Leica ‘Mini M’ plan set to rekindle CSC debate
May 24, 2013
The plan emerged in a teaser Leica published on its website.
The news will fuel speculation over the market Leica plans to target with the Mini M, which it only describes as the ‘new Leica family member’.
Leica’s teaser suggests the Mini M will be positioned above the £1,500 Leica X2 compact camera – which Leica describes as a ‘Micro M’ – and below the Leica M rangefinder, which costs around £5,100.
In a joint interview with Amateur Photographer (AP) and the British Journal of Photography, two years ago, Leica CEO Alfred Schopf and chairman Dr Andreas Kaufmann strongly hinted at plans to announce a CSC at photokina 2012 in a bid to compete with the likes of Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung.
Details were scant, but the camera would feature an imaging sensor at least as large as an APS-C size, according to Schopf who indicated that he saw a market for a Leica camera aimed at the consumer.
But a year later, it was a different story.
Leica bosses were tight-lipped over whether they would release such a CSC after all.
The Leica chiefs steered journalists away from the idea of such a camera, instead stressing that the ‘M family’ was very high on the agenda.
At photokina 2012 Leica unveiled the M-E model, billed as an entry-level rangefinder.
In an interview at photokina, Leica said it was the firm’s ‘first answer’ to the growing CSC market, but added that it would never make a ‘£1,000’ CSC.
At the time, one Amateur Photographer reader quipped that the £3,900 M-E was at a price comparable with entry-level for a ‘NASA moon rocket’.
A Leica UK spokesperson had yet to respond to an emailed request for comment at the time of writing.