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Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review

April 2014 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on Amazon.com From $1,810.19


Preview based on a pre-production Leica T (Typ 701)

This year marks Leica's 100th birthday as a camera maker and, to celebrate, the venerable German manufacturer has launched an all-new camera system. Perhaps unexpectedly, though, Leica hasn't taken the obvious route and embraced the current fashion for 'retro' design with an interchangeable-lens version of its X Vario APS-C compact. Instead the Leica T is an innovative camera that combines photographer-friendly twin-dial control with a bang-up-to-date touchscreen interface.

Before we go any further, though, let's get the pricing out of the way. The Leica T is going to set you back £1350 for the body alone - a fraction more than the original X1. Two lenses will be available at launch; the 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom (27-84mm equivalent) will cost £1250, and the 23mm f/2 prime (which offers a 35mm equivalent angle-of-view) will be £1350. This places it in the same price bracket as the 36MP full frame Sony A7R as one of the most expensive mirrorless camera systems on the market, and means that only well-heeled photographers are likely to get their hands on one. Leica exists in a particularly rarefied space and, while the T is designed to appeal to a different type of buyer than either the X compacts or the M system, it is not in any way intended as a mass-market product.

This is a pity, because the Leica T turns out to be a really attractive camera. Its body is hewn from a single block of aluminum, which makes it an extraordinarily tactile, and rather beautiful object. It has five controls on its top plate - shutter button, video record button, power switch and two dials - but absolutely everything else is controlled via the large 3.7", 16:9 touchscreen. This, you can't help but feel, is the kind of camera that Apple might make, if it were so inclined.

Leica T key features:

  • 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-12500
  • 3.7" 1.3M dot 16:9 touchscreen LCD
  • Twin top-plate control dials
  • Approx 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 1920 x 1080 Full HD movie recording at 30 fps; built-in stereo microphones
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for easy image sharing, and remote control by smartphone or tablet
  • Optional 2.36M dot electronic viewfinder with built-in GPS unit
  • Built-in 16GB memory
  • Brand new Leica T mount
  • 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 and 23mm f/2 lenses
  • 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 and 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 coming later in the year (at photokina 2014)
  • Available in anodized black or natural aluminum finish

The back of the T is dominated by its large, 16:9 aspect ratio touchscreen, with no physical buttons whatsoever. The main exposure settings are controlled by a pair of top-plate dials, but almost everything else (settings and menus, playback and so on) is operated though a generally well-thought-out touch interface. The back of the camera also proudly proclaims 'Leica Camera Wetzlar Germany', celebrating the company's recent return to its spiritual home. The lenses, by the way, are made in Japan (apparently because Leica doesn't have sufficient capacity in Wetzlar), although contrary to pre-launch internet rumor, they're not made by Panasonic.

The T uses a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, with an ISO range from 100-12500. It offers 5fps continuous shooting, and Full HD movie recording with stereo sound. The camera uses an all-new, fully electronic 'T mount', but Leica will also be offering an adapter to allow use of M mount lenses. This has an optical sensor to read the 6-bit code used to identify modern lenses, and electronic contacts to pass this information to the camera.

Naturally the camera has built-in Wi-Fi; this allows both image transfer to a smartphone or tablet, and remote control of shooting (complete with live view feed). It has 16GB of built-in memory, meaning you don't even have to buy an SD card if you don't want to. The battery can be charged internally via the camera's micro USB port, but Leica includes an external charger in the box too, giving the best of both worlds.

'Unibody' design

Leica is very proud of the T's unique 'unibody' design. Most cameras are built around an internal chassis, with all of the electronics fixed to it and a body skin finally added over the top. Leica has done something completely different; instead the body is formed from a solid block of aluminum, with all of the electronics attached to it directly. The result is an extraordinarily tactile, solid-feeling object.

The Leica T's body is formed from a 1.2kg block of aluminum, which is machined down to 94g at Leica's factory in Wetzlar, then subjected 45 minutes of hand-polishing. The camera has no separate internal chassis; instead everything is attached to this shell. Now you know why it costs so much...

