Rumors: Zenit to work together with Leica on their upcoming full-frame mirrorless digital camera (did Leica purchased Zenit?)

The first rumors about the Russian camera brand Zenit coming back to life started in February last year. The director of Rostec Communications and Strategic Studies Vasily Brovko said something very interesting in an interview back then:

“This is a very high demand product, we want to make it a luxury device, by analogy with the Leica”

A few months later rumors started floating on the Web about new Zenit lenses (including a new Zenitar 50mm f/0.95 E full-frame E-mount lens).

Fast forward to August 2017 when Zenit dropped another bomb – they are planning to release a new full-frame mirrorless digital camera in 2018:

“We plan to revive the direction of production of digital photographic equipment and consider the option of industrial cooperation, since competence on the component base in the country is currently absent. We have a close cooperation project with one of the leading photographic equipment companies in order to create a joint product, where KMZ is involved in manufacturing infrastructure for the production of optics for these cameras. And electronics will be manufactured abroad.”

Some initial speculations indicated that Zenit is working together with Sony. PetaPixel spotted a new report by Russian site USSRPhoto indicating that Zenit could be working together with Leica to develop a full-frame mirrorless digital camera similar to the Leica SL.

Now, this is a very interesting development because a few weeks ago I received a tip that Andreas Kaufmann (who currently owns 51% of Leica Camera) has invested in (or purchased a portion from) Zenit.

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