Leica cameras aren't cheap, and here's a big reason why: the edges of the body are sanded by hand by workers at the factory in Wetzlar, Germany.
You said:"The 'T' isn't mass-produced at a factory in Asia, but by hand in a town in Germany."
It isn't made in Germany, it's made in Portugal (Famalicão). Not that it makes any difference. Probably goes through additional QC in German anyway...
"The main reasons are that existing lenses are manual focus and the diameter of said lenses is too small for APS-C. "
Their are big enough for FF but "too small for APS-C"? Makes absolutely no sense. Just like Leica itself.
Bottom line is:- the electronics are already out of date,there are just 2 lenses (at this time) and overall it is a wildly expensive peice of kit. I'm a long time Leica/Nikonuser (X1//V-Lux40//D90)..Will the T improve myphotography? Will it improve Yours? And that folks is thereal question!!...As for pulling new Leica owners/users into the fold the T is as I previously said a wildly expensive route.May your G'd and camera go with you..
Is it just me or does this look just like a Sony NEX camera? I bet it feels a lot nicer but it sure looks like a nex 5 with nex dials.
it does on pictures (the 3N) but very different in handthey are a good comparison howeverThe A6000 is definitely the technical king of the CSC APS-C hill at the moment. Leica's sensor is great but its more about build, workflow and the Leica experience.
Why do you think the A6000 better than either the Fuji XT1 or the Samsung NX30? Both Fuji and Samsung have better native lenses for their systems--excepting the SonyZeiss lenses.
The XT1 has very high build quality and the NX30 is nicely made. The NX30 is better than both the Sony and the Fuji at higher ISOs.
So what's left for the Sony, better video than the Fuji?
For all the work they put into manufacturing this body, it looks rather generic and plain. Maybe it looks better in real life, but from the photos I couldn't distinguish l it from a cheapo model if the red dot was not present The back does look kind of sleek and classy, though.
It's a bit more rigid than most APSC bodies.
I have just played with one, my small feedback is here http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3662905?page=2#forum-post-53589898
it really feels nice in hand
I own a Leica branded product, namely a Panasonic lens. It is actually very good and reasonably priced, I suspect because it has been made in Japan. I could not care less how's branded as long it works good.
if Leica can make good money selling overpriced products good for them, there is no sin in exploiting rich and stupid people.
I don't think you need to worry about rich people being "exploited" if they buy this Leica. I'm quite sure they'll understandably feel they are getting their money's worth. And rich people are generally smarter than you think.
Do you fly much? Are you familiar with the price differential of various airline seats? A one-way ticket from LA to Narita, Japan on Cathay Pacific, Business Class, is about $8,000, while Economy Class is about $1,300. That's a $6,700 price differential. And yet, there are lots of people who choose to fly Business Class. Or even First Class, which is even more (~$17,700). Do you really think someone who just paid $6,700-$16,400 more for a one-time-use airline seat is going to think that a Leica T is "overpriced"? LOL. Nope.
People who think the Leica T is "overpriced" or even "expensive" should get out more.
OK. No one doubts that busisnes class is much better, but the Leica T is much worse than for example .... the Sony a6000 with a Zeiss lens. and whose price would be 60% lower. Leica executives live on Mars.
camera for the Super Rich! Niche market, Leica and Zeiss always sold in! God knows their are more millionaires world wide today after 2008 financial crisis than before as we watch the middle class collapse in the USA! Gee why didn't they make it out of a solid Gold bar?
You do not have to be a millionaire to spent £1350 fora camera. You can buy a used Voiglander or Sigma for a lot less and come out with less than £2000. An RX1r is £2600, RX1 is £2250. and Body only cameras like A7r is £1600, EM1 is £1250, D610 is £1400. If we take Fuji they leak light and they have bugs. Definitely these cameras will not produce better results than the T. It is an attraction to buy a MILC camera so you can place a wide variety of lenses. If you place an M lens on them you still will not get as good results and you might pay a lot more money. You cannot buy something that will beat the T at this price level. Effectively, it seems like a bargain to get a Leica at this price.
I have friends who are middle-class Americans, and they shoot with digital Leica M rangefinders, which are a lot more expensive than the Leica T. The latest digital Leica M body is $6,950. The Leica M-E, a less expensive version of the M, is $5,450. A Leica T body is only $1,850. It's really silly that the Leica T is considered to be something for the "Super Rich" when it's easily the most affordable interchangeable-lens camera Leica has ever offered, by a large margin!
