Photokina around the corner…whats new from Leica? My predictions…

With Photokina just around the corner in Cologne Germany many have been asking me what Leica has planned for the show. I soooooo wanted to go this year but couldn’t make it due to other obligations, but next time I AM going and will cover it 2012 🙂 Until then I have some predictions, some vague but they are predictions nonetheless.

Some questions I have been getting lately:

“Steve, is Leica announcing an M10 at Photokina”?

“Steve, will the X2 be unveiled in Cologne”?

“Will Leica release a new R mount SLR this year”?

“Is it safe to buy an M9 or will there be an M9.2 at Photokina”?

Well, I do not know the answers to these questions with 100% certainty, and even if I did I could not spill the beans here!

I do know what MAY be coming as last night I gazed into my magical crystal ball, and I did see a new camera!  Semi small (smaller than an M9 but larger than an X1) I think they will release this as an “in between” model. Something between the X1 and M9. Something that MAY take R lenses as well as other lenses. Could be good and maybe full frame. BUT BUT BUT, this one may be delayed a bit…

Also, the M9 is not going to be replaced by an M10 just yet. My crystal ball says an M10 would not be until 2012. At least 2012, probably 2013. BUT I also think they may be releasing something VERY special for M fans with deep pockets that hints at the future of the M line. Really deep pockets and really beautiful. Not what you would expect. Others have hinted at a Titanium M9 set with 35 1.4, hmmm, yes but there is something VERY special about this M9. Very cool.

I also think there will be a couple of new options for all of us Leica camera lovers who enjoy the current compact offering.

How about the D-Lux 5? Yep, I think that Leica will release the D-Lux 5 and if they were smart, they would already have these made and ready to ship by the end of the month. This will be a HOT seller, and I may take the plunge for this one myself. V-Lux 2 keeps popping into the ball as well.

So to be clear, my Crystal ball has seen the following for Photokina and Leica:

  • An all new camera, possibly an R mount solution but maybe not. Maybe multiple lens compatible. Smaller than an M9, larger than X1. Basically a new made in Germany camera. Could my crystal ball be wrong? Sure, it has been in the past but its hitting at an 84% correct rate these days 🙂 – This one could possibly be delayed…for a year or so…
  • The D-Lux 5!
  • No M10, sorry but I did see something REALLY cool and expensive for M lovers, something very limited edition, very expensive, and with a hint of something Leica may do for a future M10 – ALL I CAN SAY! . I did not see an M9.2.
  • The X1 is still the X1 but it looked different in the ball. Couldn’t make it out but looked like an X1, and was NOT an X2. More stealthy.
  • A new V-Lux 2 – big lens zoom, small sensor. Made by Panasonic.
  • I think Leica will now have a “trio” of made in Germany cameras and the D-Lux 5/V-Lux 20 which will be made by Panasonic in Japan. (again the EVIL camera may be delayed according to my new view in to the ball)

These are just my predictions so take it all as just that. Predictions. 🙂 We shall see soon enough!

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  1. I have sold my D-Lux 4 in anticipation of the D-Lux 5. I recently bought the NEX 5 while waiting for the D-Lux 5 and I can use my M lenses on the NEX so I don’t know if buying the D-Lux 5 will make any sense now.

  2. Would really like a software update for the x1 to enable faster focussing and processing time! Longer battery life needed too! Interchangeable lens x1 would be great but it won’t happen.

    • Got a great point there Calvin. My local dealer keeps whining about no being able to get enough lenses. Talking about that, as of last friday, they had a brand spanking new Summilux 50 that I had ordered EIGHT MONTHS ago. I didn’t take it, as I had already found another one so, if anyone is interested…CAMERA WHOLESALERS, STAMFORD CT.

  3. Steve, I think your predictions are pretty accurate judging from what is being rumored these days.
    I’ll be visiting the Photokina – sadly only on its last day when all the new stuff has already been reported on! Anyways, I’m going to take my E-P1 and M8 with me – is there anything you’d like me to have a closer look at?

  4. @Paul: NEX adaptors are available for M lenses right now, if you don’t mind focusing on the screen, not a finder, then they work just fine.

    • I noticed that there were comments about where the adapters were available in the text portion of a few images that are at the link Steve has provided. But, these images are from Hong Kong. A few days before I posted the above, I looked at the B&H website and they did not catalog an M to NEX adapter. I have heard that Voightlander has one, but I haven’t confirmed that yet. So until I can get one in Seattle, I’m going to be on hold. I’m not ready to try mail order from Hong Kong yet.

      • I just found that I won’t need to go the Hong Kong for a Leica-M to Sony NEX adapter. There is one available at

  5. An M-mount EVIL camera would be a nice addition. Leica “NEEDS” an entry level camera and this might fit the bill if it is capable enough. Though if they wait too long, the Sony NEX5, and follow on bodies, may steal their thunder, provided a suitable lens adapter become readily available. The images Steve has linked to from the NEX cameras with a Leica lens look like a very good combination.

