Photokina has already brought us some interesting finds; but Leica took the cake and put some extra frosting on it today. The company has brought a slew of updates to their product lines bringing extremely ambitious changes and some very interesting and jaw dropping announcements.
Today we saw changes to the Leica M line, S series, X2 line, and their point and shoots. Grab a cup of coffee because there were a ton of new products.
No, this isn’t the original Leica M, but instead the company totally rebranding the line of cameras. The new Leica M is designed to be the workhorse photographer’s camera in a way. It features a splash proof body, full 1080p video, a 24MP CMOS sensor, ISO abilities up to 6400, and a fast new Leica Meistro processor. Let’s hope that it’s significantly faster than the one in the M9 was.
But that’s not all: remember how everyone hated the previous screen? The new one is a 3 inch 921,000 dot LCD: not up to the best from Canon and Nikon, but still not far behind. Using a special adapter, you’ll now also be able to adapt Leica R lenses onto the camera plus you can use an electronic viewfinder that is sold separately.
Leica also has announced the new Leica M-E. Besides the new finish though, I personally can’t see what makes it that much different from the Leica M9. It even includes an 18MP CCD sensor; which hints to me that it is the old sensor. To be honest, it was also quite a nice one providing you metered manually and thought of it like chrome film.
No word on pricing of any of the units yet, but considering Leica’ recent price drops, I’m hoping these may be a tad more within the reach of mere mortals.
Leica S Series
Following up on the new Leica S announcements is their new camera: branded the Leica S (go figure!) The medium format beast holds true to Leica’s philosophy of throwing away the camera backs and instead making the entire unit digital. You get a range of ISO 100 to 1600, double buffer memory of 2GB, transfer rates of up to 166 MB/s, 37.5 MP sensor, the option of small raw formats in 9.3 MP and 2.3 MP sizes, an integrated GPS module, 3 inch 920k display and Adobe Lightroom 4 bundled with the package.
The Leica S also has a 98% viewfinder and flash sync of 1/1000th. That’s much better than the previously reviewed S2; which made me want to cry at times with its slower flash sync.
Leica also announced new lenses for the S system, and we’ll try to get a hands on experience later on this week.
The Leica X2 also received an update in the Paul Smith edition. It will go great with your Halloween costume.
The X2 is now also part of the A La Carte program, which means that you can customize it to look however you want. In all honesty though, the Leica X2 is actually a very nice camera.
Leica V-LUX 4
Next up is an update to Leica’s superzoom point and shoot camera. The V-LUX 4 is a camera that sports an f2.8 lens on the wide angle, 12MP CMOS sensor, a three inch articulating LCD screen, HD video up to 60p, and a zoom range of 25mm to 600mm. The electronic viewfinder has a 1.3 MP resolution: which is super nice. The user can also shoot photos at 12fps at a reduced resolution of 2.5MP.
Leica D-LUX 6
Lastly we have the D-LUX 6. Call it a Panasonic camera, but it sports full HD video capture, fast f1.4-2.3 lens, 24-90mm equivalent zoom range, a built in ND filter, 12MP CMOS sensor, ISO 80-12,800, 3 inch LCD monitor, and it comes with Adobe Lightroom 4.
We’re working on getting review units in as we publish this.