to flash BIOS) would be magnificent as 95% of menu items are never needed, it only gets in the way. I’d also would love to see Leica scrap the OVF completely and match if not surpass the EVF of the Nex7. If they did this, my Hasselblad system would be for sale ASAP to extend my small but beautiful collection of Leica glass. Can’t shoot studio with Leica with OVF, make it happen and 80% of the photographers here in NY that I know will make the change.

  11. They are not announcing the M10 on 10th May. In fact there will be no M10 at all. They are going to skip the 10 altogether, and announce the M11P on November 16th.

  12. My prediction:

    M10
    Color sensor with 50Mpx FF
    Viewfinder with automagnifier
    Auxiliar LCD like m8 with iso
    Big touch LCD
    Video capable
    Assisted manual focus
    Digital shutter

  13. A Leica B&W M-camera would be a strike of genius!
    It could be built with many parts from the MP film camera, no LCD, manual shutter advance, thinner body, analog ISO wheel and stunning good looks!
    This is not targeted to people to be the one and only camera, but to compliment the M9 they already have!
    This is how I see it, most M9 owners can afford a second body and makes more sense then another M9!
    My guess is that it will be priced in-between the MP and the M9p

    I really hope the roomers are true, no LCD, B&W .dng only, manual shutter advance, no Aperture priority! Time to start to think BEFORE you take the picture! what color filter should I use… etc… a revolution in the art of photography, not a ISO or gadget arms race!

    I already have my digital M Kodachrome camera, I will order the new Monocrome M on the spot! If its true that is…

    Happy shooting
    /Gustav

  14. Well I am still using my trusty M8 after 80,000 exposures and I did not get the M9 because I felt it is not a big improvement. I suspect the M10 will have much better high ISO. I also have a connection where I can get 60% off so with this I am excited about the M10!

  15. I would be very interested in a b/w only no LCD M body. It would be like the revival of the MD-2 for digital. How awesome is that? Full frame and affordable? I’d pay $2500 for one, but nothing more. I’d be going on the ramen noodle diet spending $2500… Keep my nutrition in mind, please Leica?

  16. Hello,
    Before I try the digital photo, I expected a BW sensor. But now with the M9 it is so easy with LR3 (or other software) to filter the color and have so beautiful BW that I don’t want a BW sensor any more.
    DS

  17. I sure hope that Leica doesn’t announce the M10 any time soon because the M9 sent me so deep below the poverty line, that the thought of this new camera waiting for me at a store somewhere may lead to a serious case of incurable photo-anxiety.

  18. If Leica produce a black and white sensor M then I am sure that fine art photographers will be ordering like there is no tomorrow. I hope they make this camera, I am sure there is a niche for it. If not I will stick with the Fuji x100 which is a superb camera for black and white.

  19. Steve, Leica already have a black and white “M”. And, they’ve had it for decades!! Sorry, I just don’t see the need….get out your M3, put in some quality B&W film and go for it!!

    Have a great day!

  20. Leica is a small specialty company. They have a product which cost them a fortune to develop, which they sell at a premium, and have a backlog of customers.

    The sensor development was one of the biggest technological challenges for them and their partner (the offset micro lenses) The customers are mostly happy with this technology, maybe with the exception of high ISO performance. Im not seeing many calls for more megapixels, better IQ, better color etc

    I would pick them doing an M10 which is incremental, and is largely aimed at increasing profit. An M9ng if you like, with a more powerfull CPU to address the M8/M9 user critism of sluggish, somewhat flaky user interface (my M8 does some weird flaky things if you ask it too do many things straight after it wakes up), maybe an optimisation of the existing sensor to pick up another stop of high ISO performance.

    I expect them to drop the optical frame lines and replace them with the M9 Titanium’s projected frame lines. This would probably lower the manufacturing costs, increase reliablity, and can be sold a a customer wish, as you then don’t need two sets of frame lines at a time.

    I heard a rumour that the 2.5″ display vender went bankrupt, putting the breaks on M9 production. Probably just a rumour, but adding a better display is a no brainer for the M10.

    A B&W sensor seems to me to be too specialised. It drives the user back to colored filters to control image relative contrast, which is much more convenient in software. Given the huge costs involved in sensor development, I would expect the least adventurous decisions here.

    Laater I would expect a switch to CMOS sensor with live view, at which time they will add some form of hybrid EVF,

    M43, X2 etc don’t really interest me, but doesn’t Leica normally follow up a fixed lens compact with a zoom compact?

    I think there will be a 50 summicron ASPH mounted on the M10 for the press release. A 28 Summilux, maybe also.

