Two new Leica cameras at Photokina 2012

DSLR Magazine, who has a pretty good track record when it comes to "predicting" upcoming products, posted on Twitter that Leica is working on two new cameras for Photokina and one of them will have a "reasonable" price tag (for Leica's standards).

My interpretation of this statement is a new Leica M10 and a new mirrorless system which was recently mentioned on several occasions by Leica executives. The new camera system is expected to have at least an APS-C sized sensor and will probably be compatible with Leica R lenses.

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  • J Shin

    I was assuming/hoping that the X2 will be cheaper than the M9 and more expensive than the X1, so this kinda confirms it?

    • J Shin

      OK, that sounds a little vapid… but you never know with Leica… Every time they announced something new lately it’s always been more expensive than the predecessor. 🙂

    • J Shin

      I’ll be more specific. Sorry about my bird brain. My preposterous wish list that will make me pre-order:

      Leica X2, $3,000, full frame, 20+MP, 2+MP EVF, M-series form factor and mount, 4 fps, $200 for R-M mount adapter, SD Card

      Optional: CL form factor, R-ROM contacts in adapter Flash meter like R8/9

      Don’t need: AF, video, electronic shutter, higher fps

      What are you hoping for?

      • Calvin

        How does your X2 differ from the current M range, apart from the EVF?

        This has always been my issue with those who want and EVF on the X series. This would hit the M range too much and Leica will protect that range above all else.

  • Cole

    I’d put money that it’s not the M10.

    • Dave

      I think they need a new M, be it M9.2 or M10, because the M9 is starting to look distinctly musty at this point, and Leica needs to defend its turf against Fuji.

      • Castiel

        leica and fuji are totally in different kind of market, there aren’t any necessary that leica need to defend fuji at all
        leica lens are leica lens
        fuji lens are fuji lens
        Its totally different thing, customer deserve what they want
        I don’t understand why people keep comparing fuji’s mirroless to leica M
        just because it looks alike

        • John

          Yes, but don’t forget that the smartphone was in a completely different market to the point and shoot camera, and now the smartphone is putting a lot of pressure on the point and shoot market.

          The Fuji will also put pressure on Leica. The Fuji is a Rangefinder that can use Leica lenses, is auto-focus, has a more advanced viewfinder, and at a substantial lower price point.

          I am sure the Leica will produce better quality images to those who are willing to learn the camera, but to those who have not yet bought into the Leica system the Fuji may be a better proposition. I think this is why Leica will have to bring out a radically new M10.


          • Mark

            No. That’s not the case.
            Think about Ferrari 458 Spyder and Mazda MX5, both are two seater sport cars. Do they have the same target?
            Fuji might be nice addition to M9 but not a replacement.
            The only area to worry about are these photographers looking for smaller “street” body; previously they were dreaming about M9, now they have another choice…
            Sony with their NEX7 might be affected… but that’s another story.


          • Joeri

            The Fuji is NOT, I repeat, NOT a rangefinder. Even if the XP-1 outperforms the M9 in IQ, which it doesn’t -only in high ISO, and I don’t need more than 1600 – I wouldn’t buy one to replace the M9. All RF-users I know hate AF and bad AF even more. And using a screen to focus an AF-lens on a XP-1 -or any other camera – is one of the most annoying things I can think of.
            Therefore I truly hope Leica will make a digital CL, with a proper rangefinder. If someone else makes it I’ll buy it as well. I don’t care about the brand.

          • hexx

            @ Joeri how do you know that new Fuji isn’t performing better than M9? It’s not out yet so how can you say that? Don’t forget, M9 is quite old now and so is sensor inside it. You don’t need more than ISO1600 because you can’t use more on M9 – let’s be honest here.

            X-Pro1 is camera Leica should have made and call it M8.5.

          • The XPro-1 has no rangefinder mechanism, and as far as we know has no digital emulation of a rangefinder. If it did, and it worked reasonably like a rangefinder camera, I’d buy it no matter the price. The problem, of course, is that my lenses which were chosen based on focal lengths, would inherit a 1,5x multiplier. Not happy about that.

