Leica’s new compact mirrorless system camera: priced between the X1 and M9, compatible with M-mount lenses

Richard Swan from Leica UK shared some details on their upcoming compact mirrorless system camera with TechRadar. The new product line will be placed somewhere between the X1 and M9 in terms of pricing. As previous reprots indicated, the camera will have at least an APS-C sized sensor. Another interesting comment was that "any future interchangeable lens cameras from Leica would be compatible with M-mount lenses". Announcement will take place at Photokina 2012.

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  • First

    Let’s just hope it has some optical viewfinder that is not some 3inch display.
    Time to bust out my summilux!

  • mmr

    Leica better make it in Hermes Titanium edition if they wish any sales as by Sept 2012 anyone interested in APS-C compact system camera with EVF will be shooting Sony costing less than X1

  • M!

    Leica is banking on the ‘brand’ and the number of M lenses around.
    optical viewfinder on a mirrorless system? like a rangefinder?? or a stick on viewfinder??

    IMO they should include some form of EVF and movie capability.

  • mars

    Photokina is september 2012 (which is over 1 year away). They better have a fullframe mirrorless camera by then since Sony is already coming up with a possible 24MP NEX-7 in a month.

    anyhow, only time will tell….

    • grumps

      Agree! I think the Sony Camera are the going to be the force to be contended with!

    • camerageek

      They already have two full frame mirrorless. They are called the M9 and M9P

      • name

        The rangefinder construction includes a mirror.

        • camerageek

          The mirror is not in the path of light where the image is made. Again a common peasant who thinks they know photography attempts to speak. A mirrorless camera does not have a mirror in the i8maging path, so yes a Leica M9 can be considered a mirrorless camera. Rangefinders have been called mirrorless cameras since the 1920, now unclean peasants like you try to change the truth. Go back to finger painting and allow the lite to handle this

          • camrageekslayer

            How does it feel to come off as a complete sh*t head? Photography doesn’t belong to people like you and it never will.

  • 2012? YOu’re kidding

    thats way too long to wait.

  • Francis

    Lol…that’s fine, gives me time to get rid of my NEX, buy a Nex7 and replace it with a leica jewel… No more developing and reprints to do so I buy cameras

  • Nobody Special

    Been here, heard that. Who knows what they’ll do. If it’s not an interchangeable lens system camera, why bother? Too, it could almost be said that if it takes M lenses, why bother with APS? Then why bother with an APS body when they have the X1?

    As usual, I’m not holding my breath or expecting much from them at this point – which would make any surprise ‘Leica-did-it-right-camera’ all the more special. But a full-sized sensor, please – no cropping of M lenses. Nearly four years and counting since the ‘R solution’, and notice they haven’t said much if anything about the ‘solution’ lately…..promises, promises.

  • I Should Be Shooting

    Priced between the X1 and M9, glad they narrowed that down for us.

    • Huggs

      I know, right. It’s a $5k gap!

  • Ken Elliott

    I believe it would be wise for Leica to produce a so-called “mirrorless ” camera with an M-mount. Work with partner Panasonic to provide an EVF, and you’d have a winner.

    I’m pretty sure Leica does not want to mess up the M series, but needs to take advantage of the existing M mount lenses. An “EVIL” M-mount would be a reasonable compromise. I’ll bet there are a lot of guys with old Leica film camera that really want a digital camera that can use their lenses, but cannot/will not pay M-series prices. Right now, they are looking at the Micro 4/3 bodies, the Sony and Ricoh bodies, yet really want a Leica. That is a significant amount of cash that Leica could get. Ricoh seems to be making a jump for it with the GXR’s new M-mount module.

  • camerageek

    Sounds like the digital CL is finally here.

    • Sales figures for the Leica CL vs the Leica M4 apparently showed with painful clarity, that offering a cheap alternative with 90% of the functionality of the top-of-the-line product is not a good idea. So that is why an intermediate model with a “proper” rangefinder is never likely to happen IMHO – it would kill off the M9 sales.

      • Or, rather: My point is that Leica would probably *expect* it to kill off the M9, and on that basis not decide to build it. What the market really would do in case of a Digital CL, I am not sure of.

      • JT

        You mean the M5?

  • I’m very pleased to see M-mount capability but I hope that it lives up to Leica’s past levels of reliability. My X1 lacks robust response time and I hope this is not the case with this platform. Battery handgrips sounds nice:)

  • Christian M.

    Gentlemen, let me please share a secret with you….
    I already have that camera which is mentioned here:

    Sensor size is bigger than APS (yet smaller than Full Frame)
    fully compatible with Leica M lenses
    beautifull, bright optical Rangefinder
    and all manual controls
    in a classically styled M-Body
    it produces wonderful pictures
    which are tack sharp, without AA filter

    I love this little camera and can highly recommend it…
    it’s called M8.