  21. Dear Steve,
    here in Germany, there is a very strong rumor, that LEICA is going to present something, which will support Leica-R-Lenses.
    Actually, I have a “heavy” investmet in Leica-R (6 Bodies, 17 lenses) and after picking some of them from my service-dealer (a very reputable one from Hamburg) at the end of february, he told me to sell the bodies but keep the lenses, ’cause LEICA is going to do something, “….which will support Leica-R-lenses….”
    No further info, just a hint, that there is something with Leica-R-support out there.

    And….
    Mai 10th (M10) is a hint for “Modell 10” (model #10), not really M10.

    Just a rumor, but a strong one…..

    1. If it uses R lenses, then it will have to be a reflex. The last film reflex was the R9. Very interesting. But Leitz film reflex cameras couldn’t compete in the professional market with the likes of the system cameras from Canon and Nikon. Hence Leitz called it a day and discontinued with film slr’s. Can’t see why they’d risk coming back into the slr market with a digital version. If they did, it would again be another expensive niche market product for sure.

    2. I so hope you are right that there will be a decent R-solution at last. Full frame and able to use my 19mm would be wonderful. Actually anything with more than stop-down metering would be great, fingers crossed!

  22. Again I would like them to announce you can actually buy a lens within 3 months of ordering one not 2 years I love my M9 I do not need an m10 some re releases of old classic lenses would be fun at cheaper prices than asph lenses other than that I’m really getting sick of this tech product cycle thing cause it’s unsustainable in the long run just make it good the first time make it last

  23. Since everybody’s going for their own comment, and as it’s great fun, here is mine about what I’d like Leica to do.

    Obviously, there’s going to be a M10. Leica isn’t daft and they know very well what a “May 10th” date means to most of us. For that reason alone if they didn’t want to announce a new M, they would have picked another date.
    What I’d like with the M10 (whether it’s realistic or not) :
    – CMOS liveview sensor. Why liveview ? Not for the live view function, but because it would allow metering right from the sensor, which simply is the most accurate way to meter. It would also have better high ISO noise, which would allow me to continue zone focusing late into the evening.
    – electronic shutter (so no noise at all, no need for a mechanical shutter) – although that’s very unrealistic right now for large sensors.
    – a better viewfinder. It should have multiple magnifications built in (à la Fuji X pro 1), LED display (no more frame line window, like the M9 titanium). Although it might be a little harder to do than what people think it is, as the parallax correction is mechanically linked to the lenses on the M while it’s digitally linked on the Fuji. So I’m pretty sure the M will never have the exact same viewfinder capabilities as the Fuji, unless Leica puts a sensor on the focusing cam that electronically sends the information to the viewfinder LCD. Since the viewfinder would use a LED screen to display frame lines, this would allow for many other focal lengths (40mm for example), focus distance zooming or at least custom focus distance matching (one could set them to three meters, or two, or one, at will).
    – better back screen. It costs 6000 euros, that’s the least leica can do. And with sapphire glass right from the start.
    – exposure dial (this has the advantage of being able to set exposure compensation even when the camera is off, or while it’s powering on, so that one looses less time).
    – built in thumb rest, or at least something that’s a little more ergonomical than the current body.
    – a vulcanite / leatherette cover that’s properly glued from the start (my M8.2 is the only camera I’ve used which grip started to get loose, something not even my cheaper DSLRs did). Or ditch the round the camera cover (who needs leatherette on the left side ?), it’s a potential point of aesthetic failure for no good ergonomical reason. Just use it on the right side.
    – the possibility to turn the shutter dial into a “minimum shutter speed in auto ISO” dial. Reason ? ISO isn’t an artistic choice (if you want grain, do it in post, it’s always going to look better). So it makes sense to always use ISO in auto mode. On the other hand the real artistic choice is how low one is ready to go for one specific shot in terms of shutter speed. For street, i’d prefer something rather high, but if I’m doing a single portrait shot before going back to “street settings”, i’d like to be able to very quickly change the minimum shutter speed. This “minimum shutter speed” dial also has the advantage of not locking the user on a specific, fixed, shutter speed, which requires constant retuning when light conditions change. When set to “A”, it would use the 1/fl rule. When set to “B”, it would use a bias setting in stops or fraction, set by, for example, the back wheel. When set to numerical settings, it would turn into a custom minimum shutter speed, fixed regardless of the lens being used. Even better : Leica could surround the “A” setting by + and – EV settings, which wouldn’t be used for exposure compensation (that would be the job of the exposure dial), but replace the “B” as a more direct bias “A” mode. In “strict shutter speed” mode, these would simply bias the automatic shutter speed, and in “minimum shutter speed in auto ISO” mode, these would bias the minimum shutter speed around the 1/fl rule.
    – ditch the brass (only on the body though), it’s heavy and transmits temperature too easily. Magnesium alloy has been used for a long time with professional cameras without any issue. It might feel a bit cheap though, so maybe there’s another material somewhere that combines the advantage of lighter materials with better feeling ones. On the other hand one could argue that it would make the camera unbalanced with heavier lenses, but it’s my opinion that in the digital age lenses like the noctilux or the 21 and 24 summiluxes have very little relevance anyway (for film, that’s different).
    – better, larger buttons on the back, slightly stiffer back wheel (or with the option of a semi-lockable wheel : when in the menus, it’s automatically unlocked, when quitting the menus, it’s locked unless one presses on some button).
    – at least some embryo of weather sealing.
    – much better battery life (1000 shots).
    – faster processing throughout the camera
    – ditch the red dot right from the start. The fact that the M9-P sells more than the M9 should be a strong indication.
    – stop doing limited editions, and all the luxury / exclusive BS. I want the M to be a (bloody good) photographic tool, not a bling bling statement. Right now Leica is the ridicule of some pros for that, and IMHO for good reasons. Just an example : all the BS about the “beautiful patine” of used Leica cameras. Well, I just call it “paint going away”. I’m fine with that BTW, but a little more resistant paint wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    Now for the lenses :
    – why are there so many focal lengths between 18 and 28 (4 over a 10mm difference), but a gigantic hole of 15mm between 35 and 50 ? I know that originated a long time ago for technical reasons, but I’m pretty sure in 2012 optical design has sufficiently evolved. Please Leica, give me a 42mm f2 ASPH (which would be no problem on a LED frame lines M10).
    – stop focusing on big, heavy “I’ve got the biggest b…” lenses, which might be very useful to a small core of Leica owners, but which mostly contradict the spirit of the M in the digital age. They might have been relevant in the film age, when only rangefinder wide angle lenses could be that fast, but now, fast wide angle lenses are of very little relevance. The 21 and 24 lux where IMHO a waste of R&D. There are many many more lenses to either slightly revisit (the 35 cron, which is under strong competition from the summarit), others to make smaller and with better ergonomics (50cron), or maybe with a better bokeh (50 cron again) etc. These, like the new range of superb slower elmars (which are better than their brighter counterparts), are the real deal.

