Leica X2 with 18MP sensor, new 50 Summicron costs $1000 more, Leica Monochrome with LCD screen

Some fresh rumors about the new Leica products that are expected to be announced on May 10th:

Stay tuned, I am hoping to get more details in the next few days.

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  • M!

    The rumor goes: Leica Special Edition division is busy at work already even before the launch of the Monochrome.

    To brighten things up, they will be collaborating with several Artists series:
    – Andy Warhol editions
    – Yayoi Kusama poka dot edition
    – Paul Smith stripes edition

    and the best:
    – Victoria secret Pink edition (lace edition and angel editions to follow)

  • Kerni

    Hope the new X2 gets a full format sensor + 35mm f2.0.
    Better AF-speed + manual aperture ring and I’ll buy it!

    • Never Generate

      droool 🙂

    • J Shin

      Throw in an interchangeable mount while we are at it? 🙂

    • I agree, a full frame compact camera with attached lens sounds interesting.

    • MJr

      That would be so awesome, and i mean really really awesome, tho i think they’re not yet ready for full-frame in X1 sized body. Hoping i’m wrong anyway.

  • Regular

    The 50lux is $4000, I can not imagine the 50cron price being so close.

  • MB

    The only company that currently makes 18Mpix APS-C sensor is Canon … I wonder if Leica will use that one …
    LCD would be useful even with BW sensor, I wonder the screen will be BW also?

    • or use the full frame 18MP M9 sensor from Kodak…

      • MJr

        Hmm not the greatest performance, tho the thought of full-frame + leica glass in that small a body makes me all warm inside. Just make sure to stay below ISO400 ;).

        Performance of smaller sensors these days is awesome sure, but still can’t beat the plain and simple sensor SIZE characteristics, no matter how detailed APSC can be.

  • Nobody Special

    Whoa there…….Leica pricing!!!!!

    $1,000.00 MORE than the existing Summicron???? I’m sorry but what the heck – HOW can it be worth that much more??? I mean, the Summicron’s have always been the ‘saner alternative’ for we Leica users, so I wonder what the heck are they thinking?

    Yawn on the X2 sensor, did they do anything else to it??? It would be awesome if it turned into a FF – but I’d eat a rock if it is. I sure hope (again) there is more to the ‘wing-ding’ bash in May than this. The M monochrome will hopefully have some REAL, useable, full gray-scale image quality – but still – it does sound like another special edition-edition of the M9.

    • J Shin

      > HOW can it be worth that much more???

      Because they’ve been getting away with it? 🙂

    • Maybe they added the 18MP sensor from the M9?

      • Joe

        Didn’t you just report that the sensor is in such short supply that Leica is replacing M9’s with defective sensors with their stock of complete M9 cameras rather than just replacing the sensor?

        • Yes, maybe that’s why there is shortage (just speculating).

  • They just don’t have the balls to ditch the LCD. Marketing shmarketing.

    • I am getting conflicting info on the LCD screen – still not 100% sure.

    • MJr

      That would be a nice statement and all, but still i’d prefer to have a LCD, even if it’s off most of the time and only used to admire the results at the end of the day, no hassle.

  • aadb

    A new X2 would only make sense with a faster lens, like f/2.0 and a full-frame sensor. Otherwise, well, it’ll too much of the same thing available for so much less. The X1 was sort of unique when it came out, but similar cameras can now be found all over the brands.

    • Sina

      They cannot be found all over other brands. The only other fixed lens, large sensor compact (????) cameras that come to mind are the Fujifilm X100, Canon G1X, and the Sony R1.

      Leica has the opportunity to outdo ALL of the other cameras mentioned above with something truly extraordinary, as the X1’s IQ was superb (sadly, I sold mine in October). The price point will be a factor as well …

      • Ruhayat

        Don’t forget the two Sigma DP cameras. With the improved Foveon sensor they are now quite a bit more tempting. I only wish the lenses are fixed like that of the X100, though.

        • Sina

          I agree. The new Sigma DP1m and DP2m are quite interesting. Their sensor size is now APS-C sized, with the 1.5X crop, and their lenses are excellent. Any news on what the price of those Sigma cams will be? Other than the X100, the Sigma DPs were really the only other competition to the Leica X1. The new DPs will be competing with whatever new fixed lens compact Leica comes out with.

  • H.

    I just bought a Zeiss Ikon ZM and rolls of film : cheap, top and light.
    I don’t regret my D700…

  • isn’t the new Summicron supposed to be an aspherical lens? that would account for the new price.

    • Daryl

      As the sensors are increasing in resolution, the lenses may require higher tolerances to match. Leica does not shy away from improving quality and charging for it.

      • Nobody Special

        Sure, in Leica’s world, they think they can do that and yes, people will buy it – But I won’t. The optical differences can’t be worth $1000.00 more – maybe the manufacturing end would mandate part of the cost.

        Either way, I just looked in the mirror and ‘sucker’ didn’t appear on my forehead.

