So the new Leica is coming. The CM? Place your bets…

So the new Leica is coming. The CM? Place your bets…

By Steve Huff

So June is here, and next week, if we are to believe the rumors (and I do) a new Leica is being announced. Leica has completed the last phase of Leitz Park and to celebrate, what better than a new camera, and one that many of us have been salvaging for, well, for years.

According to the rumors, Leica will announce something in between the M and SL. A full frame body, EVF, new sensor that is said to excel in low light. I mean, to me, it sounds like my dream camera. A full frame Leica, EVF, and killer low light? Able to use TL lenses or M lenses (via adapter). Hmm. If this is what is coming, then it will sell like HOTCAKES as Leica users have been wanting a more compact full frame that is not as heavy and large as the SL, and not a rangefinder. Oh, and let’s hope it is not $8000.

This is Leica’s big shot here, as if they deliver on what the rumors are saying, this could be either a masterpiece that will be sold out for months, or a little bit of a let down. For me to consider it, it will have to have the fantastic Leica feel, as the M has, as the SL has. It should be smaller than the SL, and have nice heft as the M does, but not any heavier than an M. If it had the SL EVF…ahhh, then all would be perfect. If this new sensor can get close, compute with or surpass what Sony is doing, then look out. I will be the 1st to put my deposit down at PopFlash or Ken Hansen.

I think that Leica will release something pretty cool. At least I hope so. The M10, the SL….gorgeous cameras that will stand the test of time. I still adore the SL (with M mount lenses) but if this new camera surpasses it in IQ, low light, and is smaller? Damn, I just bought this SL 2 weeks ago ; ) So I will say this new rumored camera is real, and will be amazing, just because I bought the SL again 2 weeks ago!

What are YOU hoping to see in the new Leica, if it does indeed become reality? Leave a comment below!

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67 Comments

  1. So why purchase the C-Lux now that it has been announced? Isn’t there a Lumix for 1/2 to 2/3 the price with essentially equal everything? The CL is appealing but expensive. No Lumix equivalent for that one. What could be next?

  2. My expectation is that the CM will come but will be shown at photokina first.
    So the new Leica camera that should be announced this month is probably a M10p or some other variation of an existing camera.

  3. I’m betting on a Q2 …… just because that’s the camera I want 🙂

    Otherwise I’ll probably pick up a used M9 or similar.

  4. C-Lux?

    I just saw an “exclusive” leaked photo of a new leica which is basically a Sony rx100 knock off

    Is this it? I guess there is a market for that but it’s a real yawner for me

  5. CM means M-mount. But Mr. Kaufmann said a year ago the camera released in June 18 will have L-Mount. If I was in Mr. Kaufmann’s position I would release an m-mount camera with EVF, no rangefinder, therefore smaller than the M10. This would be a perfect camera. Perfect cameras would kill all other camera lines. So be prepared for a weasel product to let you hope for something better to come in the future while buying a compromised camera.

    • Dave I hope you are right. a good camera with built in evf and M lenses would be fantastic.

  6. I need full frame because I have M lenses. My age doesn’t support M10 anymore. Too difficult to focus. I want a built in EVF. But I don’t like the way the CL has been set up, with dials that are not logical and move too easily. And SL is way too big. Not to mention the huge AF lenses.
    I would buy a ‘small SL’. Even if it is $5000. Maybe not if it is $8k.

    • Not sure if you’ve tried the CL yet. Before I bought mine, I had read comments that the dials moved easily. I gave a CL an extensive try out at a Leica Store before buying. In my opinion, the dials do not move unless you move them intentionally. You really can’t bump the dials into moving (unless you’ve got NBA-player-sized-hands).

      As for shooting with M lenses on a CL. I have not tried that yet. I have the adapter on order and should receive it this week. My first test lens will be my 50 APO ‘Cron. That should be a good test.

      Overall I’ve been very satisfied with my CL. And one thing I’ve not read mentioned about the CL… I can shoot using the EVF without having to remove my polarized sunglasses. Can’t do that with the Q or the SL.

  7. I don’t like the concept of the SL, with its SLR prism immitation on top. As a right-eye-shooter I prefer my nose in fresh air, rather than smearing the rear LCD. It is even worse for left-eye-shooters, with the thumb poking my right eye.

    M10 and Q are fine in this regard, but with the M10 I have to trash the nice rangefinder, brass body and engraved dials when the electronic innards die, become unrepairable or otherwise obsolete.

    I like AF for conveninence rather than for speed. EVF with focus peaking, and adpating to low light, is almost as good. As an amateur who does not use the camera every working day, this is at times quicker than to deal with complex AF-settings or -menus, with joysticks to move focus points etc..

    However, it appears with Sony E and Leica T alike, that (internal, rather than moving the complete lens) AF even with mirrorless bodies is only achievable with rediculously large lenses.

