Leica bosses speak to AP about their future plans. The Monochrom M is the hot news of the day, but when asked about the highly anticipated compact system camera, the response was somewhat less warm...

NEWS UPDATE: Leica mulls b&w compact camera launch

Some key points from interviews earlier today in a very humid Berlin, Germany


  • Leica
    may adopt a touchscreen on more cameras. ‘It is something to think about,’
    said a spokesman.
  • The
    £1,350 ‘Blad adapter for the S-system would have been cheaper if Hasselblad
    had co-operated on its development, admitted a Leica source. Firm considering adapters for other professional systems
  • Leica
    bosses tight-lipped on a CSC for Photokina but ‘M family’ is very high on the agenda.
    Leica chiefs see APS-C as industry standard on any future CSC. But AP got a strong feeling that any CSC from Leica will not appear by September. Leica chairman Dr Andreas Kaufmann refused to comment when asked if bosses have gone cold on the idea, stressing Leica already has a
    compact system.
  • Leica doesn’t see Fuji CSC as a threat. Separately, it
    considers large lenses on small camera bodies somewhat ridiculous
  • Olympics
    build-up and mayoral elections scuppered Leica’s plan for the Mono M launch to be held in
    Mayfair, London. Bosses reveal that they planned to use ‘mayfair’ as the launch tagline
  • Colour
    film will only be around for five more years, predicts Leica chairman. ‘B&w may
    last longer.’
  • Leica
    may extend b&w sensor idea to cameras outside M-range, if proves a
    hit, says Leica’s product management director Stefan Daniel. ‘Who knows?’, he says. Leica sees Mono M
    as ‘broadening market’, rather than niche product, adds Kaufmann
  • Leica
    will have a massive presence at Photokina, taking over whole of one hall, but this doesn’t mean the firm will launch ’50 M-cameras’, says
    Stefan Daniel
  • Leica
    commits to S-system but won’t say when next one coming. Company invests more in S
    than M systems. Its lips are sealed on the contents of the company’s ‘5-7 year roadmap’
  • Leica
    aims to be the market leader in digital medium format. Says whole global
    market is over 6,000 units per year
  • Leica
    considered a ‘sliding-door’ as a cover for the LCD on the Mono M, to make the camera look more traditional
  • Leica
    on X2: ‘It’s important to put grin on photographer’s face
  • Leica
    considering video but points to drawbacks such as overheating and battery
    life

  • Chris Sellers

    Perhaps, if Leica were to listen more to current and potential customers, they might just come up with a camera that is not so compromised (here, I refer to the M digital series).

    Is it SO difficult to come up with a weather-sealed version of the M9?

    Is it SO difficult to install a decent/usable rear screen?

    Is it SO difficult to speed up buffering?

    Is it SO difficult to improve on the difficult/cult market of this “hit or miss” method of focussing?

    In the general run of things, and with so much available technology these days, one might be forgiven for asking why the M9 and M9 P still labour under the handicap of this pathetic and decade old rear screen – either do away with it altogether or improve it to modern standards!!!

    The current M digital bodies are an insult to the beautiful optics that are intended for use with them.

  • dick ranez

    “Leica doesn’t see Fuji CSC as a threat. Separately, it considers large lenses on small camera bodies somewhat ridiculous” may be a classic case of Teutonic rectal-crainial inversion.
    Fuji sold over 100,000 of
    the x100 in less than a year. Would bet Leica sold less than a tenth of that in competing X1 model. They better invest in S system – the D4/D800 will smoke it at a tenth the cost. A new $7000 50mm lens at f2.0 – what are they smoking?

  • Milford

    Maybe Leica can be a market leader in medium format! I suspect that with the Nikin D800 on the market medium format cameras wont be seeing much more development…

  • chris

    A load of hot air from Leica, Perhaps if they offered a decent camera for a fair price we would listen.