            There are no rangefinder digital cameras other than Leica on the market now. The only other one ever was the Epson RD1, but its day has passed. Still, I’ll be looking for more from Epson/Cosina as Fuji just made an ILC that sports an historic style, patterned after, but not becoming, a rangefinder camera.

        • CHD

          LOL….man, you guys seem to have the same attitude as Leica. “We’re the best and we don’t get about anyone else, so we aren’t worried about competition’.

          Well you know what, Leica SHOULD be afraid of Fuji. Fuji already announced that they are releasing an M adapter for the X-Pro1…and in my opinion the lenses are the one thing Leica has going for them.

          Leica should be very afraid if Fuji ever decides to release a full frame XPro….but then again Leica doesn’t care, they’re happy to sell a miniscule number of cameras to rich Asians and ride off their reputation.

          • Ron

            Leica and Fuji have different target groups. Leica targets people who have the money and want the best (like me, and I’m not from Asia), Fuji to people who don’t have the money, but who want to get the so-called “true photography experience”.

        • hexx

          nope, because Fuji has some really nice glass in professional market (look it up) that’s why people say that Leica should be afraid, although I don’t think we’ll see much of that pro-grade glass in the price range Fuji introduced with X-Pro1 (~$600)

      • How exactly does M9 look musty? I don’t think it will be musty in the next 10 years. It makes great prints for good sizes. Thats not going to change. The design has not really changed for 50 years, so thats not mustier any time soon. There is not much technology there to improve on.

        Fuji is a joke to anyone who has used a classic rangefinder. Looks like a copy and feels like one.

        • hexx

          Copy of what? Fuji RF cameras? As far as I know there’s only one retro-styled Fuji on the market and it’s X100. Fuji X100 and newly introduced X-Pro1 are not RF cameras but hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder cameras. Look up TX-1/TX-2 and tell me what these new cameras from Fuji look like, more like Fuji or more like Leica.

          There were many RF cameras throughout the years, Leica wasn’t the only one.

  • M!

    It’s going to be a M9P and X1 Dragon Edition in red and gold. may be in fake lizard print skin.

  • polpaulin

    The new camera system is expected to have at least an APS-C sized sensor and will probably be compatible with Leica R lenses

    AND M lenses I hope ?

    • Craig

      It would be nearly impossible to get one camera body to be compatible with both the R and M lenses as the focal length from the back lens element to the sensor distance is different for the two lens series. Sorry.

      • vlux luver

        never heard of an adapter? shortest flange is the best!

        • Craig

          Sure, I have heard of and used adapters. They are not the perfect solution. I am an IQ nut and most adapters don’t cut it. Sorry.

          For the money the new camera will cost, just make it work really, really well with one set of lenses. That is all we want.

          • Thyl Engelhardt

            It is Leica’s task to come up with an R-lens adapter that works, including e.g. mechnical transmission of “information” etc. If this adapter is not from a third party company, it would not be a problem to make a camera that is fully compatible with both M lenses and R lenses. There is enough room in front of an M mount until the flange of the R mount is reached to incorporate complex, maybe even motorized components in such an adapter.

  • Justin

    The M9P came out last year. Given Leica’s entirely predictable update cycle it’s very, very unlikely they will introduce the M10 in the next year.

    The X2 seems like a certainy though. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was based on Fujifilm’s X-Pro platform and supporting M lenses.

  • Snap up those R lenses now.

  • Camaman

    We’ll I do remember them talking about a new mirrorless system that will utilize many of the modern expectations and features that most manufacturers already have.

    I expect an intimate deal with Panasonic for EVF, AF etc technology for a digital rangefinder camera…

  • CR

    in my opinion to be expected:
    1. reasonable: panasonic leica for sure.
    2. Leica-spec: X2?
    can’t see a M10, yet. the m9/m9p are still running fine for Leica criteria.
    the X1 has come under fire by Fuji, heavily and needs update/replacement/peer to remain a competitive entry-model.
    the promised m43 cam could be filling a X2 placeholder. R-Lenses? yeah, maybe with a leica adapter, like Nikon’s on the 1 system. But that’s of no real value.
    m43 makes no sense to me either, as they’d enter a very competitive market produced on their own (as they kept telling) – a tough fight for Leica against their partner Panasonic, too.

