What could be the new Leica Mini M?

Leica Mini M camera teaser

What kind of camera will be the new Mini M? First, I believe it will not be called Mini M, in fact I think it will have nothing to do with a “real” M rangefinder. The new teaser is kind of confusing in that sense because the X2 and D-Lux 6 are not really M cameras – it’s the same as calling the M 240 a “Mini S”. Here are some of the possible options for the Mini M:

  1. Same as the Leica M type 240 but without the mechanical rangefinder – I don’t think this will happen, focusing is going to be problematic (you can still use focus peaking, but not a good solution).
  2. Smaller digital full frame rangefinder like the Leica CL – I don’t think at that point it is possible to make a full frame digital rangefinder any smaller, it won’t happen.
  3. A new, cheaper, full size rangefinder with an APS-C sensor similar to the M8. I actually like this option but I just don’t think many people will be interested since used M8 cameras are still widely available.
  4. New compact full frame camera similar to the Sony RX1. This options makes a lot sense. I believe with the RX1, Sony has stolen a small chunk of potential M buyers from Leica (I am one of them) and Leica may have decided to compete directly in that segment.
  5. A true new, mirrorless, interchangeable lens system camera – those are the rumors that have been going on for a while. This will mean that Leica will introduce a new mount and I have hard time believing that. Of course the camera will be compatible with M and R lenses.
  6. A new X-type camera with a fixed zoom lens and some of the technologies used in the new M type 240. I believe this is the most likely scenario. The camera will probably have an APS-C sensor and it will be the world’s first compact APS-C camera with a fixed zoom lens (the Nikon Coolpix A and Ricoh GR have fixed focal length lenses).

My vote goes for option #6. I believe #4 and #5 are also plausible. So far I have not seen any invitation for a major event on June 11. Leica will not announce a major product without a big venue and this again points to a new X model. The price point of the Mini M will be placed between the M-E ($5,450) and the X2 ($2,000) – maybe around $3,000-$4,000.

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