Leica “almost ready” with its mirrorless solution?

The Spanish website dslrmagazine.com and its owner Valentin Sama heve been a reliable source of photo equipment news in the past. Today they twitted that Leica is almost ready with its mirrorless camera:

"Sources that usually are very well informed are telling us that Leica could have an almost ready CSC or mirrorless camera" (source)

"It's not known by now if the possible CSC or mirrorless from Leica would be a Panasonic clone or, maybe more probably, a custom creation" (source)

Rumors of a mirrorless solution from Leica have been going around for a while. The cameras is expected to be compatible with old Leica R lenses.

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  • mydarkroom

    Except for the S system, does Leica make any camera with a mirror??? I know the M9 and M8 never had a mirror to start! :)

    • grumps

      +1

    • V

      That’s what I thought too…

      Either way, hopefully Leica gets this right!

    • EE

      “M8/M9 never had a mirror to start”

      I’m confused; the M9 is or is not mirrorless? How would a supposed Leica “mirrorless” be different than the M9?

      • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

        We are talking about a modern, not a rangefinder-like mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses (probably a new mount). It should be smaller than the M line and it should be compatible (maybe via adapter) with old R lenses.

    • Coronita

      One has to read carefully. It reads, first, “CSC” (Compact System Camera), and then (aclaratory) mirrorless.
      And besides, if one likes nitpicking, M8 M8.2 and M9 cameras do have mirrors.
      In the viewfinder system.
      Cheers!

  • http://agniusdigital.com Agnius

    Who needs a mirror when high res LCD viewfinders available? I hope they get the logic of using it correctly though. I want magnification for fine focus, but then I want a full view for composition too.

    • Eric Pepin

      Because some people would never buy a camera with a LCD, I would pay more for a worse camera just if it had a real viewfinder.

  • AM*shoots*SF

    I want an x100.

    • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

      :)

  • grumps

    If anything, I’d like it to be M mount rather than R mount, but that’s just me :)
    Also it should at least weigh 30% lighter than the current M9.

  • Nobody Special

    The talk around Leica back when they were introducing the S2 (before that the rumor was a 35mm based dslr) they said that the R digital was to or wanted it to be small. At that time, the S2 was the buzz along with the Digital M. It would seem that any ‘new camera’ that is a Leica ‘system’ camera would be able to be useable with any of the Leica M or R glass and have (eventually?) it’s own dedicated lens line.

    At least that’s what would seem to be the smartest move to keep as many users in ‘the fold’ as possible, and ‘wow’ new fans as well. This is not the first time a ‘rumor’ has been put forth from a reliable source – and Leica has to be aware of the disapointment to the R users (and some of their reputation) they caused when they cancelled the idea and one has to believe that they know the consequences of a ‘bust’ idea – I really hope they get it right – whatever it is. I hope it’s something that will set standards for them.

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      the release of the Fuji X100 next months is probably a good time for Leica to announce a new product in the same (almost) category, just speculating..

  • Stu

    As long as it doesn’t turn out to be yet another limited edition M9 or X1 with an “innovative” new feature like a yellow finish…

    • h00ligan

      Or a gf2 rebranded for 2x the price with an adaptor.

      Honestly, I’m not sure where a Leica ‘mirrorless’ fits in.. the r solution was meant to be a dslr of sorts no? M users want rangefinder.. compact taken by x1, medium format s2.. mirrorless at twice the price of the x1 with no full frame is a no go.. with full frame may cannibalize m9…

      it will be interesting to see if there is anything, and if so where it fits.

      • Nobody Special

        I agree. There is room for sometrhing that could use M and R lenses that is a different technology concept/design/platform that would be a logical choice for those who are wanting a ‘different M’, while allowing them to keep the traditional rangefinder.

        Too, they put themselves into a box by releasing the S2 – there was no market and it can be viewed as a ‘gutsy’ marketing move – while they left R system users out. They really need to hit a ‘home-run’.

        • h00ligan

          At least they got a firmware update out to all 100 owners of the s2 though! :)

  • R!

    YEAHH LEICA IS COMING BACK TO 4/3 I KNEW IT,LET’ S GET SOME PRIMES…

  • ZDP-189

    No doubt it will be to the GF-2, except with a red badge, be missing the grip, and have different coloured menus and be double the price.

    Why does Leica need a mirrorless camera anyway? Isn’t that the M8/M9?

  • juan

    You can’t trust a spanish guy, believe me, i’m one of them xD

  • fiatlux

    I guess a Leica GF-2 is the most probable outcome although I’m not sure it will delight R lens owners (2x crop).

    I think a Leica M10 with a sensor allowing for live view would be a more sensible option: no need fo architectural change, the Leica M10 can keep the rangefinder and keep the M users happy. R users would be able to mount and focus their lenses accurately thanks to live view, plus there would be no sensor crop, a first for a CSC.