    Based on the existing rumours I’d personally wish to see (pushing for M-Lenses):
    a) reasonable: a Panasonic GH2 (excellent video) Leica as Digilux4 with Leica M-Mount Adapter for approx. 1.200,- USD
    b) X2: introducing a M8L =light (X1-like case, optional EVF, APS-C, with M-lens mount) for approx. 2.500,- USD. Optional R-Lens Adapter.


    • CR

      I wish Leica would be producing only 3 main models:
      drop the non-selling consumer cameras and the loosing ground X1. Who’s buying them anyway?

      M-class (1 physical case-base, leica produced, promoting the M-system):
      1) APS-C Sensor, EVF driven “M8” as M9L (L=light), for 2.500,- USD
      2) M9P, exists

      3) S2, exists

  • Harold Ellis

    leica fans will buy leica because it is leica
    but to get any $ from real photographers it needs to be full frame and for good price.

  • We already have a Leica R solution. It’s called Canon 5D II 🙂 and sells for about the price of a used M8. I have them both, and 10 R lenses from 21mm to 400mm. Brilliant combo! The M8 for traveling, and the Canon for serious work.

  • I hope that no M10 will be announced. I just ordered an M9-P and would be annoyed…

    • CHD

      Well, either like your M9-P and be happy with it, or be prepared to be annoyed….I guarantee an M10 will be announced this year…just watch:)

    • J Shin

      It will be at the earliest a good two years from today before the M10 is reliably available in mass quantity, so I wouldn’t feel bad. If you didn’t get the M9-P because of M10 rumors, you’d end up like me, still waiting for the R10. I cannot afford even the M8, anyway, so I envy you regardless.

      I was one of the people who bought a Mac Performa 600 just as Centris 650 was announced, but I didn’t really need to upgrade for a few years, and by then the PowerPC Macs were becoming dominant. I got a cheap motherboard upgrade to the 650, which I still use for MIDI work, and skipped to the 7300. Trying to buy the “latest gadget” is like trying to time the market… which is why we are glued to these rumor sites, right? 🙂

      Admin: Thanks for the rumors!

  • Nobody Special

    Lets see, Leica hasn’t introduced any new tech in the last 2 to 3 years. So in theory they’ve had enough time to be working on two NEW systems.

    They need a lot of increased capactiy to move production forward (especially lenses) on the systems they have now. So, it would seem unlikely they would be able to handle two NEW systems, assuming they’ll have interchangeable lenses and with the new facilities not opening up until the later part of 2013 it seems like a stretch.

    If the imfamous and never ending ‘R solution’ happens, it would seem like a total waste for it to be an APS format. I for one don’t want to crop my R glass. It would be awesome if it was a FF sensor – but seeing as how they have been going with product decisions – I would love it but I’m not holding my breath.

    The big 100 year Leica camera anniversary is coming in 2013, so that might throw a wrench in to what they release this year. I would be very bimpreesed if they actually get it together and start with some really new and INNOVATIVE DESIGN. I’ve said it before – keep a ‘traditional M’ camera and grow into a new (system?) camera that is modern in shape and technology – including a hybrid finder or whatever.

    If they don’t reinvent themselves this time around I think they will start to suffer in the market or become stagnant. But as has been said, who knows? It’s Leica camera we’re talking about.

    • You seem to describe Leica S2. Thats where Leica is “innovative”, whatever that buzzword is supposed to mean. New is not necessarily useful. Like so many others I rediscovered photography when I got back to the basics with a film M. Thats the spirit that will keep Leica alive in the digital world. Let the Japanese pile up their gizmos.

      • Nobody Special

        No, the S2 is merely a DSLR with a bigger sensor. I wouldn’t call it an innovative product – which to me means a camera that incorporates features that are new in function in a package that is different than what is on the market or produced by another company. The Fuji as compared to an M, for example. The form is similar but that’s where the similarities end.

        A new Leica camera does not have to be filled up with gizzmos and gadgets. Having used M and R Leica for over 40 years, both have unique qualities. But the M is way past due for some type of upgrades. Heck, the eyepeice alone is a place where the M can be improved – just make it bigger and adjustable. I’m not saying the M should be changed completely. Too, many don’t want it to change – okay – keep it a 1954 design. Let them use it.