  8. Fun, I suppose. After reading everyone’s comments, I think Steve is going to get a new, somewhat smaller SL with basically the same technology but a updated higher resolution sensor. Just what he wants. On the other hand, maybe it’s not a camera at all. Supposedly they stopped working on a new attachable viewfinder for the M because of the cost and adequacy of the current one. If they solved the price problem with higher quality, they might convince me to buy one. The current one just doesn’t seem worth the cost now. I’m extremely happy with the “new” M10. Sold my 75mm and 35mm F1.4 lenses for good prices to obtain the new 28mm f1.4 APO lens and the 50mm cron APO. Given the resolution of the sensor, this is all I need. Great size and weight all around. Would I ever need another Leica camera? Well, I really wanted the SL after I saw its output, but decided it’s just too heavy and if you use M manual lenses rather than the larger autofocus lenses, then what’s the point? Just saying. I’d still like to try the SL, maybe figure out how to shrink it.

    • The SL is still a face of mine. Top 2-3 for sure of all time, for me. It’s EVF is still today the best there is. Sony’s A9 doesn’t beat it for me. The one area it lacks is very low light. The sensor loses DR quickly as the ISO gets cranked up, where the newer Sony’s, or X1D or most new sensors do very well in this area. So if a new Leica can compete with those in low light, offer an EVF at the SL level or above, has a nice body design and feel and menu system, and keeps the cost at a decent level ($5k) for Leica, it will be a smash hit, I think. BTW, The M10 is fabulous as are those two lenses you own ; ) Beautiful setup.

  9. I have attended two events in which Stephan Daniel has stated emphatically that there will not be an M with an EVF. He noted that they have made this camera internally and the compromises were too great and the result too un-Leica-like. He even said once that if you want an M with an EVF, buy a Fuji; you’ll be disappointed for less money.

    Having heard this from him, I would not be surprised by a CL-esq body, maybe a little larger than the CL, that will mount M-lenses with the CL EVF or even the Q EVF.

    However, from a product placement and marking standpoint, where would it fit in? TL2 is $2200. CL is $2800. Q is $4500. SL is $6000. M240 is $6600. M10 is $7200. Drop the Q and price this rumored CM at $4500? Takes market from the M240 and M10 and SL.

    I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this rumor. We’ll see on Thursday or Friday.

    • Nope, there will never be an M with an EVF. The RF is what makes it and M so they will never do it. But this camera is rumored to be the same mount as the T, so TL mount. EVF, full frame sensor. Maybe a mini SL type. We shall see soon I guess!

      • I have had the M240 and the SL both great cameras. I would love a camera that is the size of the 240 but has an evf like the SL. To me leica is all about the lens. I currently use a7r3 which is a great camera but I prefer how the Leica lens render. Their is just something about them that I love. In particular a camera that uses the M lens with manual focus and a built in evf would be heaven.

  10. I have my share of Leica cameras. Quite frankly, they all shoot great. I just can’t get excited these days too much pixel chasing for the “right camera”…and I certainly have done that. I hope it doesn’t come out, if it does I suppose I’ll wind up drooling.

  11. It will have build in moving mount (just like TAP for M lenses on Sony-E) so one will be able to use small M body with M lenses in autofocus mode.
    Plus side, one will be able to focus closer than 0.7m.

  12. I assume we will see a CL/M like camera with a fullframe sensor. The only question then is about the lenses, the current SL lenses would be way too big, the TL lenses are not full frame and with the M lenses you loose the AF.

    So I also assume we will see slower and smaller primes being released and that would be great news also for SL shooters like me!

  13. This would be amazing, especially if, like the SL it has a warm rendering, rather than the cooler look coming from the Q’s sensor.

  14. I’ve waited purchasing the SL for just such a hope. An SL-like quality of the EVF, solid focus-peaking, and native M-lens compatibility (without an adapter) will be keys aspects. The Q is fantastic both in form factor and IQ. My other camera systems will be on the auction block if this rumor pans out to be true and is everything hoped for.

  15. personally, and M10 but with an electronic viewfinder is what I think they don’t have. They already have 3 cameras with the L Mount. TL, CL, SL. A CM with M mount would be a fascinating option . I doubt it though…

    • Totally with you on this one. The EVF in an M is way long overdue, and the last thing the world needs is another SL-type camera. Yes, yes, there’s the external one that is getting better, but that is not very practical most of the time. It also changes your visual profile, as people see the contraption and begin to wander “what in God’s name is that thing sticking out of the camera.”

      • It sounds like what you want is an NEX-7/A6xxx with a full-frame sensor. The key is the RF-style EVF off to the side, without the top bulge, right? The mount can be M, but it can also be L mount (which is actually more flexible and makes more sense, even if bigger).