    If there is a new mirror less AF Leica to come :
    – I doubt it will have a FF sensor, as this would require bigger lenses with large glass elements, something that contradicts the need of CDAF camera to have small focusing elements to make back and forth focusing movements faster.
    – I doubt it will have a Fuji like viewfinder, as Leica may not have the technical or financial abilities to do so to the extent Fuji did. But they could simply licence the technology.

  24. What’s safe to say is:

    It will be a new product line that will be announced – and appear/become available at a much later date.

    So hold your breath.

    In the best case you gonna see a concept and early prototype.

    Very early prototype.

  25. Commenting on a mirrorless system and potential conflict with the Leica M line: First of all, based on the experience with the M9 Leica may currently be the only company with the technology to bring up a compact full-frame mirrorless camera. Ok, the M9 is already a full frame mirrorless, but I mean a camera with OVF.

    The potential conflict between the M line and the OVF line is not really as severe as it may look. There are a lot of traditionalists in the Leica community who hate OVFs and “technical gimmicks”. On the other hand plenty of people are simply put off by the idea of manual focusing via a range finder and the minimalistic “reduced to the max” approach of the M line.

    So these two type of cameras – manual, traditional M and a more modern style “O” – could very well coexist, targeting at different marketing segments. Production capacity of Leica to support a further body and probably AF-lens line is another topic of course.

  26. So this is a post suggesting big news will be brought to us, but in reality just stating “I know nothing”.

    It generates traffic, that’s for sure, so it served a purpose I guess.

  27. Oh, and for the theorists who think that May 10 is too good to miss for an M10 announcement: by all means you may be right, but in German calendar notation, the date comes before the month; we think of “Der 10. Mai” and not “Mai der 10.”
    Which is not to say it won’t happen, but it’s not as “too good to miss” as an American might think.

  28. With the excellent electronic OVFs coming up a rear LCD is no longer needed. So, yes an “M-type” B&W only camera with hybrid finder without rear LCD. They then even could place the ISO dial where it was on the old film Leicas.

  29. A B&W sensor M sounds interesting but would it really be worth Leica’s investment in developing such a thing and what would really be the point, even an film M can take both B&W & Colour photos.

    a B&W sensor M might produce better looking B&W images than say the M9 and converting it to B&W but it still won’t have the same look and feel of B&W film which I guess would be the users end goal.

    if there were to be a B&W only sensor camera from Leica I would see it being developed in the X range rather than the M

  30. My guess is a Leica-branded, restyled Lumix GX-1 with a few fast primes, the latter maybe made in Germany in a new, expanded plant (remember that Leica is moving into a new plant in Wetzlar soon, in part to enlarge production capacity). It would be a cost-effective way for Leica to get into the µ4/3 system, as well as having a ready-made pool of customers wanting to buy lenses for their existing µ4/3 bodies.

