New Leica compact system coming to Photokina? My crystal ball says MAYBE…

New Leica compact system coming to Photokina? My crystal ball says MAYBE…

So I dusted off my crystal ball last week and in between writing for and maintaining this website 40-50 hours a week and doing some Paranormal Investigating with my son 20 hours a week I figured I would find time to dust off the old ball to see what Photokina will bring us from Leica….

Now, this is just a crystal ball prediction like I have done many times in the past so take it with a grain of salt 🙂 Maybe I should say “for entertainment value only”

In any case, as I gazed into the ball I saw a Leica rangefinder…it was matte black and I soon realized this was the Monochrom which should be delivered to the USA within 3 weeks or so. I also saw the X2 but it was fading into the background. The X2 has been lackluster in the sales dept, especially when compared to the X1 which was a huge success so maybe the was why it was fading.

Remember the R lens solution? Well I thought I saw a small solid Leica like body fly by the crystal ball through a haze of M and R lenses…then a German man was jumping for it saying ME ME ME!! with $3500 in USA cold hard cash in his hands… So odd…

Maybe Leica will have a new German-made body at Photokina that will accept R and M lenses via adapters or maybe it will be something like a mini M..or a new versatile all in one. Not sure. I thought I saw a huge letter “C” fly by as well, which I took as APS-C. This would make so much sense..the digital CL we have been asking for but Leica usually never gives us what we ask for.

That is all I saw so it will be exciting to see if Leica surprises us with this new camera.

As for an M10…I saw a sad face like there have been difficulties with it..maybe it is not ready but I do not see an M10 being available until MID 2013 and maybe THIS will be the “R” solution. Imagine a CMOS – LIVEVIEW M that can take R glass as well. Hmmmmm. The M10…I wouldn’t expect a working demo unit to be unveiled in September but maybe can announcement about it.

I also saw a lens…was pretty damn large too..wide angle. But who knows what that meant 🙂

DISCLAIMER: I did not read ANY of this from a rumor site (I do not visit them) and no insider or friend told me this information. I guess we will see what happens in September, just three weeks away! I will be on the Photo Cruise but will try to report when I can that week on whatever I can!


  1. While we all have our noses pressed against Leica booth and waiting for second coming M10, Zeiss will quietly announce FF Digital Icon for $3500. Yes, it will be made by Cosina with Epson internals, but it will have a rangefinder and Live View on the screen. On this bombshell…

  2. Panasonic has the Lx7 with 24-90 f/1.4 Leica zoom – so we should see the Leica DLux 7, an overpriced version of the same thing.

  3. OK, I’m the wet blanket guy again. I don’t see Leica doing anything at all for owners of R lenses that they haven’t produced for, what, 5 or 10 years. Except maybe sell an adapter, but there are already companies who do that. There’s just no money for them in catering to the relatively small number of people who still own R equipment.

    I own an R4 and an R6, and a few lenses. They are fantastic, for film, but they are Leica’s past.

    My crystal ball says that Leica has no desire to get down in the dirt and compete with Canikon in the dslr market, or any future version of that market.

  4. M9 price drops at all retailers would seem to indicate that M10 is on the Horizon. I’d be surprised if they dropped the price now unless they had a replacement coming because I hadn’t hear that sales had slowed particularly.

    Has anyone else heard that sales of M9 had slowed?

  5. Hi Steve!

    Great crystal ball…can’t await the announcements for PHOTOKINA…until then – I’ll keep shooting with M9 and RX100.



    Michael S.

    • Ivan,

      A friend of mine had this lens in the early 1980’s. He was a far better photographer than I, even to the point of having published a book on nature photography. He invariably only shot on K25, when light levels permitted, or K64. I saw his original K25/64 slides and was blown away, particularly by the K25’s. Once I’d seen what Leitz glass could do, I was a convert.

  6. I guess a FF CMOS is required for EVF, since the Kodak CCD is not for EVF. If Leica puts out an APS-C (crop) sensor as the final R solution, they are spitting on all the R glass owners.

    • Ken, I agree.