Nick932, I was unsure if you were saying all the cameras you listed were not as good as the T, or just the Fuji. As the Fuji and Leica T share the same base sensor but Fuji chooses an awkward bayer filter I would tend to tilt towards the Leica T#s sensor.However some of the others in your list, such as the A7, are quite frankly in a different IQ league with excellent Zeiss lenses available.I don't think Leica see the A7 as competition (perhaps they should) the head of Leica said that the T is meant for people who are perhaps not serious amateurs or professionals, but more casual shooters who want great results in a great package. I would add "well healed" and agree with him and suggest he keeps his finger's crossed!
Having a mtn biking background where 'techno weenys' had to have 'billet machined everything' to maybe save 1 oz of weight (on a everyday bike not a race bike - trust me strength is what you want on a everyday mtn bike assuming you ride hard).
I for one can say that billet machining is NOT the stongest mechanism, it is ONLY as strong as the billet material. Cold or hot forging a part massively makes it stronger (as well as heat treating). If strength/weight is an issue, use magnesium or other lighter alum/ceramic alloy billet ! OR some metal alloy that can be forged.
The main reason for strength in cam is to support big lens, no big lens, why need so strong?
Leica does it to make it SPECIAL, much like 'special olympics' me thinks - special for rich POSERs !
CNC machined body is not "by hand". And what they by hand is better be doing wearing gloves.
I don't think anyone ever said that they were milling the body out of billet "by hand." Or that they were making every component of the camera "by hand." And no, they aren't cutting every silicon wafer for their sensors "by hand" either. The "by hand" part really comes down to hand-finishing and hand-assembly, probably by a single person. The idea is that it is assembled with more attention to detail and more care than you might get from an assembly-line of low-wage Chinese workers who simply install one piece before it moves on to another person down the assembly line. Whether it really makes a practical difference is debatable, but some people appreciate knowing that the thing they hold in their hand was made in a particular way. In a world where so many things are made by the thousands, completely by machines, or by humans workings mindlessly like machines, some people just appreciate the idea that some guy named Günther assembled their camera "by hand" in Wetzlar, Germany.
You've never worked in a factory, have you T3? "Gunther" looks at your Leica as a paycheck, just like the workers in every other factory. This is the wonder of modern brand marketing --where we see things that aren't really there.
@ Eric Hensel: Yes, "Gunther" may look at his job as a paycheck, but I bet he takes more pride in his work and therefore does his job with more care and attention to detail. For some people working at Leica is probably a dream job.
When I was 18-20 years old I worked in a factory that manufactured railroad cars. Yes, it was a job and a paycheck. The people that worked in that plant took great pride in the fact that we were the only US company building railroad cars at that time and we took pride in our work. We were paid good wages and full benefits. I still see those railroad cars going down the tracks, old and crusty after 20 years, but I still feel proud when I see that old car rumble by and I think that I personally had a hand in making it. I ran 300-ton presses and CNC plasma-torch machines.
Chinese laborers making $10/week aren't likely to have pride in what they do.
Obviously YOU haven't worked in a factory. Or maybe you never had a job that you were proud to do.
I have done both, and your point is well taken; I've been in the manual trades 40 years and have always been able to look back at my work with pride. We are just guessing at the motivation and pride experienced by those at either factory --my point was simply that there's far less difference between them than most think. This is especially true where nearly the only handwork here is assembly; precision tolerances make that necessary.
@Eric Hensel - how denigrating and condescending of you to think that someone who works in a factory putting something together with his own hands can't take pride in his work, and simply sees it as a paycheck! I'm quite sure that the people doing the task of assembling and finishing a Leica T take great pride in their work! It's also foolish of you to think that every factory worker in every other factory in the world is the same, is treated the same, and feels the same about the job they are doing! There's a big difference between working at the Leica factory in Germany, and working on an assembly line in a factory in China for a few dollars a day!
Sand the edge by hand is not enough. They should hand craft the body from the brick.
I see a lot of fingerprint inside the camera.
Damn... now I want one :)Just the body and the 23/2.0 would be enough. Or shall I better get the Fuji X-E2 and the 23/1.4 ?
Fuji + 23/1.4 will produce you better images, and you have a bit more light & DOF control control. Also price wise, lens+body = only body of leica.
Now, also fuji is a beautiful camera, and i like how it pairs with (also beautiful) 23mm. even if it is a fairly large lens.The leica on the other hand has more style and elegance to it...