    It seems to make little sense to try to sell yet another proprietary APS-C mirrorless system in the face of the µ4.3 steamroller, despite the somewhat larger sensor’s technical advantages. Remember that most consumers don’t even know how big the sensor of their camera is, let alone how the correlation between sensor size and image quality works. A Leica-branded GX-1 (Leica G-Lux 1?) makes sense right now, given the nature of Leica and Panasonic’s co-operation and model-parity to date.

    In the near to medium term (i.e., Fotokina ’12) I think an X2 with an M bayonet and an APS-C sensor with 25mp from Sony would be pretty nifty and perfectly do-able, and it would allow for a Leica-branded R-adapter too, to finally lay the “adequate solution” to rest. But I also think that it would cannibalise their M sales too much, unless Leica have something truly outstanding up their sleeve for the M10.

  31. Hey Steve
    When i bought the M9 i thought i’d finally rest. Beautifully designed camera , with great sex appeal.
    I thought ” full frame” in such a lovely camera, what else could i want?
    What can i say , I keep reading your articles and my curiosity just rises high sky
    I wish i could have some more concrete details but i guess you do everything you can to find out what really will be announced.
    I know lenses are main issue , but i also think cameras play a most important role in photograpy
    especially the way i shoot. I only use the Leica 35 LUX and have given up all other Leica lenses
    So i also believe , as does Nelson, investing in glass, but i’d rather invest in camera glass rather than lenses glass :), but thats me ,and i know many will disagree with me 🙂
    Keep up the good job, LOVE !! your site
    Danny

    1. Try the 75 lux and tell me you don’t like it or the noct 35 Is the classic but don’t limit yourself you can always sell em

  32. When a new camera comes out, we always look for changes with the mega pixels. i think it is safer to invest more on the glass rather than keep buying camera bodies. If the new M10 will dramatically improve high iso, it is good, I would not mind getting one and it will some time for me to buy another camera body in the future. I always believe investing on glass rather than keep buying camera body. Ill just buy a new camera body if it is beyond repair and parts are obsolete.

  33. Hi guys,

    I am a big fan of “superzoom” cameras, with Leica there are V Lux 2 and now 3. I own 2 sisters from Panasonic (28 and 40/45), the 40 I bought as the FZ 100 or V Lux 2 was a bit disappointing.

    The V Lux 3 now is a joke! A bit of software, a longer warranty and nearly the double price. Not even a brochure by Leica for this camera (there is quite a nice one for the V Lux 2).

    No better coating, no improved firmware or what ever. I would spent more than the 1 K $ for a really improved FZ 150 as a Leica, but 450 $ for the Red Dot??

    I would pay something extra for a Red Dot but as there is NOTHING better (not even a nice booklet) my brain told me “don’t be that stupid”

    I have certain requirements for this kind of camera:

    small, max 600 gr.
    Max 2000 $
    good ISO as I shoot a lot on night markets, street etc.
    larger sensor than V Lux 3 / FZ 150
    zoom 28-112 would be enough (you won’t like this, but I don’t want to carry 3 M lenses for 10 K $ with me)
    viewfinder

    Probably nobody will come out with a camera like this as it would be too good, they want us to buy several cameras to have all these feature.

    There are now alternatives to Leicas:

    X 100 Fuji with new firmware is amazing, the guy running my camera store here in Pattaya Thailand bought it himself. If I can live with a 35 mm fixed lens it is 1 100 $ to 10 000 for a M 9.

    Canon G 1 x for zoomers

    Fuji X pro 1 looks like a Leica (at least from far) or the new Olympus.

    Sony NEX 7(probaly good IQ but looks ugly)

    Leica is not any more in pole position when it comes to technology (as they were 90 years ago). Price like they are so much higher and this mostly based on a myth and brand image. I have to admit that good photographers can do amazing things with the M 9 but on the other hand these guys can do amazing things with Canons and Nikons as well. The next few years will be very interesting, the battle is on for smaller, faster, better ISO etc.

    I hope Leica does not only concentrate on Limited Editions, latest an EXTRA (!) 10 000 $ for a small piece of white leather.

    M -Benz is so successful because of their brand image AND because they are always leaders in car technology. Look at the once famous English cars: Triumph, Austin, etc. – great image but lost the technology race – all gone!
    Best regards
    Heiner

  34. just some more cameras on the market to keep the internet users abusing each other on why they think theirs is best 🙂

  35. What about a M9-A with the first autofocus in a M body, based on contrast metering (so the M9-A would also offer life view) or even phase detection like the Nikon 1 bodies for higher accuracy? The M9-A would still accept the manual focus M lenses, with the overlap patch being simply inactive in autofocus mode. Oh yes, and there would, of course, be an autofocus version of the 50 Summicron, which would also have VR.
    And the rangefinder would offer stepless digital frames, so that zoom lenses would become possible. The M9 Platinum already pointed in this direction as a technology vector.