  6. if a leica R solution is released then all of the dirt cheap mint condition R lenses will skyrocket in price, i suggest waiting on the buy button when the news comes in. Best thing is most of them from what ive seen are actually mint, most leica owners are not hard on there gear not like Nikon photojournalists which tend to bash it into peices then just buy another.

  7. I heard from a Leica Rep that although the EVIL camera was pretty much ready to go they were going to be holding it back until they had caught up with M9 and S2 production and that we wouldn’t see it at Photokina – really hope he’s wrong as I have a few R lenses I have been hanging onto since I sold my R8….

  8. @ Ashwin. That Digilux 3 as a R-solution sounds really interesting. That way Leica also doesn’t canabalize the M9 or X1 market. Curious to see what specs that camera might have!

  9. Can’t wait to see how Steve’s post makes its way through the internets which will probably end up with someone saying “Steve has inside info that Leica will come out with so-and-so…” Whatever Leica does announce, I’m sure it’ll be much debated and much desired. In the meantime, I just might start putting my D-Lux 4 on the market…

  10. Awesome, love these crystal ball posts…here’s my foggy crystal ball:

    1. M9 Titanium, made of actual titanium, light/sturdy, and titanium-style expensive…just a guess, but one that I think will happen for the collectors out there.

    2. D-Lux 5: Yup, it’s that time for a refresh, and this one is obvious

    3. V-Lux 2: A total whatever for me….

    4. Here’s my wish list…heheh
    — new M lens, say a 35 mm f/1 Noctilux…hahaha, total pipedream, but why not? If not this, then a 28 Summilux which some feel is long due? Leica likes Photokina for lens refreshes, so these may be on the list, along with maybe a new summicron 50 mm lens…
    — Mystery camera that steve was talking about…how about a digilux 3, with larger sensor, R lens capacity, and it’s own dedicated 1-3 lens set up. I don’t think I’d get this, but I know a lot of R users and Digilux enthusiasts who would in a heartbeat!!!

    I doubt that:
    1. M9’s will be replaced. Too soon. Too popular. No need
    2. X1 replacement or alternative will show up: Next year, people. Rarely do camera companies try a refresh after 1 year, unless they are Canon or Nikon SLR’s, and even then, usually an 18 month cycle

    • An M9 replacement will depend on how many of the Kodak 18MP sensors Leica has remaining. If you look at the Kodak website you will find that Kodak has discontinued this sensor. So it is only a matter of time before a different sensor will need to be installed.

      • @Paul: where did you find that info? I couldn’t find any such news on the Kodak website and to be honest it would highly surprise me given that this sensor is Leica specific and the M9 is booming.

        • Robert

          I found it at the link below. It is one of those things you really need to dig for. I had to read between the lines to say this is the sensor Leica is using, since this is the only 18MP sensor Kodak is listing.

          Also, from this webpage, if you follow the link at the above left it will take you to Kodak’s list of current sensor offerings. There are some interesting choices.

          Finally, before anyone gets excited about this sensor being discontinued. If this is the sensor Leica is using, I am sure they ordered enough to support several years of maximum M9 production, plus spare parts.

          • Leica uses the KAF-18500, which isn’t listed on the Kodak website as it’s Leica specific. It has only been mentioned once in a news flash on their site, to announce the introduction of the M9.

            What a releif 🙂

        • This is a reply to myself. I just compared specifications between the information available at the DP Review website and the Kodak webpage for the discontinued chip. The pixel sizes do not match. So I read between the wrong lines.

  11. So… Maybe an EVIL X1 type thing – I sure hope so. I really wish they would jump on the Micro 4/3, provide some really really cool Leica only handling / UI features that would make dealing with M or R mount lenses on it less of a hassle and for the real icing on the cake….

    A whole line of Leica Micro 4/3 primes that were well built, high speed, ultrasonic motors, great manual focus, etc. They would sell more of these even at a large margin than they will ever sell more M lenses but… I doubt it.

    As for the dlux 5 – who cares – I already have mine hat half what leica will charge. I have no issue paying Leica premiums for M lenses M bodies, M whatever but when it comes to paying Leica premiums for a rebadged LX5 – you have to be kidding me right?

    As for the LX5 = I finally have mine and it is by far the best compact I have used – EVER. At least for what I want in a compact.


    Ps. The hogwash about somehow the Leica DLUX having better optics etc. than the Panasonics is the product of way way too overactive imagination. Leica themselves claim NO SUCH THING. Let’s see what they say…. “well you get a different wrist strap… and you get like Capture One… Hmmmm Oh and you get a warrantee that is longer. I already have my post processing solutions, got a strap, and guess what, if my camera breaks I will get another one for less.

  12. Well, I don’t think you’ll be going next year Steve as Photokina is only held every two years, so the next one will be in 2012.

    It will be interesting to see what Leica will show at Photokina (and what all the other camera manufacturers will show as well)! Especially looking forward to see what kind of solution the will have for R-lenses!

  13. Something in between the X1 and the M9 sounds awesome, but honestly I think the m8(.2) fits that bill pretty well already. An interchangeable lens “X1” with optional electronic viewfinder and upgraded AF would be mighty mighty enticing though.

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