So my advice is: if you don't care much about the price difference take the one you like better in hand, or both. If you do care a lot, go with the fuji + 23mm.
Badi. How can you - so matter-of-factly - state that the Fuji has superior IQ ? Considering the quality of the X-vario lens I still put Leica ahead of Fuji. Especially if you stick to adobe software. In prime lens territory Leica is king. Now they make excellent zooms for ASP-C sized sensors as well.
Fact is - you have no idea. Stop "mentoring" or passing on "knowledge" if you're going to be so biased about it.
The Fuji is affordable and very capable. I own a Fuji X camera and zero Leicas. But I'm not going to kid myself.
$1800 is cheap compared to the $6900 Hustle Blood Lunacy.
They assemble cameras with bare hands?
Where do they find people to hand polish these things all day and how much do they pay them? Even if the hand polishing costs $50 per camera that would not justify the body price. Consider that other than the aluminum chassis, the innards are not much different than in a Nex. Maybe it cost them a lot to design the interface.
The real cost is in their very low production numbers. The cost of R&D plus manufacturing cost puts the total up there
R&D could be outsourcing.
If the cost of polishing up a T is $50 in Germany, the cost to do it in Asia by machines would probably be $1 per camera (probably even less than $1). So already, you have a 50 fold increase in cost right there, from just one single step in the manufacturing process. Multiply that by all the other steps involved in making the camera, and it quickly adds up. The efficiencies of mass production, particularly in Asia, are huge. But people who buy Leica's really don't *want* a mass-produced product. One appeal of buying a Leica M (or Leica T) is that it's *not* mass-produced on an Asian assembly line by the thousands. That's why some people choose to buy an $10,000 Jaeger-LeCoultre watch made in Switzerland rather than a $100 Timex watch mass-produced in Asia (even though both will tell you the time just fine).
More Leica commercials please.
Look at the size of the T mount. It could easily accommodate a FF sensor.
Perhaps they plan on introducing a FF version in the future?
Nobody said "this is it". Leica will release other cameras.
An AF FF leica. Compact(ish).
Thats a revolution they might not be interested in.
They are not funded as heavily as the Japanese giants - and rely on a core market of MF-afficionados.
But I can't fault your logic here. Sony did it.
If Leica does excactly that they'll be sure to price it out of reach of many (if not most). They'll have to recoup the R&D cost on a limited production run.
Some day the Leica M system will be retired. After all, it's a very old system that doesn't have AF, doesn't have zoom lenses, doesn't have TTL viewfinder framing, etc. It's very much a system of the last century. It's very limited. I'm not saying that Leica M will be retired any time soon. But it may very well diminish in importance and in popularity as we get deeper and deeper into the 21st century. I think Leica is priming the T system to be the future successor of the M system. It's the Leica system for the 21st century. But to fully do that, they'll certainly need a full frame T. They'll eventually get there. I'm sure it's on their road map.
Leica obviously know that machines can do many jobs better than craftsmen - as the use of the CNC machine and modern fabricated circuit boards seem to support. But 45 minutes to hand polish these bricks? Stupid. Before these really go into production, I suspect that the production line will get "optimised" with some power assist to speed up the process a bit.
The maker of the finest telescopes on the planet, AstroPhysics, applies a final hand-finishing to the optics because they do not have machines that can get it to the level of finish they need. Wait time to buy and receive one of these scopes is now 14 years!
to the optics. not to the surface of the telescope. a fundamental difference.
i hope you mean months... for 14 years, one will order a telescope now for his son to use it, and maybe he will just not be into star photography...waste of money :p
Food for thought: onion ring bokeh.
Does anyone need a compact camera that's as slippery as possible? It doesn't make sense to machine a camera body out of a block of aluminum and leave it with polished finish. Perhaps Germany no longer has the industrial know how to cast a camera body out of magnesium alloy and apply an ergonomic leather grain finish?
Germany still has the knowhow but there is no "German advantage" in doing what the Japanese have been doing for years. They have to come up with something expensively different.
With the possible exception of Sigma and Olympus not one of the serious Japanese lenses makers can match the optical quality of high quality Zeiss or Leica lenses.
In Japan some manufactures, like Cosina and Panasonic can follow the formulation if it's brought to them.
All this suggests that German firms know something about light and color that's not widely known--perhaps more widely known in South Korea. (Irony the printer division of Canon knows part of it.)