    Not that I would really need such things. But it is at least thinkable.

    Apart from all the electro-support schnickschnack like AF and VR, apart from the DSLR vs. rangefinder thing, and apart from megapixel races, what I would really, really like to have is a sensor that delivers red tones like film. There is NO digital camera on earth that does not clip away rapidly in the red channel. Only film delivers those bold, deeply saturated reds.

  36. Personally I’m interested in the X2 or Mirrorless option.
    Or the X2 can become the mirrorless interchangeable option.
    I know Leica has gone on record with their intention to not go below APS-C but given their relationship with Panasonic, and the fact that there are already panasonic made but Leica branded m4/3 lenses I won’t be surprised to see them finally enter this segment.
    This will provide them with a new line and the best part is they don’t have to worry about a new lens mount to add to their back log of current M lenses.
    either way, why does May 10th seem so far away…..
    am

  37. I’ve had some thoughts about this. Definitely think M10 (M-ay 10-th is just TOO good to overlook). But I also think a mirror-less FF X2 version of the X1 may appear but this time with either a built in EVF (a la Sony NEX 7) or a hybrid OVF/EVF (a la Fuji) with digitally projected frames (to save on engineering parallax correcting frames) and minimalist information–just the triangular diode metering. Focusing could be achieved either via a (MUCH IMPROVED) fixed CAF with a fixed 35mm f2-2.5 lens (summicron or summarit equiv). Or…POSSIBLY accepting interchangeable CAF lenses.

    Manual focusing optics (and thus interchangeability with M lenses) could also be a possibility with some heretofore never seen highly accurate digital rangefinder design also utilizing some projected focusing aid unlike anything before.

    Analog controls as before. And, of course, simple means to PASM exposure capability as the X1 has.

    A specialty M9 BW edition sounds like it could be a possibility too achieving very high ISO with low-ish noise (or at least noise with a romantic grain-like quality to it). But I don’t think that’s the main part of the announcement. More about M10 and mirror-less evolution of the X1.

    But this is all speculation.

  38. I thought the B & W idea was interesting. No LCD? The have a problem with that idea. I would want the LCD just to insure the electronics are working. Shooting a film M, you can see the film advancing, so you can be sure you will get something.

    I also thought it might be a less expensive option for getting a digital M. Then I saw the price of the B & W Phase One back. Yikes!!!

    1. I think those cheeky Gnomes of Solms are sadistic and are probably laughing at us all and enjoying the hype and buzz.

      I bet there won’t be an M10 till Photokina and you won’t get your hands on one for a year after that.

  39. As Other cameras are getting better and better , i completely loose interesa in leica. My money Will go for nikon D800 and Fuji Xpro1.

    As i already have 6 micro 4/3 lenses i Will Aldo Get The Olympus OMD moré than enought for The next 4 years.

    Greg

  40. at maxmax.com they have converted an old Canon to BW so that would be nice idea for Leica or Ricoh maybe?

  41. Okay, I like black and white, as does almost everyone. I also like color, as does almost everyone.

    If you shoot RAW, you handle black and white in post production anyway. If you shoot JPEG, you get black and white in camera.

    Don’t make a black and white camera. You can call it marketing genius, but its clearly not the market. People who shoot solely B&W are the niche-est of the niche. Its the tiniest market possible. And who wants to carry a B&W camera AND a color camera? That sounds like days of film, but the bodies then didn’t cost what they do today. For those that say, “Its different!” Yes, it is. But, I don’t buy “different.” I buy kick ass awesomeness.

    Why Leica, who makes F1.4 and F2.0 lenses, needs cameras that shoot ISO 128k is simply beyond me. Anyone who shoots Leica knows the bigger issue is neutral density filters if you want to shoot wide open in day light, which is when most of us are carrying our cameras. For those that stalk the streets in the evenings without light? Again, the niche-est of the niche and they should get the Lux lenses 🙂

    And who wants black and white without any grain? People used to love grain, so they’ll get post production tools to add grain. If they make a black and white camera, they’ll sell them to the niche who will be ecstatic. It’ll be a commercial flop though.

    No LCD? Are you kidding? If you don’t like your LCD, TURN IT OFF. When you’re trying to focus with a Noct at .95, you’ll be glad you had one, though.

    X2? Really? You want a nice camera with a 35mm? There are PLENTY of cheaper options. The red dot loses its value in that marketplace every day that someone recognizes who good Panny, Oly, and Fuji lenses are.

    All Leica needs to do is to shoot ISO 6400 without noise, in color, with accessible/available lenses. That’s a DS3/D4, so the sensor technologies exist.