  • JT

    Nice, now more people can wait year long lines for any M lenses. Come on Leica roll them bad boys out faster!

  • Bryan Campbell

    Sounds like a new 1.33x crop like a smaller M8 with the X1’s (or better) ISO capabilities… As long as it has Rangefinder focusing I would love one. M8.3 without the IR issues and modern sensor… maybe the size of a Leica CL?

  • robert

    Let the rangefinder wars begin. I am very interested in Leica and what other have to offer. I must say I want but cannot afford a Lieca as most of my money will be going towards purchase of Nikon D4., however I find as I get older I want a smaller Lighter camera that has interchageable lenses and good in low light situations. Expensive say in but not too expensive. How about a 2,000 Leica Rangefinder that allows interchangeable lenses.

  • Ala’a

    Who is the potential user for such camera? An M-user who wants another backup body in his gear? An amateur stepping up from the domain of P&S and who aspires to one day switch to an M camera, perhaps?

    I assume such a camera would come with its own line of AF lenses, which are mount compatible with M-lenses. This is kinda like how Nikon made the switch to AF back in the 1980s, keep the mount and build technology around it. Will this pave the way for Future AF M-Leica cameras, much to the chagrin of pure rangefinder aficionados? Probably not :-/

    However, Leica might offer the M-compatibility in the form of an adapter, which is something that is already available to m4/3 cameras (along with NEX, etc…), along with the option of installing other lens formats from Nikon, Canon and Leica-R. That will thrust Leica into the EVIL format compitition against other manufactures, including Panasonic. Hmmm … such current offerings are available to M-lens owners at a fraction of what Leica will charge for the new camera :-/ (Speaking of which, wasn’t Leica’s EVIL solution supposed to include an answer to the R-Leica legacy?)

    And how will this camera fair against the X1 and its future succesors? Unless the camera will be a future X of some sort, but with ILs? Probably not: the X is a fixed lens P&S-Pro kinda camera – although I suppose future models might offer a Tri-Elmar type of lens, rather than a zoom.

    Currently, on the interchangeable format front Leica has the M & S along with the past R systems. Is it a good time to embrace a fourth lens mount? I realize many users would like to use their M (and perhaps R) lenses without the need to spend $$$ on a new M camera, but an entry level M-capable camera would encroach upon the territory of established M-cameras, present and future.

    Which brings me back to my first question: who is the potential user for such a camera?

    • Nobody Special

      Well said. I basically concur.

      I would like to see Leica jump out of the box with some new creative and versatile design. As an R user, I have lost faith in Leica to deliver on any R solution, and there are moments when I’m really p—-ed at them for that. Yet they still have the opportunity to satisfy M and R lens users with a ‘bridge design’ that encompasses new tech, that could be FF and not APS. Nothing against those that want a compact design like a CL – how about a camera that does things like focus close, you know, macro, or tele lenses, sequence capability at least 6 frames per second and it’s not a rangefinder.

      I hope they have it in them, but based on how they’ve been moving through the last three-plus years I’m not sure they do – I hope I’m wrong. But an APS camera would just have to battle with Sony and Nikon, etc., and then, how would they be able to produce an entire lens line to go with it? If they’re going to bother, step into the future – they’ve had all this time NOT producing the R digital AF, so they should have come up with something worth bothering with.

    • camerageek

      It will be M-Mount, it will have a rangefinder, it will be APS-C, and no it will not be AF. It will make money for Leica. Trust me on this. Using your logic, Nikon would never make a D31000 or Canon would never make a Rebel. Leica knows that at the price of an M they sell very few cameras. They will still sell the same numbers of M even if they introduced a Digital CL. The Digital CL (what I will call it) simply gives them greater sales and allows them to sell a lot more lenses.

      • Nobody Special

        If you are correct and no one knows for sure (unless one works for Leica on the project) a digial APS rangefinder will be an absolute waste for those of us who want a camera that can do what a S, N, or C camera can do. Rangefinders are a technical hold back – they have the chance to bring a more varied audience to Leica in a useable platform for a variety of photographic situations.

        No rangefinder can do that – and besides, they already had that in an M8………and everyone wanted a FF.

  • M9P

    Sounds cool 😉

  • graycat

    I think the colour LCD is unnecessary, only black and white display which show histogram and others relevant informations is enough. E-ink as in kindle’s screen is a good idea for saving the battery.

  • santela

    reminds me of the d-lux series, aka rebrand of panasonic point-n-shoots. this one is probably a rebrand of the nex line. i would expect an apsc sensor, anything larger will likely cannibal the m9 sales.

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