Too much time spent on this "luxury camera" by DP, which is sorely lacking in both technological innovation and resolution. Construction quality is great, but real Leica (M film and Digital) photographers also want weather-sealing, high dynamic range, high resolution, etc., and not just a fancy red Leica dot on an aluminum brick. For the price and prestige, I would expect a weather-sealed, titanium or magnesium brick with a great- read high-traction grip and designated add-on extra battery grip. This Leica T, unfortunately, fails to even create or inspire a "lust to own" factor.
it is very expensive and its not for the masses...it got everything a real photographer needs to make an unheard of image quality
finally you never heard that the most important part is the glass?? last time i checed Leica lenses are among the best in the high end category...
"Construction quality is great, but real Leica (M film and Digital) photographers also want weather-sealing"
Leica M's are not weather sealed. Neither are their lenses. Weather sealing has never been a selling point of Leica M gear, and it still hasn't kept them from having a loyal fan base. Leica M's aren't made of titanium either, except for a few limited edition units. As for magnesium, I don't think that would be any better than milled aluminum; in fact, I think it'd be worse because magnesium is more brittle. Aluminum is also more corrosion resistant; a magnesium body requires a protective coating to save it from corrosion, which means Leica wouldn't be able to offer it in the shiny bare aluminum. It's probably only be available in black, like all the black magnesium DSLRs that are currently in the market, or they'd have to paint it silver.
Look: Best glass? Sure maybe in the HIGH END Range... or some of the old M-Glass... but these plastic built VARIO APERTURE Slow things are certainly a far cry from "best glass".
Now your statement about glass being the only factor of importance... is simply not true anymore these days.
And the leica offers NOTHING to produce as you say "unheard of image quality"... Not the lenses, certainly not the sensor or the image processing. In all these departments, especially the electronic side of things there are already offerings on the market that are older but better specified and often at a FAR more reasonable price range.
But hey, I guess leica fan boys have never heard of the advancement of technology.
More interesting for readers to read about this than another boring, black, plastic DSLR from Nikon or Canon.
Very well said RichRMA - it is just an interesting reason for most, and it is in some way different that everyday pixel level evaluation of model 6 vs model 7.
@Peter, Electrophoto and others:Leica bodys (not the M's not even the S) were never about high tech, etc, etc. They were (and are) just very nice, very reliable, very polished bodies... and exclusive. Also amazing glass, and slow does not mean bad. Of course i also think the 3.5-5.6 for that price is not nice, but it probably is as sharp as a knife wide open. Anyway no point in bashing about the price on an exclusive line of products. Ferrari or whatever cost that because of their badge, exclusivity and so on and on.
T3, the Leica M (Type 240) is weather sealed. The lenses aren’t, but they contain no electronics.
Very cool process. But... Seems the camera would be be slick, slippery when wet, scratch easy, cold in the winter & hot in the summer. Call me crazy, but... I like 'grippy'.
I've looked but can't find a description of how the black finish is obtained. Anodised? Or maybe milled from pure unobtainium.
How durable is it likely to be? Will it wear like an M?
It's a leictanium alloy
and the Image Quality is NOT better than Nikon D5100
Well, back in the film days, a $2000 SLR camera didn't give you better image quality than a $200 SLR camera. In fact, today I'd say that without pixel peeping and without going to extreme ISO levels, most of today's latest digital interchangeable lens cameras produce image quality that is fairly comparable. So the reality is that we are pay different prices on different cameras for reasons other than just image quality.
You also have to remember that just like in the film days when two different cameras were using the exact same film (and therefore, delivering the same image quality), the same is happening with today's digital cameras that are using the same (or very similar) sensors. So just like in the film days, it shouldn't be that surprising that one camera doesn't deliver better image quality than another camera. So, as I said before, you can choose one camera over another for reasons other than image quality.
how do you know that?
Because he hasn't been asleep for the last ten or twenty years. One of the biggest differences with cameras now is the lens selection in terms of image quality. Beyond that, it's size, features, performance. There haven't been leaps in sensor image quality for the last ten years, only slow and steady improvement. Maybe ten years ago things were moving along with more speed, but we've reached the point of maturing digital imaging devices. Now it's a matter of novel ways to alter the system to gain the edge in the performance of the system. Lenses are a compelling reason to choose one system over another, as always.
Back in the film days, a body could easily last you two decades. Durability, sound construction were paramount - this was a device that might only be replaced once a decade by a pro, and might last your entire adult life for an amateur.
Today you buy the film pre-loaded in the camera, and a model revision with "better" film comes out every one-two years, and a major overhaul of the entire system comes out every 4.