      An APS-C sensor is not, I suspect, what the majority of R lens users really want; we already have that in the Sony Nex 5N and 7. No, emphatically, no. It is a FF sensor. As for glass, I already have all I need: 24, 35, 50, 60 and 135. All Elmarits, to be sure, no speed merchants, but I do dearly want to use the full FOV of the 24. I really can’t afford M digital prices, so I’m hoping Sony will come to my rescue!

  7. A cropped sensor light box for USD 3500, twice the one as one pays for a XPro-1, with a Sony sensor, I assume. It rather be special as it will be lauched into a highly competitive market segment. And used M9s will be in USD 4000 range soon.

  8. Not exactly related, but B&H has the 50 Summilux 1.4 in stock, black and chrome. If you’re planning on getting an M10, you’re going to need some good glass.

  9. Bingo! With live view, the M10 becomes the R lens solution. TO me, that’s the simplest answer. I would look forward to a cheaper M as a second camera, if it made sense from an affordability stand point, but gotta keep saving up for the MM 😉

  10. I felt lucky today. I purchased some Leica R lens last month. They work great with Sony NEX 5N camera(except the 250mm Telyt). I’ll be interested to see what Leica’s new compact camera can do.

  11. Well, a new system is always exciting……. but if it can’t deliver what people expect, then it’s a different story.
    Hopefully Leica will bring out exciting ones.

  12. I just read on a rumor site that a CMOS M10 would potentially be the R solution since its video capability would allow focusing with R lenses via adapter. Maybe time to stock up on some sweet, affordable R lenses. D!RK

    • I believe the M10 will also be an R solution. This new camera could be an R solution, a mini M or an all in one German made APS-C. We will all see it soon 🙂

      • Not sure how an M10 could be an R solution, unless only the LCD back / Live View is used for focusing. That is not always practical, especially on bright days outdoors. Doesn’t that actually argue for an EVF camera a la an NEX-7, but with a full-frame sensor and an M mount + an M to R adapter?

    • D!RK,

      Actually, I took your comment as a little jibe at how long it takes Leica to put models on shelves! I’m now left a little disappointed you really did mean the M10. 🙂

  13. Hi, Steve. Not long to wait, frustrating isn’t it? Unlike other companies who leak info like a watering can, I am always impressed that Leica always seems able to keep the lid on things.

    • A Leica support rep told me that when Leica brings in all its field personnel for a debriefing before a new product intro, they make the employees sign a nondisclosure agreement. That, notwithstanding that all employees are already under an NDA with the company, anyway! That’s Leica’s way of making sure they reinforce the concept. So Leica employees generally don’t blabber.

      • This is what I heard too Roy. My Leica dealer here in Australia told me he very recently signed a NDA for a new product coming up soon and he won’t even give me a hint of what it is.

  14. Hi Steve, I am very curious how that ball looks. FYI that one of our mutual buddies from a prior Seattle workshop just took receipt of a M monochrom here in Seattle. So they are shipping, albeit in a very slow trickle. I don’t expect to have mine for a few weeks or even months, per the reports that I am receiving…

  15. The Leica R lenses produce an image circle large enough to work with the 30mm x 45mm sensor in the S2. So it would be a shame to use it with an APS-C sensor. If I wanted to use my R and L lenses with an APS-C sensor, I am already doing that today with my Sony NEX 5N and 7.

    If Leica comes up with a lame APS-C camera for $3,500, I think I would wait for a Sony NEX-9 or NEX-13 or whatever they call a mirrorless EVF camera with a full-frame sensor for $2-2.5K.

  16. I am just wondering whether the owners of Leica R lenses will be “thrilled enough” with APS-C instead of full frame. But let’s not judge the rumors before they come true 😉

    M10 … nah … I can afford to wait till MID 2013 🙂

    • @Matus.

      I, for one, wouldn’t be thrilled at all. I can, and already do, use my R lenses on my Nex5n, and via a simple adaptor, on my SLS and R7. Nothing less than a FF would get me interested, but even then, I will await to see what Sony come up with, as it will certainly be less expensive.

      • Ooops! Should have said R lenses on my M3 and M6. It’s getting near my bedtime; well, that’s my excuse.

      • Well…if Leicas R solution with live view supports auto aperture, then this would be a BIG deal. The main drawback with all the live view mirrorless adapter solutions is that you have to manually operate the aperture, and focussing stopped down is not nearly as easy or precise.

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