Leica SOFORT Now Available to Pre-order, and what about the new M?
So this year at Photokina, what was the biggest news from Leica? Besides the new SL Lens roadmap, the new SOFORT Instant Camera was announced, and it is not ready and up for pre order right here at B&H Photo. The price is not so bad at $299, in any color you like. These are expected to ship out mid November.
But Leica? Where is the new M? 😉 Besides the new Leica M-P Titanium…it appears then that the new prototype of the upcoming M is not quite ready for public consumption yet.
In all seriousness, I am highly disappointed that Leica did not have a new M to even display behind glass. With the 10 year anniversary of the digital M (Sep 2006) here and now, you would think Leica would have worked overtime getting a new M ready for the show. I have had inside sources tell me a few things over the last two years about the new M, and what is being done to give it a fresh face for modern times.
Slimmer body design, new EVF/RF hybrid, dual mem card slots, new sensor, etc. Ever since the M8, the cycle for new M releases has been every three years. That was Leica’s stance on the M refresh. Well, it’s been 3+ years and no new M. This just tells me they are still working on it, and it is not ready to be seen. Yet. They may also be trying to sell off the last of the M 240 style bodies that have in the factory. Who knows. I just know a new M is being worked on, and will eventually surface. When? I have no clue.
They did announce the new SL lens roadmap, and the 50 Lux looks deliciously amazing, as expected. I suspect the new 50 will be a stunner on the SL, and will be reviewing it as soon as I can get a hold of the lens.
For now, if you want the new Leica “fix” go get that Sofort 😉
Does the world really need a new M? Probably not…
Does the world really need a new M which has not been developed properly and it is not ready to bring added value to what the Typ 240 offers? Definitely not…
I am more than happy with what my Typ 240 is offering and to me is more than adequate for now and many years to come…
I understand that my perception and use of my cameras are not shared by all and I know that you Steve decided to replace your beloved Typ 240 with the SL and that says a lot. So there are enough cameras out there for all of you who think that the Typ 240 no longer covers your needs, but in my humble opinion, Leica is wise to release any product (and even more so the new M) only when they and it is ready 110%.
The mania of owning the newest is killing the joy of enjoying what you already have, I know, I’ve been there…
I’m not in a hurry for a new M and I’m satisfied with the current, but hope that a new M will be updated to mach the SL and the Q related to hard- and soft/firmware.
About the Sofort: I will get one for myself as a Christmas present. It’s fun and I like the design (it’s horizontal, the Fuji is vertical).
I can’t wait for the limited edition Sofort Titanium.
Leica seems to be on the right path benefiting from the synergy with Panasonic.
Cameras like the Q and the SL are examples of this -so should the new M whenever it comes along.
Not sure about the S but Leica are a small company with mostly great products – and some issues which I agree should be addressed.
Painful stuff like the new instant camera have to be done to raise the funds for R and D.
I have no problem with people doing a fair critique of Leica but normally there is a crazy brand war aspect to this.
Finally I have to say I know nobody who uses Leica that is rich. Most of the rich people I know use multiple camera systems -mostly DSLRS. Not scientific I know but my experience.
Enjoy your fantasies about new cameras – no problem there.Remember your “old camera” you bought last year is still very capable.
Get out there and do some good photo therapy.
I agree, most of the rich shooters I know use and shoot with many systems. Leica is not a “rich person” camera these days. You may need a loan to get one, but for the majority it is everyday passionate photographers who love and shoot Leica. Funny as I see a future for Leica in the world of Digital where I see many others dropping out over the next 5-10 years. The camera industry is sort of hurting these days due to smart phones and tech and the fact that we can get some stunning USED deals on previous models that are almost as good as the new stuff. Leica, being so unique and so beautiful will stand the test of time I think. Because as time moves on and less and less are buying the Canon, Nikon, Fuji or Sony they will shrink and shrink leaving only a handful of enthusiast cameras on the market (and cheap starter DSLRs from Canon). Prices on most of these will be high IMO so Leica, being so unique and beautiful and special will still be selling to those who appreciate a quality hand assembled tool that feels, looks, and performs on the next level.
I don’t care if a new M comes in 1 month or in 2 years. I have used all kinds of cameras from m43 to medium format, but I always come back and enjoy rangefinder photography. Very simple and direct user interface, small high quality lenses, and a very good connection to the people you photograph (1 eye not hidden by camera, optical viewfinder, small size, silent shutter).