Making an electronic device with a technology that will be eclipsed in 4 years to last half a century is bad engineering (though fine if you just want something pretty).
As for evolutionary sensors - they are getting better every year, but manufacturers are using those advances to keep material costs down (hence all the 1/2.3 sensors). Year on year improvements can easily be seen in flagship sensors when you shoot at the limits of sensor capability (i.e. dark places).
And the D5100 image quality isn't as good as a $350 Sony A3000. But the body is certainly a huge step-up from the plastic, mass-produced, soon-forgotten Nikon.
hand built doesnt really mean much when all they do is screw a few circuit boards in.
Clearly you haven’t watched the most boring ad ever made.
@Samuel -> i don't believe that anybody has, most just skipped through few sections :D
Strange that the workers don't wear clean-room gloves. :-)
I suspect the camera body is too slippery for traditional optical "white glove" handling... although they could still wear surgical gloves. Good thing it's got a pretty solid body, because the frictionless surface means it is gonna get dropped.
A 45 minutes(!) long video about making the Leica T. Actually it only shows somebody actually polishing the body of a Leica T for 45 minutes:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpSMW5H7FPQ
I would like to order the solid gold model.
When the tech in the camera becomes obsolete, I can always melt the cutesy.
I'll take your shavings.
Will this really be assembled in Germany or in Portugal like most non Panasonic Leicas? Isn`t this camera mostly a Panasonic assembled in Europe? Regardless this "made in" snobbery is rather ridiculous, China and other places produce very hight quality products, as good or better than those made in Germany, Switzerland or whatever.
Like many, many other Leica cameras it is probably made in Portugal and then sent to Germany to have the external case and logo applied so it can be branded "Made in Germany".
The way they go about trying to avoid making public the fact that they actually are made in Portugal, while benefiting from the extremely competent and specialized workforce that used to work for the late "Reguladora" for a significant part of their camera's output makes them kind of "douchbaggy".
...but, then again, that's part of the demographics they aim for, so...
Actuly some UK firms have pulled out of China because of the shody quality of products with there name on.
Leica have had a factory in northern Portugal for many years. At yesterdays launch in Lisbon, several senior managers of the factory were present to explain the milling process. Not sure how much more is done in Portugal though.
they had,no, they have a factory in famalicão,northern portugal, that handbuild cameras, like the leica R4, or projectors pradovit, or digital cameras like the Leica M9.this last one, i think 95 % of the camera was mounted, and manufactured in this factory...so let´s say that leica is half german and half portuguese.. :-)
Yes Leica cameras are mostly made in Portugal and go to Germany for the "made in Germany" logo. Nothing wrong with that quality wise, the Leica portuguese workers are probably more competent and qualified than the german ones... but yes I guess that is part of the douchbag mentality of a lot Leica buyers, they buy it for the name and made in germany fantasy.
Bodies being machined in the U.S.? Possible the machine tool was bought there and shipped to Germany (or Japan?).http://www.makino.com/
This seems like a Leica/Canon EOS M straight out of the Hasselblad/Nex 7 playbook to me.
I find the picture with the person filling the ink quite cool.
It's a Nex-3N or maybe Nex-6 sensor with different outfit and brand for premium market :D
So much publicity for a camera that almost nobody wants...
"So what's the target market? Leica's Stefan Daniel mentioned customers who want something between the X and M-series with a reasonable price tag which has autofocus and a more consumer-friendly interface."
Sounds like OM-D E-M10...
Perhaps the intended target market is "Leica snobs"?
On those wonderful photos that Leica provided...didn't anyone say..I hope that is not my camera they are building..without Gloves? So that dirt and fingerprints and grime end up on my $1800 Model T.
You're right and it doesn't even seem to be clean room conditions. In one slide I can see a ribbed cotton sleeve. Perhaps it is a mock-up assembly for the photographs only.
I wish Leica had not called this T -- that name's been taken for several decades. T mount is the old adaptable screw thread often confused with M42, but not M42 because it has a different pitch thread and longer rear focus. I guess no self-respecting Leica body owner would consider using a generic adaptable lens anyway.... ;-)
I swear, Leica's PR people are the best in the business.
Just like Bose Corp. They also produce inferior products.
Difference is... Leica glass is actually good, whereas Bose speakers just aren't.