  16. The “canceled my M10 order” is a giveaway. Too soon for an new competitor right now. Perhaps a Q upgrade, but it’s already almost perfect, unless one comes out with a 35mm or 50mm fixed lens. So, it will be an easy production of a new M10 Monochrom.

  17. Without incurring the wrath of dedicted Leicaphiles ( of which I am one ) for most photographers the easily seen differences in moderate sized prints made from the still yearned for full frame Leica might not be “worth” the likely price of the camera and lenses. I would posit that images of a given subject taken with a variety of Leica cameras- when edited similarly and printed to the same moderate size ( for example 10×15 )- would look very much the same. Indeed, I would like to see moderately sized prints made from-for example the Leica Vario- vs. the coming full frame camera. In a “blind” comparison from the normal viewing distance I wonder how any would wager that they could repeatedly tell images captured from the Vario from those captured via the full frame Leica.

    Of course if printing much larger differences might well be more obvious.

    Nevertheless, the experience of having and using a full frame Leica with the bespoke Leica lenses will certainly be an event worth savoring. Best of luck to those who can afford and justify the expense.

    • I think it will be more about the size. If M sized with a great EVF, good enough for me to use it over an M or SL. If the sensor is better in low light and offers improved IQ in general (color, etc) then that’s good enough for me. Most today do not consider print size, as the majority never print today. Printing is done by a small % of camera owners so most do not even think of that, but of course some do. I look forward to seeing what it is, but I hope it’s something in the M and SL category with build, and design instead of the CL and Q (not that those are bad, they just do not “feel” like a real Leica to me).

      • BINGO!

        But..as you often say, it’s about preferences

        I do like to print

        I’d pay 10k for a leica that is FF, SL viewfinder, Sony-esque LL performance and CL-esque form factor

        What else could I ever ask for?…except lower price of course

  18. It would seem to me that the issue is not so much the size of the SL 601, but rather the size of the lenses. I’ve used the SL lenses on the CL and they perform quite nicely, but that combination is neither small nor lightweight!
    I’m curious as to what Leica comes out with, but the smaller sized camera is only a part solution!

  19. As an old film shooter, I find the low light capability of the M10 amazing, allowing me to use the smaller, slower (2.5) lenses in any situation I encounter. I started Leica with the M4 in 1968, and use the RF Leicas most of the time. For RF use, I can’t imagine wanting anything else.
    However, for ultrawide and long lenses, the 020 EVF on the M10 is usable, but not satisfying compared to even the basic Sony A7. But of course the M wides aren’t suited to the Sony sensor. So an equivalent Leica body, optimized for M lenses, would have me interested. But many Leica semi-insiders seem to be cautioning not to expect too much next week. I always wait at least a year after release to buy a camera anyway, to better understand what to expect.

    • The M10 is the best M for low light hands down bu it’s still a far cry from Sony or the X1D from Hasselblad in low light scenarios. It’s better than the SL though which suffers in lowest of light. The EVF solution for the M is pretty bad, not a fan but works in a pinch. If they can do this with an SL style EVF and size of an M with the new sensor I will sell things to fund it. : )

  20. This would be my perfect camera also. I owned the M9 for years but got very frustrated, particularly following the Sony A7 launch, that Leica were not moving to mirrorless and more modern technology. I sold all my M gear. Should have kept the 35 and 50 Summilux!!

  21. I am not understanding something here regarding to new camera rumors. A lot of people are saying this could be full frame but able to use TL lenses. Am I correct that if used with TL lenses the image would need to be an APS-C cropped image? So the full frame is therefore only available to M or 35mm equivalent lenses?

    • I believe that the full frame rumor is correct due to something Kaufmann said. So would be perfect for M lenses IMO if this is the case. Using TL lenses would crop it though if the full frame rumor IS correct.

  22. Maybe a new model will come at the PK, but I do not expect something real new now.
    Leica might release next week a special version of the Sl or M10 or a Panasonic rebrand D-Lux or vlux.
    Just my opinion

  23. I would be more then happy with a M10 just a little better for people with spec’s, a nicer set-up EVF and perhaps improved lowlight possibilities. And what to think of a combination of D and monochrome

  24. I did think many months ago, leica will finally release an M with an evf. Whether it is an M or SL, with evf, size comparable with M10 that would be great.

  25. CM? Maybe like the old CM point and shoot. I’m thinking apsc fixed focal length. Using CL innards and fixed 23mm??? They seem to be in pattern of reusing old names.

  26. If it’s a CL size or comparable, with an SL quality viewfinder, I’m in pretty much regardless of price

    Life is too short not to buy your desert island camera

    • I agree, John! I have and love the CL for its quality output and flexibility. I just used it extensively in Provence for a month with the 18-56mm and the 23mm and love the results. But the CL is a tiny bit too small for my hands, so a M size would be perfect for me

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