        Then make one that is a bit more ‘up-tech’, why not make it with a form-fitting body and heaven forbid, maybe even make it a bit taller – not everyone has small hands or uses the M in mild weather. So make the controls bigger too – so I don’t have to expose my hands to brutal cold – and have a battery pack that doesn’t have propritory batteries, that also has some mild sequencing capability – like 6 frames a second, weather sealed, etc.

  • What would I wish for?

    M10 will be an ultimate Leica – by developing a hybrid viewfinder (a la Fuji) Leica could have a solution for both M users, and with adapter for R as well (with aperture control and focus assist). Finally it will be based on Maestro processor family with even better full frame sensor – higher dynamic range and fast operation. One M size camera, everybody’s happy. Some will bitch about its high price, but that’s to be expected. And rebadged Panasonic? I wish Leica stopped that. That was a stop gap measure when Leica did not have anything digital, but now that’s just silly.

  • hexx

    well, whatever they plan to introduce I just hope they realised that it’s already 21st century and things have changed a bit (like shitty rear LCD on M9 anyone?)

  • Nobody Special

    I would add that whatever they decide to do or are doing, I hope Kauffmann is out of the product development loop.

    I hope he actually LISTENS and understands when to stay out of the development decisions. He is the $$$$, (well okay, more than half of it) and hopefully he has been letting someone who really understands and actively uses equipment, and has an imagination that can tie-in the technicians, and a design team that knows what to do with it.

    • Seb

      Well, its no secret that Leicas cooperation with Magnum Photos is party because they want real photographers to tell them what they want and how to make their cameras better. I really hope it will work out as i imagined it. But, I’m still going to dump my M8 for the Fuji. I only bought the M8 to have the comfort of having files fast, and the Fuji is giving me even more comfort. For serious work i use my M6 or medium format anyway ..

      • Stephen B

        Seb, I like the way you roll. Film is always going to be what I prefer for serious matters and digital is great for a quick fix sometimes. Ultimately I just wish I had a lab that was closer so I could shoot more slide film. Does one really need anything more than slide film for colour and tri-x and delta 100 for black and white? That would do it for me if I was completely honest.

        • Nobody Special

          Completely agree. Anyone who has yet to shoot with transparency film hasn’t lived yet. It takes concentration to exposure correctly – try it on manual mode. I still use it almost exclusively for FF 35mm and MF 6×6 and 6×7. Using a hand-held meter is a great way to study and learn lighting in the field. Transparency film made me a better photographer more than any camera has.

          Though as to Magnum, they use a lot of DSLR as well as a few using M’s, and MF. There are plenty of qualified Leica users that have been telling them for years what is needed – listening and doing has been the issue. How many Magnum or other Leica users did we hear asking for an S2? I rememeber what everyone was asking/waiting for – the R10 DSLR.

  • Daryl

    Corporations exist to make a profit, therefore new products need to move that motive forward. The M9 has created demand that is unmet in lens production. To put emphasis on a camera, M10 that would further create demand without the ability to profit (meet) the demand makes no sense. Also, rumors are that megapixel count will increase substantially, Leica is the only company whose lens lineup can deliver on that resolution. I see Leica ramping up lens production and when they can meet demand they will introduce a high megapixel camera that will send demand higher……increased profit.

    • hexx

      the demand for lenses increased mainly thanks to other ILCS and M adaptors

      • Joeri

        @ Hexx about your first comment: I said: even if the X-Pro is better than the M9… Honestly, I don’t really care whether it will be sharper, or less noisy at 1600 iso -which it probably will be -, and even if it will be sharper at 200 iso or whatever, It is still AF and NOT RF. It is though not very probable that a APS-C sized sensor with a Fuji lens will render the way the FF M9 renders with, say, a 50 summicron. It is just NOT going to happen.
        Just to be clear: I am not a Leica snob, but just love RF’s.
        And for the record: I have used almost the whole 1D range and the two 5D’s, but never were amazed as much when I saw my M9 with 50 summicron images for the first time. I make pictures for a living and never were as happy as with the M9. It is also the camera I have wanted to throw out my window more than the DSLR’s…

        • hexx

          Nope, I don’t think it will be comparable with 50 cron, that 35m f/1.4 should be around £500, Summicron f/2 is £1500. But funny you mention this combination because I think that’s what X-Pro1 with 35mm f/1.4 will be compared to – M9 with 50mm Summicron f/2 – same angle of view and if the distance of subject is the same so should be DoF.