Nice design, attention to detail and use of quality materials in the manufacturing process of the camera body are all great attention grabbers, however the truth is that they don't always create a better tool to do the job, especially when electronics are involved.What we see with Leica is that they are desperately trying to market pride of craftsmanship and mysticism of the brand name at exuberant prices.The whole manufacturing process in today's broadly available technology (explained in pictures of the article) is nothing that cannot be achieved in China, Vietnam or Romania. Most likely with less manual labor involved if deburring process is carried out by the same machine tool which does the "carving" of solid block of aluminum, not by hand of highly paid worker.Obviously, limited production runs cost more per unit but justifying the final price by extraordinary skills and experience needed to do the job is just a plain hyperbole in my mind.
Sadly, I agree with you. Also, manufacturing the magnificent rock of the ages body to house electronic components whose practical life is only likely to be 4 or 6 years just does not make much sense. It is overkill. Now if they had some sort of sensor upgrade path.....
I would guess that all the components, much like the lens, are made elsewhere, possibly Asian jobbing factories. All Leica do is assemble it locally, thus claiming the craftsmanship tag for their marketing. Hopefully function will equate form. While I will always regret parting with my M8, the reality is that my actual output was no different to using other kit. I just looked like an ageing hipster taking the photos.
Yep, if they can create the piece as-is, they can certainly run some automated deburring tools on it.
@gustabodSupposedly at least, the sensor is made in Belgium. I'm guess that the majority of the actual circuitry though is still made in China.
I think they nailed it manufacturing wise. Not much molding costs because of machined block and it allows high tolerances for easy assembly. Price per unit is high compared to other methods but as it has very high selling price and possibly low selling numbers it might be actually the best way to do this camera.
I agree, but do you think anybody who is actually in the market for one of these cares? Same arguements for Rolex watches etc etc...
I suspect Leica is going in the direction of Vertu (massively overpriced status symbols..) which seems such a shame given their respected past.
They need to innovate, not decorate..
To understand the present, you must first understand the past. Why are Japanese cameras cheaper?
After the WWII, Germany was stripped of all its intellectual property, its industrial and technology patents made void. It was devastating to German companies who have totally lost momentum, and it created a huge bonanza for manufacturers elsewhere (particularly in the US and Japan).
Many of (then) smaller Japanese companies had actually been repair shops before the war, and were familiar with the construction of the cameras, and most had experience fabricating hard to get parts.
The economic boom following shortly after made Japanese into de-facto holders of 95% of world's photography related patents. Which Leica must pay for through the nose, of course, being such a small manufacturer from Germany. When buying any component, because of its small purchasing power, Leica pays many times *more* for same parts than some Japanese camera company.
That is an informative piece. Thank you, with all due respect!
But should the cost be paid by the consumer for no drastic benefit in IQ?
Enthusiast market is not targeted by Leica, anyway. It is for the people with no concern of money whether to use the camera for their pro work/heavily paid assignments or they keep these cameras as another collectible in their ever growing collection.
Unfortunately, a small lesson in history would not convince a general buyer to absorb the big MSRP.
Once your legacy has been given to others for free and to use as they please, it is hard to start anew. Economy of scale that was the result of economic boom enabled Japanese to reduce prices for components and produce hundreds of millions of system cameras. Sensor wise, they now control the world market. So in that sense Leica can give nothing extra. But they are willing to offer choices and quality in parts they can influence and do not pay royalties for. Those are the new lenses, proprietary imaging and UI software, processing, better warranty, better resale value, also attention to details and materials in construction of the camera. Paying a bit more also has a positive psychological effect; it is more likely a person will use and enjoy the equipment in a more considerate and conscious way, take extra care and think of it as a long-term investment.
I understand why it's expensive, but I don't understand why the company doesn't innovate? Does it have to be expensive forever? It's a choice that consumers don't follow. Assuming what you said about the past is true(which I don't know and for the sake of the argument it's but that doesn't matter), that's no excuse for the present. Are you saying now that Leica are prohibit from applying new patents? Isn't company like Google started w/o any patents. Isn't most of the gadgets we have now a day come from China and Korean, and they aren't holding many patents either.
Of course not, Leica has its own patents. But patent games are generally cruel. In some countries they are not respected and that is why China, for example, is notorious for being a source of manufacturing knock-offs or rip-offs, made cheap by violating patents all over the place. If they were forced to play by the book, they'd have no chance. Also component manufacturers have different price lists for different players with different buying power. For example, Leica was forced to use Kodak, then Aptina as the source of their FF sensors because they cannot get a deal with Sony — too much cost to pay for a premium product and not enough buying power. Leica cannot make enough of FF sales and therefore they have invested into the crop sensor mirrorless T Type concept, that will enable them gain more crop sensors buying power, used across a few lines of products. That lowers the cost for new products, and enables faster turnaround to pace itself favourably with sensor tech development.