        • Daryl

          Leica lenses are expensive, the up side is they hold their value more than any item available today + the optics are superb, build quality also superb. If I purchase a lens I might have sucker on my forehead and it might be there for 10 years when I sell it and get all those sucker bucks back ….for another sucker purchase 🙂

          • Nobody Special

            Yes, but there are times when it is just ridiculous – a $1K increase – roughly 30% – seems just a wee-bit high.

            Oh, I like to spell it ‘stewpud’.

      • Leica marketing machine will exclaim “improved quality” and all leicaphiles in droves will line up to update their “inferior” summicrons.

        • J Shin

          That would be great. The market will be flooded with the previous late model ‘crons, and I could finally afford one! 🙂

  • Zockson

    So what is the guess for the price for the Monochrome M9?

    • Dave

      I’m with you, I wanna know how much this beast will cost!

    • Huggs


      • Zockson

        and I heard a rumor that it will be over 10000 EUR

        • Huggs

          If so, they missed a customer. I feel weird buying a digital camera for that much.

          • Nobody Special

            They’ll miss A LOT of customers if it’s that pricey.

  • OB

    X2 mock-up from L Camera Forum:

    • JS

      I would like to see the design of the X2 closer to the traditional compact camera models like CM/Minilux with OVF, etc. But actually, I do not believe.

    • MJr

      No way it will have a built in E/OVF. The form and purpose of the X1 was proper, there’s no need to change it. They really should INCLUDE a hot-shoe finder tho, but please let us keep the ability to take it off. If it ends up big, it loses half its purpose.

  • etr brony

    monochrome m9 sounds great!!! do we know if its likely to be a limited edition or “regular” product?

  • james

    will the M9-monochrome be 16 bit?

    • If it’s 16-bits, you’re talking about 65536 shades of grey.

      First problem is, your monochrome images are shown on colour RGB screens… so you’re not going to get the best experience. Also the human eye can’t differentiate shades that are that fine. Printers essentially have the same issue too.

      So that leaves you with heavy handed image editing that can benefit from all those bits. But I haven’t seen sensors out there that are efficient and accurate enough to capture that precision of data. (Not saying there are no sensors that output 16-bit though).

  • Jim

    Why do they keep dragging B & W out of the closet. It Sucks.

    • Daryl

      Because it’s there 🙂

      Possible 4×5 or 8×10 film quality in a small Leica would go a long way to getting many interested.

      It sucks like Ansel Adams pictures suck?

      • You’ve never shot or understood 4×5 or 8×10 have you? So why not stick to talking about what you know…


        And all these Ansel Adams and Cartier-Bresson references are hilarious. Don’t you people have a soul of your own?

        • hexx

          holy moly, very nice photos 😉

        • You don’t seem to have shot that much 4×5 or 8×10 either, and the situations you shot (DOF notwithstanding) could easily have been shot as well on a Leica for almost all reproduction sizes.
          I shoot and develop 4×5 and 6×6 myself, there is a definite difference but without qualifying what Daryl was referring to I don’t think you or I are in a place to put him down so adamantly for making the comparison.

          • Let’s say I’ve shot 1 sheet of 4×5 in my life. That’s still more than a 100% improvement over Daryl. As for your comments on my experience with large format, all I can say is look up a term called “false dilemma”.

            And saying a small format could’ve done the same shots is just showing your a lack of understanding of the subject, really. It’s like saying an expensive car would’ve taken you to the same destination as a cheaper car. That’s not all there is to it, is it? lol

            Also who cares about 6×6 in a discussion about large format? 6×6 and 6×45 are the bottom of the food chain of film popularised by Bronica hipsters and Bladsturbators. Grown-up medium format is 6×7 and above 😉

      • Jim

        It Sucks. AA is dead I Love his work but that was then and this is the Year 2012 or I think it is. Our Cameras are producing Far Superior images in Color, I hope we can keep on improving them. B&W Photos belong in yesteryear.

        • david

          As a working pro who is close friends with DAH, Alex Webb and Trent Parke your statement could only come from an uneducated amateur who knows ZERO about the ACTUAL photographic world – not the online world of make believe.

          We all had a good laugh at your post, congrats.

  • Porkchop

    Who cares Nikon, and Canon crap all over leica anyway!

    • Leica Zombie

      People like you keep the “Leica Zombie” jokes alive!

    • Jim


  • Never G

    Interesting that folks wan’t high-res high-iso-low-noise monochrome sensors. Only that they also tend to apply artificial film grain in post-processing afterwards. I say: disconnected!

    • Harold Ellis

      problem is that digital noise in leica is ugly.
      ok not only leica, but only nikon and phase one makes nice film-like grain

      • Having used a PhaseOne digital back, I can say that they don’t produce “film-like grain”. They are very high in resolution so they look smoother, which is perhaps what you’re referring to.

        And as for most Nikons… they just do chroma noise removal on the raw files… along with very fine details. Hence the reason why Nikons aren’t the cameras of choice for terrestrial astrophotography. No… NASA doesn’t use Nikons for astrophotography lol

  • Bryan Campbell

    A 50 f/2 Summicron ASPH would be great although it better be more impressive than the non ASPH version which is possibly the sharpest 50 mm lens ever made. If it’s smaller than the 50 Summilux ASPH, has a shorter focus throw, sharper, cheaper, and has almost as good as bokeh, then I might buy one. Otherwise I’ll just save for the 50 Summilux ASPH

    • Daryl

      Lenses are not different than audio, the price difference is much greater than the quality difference, small increments in improved quality command steep prices when state of the art.

