Last Updated on 05/04/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Panasonic seems to enjoy making cameras for Leica on the side, since they sell better with the Leica branding anyway
According to a recent 4/3 Rumors post, Leica is on its way to announcing a new full frame mirrorless camera, said to be a new Leica SL. If you’ve been following some of Leica’s releases, you most likely won’t be surprised to find out that it will be made of Panasonic guts. Japan-based digital photography rumors website Nokishita confirms this with a list of unpublished registrations. It includes a camera by Leica, which will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the same parts from Panasonic’s Lumix TX2 and Lumix GX9 (called GX7 Mark III in Japan).
If you’re just joining the party and this is the first time you’re hearing of Panasonic-made Leica goodies, allow us to fill in the details. It has long been the general consensus that Leica has been simply making minor tweaks on Panasonic cameras and with those tweaks comes the premium Leica price tag. In some rare cases, the Leica versions are actually the cheaper or better choices, as we’ve found years ago with the Leica D-LUX 5 vs. Panasonic LX-5. It’s not just cameras, though. It also happens a lot with lenses. Examples we’ve reported in the past include the Leica Summilux 15mm f1.7, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-16mm 2.8 – 4 ASPH, and Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-16mm 2.8 – 4 ASPH (see and find out more about the full Lumix Leica DG line of lenses here.)
The upcoming full frame camera is the latest proof of this curious relationship between Leica and Panasonic. It seems to be a profitable setup for both parties that won’t be cut off anytime soon. Meanwhile, we will keep our eyes peeled for developments as a 4/3 Rumors update mentions their sources confirming the new Panasonic-made, Leica-branded full-frame camera.