Does it have to be expensive forever? Well, are we ever going to see a cheap Rolls-Royce?
Kind of reminds me of the Contax G
If you guys remember that the Apple head designer John Ivy designed a Leica for charity auction. It seems that his design must influence Leica's in a much broader way. This Leica not only shares Apple's aesthetics but its UIF of less is more. This is one nice and clean modern looking cameras with a great UIF. All other camera makers, please take note!
And vis-versa, I think - as far as design influence is concerned. Leica has been doing smooth-cornered 'monocoque' metal body construction since the M3. Long before Apple adopted it.
Audi designed it.
Apple patented it
Chuck Norris invented it!
George W. Bush tried to break it.
I think you may mean Sir Jonathan ("Jonny") Ive.
Rather than just launching a long-winded diatribe on why it's no good, or denigrating those who'll buy it, just preface it by admitting you can't afford it.
I can surely afford it.
And won't buy it.
Because I use my cortex.
You use your "cortex", eh? Cortex - the outermost or superficial layer of an organ
Oh wait, you're referring to your brain? The brain isn't a "cortex" nor does it have a single "cortex", it has different parts such as the cerebral cortex, prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, cerebellar cortex, and visual cortex.
Try using your brain before you attempt to type out smart answers. Your "cortex" isn't cutting it.
What a snob.
Sorry mate, but AFFORDING it isn't the big deal here... anyone who has a car or a motorcycle has spent more money on an item before.
BUT: At least myself, I care a lot on WHAT I spend my money and what I get in return ... Anyone who's hard working for their money should care.
And that Leica really goes a long way to redefine wasting of money on an inferior product.
when I bought the D3s and a bit of glass for my part time work, it was an investment well made, as I'm still using it to produce paid for work. When I got the X100 - a camera I still enjoy shooting often and compared to that leica was an absolut bargain.
But seriously spending 1800$ on a variable aperture zoom?or 1900$ on a 23mm f/2?
An APS-C Sized sensor at 16Mpix and outdated (Leica has never been top-of-the game here) electronic processing... a new proprietary lens mount...
sure, perfectly reasonable investment here.
@JDThomas - I LOL-ed so hard - brilliant!
@JDTHomas: discussing such topic with a lay person is absolutely fruitless.
Copyedit: "No one will argue that Leica cameras are expensive." (That's the lead sentence from the main page for this post.) I certainly would, but I believe what you meant is the opposite, that "No one will argue with the proposition that Leica cameras are expensive," which might be better phrased as "No one will deny that Leica cameras are expensive."
Good suggestion, thanks.
If we agree that the proven & well known 16 MP Sensor inside the X2 is the same as into the Leica X Vario, there you have it:
(Comparsion between the 2 Sony 20 MP & 16 MP Sensors, they're equal) inside the cheapest DSLM possible (A3000 Sony, plastique-phantastique) or this HighEnd UniBody Leica T:
You can have much Fun and way good photographs with either one, but of course the Leica has much more Style - for the fewer people which are wealthy and can afford it.
The good thing is, the best camera is always that one with you - and you can choose from a zillion cameras today to find exactly that one you're looking for.
The A3000 is, from most aspects a junky camera. But, it's sensor is great and its price is low. If you can live with a viewfinder and LCD five years out of date, it's ok.
Leica is focusing most of their marketing effort on the fabrication of the hand polished aluminum unibody and almost none on image quality. They know their faithful will spend a small fortune to capture the "essence of photography", although a hand polished aluminum body will do nothing to improve their images.
The emperor has no clothes.
This is like saying a $12,000 watch doesn't tell time any better. It's true of course, but there are people who like and can afford these things, which is fine. Now, when somebody says their Rolex does a much better job of telling time, that's a trip to the fantasy factory. It's natural for people spending this much to work overtime at seeing the differences but consumers should be happy that they can get similar or identical results with a camera in their price range.