  • Bill

    The X2 should be a full format with a 35/2 – otherwise difficult to justify, IMHO. I wonder why I would buy a monochrome M9 over a “regular” M9, where I can convert the color to B+W in a very satisfactory manner, and still get color if I want it. The B+W quality would have to be remarkably better from a dedicated B+W camera.

  • And

    I think the X2 will be a better looking “like a Leica” than the X100. But could it also be a better camera than the Fuji?
    When the X100 came, everybody talked about how good this was to force Leica to up the ante for the X2. So what can we expect? What would the specs be to reclaim the No 1 spot for that consumer market?

  • Ruhayat

    Tweak the M8 sensor to cure it of its ills and then pop it into the X2. Add a Summicron 35mm lens (that is fixed and the size of the Summicron v4). Sell it for, say, US$2,500. That’s a camera I would buy.

  • Ke

    I doubt it’ll be a fullframe sensor like people are wanting. Although I hope for a larger sensor (1.3 crop).

    If it’s got a decent focusing system, unlike the Fujis, I’ll be very interested.

  • Jacob

    Leica digital M camera designs are totally stupid. The digital Ms are three-legged dogs. If you buy the Thumbs Up for a stable grip you lose the ability to use flash. Smart. Even Epson gave you an X contact for flash. I can’t depend on my M8.2 however gorgeous my lenses are because it takes forever to digest the data of a couple of exposures . . . meanwhile . . . the action is going on and I have to grab my M6s to keep shooting. Leica designers are not working photographers. They can’t be if they ended up creating these retarded ‘devices’. I’ve made my best images with Leicas, but most are on film. Thankfully I resisted the urge to sell my M6s in the false euphoria of getting my hands on the M8.2. What a crashing disappointment. If you hang the camera from your neck you’re likely to inadvertently change your settings because the control buttons protrude too far and the free-spinning shutter speed dial doesn’t inform by feel where you are on the scale. Same goes for the M9. And then there’s the disgusting Snapshot mode. What idiocy. I’ll keep the cripple, not because I like it, but because I invested too much in it, both in faith and cash to give it up. I won’t be purchasing any future Leica bodies until they smarten up and produce a decent tool.

    • Nobody Special

      I’ve experienced much of your sentiments with Leica in one way or another over time. I still for the life of me cannot figure out exactly WHY Leica can’t or won’t redesign the M. It’s pretty much been keeping the loyalist’s and traditonalist’s happy.

      I’ve always looked at those reason’s as Leica just being a bunch of chicken
      s—t’s, because they don’t have a problem updating lenses. They could simply have a traditional camera body – and have a modern sculpted one – it’s not that complicated. But somewhere along the line the various owners at Leica have developed this ‘Leica-think’ and to me and many others it’s just stupid.

      Because of the glass I’ll stay around and see what happens this year, but I have absolutely ZERO confidence in Kaufmann for what he’s done so far.

  • Jacob

    These prices are BS. The masters of photography worked with simple cameras and old glass and created real works of art. This digital Leica glam charade is a fraud . . . and when I see ‘photographers’ post sample shots to Flickr of—wait for it . . . their cameras and lenses . . . Good night!

  • Joachim2

    I would like a X2 with 18 MP full-frame sensor and many features taken from the Leica CM, namely Summarit 2,4/40 mm, built-in optical viewfinder with some additional information, quick phase AF, nearest distance 0.7 m. Also an intelligent digital zoom fixed to 2X would be helpful.

    • Sina

      Phase AF in a compact body? Only Nikon seems to have pulled it off with their Nikon 1. I doubt Leica will get it in the X1 successor.

      • Joachim2

        “Phase AF in a compact body?”
        Yes, see Leica CM, which shows an AF-field only in the center of the full format, and has the related small AF-sensor outside of the full format.-
        “I doubt Leica will …”
        I agree with your doubt. Leica could compensate for slow AF by support of hyperfocal photographing (for instance by indicating the “hyperfocal distance” as point on a suitable diagram). –
        “compact body”
        Yes, delete builtin flash and macro, use the compact Summarit 2,4/40 mm instead of the Elmarit of the X1.

  • Jacob

    I think Leica puts more thought in designing the boxes the camera and it’s components are packaged in than the camera itself.

    • Is your life that boring that you post on a Leica website merely to deride the brand?

      • Jacob

        Frankly, I’ve thought a lot about the camera and worked with it enough to conclude that the digital Leica M is the antithesis of what it is supposed to be for it is unreliable when it is choked by data in its buffer; it cannot be an extension of the eye because you press the shutter release when you want to make an image and it does not . . .

      • Jacob

        I think my criticism of the digital Leica M cameras’ shortcomings may help Leica better their products to make them worthy of the name and serve as a warning to naive purchasers who may find themselves hurting for thousands of dollars spent on disappointing tools that do not live up to the hype of false praise, like the cheering crowds who admired the emperor’s new clothes.

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