          I decided to collect some Leica glass myself but Leica body is just a joke for that money. Leica lenses is different story – not many lenses perform so well wide open.

          I don’t mind Leica snobs, in the end it’s their money not mine. What I don’t like is blind refusal of the facts (shit rear LCD, shit WB, small buffer…) and saying that M9 has that and is better than that or that – yes, it was true in 2009/2010 but not these days. NEX-7 with the same Leica lenses produces better photos than M9.

        • Stephen B

          Great comment.

  • Ramesh

    The Leica is the only true full frame digital rangefinder in the market. Don’t compare it to Fuji, Canon, Nikon and the like. For sheer performance, a number of them will outperform the Leica. For sheer enjoyment, the Leica is what it is.

    I don’t believe at Photokina 2010, Leica will dramatically supersede the M9-P. What’s available in the market as building blocks will not enable them to do so today. Maybe some small adjustments could be likely. The M10 will be likely in 2013.

    Leica has a long waiting list in several markets and Leica will be foolish to replace what is a highly sought after product as each product revision costs money which can only be recovered after several years of sales.

    • J Shin

      If not an M10, then could an S3 be coming?

  • Lefse

    People in here don’t seem to get the following fact:
    In the digital world, you replace your product with something better _before_ the demand for it withers away.

    Leica is financially more healthy now than the company has been in 50 years. This is due to the fact that they have followed a fairly aggressive product cycle. The M10 will probably come this autumn. A new 21/24mp Kodak CCD-sensor with 1.5 stop improvement in dynamic range, and a new display. Live view sounds more like an X2-thing. Hoping for more than this doesn’t make any sense. It’s a Leica, not a Japanese toy.

    By the way; what’s the point in putting huge R-lenses on a small camera with a crop sensor?
    This got nothing to do with Leica’s philosophy. To me it’s seems like some people in here want Nikons or Sonys, but with a higher status brand printed on them.

    • Thyl Engelhardt

      People seem to long for a modern camera that can use their R lenses. Since they won’t get an R10, they would probably accept the somewhat smaller size of an M10, if they could just again use those lenses.

  • EnPassant

    Leicas’ digital M release history so far:
    2006: M8
    2008: M8.2
    2009: M9
    2011: M9P
    The clever will see a pattern here. Two years after the original release the upgraded model make its premiere. And only one year after M8.2 saw its light M9 was presented. M9P came out last year and this year we will have Photokina…

    • Nobody Special

      We’ll see how long the product cycle will last for the M. Remember, the M8 wasn’t FF. They bought themselves some time in the market and pumped interest for a FF M9. But at the price they ask, it’s not worth the money for hardly any upgrades or improvement.

      This is where they have to be smart. People will hang on to the bodies longer if all they want is a ‘traditional’ M, and not pay the new increases. But really, around $8K for an M9 that has a less than easy finder eyepiece designed in 1954, etc., they really need to get a handle on pricing while they increase camera performance and capability.

      • EnPassant

        I agree to most of the things. But three years is a long time in the digital age.
        I think it is about time for Leica to update M9 to a M10 with a new sensor, better display with live-view and a few other things just to keep up the interest for the brand and not appear being behind. I don’t expect a M10 looking much different than the M9. It will still have the rangefinder for all Leica M-nostalgics.

        I don’t expect M10 to be cheaper but think the same price as M9P is reasonable although still too expensive for most. Those who planned buying an M9 will simply buy an M10 instead and those with money burning in their pockets and an urge for having the latest will upgrade. On the other hand used M9s will fall in price, if not as much as M8 as it have a fullframe sensor. Still good news for Leicalovers with smaller pockets.