Some expensive watches do, in fact, tell time better. Increased precision doesn't not follow a linear relationship with cost. If the watch is accurate within one second over a year or ten years, it's more expensive than one that loses a second every month. Way more expensive. Whether that is meaningful, or worth it, or not is a relative notion. Do you NEED more than your smartphone? Do you NEED a camera at all? Some nicer watches are in the $100k+ range, but then again those really are the much more unique and complex designs. Needlessly complex? Sometimes you pay for art. If your functional camera is also a piece of art, why is that aspect unworthy of additional cost? This is going to be a rare camera for many reasons, so paying for something rare also means it might retain some value. Maybe it won't be worth half the sticker price after you drive it off the lot.
I believe the contrary is true. Expensive, gears and springs driven watches can never compete with quartz and battery driven watches on precision time telling.
You got that right.That is why expensive watches are called time pieces and accurate but inexpensive ones - just...watches.Same with cameras. The Leicas (made in Germany by hand LOL) are timeless beauties contrary to ordinary cameras with much higher level of sophistication and performance, which are called what?...cameras?
I like the analogy to high-end watches, if for no other reason than I'm a watchmaker. It is true that, in most cases, a simple quartz (battery driven) watch will be more accurate than a mechanical watch, but that's not something the guy selling you a $20k (or more) watch is going to tell you. They sell the ideas of luxury, exclusivity, and something hand-made (true or not).
Ultimately, this Leica is a luxury item. I doubt few professional photographers will see it as worth the price when compared to what they can get with other systems, but I don't think they're really the target market anyways. I have a feeling this camera will sell well enough, and at least Leica has produced something that's more in-house, rather than simply re-branding an existing product.
Mechanical watches sell you the idea of craftsmanship and precision (micro)engineering; a bit like nostalgia for vinyl records and film SLRs (or Linhof cameras). Digital Leicas - especially those without a mechanical rangefinder - are just a quartz watch in a golden case. Ultimately, the value is in the lenses; the body, especially the t-body, is just rent-extraction for the privilege of using the lens.
Much ado about nothing, I don't drive a luxury car, I don't make mega bucks so I don't need Leica, let's dentists, lawyers and other "better" people have it...
It's amusing how people assume anyone with money thinks of themselves as better than everyone. I don't have money myself, but I know a few very well off people that aren't the a-holes everyone assumes they must be.
I agree. I also know some fairly unwealthy people who think they are more important than everyone else.
You can get an income distribution by seeing who is cutting a line in traffic waiting to turn right - it will cars of all kinds, not just the expensive ones.
I know a person who does that and she thinks everyone considers their time to be more important than the others' (...).
Come-on those people are not better than you…Have some confidence in yourself!!!
Am I the only one surprised with the "low" price tag? I mean, at least when compared to the premium charged for the M models, price tag is "only" about 4 times what a Japanese camera would cost.
Now, if you value (which you may not) the fact that it is milled from a single block, assembled and finished by hand with all the implications it has on quality control, this camera is certainly much less expensive than what you would expect to pay for Leica gear.
Did you notice it is now possible to have a digital M lens camera system, using a $1,750 Leica body? That is many (really many) thousands of $ cheaper than a M body.
I am surprised. Are you?
The most important step is on the photo #11. That's where price jumps from $400 all the way up to $1750
You must volunteer at your local soup kitchen and donate 10% of your salary to NPR. Heading to Africa on a Doctors Without Borders trip soon?
I know you made the comment tongue in cheek, but the machined solid alu block is pretty damned expensive - it's insanely labour intensive to get that finish they have and really cranks up the price. Personally, I'd say the red dot only added 300 to 350 at most.
I thing they are just polishing the imperfections and sharp edges for 45 minutes by hand.That finish is probably sandblasted or else to become that uniform in appearance and feel.
I suspect the finish is not brushing or blasting the alu - as that makes it vulnerable to fingerprints and finger print acid damage. Most likely it is hard chrome or equivalent matt coating.
It's expensive because of material cost and machining time. It is not labour intensive because you literally put it in the machine and it does all the cutting for you. The surface finish isn't anything special, and coatings aren't new compared to mass manufactured cameras.
The coating is very expensive - if you haven't used hard chrome coating you wouldn't know, but you can't just flush unused chromic acid down the drain - it needs careful handling and very expensive disposal.
It's not a chrome coating. I'm not sure if it's coated at all from these pictures, but if it were I would expect either an anodization or paint.
I think it will most likely be anodised. That leaves the opportunity for the manufacturer to market the camera in a range of shocking colours, fluoro pink, lime green, electric blue as well as natural. Hee hee.
Why did they copy the lens design from Panasonic? They cool cheap.
because Panasonic probably makes them. it actually makes the Panasonic lenses look more expensive (which they actually tried with the models released since 2013).