I also don’t find the SL/Q sensor only to have advantages over M sensor. Current M sensor gives me very good color and works excellent with M lenses.
People who believe Leica Cameras are only for rich people who don’t care about the photograph but the red dot….that’s just a silly theory IMO.
In regards of the S system: I do find the lens range of the S pretty impressive and complete, besides maybe a wide T/S lens.
In the end I find Leica to have an impressive product range now, what I miss are more primes for the SL, but other than that I do like that Leica isn’t decreasing their product cycle times. For me its fine if they replace a product every 5 years, I don’t need a new announcement/body every 6 months like Sony and Oly and Pana do.
“M releases has been every three years. That was Leica’s stance on the M refresh. Well, it’s been 3+ years and no new M”
Think about what has happened in the FF mirrorless world since the last M was released. Leica had an extremely unique product until Sony started pushing out the a7 line, which by all accounts competes or exceeds the performance of Leica digital rangefinders.
Today the premium paid for the Leica brand is a matter of prestige than performance, and this has never been more true than now.
Steve, I would love to engage your website more often, but for some reason every comment goes to a moderation queue. Do you moderate all comments, or is there a verification step I may have missed?
There is a process. 50% go to moderation. In order for them to NOT, you must have at least one previous approved comment. But it is automated by keywords, links, etc.
Strange, all of my comments have been approved, and I cant imagine which keywords are triggering. Like the two comments above went to moderation, and I assume this one will as well.
Personally, I couldn’t less about the new M. IMO its an overpriced boutique camera designed for the uber rich who would care more about a red dot than the actual photo produced.. IQ is not anywhere near commensurate to it’s price or I would definitely be on board. As for this little jewel the Sofort, I’ll take four without blinking an eye…what a marvelous little camera that I and my three daughters will enjoy immensely 😉
In a way I think you are right. Leica has many limited editions that I feel is overpriced and don’t make sense, but for some reason I’m really impressed with the image quality of my rather old M9-P with summarit lenses (can’t afford the crons or the luxes). I say that as someone who didn’t expect it to be. It may very well be the lenses, but they don’t look so good with adapters on my APS-C cameras.
My main wishes for Leica, knowing that I can’t afford any of their new cameras for a while, is that they had longer battery life, better LCDs (those that have, at least) and top processors when released. Slowness and cheap(?) parts are annoying. I’m sure the new Ms are better, but I haven’t tried them out.
“Personally, I couldn’t less about the new M. IMO its an overpriced boutique camera designed for the uber rich who would care more about a red dot than the actual photo produced.. IQ is not anywhere near commensurate to it’s price or I would definitely be on board. As for this little jewel the Sofort, I’ll take four without blinking an eye…what a marvelous little camera that I and my three daughters will enjoy immensely ;)”
It’s interesting that you complain that the M is a boutique camera that people buy for the red dot, when the reality is it is a unique and stand alone product, that no-one else makes a version of. There is nothing like it and no camera works as well with Leica lenses as M cameras.
But then you are all over the Sofort, which is a rebadged Fuji Instax 90 with a red dot stuck on it….
I was not aware of that…Well then Fuji it is…thanks Huss, you just saved me $688!
See that, you were trying to be cheeky and ended up helping someone out. 🙂
Scott, I salute your spin Sir!
I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed, frustrated and even a bit angered by this I am. No new M, no sign of life for the S, no new lenses. The SL lenses aren’t mostly due till next Photokina! I feel the delay in M and S is because they want me to buy the SL. No way i’m going to invest in a new system with feeling as let down by them as this. I’ve spent a fortune on gear with them, the R was killed, and now the M or S could go this way, the S is plagued horribly with unreliability issues and they’ve not made any decent effort to make it up to us or restore faith . Leica have some serious talking and answering to their loyal customers because I have had about as much as I can take with them. I have a good mind to sell everything and go for the new Fuji a camera that seems to be the golden gun.
I know how you feel, but there is no need or pressure to buy new cameras. I am a professional photographer in UK and have been for 25+ years, shooting corporate mostly and around Europe and some weddings. The images from my M240 are still great, much preferred to the files from my Canon 1DX’s (which I have now sold). The dynamic range, colour and sharpness is superb.
I now have an SL too for studio flash type work, and again I’m very happy to use one set of lenses for everything..Would I buy a new M?, probably, and would have liked to see/hear Leica make some sort of announcement, but do I need to? no, not at all.