Expect updates on the Konost full frame digital camera before the end of the year

konost-full-frame-digital-camera2 Konost-full-frame-digital-rangefinder-camera
Konost, the full frame digital camera project that started last year, has been operating in “stealth mode” according to a recent post on their website. We should see some updates from Konost before the end of the year, including a new website. Stay tuned for detailed coverage.

Here are some more pictures of the Konost camera prototype:

Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 16 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 15 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 14 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 13 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 12 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 11 Konost FF full frame digital rangefinder camera 10
Via PhotoRumors

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  • fjfjjj

    Amazing camera with incredible image quality. Can’t wait for their innovative new website.

    • Have you used/seen the camera? Because you are making a comment on the image quality (unless I am missing something).

  • MdB

    Funny, didn’t they promise a similar thing at the end of last year that never materialised?

    • Yes, and why are they working in “stealth mode”?

      • MdB

        Well their claims have been essentially that they weren’t ready and didn’t realise the interest and that they have been expanding their efforts, but in engineering not marketing. But still, they said all this before and almost a year ago to the day.

  • MdB

    The funniest thing is that a rangefinder camera would actually require less development than many mirrorless cameras, so for Chinese companies for example that make optics and electronics etc, developing and building a rangefinder camera would actually be pretty straightforward (it’s not like it is new tech). They don’t need to develop complex touch interfaces, AF algorithms, WiFi connectivity, video processing and blah blah blah.

    On top of that it’s a field nobody but Leica plays in, people are interested in and is a niche people would be willing to pay somewhat if a premium for. Heck a ‘Kodak’ digital rangefinder that is really simple with no bells or whistles would sell incredibly well.

    Yet instead they make ‘me too’ poorly designed clones.

  • Bart Feliciano

    I call BS.

    The rangefinder view would be obstructed by just about any lens, even at infinity

    • Charles

      I reckon so.
      The likely imminent announcement of the M10 has given them a kick in the backside.
      Even if these are photos of a genuine mock-up, the viewfinder looks like an empty tunnel with no functional optics, reflecting prisms, or anti-flare coatings.
      An, as you observe, it’s not a functional rangefinder design, whether optical or electronic. Even ignoring low proximity of the rangefinder baseline to the lens, the handgrip places the user’s fingers right in front of the right sensor window.
      In other words, it is at best a concept mock-up and not a real camera.

    • maralatho

      Yep. It’s a rangefinder concept modeled and rendered by someone who doesn’t know how a rangefinder works.

      • MdB

        Sure, but this is the design from 2-3 years ago, that doesn’t mean this is what any final product might look / behave like.

    • Valdo

      They sez it’s an electronic rangefinder. If its center weighted, no problem with lens obstruction.
      On other hand, if they are real I’m very curious how they want to handle the service, especially the warranty cases?

      • Charles

        It doesn’t matter how centre-weighted it is if the grip places your finger over the RF sensor window…

        • Valdo

          What grip?

  • Ric Ricard

    Hard to tell if those are photographs of an actual camera, or just 3D renderings.

    • maralatho

      The earlier prototype images were renders. These latest images look like 3D-printed bodies with a Zeiss Biogon attached to it.

      • MdB

        They’ve had 3D prints at the very least for years, the earliest photos showed a woman with the models in hand.

        • Thiseas

          that looked pretty much like an edited video, also fake unfortunately

  • Timothy Rule

    Is there really such a big market for rangefinders anymore? Say Leica dropped the price of an M to 3K, I doubt it would make much difference to the total number of units sold. And now that we see new ways of focusing rangefinder lenses via adapters, and I guess moving the sensor would work too, is there even a need for a new digital rangefinder mechanism.

    Style wise, cloning a Leica T might not be the best starting point either.

    I’m more interested in something with the size and sensor/quality of an RX1 but in a more stylish(retro or modern) and ergonomic packaging. Something that so far Leica, nor anybody else, is interested in

    • Mountainous Man

      Rangefinders are like manual transmissions. To some of us, it’s simply more tactile and fun. It’s the main reason I’m interested in Leica M, and I’d gladly welcome a much less expensive version from another maker…but I don’t have much confidence in this Konost.

      In the same vein, I also wished there was a full format, square digital back for my Hasselblad that wasn’t priced in the stratosphere. I have many digital cameras, but I simply like working with my Hasselblads.

    • DouglasGottlieb

      I’d love a $3K M. Maybe an M9 once the 10 ships

      • MdB

        Surely M9’s are already well below $3k? I paid around $2k USD for my M-E.

    • Charles

      If the M dropped in price significantly, they’d probably sell second cameras to a lot more M fantatics!

  • it´s not that bad for a start-up student project with no money background^^ weren’t they on kickstarter with it?!?!?!
    even leica needed many years (since today) to fulfill many many requirements in the technical and designing way as we can see at the m10 that “everybody” is happy with it.
    but yes it looks like they probably need another 5 years for their first product launch, with a not super working camera. the devil is in the detail! from having a idea with a bunch of friends to bring a ready considered product on a niche market is a faaaaaaaar way^^
    @admin: wasn´t it that, that leica has 1% at the whole market with 100 000 units a year??

    • MdB

      No, no kickstarter for these guys (although I think they have some investment capital or something).

    • Mistral75

      1% of the ILC market is Leica’s claimed target, not their current market share.

  • lobotomisedjournalist

    The Minolta CLE, Konica Hexar RF and Zeiss Ikon were all excellent variations on the interchangeable lens rangefinder theme – all in their way just as good as the M Leicas – so it is not that difficult to build the rangefinder component, or the connection to the lenses. Digital innards are also readily available for copying, and sensors and screens can all be bought in the market, so what is holding them back? None of this is rocket science.

    • MdB

      Well they are (possibly foolishly) reinventing the RF itself.


      I don’t even want a screen. A budget M-D would be great

  • Thiseas

    Sadly to say that these guys are just messing around and are not to be taken seriously. In two years they haven’t posted a single photo of any prototype or part (oh yes, there was a photo of a sensor, right). It reminds me of the other funny story of the CCD rumoured camera (was it from a site called prosophos or something). I understand why a leica rumours website has to post that, and that is why we visit this website, but guys… come on.

    • Let’s assume that this is a fake and/or a joke. Why would they still run it after almost two years? We are missing something here. I posted this on the blog because some readers suggested that Konost is working together with Leica or that Leica has acquired them.

      • Thiseas

        Apologies, I didn’t mean that I believe it shouldn’t be posted 🙂 I believe the opposite and thank you for letting us know. But their pattern (posting a “hey we are alive” every December) is quite funny. Plus, if a company calls a 3D render as a prototype, should raise a few eyebrows. If I turn out to be wrong though, I am way more happy in that case!

        • I just talked with them on Twitter and they reassured me that they are for real and are working very hard on that project.

      • Charles

        Being bought by Leica is an interesting idea.
        It might clear the way for Leica to produce both a more “traditional” M with optical RF and an another with entirely revised electronic RF. And Leica has shown a willingness to buy other camera companies where there are business synergies.
        Having said that, there’s nothing really here for Leica to buy. What would they get apart from a little under-developed IP? And given their own engineering competence, own electronic RF developmental work, what is there that they haven’t already played with themselves?
        I’d love to be proven spectacularly wrong, and would love to see Leica surprise everyone yet again. They have a recent record of doing so!

        • That is exactly the issue, besides pictures of the prototype and the actual idea we have not seen anything else for that project.

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