    And, if they really want a success, they’ll make a mirrorless with exchangeable lenses. But, I agree with Steve, Leica isn’t going to produce its own. This is a brilliant optics and mechanical engineering company. To think they’re going to devise an EVF, new autofocus lens system with the ability to focus quickly enough to handle a Noct lens, etc. under their own brand is ludicrous. Its a dream I so wish would come true, but it is crazy. They don’t do it on their P&S line, and I certainly wouldn’t expect it on a M4/3/mirrorless/whateveryoucallit camera. And, they’ll never be able to produce it themselves, anyway. They don’t have the factory capability and Germany isn’t going to be a good cost point for manufacturing, so it only makes sense to leverage another manufacturers’ capability.

    I remember all the interviews where Leica said they’d find a way to make the R lenses useable again. So, maybe we’ll get lucky and autofocus will come back.

  42. When the Leica M10 does come out, be that in May or later Leica should price it similarly to the current M9- this would in the long run earn them more money…
    1) their new factory should be capable of producing larger quantities of products, therefore unit cost should come down
    2) many people sold entire DSLR set ups just to afford the M9- if they make the M10 even more expensive they will lose this custom base as people will just struggle on with the heavier cameras due to cost
    3) pricing it similarly to the M9 would cause used M9’s to drop in value, which in turn would result in those that couldn’t afford a new one buying a second hand one- and therefore bring new customers to the mark- who will of course want to buy Leica lenses…
    4) if it’s not much more than an M9, existing users might be willing to upgrade whereas at a huge price increase many would be more than happy to stick with an already very capable camera…

    Personally I would like to see the M10 with a better LCD, better buffer, better ISO performance and an in-built magnifier (as in the new Fuji X-Pro 1) for longer lenses….

  43. what they could introduce is body with replaceable digital back (colour/b&w) which takes M lenses – everybody would be happy 🙂

    1. Hey, what a wonderful idea! I don’t wish to get into any argument re Leica pricing, everyone knows it is expensive kit, and SLR Prime have shown it needn’t be that expensive, but with the pace of digital progress as it is and sensors getting out of date within months, wouldn’t it be great if one could upgrade an M digital body merely by having a plug in replaceable sensor module?

      It won’t happen, but oh, what if!

  44. Personally I don’t believe the B&W rumor, but that said, a B&W version of the M9 might make sense, given that the M10, with a color sensor, is coming.

    Think about it. A B&W camera would normally appeal to too small a group to make much financial sense, unless it was based on an existing camera. The M9 tooling and design is paid for. Substitute a sensor w/o the bayer color filter, and you have a B&W M with minimal investment. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but still, basing it on the M9 would be a cost effective solution. And if they made it one of their limited edition versions, as Leica likes to do, then they only need to do a small production run and charge an arm and a leg for it.

    The M10, when it comes, will almost certainly use a color sensor. And probably some new features (I’m personally hoping for a hybrid rangefinder/live view viewfinder, with electronic focus assist).

    1. OK…. I must surely be mental. I don’t get this B&W business. I don’t see anyone rushing out to buy a black and white HI-Res, HDTV, so why all the clamor over a high-dollar cam that can’t do color? B&W is nothing more than shades of grey with black on one end and white at the other. Any color photo can be converted to black and white with as much contrast and brightness as one could want. I’m sticking with color and making black and white as needed. But, I have not been accused of being a Genious.

      1. Typed wrong email…what a dork.
        OK…. I must surely be mental. I don’t get this B&W business. I don’t see anyone rushing out to buy a black and white HI-Res, HDTV, so why all the clamor over a high-dollar cam that can’t do color? B&W is nothing more than shades of grey with black on one end and white at the other. Any color photo can be converted to black and white with as much contrast and brightness as one could want. I’m sticking with color and making black and white as needed. But, I have not been accused of being a Genious.

  45. Put me in for a B&W M camera… the writing’s on the wall (or in this case, on the invite). The leak was brilliant viral marketing. I suspect that we’ll know more as time goes on. Wish I were on the inside with this one…lol…fun times…

  46. Not that it really applies to my life or work, but for the life of me I cannot understand the point of a B&W sensor M camera…… I mean it would have to have significant advantages in DR and noise performance, but those bars are already set sooo high by other cameras that are significantly cheaper. It would be such a niche camera. Plus B&W converted files from digital now with plug-ins like Silver Efex are remarkable, so whats the point?

    It just does make logical or market sense to me… but it is Leica so I could be wrong. Given the success of the mirroless market and the X100, they must be feeling the heat especially since all of those products are much cheaper. I mean we can all afford a pair of cheap shoes from payless but not the top of line itialian designer shoes. Maybe that is who Leica want to be.

