Leica X1 Black Embossed Ostrich Limited Edition

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Update: Thephoblographer contacted PETA and got their statement on the Leica X1 Black Embossed Ostrich Limited Edition:

"The thought of killing beautiful birds for a camera makes our skin crawl. Leica should follow the lead of H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and Nike and ditch exotic skins. The look of ostrich skin can easily be duplicated without killing any animals, and with so many synthetic materials available today, there’s no excuse for using real animal skins..." Read the rest at Thephoblographer.

After the first limited edition “Le Mans”, Leica will release a new X1 limited edition in Japan with black leather embossed ostrich. Only 80 pieces will be produced and the price will be around 230,000 yen or USD 2,400:

Via DCwatch

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  • Joe

    These have got to be the lamest attempts at special editions to date. I sure hope they have something substantial for Photokina.

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    Between this and the LeMan’s edition I have to wonder if they are deliberately crippling this model in order to not undermine the M market. Don’t get me wrong, I have a X1 yet despite excellent optics, elegant user interface, high resolution, I feel a bit cheated. This camera tries too hard to straddle high-end and low-end, thus falling short. On the high-end, it’s too slow, too small to handle, fixed lens that uses a dial to manually focus (even the V Lux1 had a lens you could manually focus like a real lens); and what is with this external connection plastic door and hokey battery latch? Then on the low-end, it breaks the compact price-barrier at over $2000 street price which classes it out of range for entry level markets. It’s like the X1 platform has an identity crisis, Leica is afraid of offending M users so they scale it down to a compact class despite the disparate market expectations. It might have been better to have charged $1000 more in order to make no compromises rather than scale it into a niche that is too sophisticated, heavy, bulky and pricey for a compact and still wanting as a entry level Leica or back-up camera. As far as a sub-compact is concerned, I LOVE my white C Lux 3! It’s elegant and despite being a Panasonic branded as a Leica, it is an exemplary build quality with metal doors, while the V-Lux 20 is a piece of plastic. My point being that the line is getting crowded on the low-end and they seem intent on holding back on mid-range products. No Digilux successor (for now?) but they tweak the X1 finish in a way that is barley perceivable, not once, but twice? If you are going to make a special edition make it special! Be bold! How about a white X1 or a tangerine leather and titanium finish and charge enough to make it clear that it is special. Gawd, I’m getting bored waiting to see ifnthisnis allmthere is!

    • CP

      Note that this is for the Japanese market ONLY. If you understand that market it makes total sense. It is a very discerning and fast turn over arena. To be one of 80 people to own this camera is a big deal there, where consumer goods often make the mark of who a person is ( a mark of their personality I should say). It also keeps Leica’s name in the news (no matter how silly it may seem to those elsewhere) and also gives their probably underutilized marketing dept something to do.

      It’s only eighty cameras – think about it. Doesn’t sound like the run up to an X2 to me. Just a way to keep the Japanese interested.

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    Then again it feels like prolongation. The M8 had waaaaay too many iterations that served the purpose of liquidating inventory before introducing the M9. Will a X2 be announced at Photokina?

  • http://www.echenique.com Carlos

    I’m waiting for the Titanium Version clad in reticulated giraffe testicles….

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    A studded lens hood would be in character.

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    The threading for that useless screw-in ring between the lens and body could provide a useful interface for such enhancements as a filter holder/shade.

    Btw: does it void the warranty to peel off that tacky sticker on the bottom of the camera? It reminds me of that tag they put on mattresses that says “do not remove under penalty of law.”

  • M!

    agree with magraux’s first comment.
    i don’t know, but these compact digital cameras will be very much worthless in 5, 10, 20 years. so at least packaging them in a ‘special edition’ will make it more memorable in its after life.

  • http://LeicaGlow.com Axel

    Is an extra $500 or so really worth the hassle of those German engineers running around trying to catch those Ostriches? And just how many Ostriches are there? They must run around like rats down under. You’d think they’d be endangered by now. I’m waiting for Leica to create the ultimate special edition using real fur of some sort. Leopard?

    • Puck

      Ostriches are domesticated and bred in farms for leather. So, y’know.

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    Maybe snake skin would be more peecee

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    The sad part is for selling only 80 copies they have brought the wrath of PETA and ironically you can barely notice the difference in the finish unless you look closely.

    Given the profit margin versus the adverse publicity it could have been better to produce a silver or (non-blood!) diamond crusted edition. The audacity of bling or the understated elegance of silver or titanium, but stay away from animal skins!

  • Joe

    It just serves to strengthen the view that Leicas are toys for the rich with more money than sense. PETA has a point about synthetic materials. It looks just like the standard leatherette with little divots embossed in it. No Vulcan has ever complained about Vulkanit.

  • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

    I agree with Joe. Besides, an ethical camera would just so happen to be long-lasting, and free of the superfluous in favor of technical excellence.

    • http://www.graphicintelligence.com Margaux

      The Leica ethic.

  • http://www.ventsdest.net Pierre Claquin

    I agree with Puck: ostriches are farmed commercially in many parts of the world and killed for meat. So using the skins of dead animals is no big deal….

  • Alan Goldstein

    Despite the name, this is not genuine ostrich skin. “Embossed ostrich skin” is simply a pattern that is pressed into more common leather or a synthetic material. So even though the birds are farm raised, they have absolutely nothing to do with this product.
    Unfortunately for Leica, if they clarify what the material actually is, they may stave off PETA but also confirm that there is nothing special about the material on this limited edition.

  • Johnny Kongo

    It doesn’t even look like ostrich leather…

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