        What Leica really would need is a modern M-camera without the old mechanical rangefinder. Something like Fujifilms X-Pro1 but with a fullframe sensor. Except for Leica having the only digital camera with a mechanichal rangefinder the main niche is M9 still being the only mirrorless fullframe camera. I think Leica should develop that niche with a camera that can take not only M-lenses but via adapter all the old legacy lenses including being the R-solution.

  • Wow lots of chatter by standards of Leicarumor (as compared to Nikon).

    Before the two new cameras are launched we’ll see some new lenses. Notably the new Summicron 50mm that should be accounted end of this week or the beginning of the next.

    • Ack okay nevermind I was just informed the Summicron 50mm won’t be coming out that quickly, some delays, as usual.

  • Joeri

    If you really care about the lcd, buffer and wb (which by the way is fine and who cares since everybody shoots dng??) then a DSLR is your way to go. I do wedding and even sports with the m9 and never was bothered by the buffer.
    A few weeks ago I visited Alhambra in Spain. While I was enjoying the scenery and looking for some nice shots a guy stopped, took his sony nex-” wunderplastik out of his bag, machingunned at least thirty shots while moving his camera, stitched it to one picture in the next second and rushed on. He probably posted it on facebook the next second while moving along.
    I don’t want that. It has nothing to do with photography.

    • hexx

      Hi Joeri, I guess your comment is a reply to my comment a bit above. It’s not about what I care for or not. It’s more about expectations for money I pay for a product.

      Regarding shooting DNG and not worrying about WB – well it saves a lot of time in post processing if WB comes spot-on from your camera.

      I just wish that Leica makes cameras worth the price and again I have nothing against Leica lenses.

      • Joeri

        It is a fact that products that are produced in small quantaties are relatively expensive. And it is also a fact that Japanese master the art of producing very efficiently and their products are very reliable.
        A digital Casio watch keeps time a lot better than my German automatic watch, which I have to adjust every week and doesn’t run at all if I don’t wear it. Still I prefer the automatic. Why? Because it makes me feel good. The M9 makes me feel good as well and yes, there are camera’s that cost less and produce similar and sometimes better IQ, even though my criteria for IQ might differ from yours…
        A nex whatever feels like that casio. The M9 will feel like that Swiss or German mechanical watch.

        • hexx

          nope, I’m with you when it comes to look and feel, NEX-7 is too geeky for me but I admit that technologically it’s a masterpiece for that price. I’ve owned dSLR with few lenses – sold/given away and my only camera now is Fuji X100 but sometimes I miss the possibility of mounting different lens (for portraits for example) so I’m looking for some ILCS but not SLR – lenses are too big and heavy.

    • Haha! Hilarious! 🙂 I agree, but even though I agree, I cant help but using the 10fps of my Nikon J1 when shooting street with it.. Am I a bad person?

  • what about a r6 sized fullframe dslr camera no evf!
    and a x2 f/2.0

    well a digital cl would be king doh…but please no evf!
    why look at stuff on a digital screen if you CAN look at them
    in real…

    • J Shin

      I want EVF because:

      1) EVF is cheaper and smaller than SLR.

      2) I could use some focus assist. Never had very good visual acuity. I’ve tried rangefinders, and I just can’t do it any more. 🙁 SLRs work better for me, and EVF with peaking is much better; focusing on the LCD is out of question for me because I can’t see them in bright light, and they create distraction in low light.

      3) I LOVE long telephotos, for which rangefinders are inadequate. My “portrait” lens is the Elmarit-R 2.8/180, sometimes, when I’m feeling strong and healthy, the Apo-Telyt-R 2.8/280…

      I don’t like to use modern DSLRs because my hands are a bit small, and I don’t need monster FPS. My beloved R8 is actually too big for my hands (attention, German designers with big hands!). At the same time, I don’t like it that the NEXs are so small and light, as it throws off the balance.

      So, you can see an EVIL with M form factor and build is ideal for me.

      Maybe not for others. If what people say are their reasons for loving the M is true (optical VF is better, rangefinder is better, slow focus and composition is better, etc.) the EVIL won’t eat into M sales. If it does, we’ll know it was all lip-service, just like how people abandoned the M6 so readily after all that waxing romantic about the mechanical shutter. And if M lovers are lip-servicing, they will abandon it sooner or later.