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      I don’t think Leica will rebrand their upcoming mirrorless camera, I believe it will be their own creation which is why they have not announced it yet.

  • EE

    What are the chances of this mystery camera being FF?

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      one of the tips I received last year were for a full frame Leica EVIL camera:

      http://leicarumors.com/2010/05/05/rumor-leica-evil-camera-for-photokina.aspx/

      • EE

        Going by that rumor, then the Leica mirrorless will not have even an electronic viewfinder. Disappointing. Was hoping for a cheaper M9 alternative.

        Seems like a a pro NEX 3/5, basically. Possibly FF, but–likely not.

  • Nobody Special

    This is alla re-hash of the last ‘big’ rumor. No one really knows. The fact that many people latch onto the whole idea of a ‘hopefully’ FF camera should hopefully tell Leica there is a market outside the M.

    They have said repeatedly through all speculations that they will not participate in the 4/3rds camera market.

  • broxibear

    “Leica has issued an official statement after several websites published articles suggesting that the firm is poised to launch its first mirrorless, compact system camera”…

    “n a statement issued this afternoon a Leica spokesman said: ‘Leica has been producing mirrorless cameras since 1954 (starting with the M3, and even before this, if you consider the screw mount cameras).
    ‘With the Leica M9 (pictured), we have the most compact, full format, mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses on the market.
    ‘Of course, we won’t stop with the M9, but it is definitely too early to discuss a successor to this model.’”
    http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Leica_responds_to_mirrorless_camera_stories_news_305883.html

    • Nobody Special

      Boy, reading the comment from Leica, one would think they are just talking about another M model. Which really wouldn’t appeal to me in the least. Unless it allowed the use of R lenses. I don’t see them going to a live-view with an M camera either that could help facilitate that. Because if history is an indicator, too many ‘traditionalists’ would scream.

      They are either ‘blowing smoke’ and have something else in mind. Or, straight up, calling the M9 a mirrorless camera and meaning it is delusional – they are reinventing the word to suit their needs. As has mentioned recently, the M camera HAS MIRRORS and is useless without them as it IS the focusing system for the camera.

      In fact, the whole comment is almost a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ – they can’t be serious saying that.

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      Leica either did not understand what this rumor is about or they are just avoiding this topic. This rumor is not about a new M camera, we are talking about a new full frame mirrorless camera with a new mount that will work also with R lenses. I would like to hear what they have to say about that.

      • Nobody Special

        Well said. The truth may really be in your statement of, “we are talking about”, that as we all have experienced from them over the last nearly four years, seems to always be the point, we are atlking, but they never seem to answer clearly.

        Can they ever just answer a question that we have completely, without anything being left to interpretation? Ever?

        • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

          They also initially denied the full frame M camera by saying that it was technically impossible.

      • EE

        Whats up with “R lenses” …what are they and why should we care? Aren’t the M mount lenses the best-of-the-best?

        “R” lenses sound like a step backwards….

  • Thyl Engelhardt

    I have been waiting for an M system camera with electronic range determining, a zooming optical viewfinder and an R lens adapter that controls the aperture on these lenses ever since the M8. May finally materialize.

  • Nobody Special

    EE,

    The R lenses refer to the lenses they had for their SLR line-up since 1964 that started with the Leicaflex Standard and continued through the R9 into 2008ish. The M lenses are considered by many to be the best of the best, but having used both systems, I can say that depending on the period of the lens (and which Leica designer designed it) they both represent the highest form of manually focused 35mm lenses.

    The reason that you’ll see me, and others commenting about them, is that Leica had been literally promisung a DSLR with AF that would allow use of the R lenses as well. Instead they produced the S system and ever so gradually and some would say, timidly, backed off their promise for the R digital. Since then, they have been talking of an ‘R solution’. After spending many thousands of $$$$ on the system it stings more than a little.

    Which most of us by now consider almost a sad joke after putting stock in their past promise. So we are sitting on lenses useable with film (quite excellent, I might add) or adapt them to a N or C digital body.

  • kww

    What is sounds like they are working on is an EVIL which is basically an M9 with the rangefinder torn out, and an ultra high quality EVF inserted. Of course there are hopes of a hybrid OVF/EVF ala’ Fuji X100.

    To use R lenses, it would have to be a FF sensor, imo. Leica will not do an an interchangeable lens X1 – it would be another slap in the face to all the R-series owners out there to have top quality glass on a sensor subservient to the M9 FF.

    Of course the disingenuous part of the whole R lens utilization saga is that the M9, can already optically accept an R lens adapter. Optically you can take the X1 and GF1/2 and make them work with R lenses as well.

    This leads me to believe that you won’t see a Leica GF2, or an interchangeable lens X1. But you will see a FF with an OVF/EVF. It will be similar in size to the M9 and be able to take both M and R lenses.

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