    Nothing about these products scream inovation or advantage other than entering into a superior lens system. As the entrance fee is extremely prohibitive, I feel as though Leica is becoming the Louis Vuitton of the camera industry. I’m glad I got an M6 when the prices were low as well as my lens, but Ill have to wait many years before I can afford a second hand M digital… Sigh….

    1. Blah blah blah… I’m so sick of hipster film BS. Nothing wrong with film, it’s the fools who wax on about it being magical and “real” that kill me…

  47. Nice one Steve. You had me for a second! Was chatting with Ken, who already has a waiting list for whatever is it that Leica announces on May 10. And yes, my name is on the list!

  48. Has anyone questioned whether the BW sensor will even be full frame? What if it were a APC-C size sensor? What it it’s a 1.6 crop?

  49. I would love a Leica M with black and white sensor, simply because it is different from what the other manufacturers do.
    And a black and white sensor that can produce beautiful black and white photograph on high iso, and where the noise comes is made ​​unimaginably beautiful, will emphasize that Leica is Leica, and they go their own way.

    The worst Leica can do is follow the others and end up with an M camera packed with all sorts of unnecessary “bling bling”

    But of course the price may be set too high, and the sale fails
    .
    Ps. believe incidentally that a Leica M with black and white sensor should be seen as a camera for dedicated Leica enthusiasts, and will not attract new users

  50. A monochrome M would be sweet…I’d gladly switch over to one if Leica indeed makes one! As a side note, you can special order a Phaseone back without a Bayer Array.

  51. My prediction is that Leica will announce a Monochrome M but without an LCD.

    Leica will further stretch the minimalistic design.
    Why stop at the point of visual aesthetics? Do we really need an LCD to configure a camera? Do we really need an in-camera noise reduction toggle? etc.

    I think the time has come to take a bold approach here and rethink the minimalistic design beyond the visual aesthetics.

      1. Pre order? The GX1 is already available. Ohh.. it doesn’t have a red dot.. I reckon you could stick a red dot on a dog turd and people would pre order them. Heck, they’d buy the dog bran to speed up production! Same goes for iTurds.

        1. Without the red dot, the GX1 doesn’t cost enough to allow the full expression of my art.

          And if the dog turd was aspherical, I’d buy that, too.

  52. B&W digital M camera for only U$ 4.995,00 (smaller camera for street photo – like CL)

    And a new generation of consumers.

    Maybe a M10 for US$ 8.995,00

    My 2 cents.

    GHN

  53. Trying to predict these things is really a waste of time. But it’s kind of fun, so here goes:

    If there’s an M10, it will have an upgraded jpeg engine, and a better lcd, and not much else. Maybe a slightly revised body shape for better grip. There’s a limit to how far they can go without obsoleting the huge base of legacy lenses, or violating their rangefinder tradition.

    If there’s an X2, it will not be full frame. Way too expensive, and not necessary for the target market.
    Neither will it have interchangeable lenses. Too expensive, requires a new line of lenses when they can’t produce the ones they’ve already got, and takes it out of the “expensive point and shoot” market.
    Might also cannibalize their M sales. An interchangeable lens Leica for 2 to 4 thousand dollars is not going to happen.

    On the other hand, a camera like the X1 with the addition of some kind of viewfinder is a natural.
    A small rangefinder-like camera with a fixed 35mm (equiv.) lens is completely within the Leica tradition.
    Think of it as an X100 killer. On the other hand, there’s price competition in that segment, and Leica may not want to play there.

    Probably ought to have better auto-focus, too.

    Disclaimer: My predictions are worth exactly what you paid for them.

  54. Ciao Steve, I wish you to go Berlin, you cannot miss Leica announcement or even better, Leica can’t make it without our Steve 😉 If I may suggest you one thing, everytime I was in Berlin I stayed at etap hotel, there are 7 etaps in Berlin and they have great value for money, wifi, parking if you rent a car at airport, great-big breakfast buffet and nice rooms. Write berlin in destination and take a look: http://www.etaphotel.com Also consider to take one not in the city center, even better price and Berlin is quite easy to travel and move around. Just my 2 euro, cheers 😉

    1. Worst advice ever. Are you for real?

      First: who rents a car to go from the airport to berlin? there is a thing called taxi.
      Second, who lives outside the city in order to save 4 euro?
      Third: that hotel must be the most soulless piece of ddr I have ever seen.

      The best hotel in berlin is Michelberger. It is as cheap as the ddr-one but that’s just the bonus. It is great, I would gladly pay 3 times as much as it costs

      http://www.michelbergerhotel.com/

      But please people, don’t go there if you like “etaphotels” I don’t want to risk bumping in to you.
      And never give advice again, please.