  • MAr

    don’t think i would trade in my black M9-P for a M10.
    when i ordered it in september and it arrived 3 weeks later, i was more than happy concerning the waiting list issues these days…

  • dick ranez

    Leica is in a bind. Like when Cadillac looked at it’s old, bloated, un-responsive product line and it’s rapidly aging client demographic, Leica needs a CRX type answer. It’s lenses are legendary, but almost ridiculously expensive. It’s current client base seems riddled with traditional perfectionists, Edward Weston want-to-be’s and non-using collectors – a Mont Blanc dilemna.
    The Fuji X pro is a camera design Leica should have offered – although it probably would have been twice the price. Large sensor, interchangeable lens, quality viewfinder, auto-focus, demure appearance and – hopefully – superior image quality.
    Leica already has several m43 auto lens designs which would give it a running start on the high end in that market – especially is Olympus folds or is bought by Samsung, Toshiba or someone. They may never have the volumes in the mid-premium product category to maintain the “made in Germany” mystique without a partner like Panasonic (which certainly has the resources to buy Leica completely). Anyway,
    Photokina is only eight months away and there’s plenty of time for speculation – while we save our pennies and Krugerrands and await the announcements.

    • Nobody Special

      I agree, as Leica has been in this position for years regradless of who the owners were or what the market was doing. As a result, it kept the problem ongoing because they couldn’t, didn’t know how to, wanted to but didn’t have the production capacity or the money. I think this is Leicas’ turning point at Photokina 2012.

      They’ll show their hand for the future and if it’s more of the same – well, that’s a waste of creative capability in camera design as image tools that they should have figured out by now. Fuji has responded with a blend of tradtional form with upgraded tech and they are no sloutches in the optics department either. I hope Leica has learned something.

    • Thyl Engelhardt

      Generally agree, however do not like the new Cadillac design that I consider bloated, agressive, and militaristic, and must say that there is no Leica mft design. That is all Panasonic stuff, and as far as I can take, only has the Leica logo on it.

  • From previous marketing data, we can notice that price have been consistent with simple linear equation of ~price=(current year – 2005)800+4745. This means that if M10 will come out it expected to hit $10K range. With mid-range camera prices sinking to lower $10K range, fuji and other companies close competition, I think leica will lower it to $9K. But that will also force to introduce something in between like leica X2, to serve targeted market. So it logical to expect, with Blackstone and Lisa management, to see two products hitting market simultaneously. From now on it will be all about ROI for blackstone and lisa.

  • EnPassant

    I am really curious what this “economical” Leica will be. When Leica brought out the X1 it was the first compact with an APS-C sensor. Therefore it was selling despite the price. But as soon as Fujifilm X100 made its debut it stole a big part of the X1 market. Now we also have the Canon G1x with just a slightly smaller, “supersize” M4/3 sensor that is very good and having a zoom. If one include the little bigger (with lens) mirrorless alternatives and soon expected it is clear the competition for M4/3-APS-C sensor size small cameras is very fierce. Where would Leica carve out their niche at the prices they usually command?

    • Dave

      Presumably they will offer a Fuji X-type camera with a red dot for $3500: interchangeable lenses, APS-C, autofocus (with limited lens options), M-mount, and EVF.

      The M10 will be full frame, higher resolution, better build quality, and OVF/EVF hybrid.

  • Nobody Special

    I have thought the same for Leica M’s since they went digital. When it was a film camera it made some sense because they l a s t e d so l o n g as the main high-end film rangefinder. It’s main feature was the rangefinder, as it is today. Yes, it’s nice to ‘shoot’ digital files with it. But not for the $$$ – it’s all about the lenses…and the rangefinder needs a major ease of use tweeking – as I’ve said elsewhere, a larger diameter eyepiece that’s adjustable for starters, etc.

    Product cycles are way too short to be dumping $8K for an OLD rangefinder focus mechanism with digital guts. If the M10 gets into the $9K range, then anyone who buys it should have to get psycho counseling…..unless it’s light years ahead of the M9.