      1. 1st I rented a car cause I need and I did not want to take taxi everytime, it is just an option

        2nd I just wrote there are 7 etap hotels, everybody choose the one that prefers

        3rd etap are famous in all german and austria, I hear only good report and feedback, you are the only one I saw in my life to write something bad of etap and the reason is quite clear, you are gonna to suggest an hotel that has the worst webpage I saw, it scares the site, the hotel probably even more….are you the owner of the hotel maybe or you just get the commission to advertise one single hotel in many forums ?

        4th so far as you aren’t the admin here, you are just an user like me, so you simply have not the right to tell to others what they have to do or not

        And relax next time somebody doesn’t advertise your hotel

        1. No, I just love it. And I am an asshole, wich would explain the harsh tone.

          I’m still right though..even if it is hard to prove.

        2. Luca, I viewed you comments as just trying to be helpful. Pity there are some rude people out there. There is really no excuse at all for being rude to you.

    1. Wow, indeed, I would definitely go for that one – with improved viewfinder and Leica glass.
      Alas, not for Fuji X-10 money sadly, but one can dream!

      Andrew

      1. I give $2500 for a Leica version of the Fuji X10 with Leica type improvements to the viewfinder and the glass. They could do it if they want to and sell a jillion (more than a million) of them.
        However I know that I am dreaming.

        Still lovin my Fuji X10
        Howard

        1. I think it was the Fuji that was built like a Leica, with cost cutting measures. I think that was something you must’ve wanted from Leica, which is why when Fuji offered it, you bought it. Kudos for putting your money where you wanted!

          As for dreamers, isn’t that what this site is for? You’re in good company 😉

  55. Kodak or Nikon once had a 11mp black&white DSLR. Was really expensive and I really wanted it but never had that money. Not sure if I would buy a B&W only M. Only if the files would be amazingly better. I recently did more color work and really like the output. To me a full-frame, interchangeable lens, M mount camera with swivel screen would be nice. Kind of Nex 7 with full-frame M lenses. Ahhh, that would be great. D!RK

  56. As a number of digital camera manufacturers are bringing out retro styled cameras, Leitz could do something really amazing and bring out a digital version of a camera from their film III series, a IIIf or IIIg perhaps? Full frame, hence no need for a new lens line. Now I know I should really keep taking the pills!

    What about a truly small rangefinder based on the CL? Panasonic et al have shown that you really can cram all the electronics into a small form, viz LX3.

  57. X2
    – Retractable lens, 35MM equivalent as on X1 but then F1.2 or 1.4
    – APS-C sized CCD sensor as on X1
    – Much improved AF like OM-D
    – Improved ISO performance like XP-1
    – OVF with overlay like X100
    – Same handgrip add-on as X1
    – All black version on launch M9P Style

    IMO that would be the best answer to Fuji, Sony and Olympus their moves. I would I’ll buy one straight away.

      1. Only tricky thing I suppose is to maintain CCD sensor and at the same time achieve substantial ISO performance (CMOS).

        Rest should be no brainers.

        1. CCD vs. CMOS… A CMOS sensor doesn’t automatically mean improved ISO performance, hard work at R&D does. Put a seed of doubt in your mind that CMOS is actually inherently NOISIER than CCD tech – CMOS’ main benefit is faster readout, which became popular from the market need for video and live-feed displays.

          As for rolling together the latest and greatest technological achiements in the industry into a competitor’s product… That is something the other companies wouldn’t choose to do. Now, ignoring Leica’s shaky financial grounding, Leica could get some of the tech by buying Olympus’ imaging division, but even if they did and Fuji Imaging randomly gave up the tech that makes their products unique, designing and producing a camera with all that in it would take so long that the industry would’ve moved on.
          No, the technological development will come from inside Leica’s sources and allies. But keep dreaming, it helps camera makers set goals for their R&D.

  58. it would make my day if they went 43rds:) I reckon the black and white m will be dearer than the m9, they like to confound logic and create controversy 🙂 they like to “stick it up ’em!” as they say on these shores:)

  59. Have to say I was a little bit dismissive of the Monochrome M rumor, but the more I think about about it the more I like it…….It could just be a little stroke of genius!!

  60. Cannot comment on what I like to see from Leica – I still just want to get my hands on one so I ca shoot with it and see what all the rage is about…

  61. I have an intellectual interest in what they produce I have to admit. I shot Leica M film for a while until my eyesight meant that focusing RF was too hard.

    Unless there is an AF M series in the offing, I won’t be buying anything they announce though!

    I do have one long standing question though: my Leica binoculars have a great coating on the lens that makes water bead up and fall off, taking dust etc with it. Zeiss have a similar coating on theirs.

    Why do neither put that coating on their camera lenses?!

    1. Leica does use that water shedding coating on all their S lenses.
      Doesn’t really make sense to put it on the M lenses when they are not water resistant.
      The S lenses are water tight and the glass sheds water. I have used them in very wet situations with no problem.

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