  • Nobody Special

    Hey, here’s an idea that I saw elsewhere recently.

    Why didn’t Leica just build a big rangefinder like a Mamiya 7 instead of the S2? It wouldn’t have had to be manual focus – it could have been auto focus – but either way, it seems that would have been easier and cheaper than the S2.

    Too, remember, Kaufmann said there would be something that hasn’t been asked for yet – so it could be anything and then again – nothing.

    • Dave

      Presumably studio photographers prefer the DSLR form factor.

  • modsnockers

    Leica don’t have the manufacturing plant to make mirrorless aps-c.
    So whose camera are they going to rebadge?

    • Dave

      The X1 is a mirrorless APS-C.

      • modsnrockers

        Leica doesn’t have the plant to make X1.
        Someone else makes them.
        (hence QC issues: broken flash popup, loose dials, stuck lens )

  • Sunil

    Lots of romantic Leicafiles bashing on Fuji… I shoot with a Hasselblad H4D-31 which is made by Fuji, as are the lenses. It cost about the same price as an M9 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Fuji also make most of the professional cinematic lenses. If Fuji did decide to make a full frame rangefinder style camera, I would bet that they could sell it for 1/3 of the price and come awfully close to the photo quality of the Leica. Fuji has a LOT more financial capability to design and produce professional quality gear… Leica has been on the border of Bankruptcy for quite some time.

  • Hm.. some people talk about “a more modern leica with hybrid viewfinder and AF.. ” But what they dont realise is that “capture the moment” will almost be impossible if the AF is not extremly state of the art on sensor pdaf ala-Nikon 1 system, if it isnt, then I´ll keep the lightning fast manual rangefinder-focus mechanism thankyou.

  • JM

    I think Leica needs to compete with the X100 and X-1Pro market if it wants to grow. Even though people who can afford an M9 would still buy the M9 and not Fuji, Leica practically is not selling any modern enthusiast-grade digital camera in between the $1000-$5000 range. What about the X1? People who were planning of getting the X1 during its introduction now all have X100’s. People who want the X100 or the X-1Pro are the same people who would want a Leica, regardless if it is a rangefinder or not, or even if they can afford it or not. Leica has been sleeping on it’s laurels too long. With the X-1Pro, Fuji is not just selling a camera, it is selling a camera system (e.g. lenses, accessories), eventually receiving brand loyalty. When somebody buys an X-1Pro, do you think whatever money they save, they will save for a Leica or a new X-1Pro lens? Same thing with Nikon or Canon, either you are Nikon or Canon guy. Leica was on its own pedestal for decades, until Fujifilm X100 came along. Yes, rich people will still buy a Leica M9 or M10 because they can, BUT you will have less and less people actually aspiring to get one if they know they can get something else for thousands of dollars less. If somebody sells a more innovative product, for a lesser price, who do you think wins? Think Toyota, Sony, Honda. Yup, a Saab is more classy and unique, but hey, where is Saab now?

  • Ramesh

    The Leica S system is the top end digital SLR. For those comparing to Nikon, Canon etc. this is where the most of the digital innovation will take place. I believe Leica will introduce a S3 this Photokina.

    The Leica M9 system is the only, I repeat only, digital rangefinder in the market. Do not compare with EVIL, other mirror-less, Fuji etc. It is not the same. There are many users who demand a close-to-manual, full-frame, rangefinder camera. This is for them. I don’t believe there is scope for a new model this year as technology has not matured enough for Leica to make a dramatic model upgrade. 2013 or even 2014 may be likely with a sensor upgrade or even a modular upgrade.

    Where there is a gap in the Leica product lines is in a lower cost mirror-less camera. This is where I believe Leica will address with something along the likes of a Fuji xPro. I think Leica will replace the X1 which was a misfit. The new X2 will probably have a more comprehensive EVF and interchangeable lens with a 1.5 crop factor. This should be priced ~3.5K USD body only. In creating a new line of interchangeable lens cameras they should boost demand for more lenses.

    I feel Leica should stop rebadging Panasonic cameras but this is a past decision which is likely to remain for the near future. Here a Japanese acquisition could be likely if the private equity company is more aggressive.

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