Lenses and accessories

The Leica T launches with two lenses, a zoom and a prime. The Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 is a compact zoom that offers a 27-84mm equivalent range, while the Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH is a small prime that offers a classic 35mm equivalent moderate wide-angle view. Both use a thoroughly modern design approach, with a fully-electronic mount, near-silent internal focusing, and electronically-coupled manual focus.

The first two lenses for the T system are the Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH (left) and Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6. The Vario-Elmar-T 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH telezoom and Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH wide-angle zoom are both scheduled to appear in time to be shown in September at photokina 2014.

Not unexpectedly these lenses are seriously pricey, at around $1500 / £1300 each (or roughly half the price of the camera / lens kit). The zoom doesn't even have optical image stabilization - Leica says it imposes too large a compromise on the optical design - which means the T is about the only system on the market with no image stabilization at all.

There's also a new optional electronic viewfinder, the Visoflex (Typ 020), which slides onto the hotshoe. It uses a new interface on the hot shoe itself, meaning that that it's not cross-compatible with the unit used for the X2, X Vario and M (Typ 240). Leica will also be offering a range of straps and covers in two distinct styles; either traditional-looking leather, or brightly-colored silicone rubber. We'll look at these in more detail later.

Color options and pricing

The T will be available in either a natural aluminum finish, or anodized black. Prices are as follows:

  • Leica T body (Black or Silver) - £1350
  • Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 - £1250
  • Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH - £1350
  • M-Adapter T mount adapter - £300
  • Visoflex (Typ 020) EVF - £400


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 2306
910111213
John Roy

Infrared, it hasn't got any sort of battery door, plastic or otherwise. The bottom of the battery sits flush with the camera body.

0 upvotes
Infared

Sorry...it's a plastic card-slot door...the inference is the same.....
My name is Infared....(see...you can make mistakes, too! :-)
...and what does the VF cost???? LOL!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr

>what does the VF cost????

$672.

0 upvotes
Infared

Well it's only $4k for camera and lens and it has a plastic battery door.
LOL!
This is not a photographer tool..it's a fashionista's statement.

4 upvotes
magneto shot

Reading specs is not photography. Using it is. There are many things to love about leica, despite the prices.
1. DNG files, fully supported by Adobe. No inferior worries about when your raw files will be supported correctly
2. Build that echoes quality. Its hard to be inspired holding a plastic. M, X2, Xvario feels solid to the brim. T indication only seems to be better.
3. Lenses of stellar quality.

M /range finder is dated and doing middle composition and recompose is getting sillier by the day, but its lens lives on. T shows Leica is willing and able to break its own mould and move forward while setting example.

What innovation has canon and nikon did for the last 3 years? nothing. Half baked EOS-M and Nikon 1 are junks in comparison to what Leica is doing now.
Nikon DF? they forgot the dials are supposed to make things more convenient, not confusing.
Let there be light

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
WACONimages

Agree for your first part of comments and motivation. Not for the last part... EOS-M is for another part of the market, as is the 1-series. The 1-series is underrated and can do stuff most other camera's can't, speed!! It is not a Leica, nor does it attempt being one. There is not one single camera out there that does satisfied all photography needs I think. I want to like this Leica, it looks amazing! The price of the body is expensive, but it is a special camera, so yes ok! But the price of those lenses is just too much.

2 upvotes
Marcos Villaroman

All metal body, but, a plastic door to access the SD card and connectors. Darn. Would love it if it was all metal/glass.

As it is, I do wonder how well locking/unlocking the touch screen will be when operating this camera. I've always hated small cameras where it was too easy to accidentally touch a rear control and change settings.

It'll also be interesting to see how fast/accurate the AF is, especially in low light.

I wasn't a fan of the X-Vario because it seemed to be a bright light camera.

0 upvotes
backayonder

Leica T? No thanks But I'd Leica coffee..... Sorry

8 upvotes
onlooker

These are treacherous waters for Leica. The M is unique - no other FF (or even APS-C) rangefinders on the market. Leica M lenses have enviable reputation and are unique. Most of all - Leica's devotion to that mount ensured that the faithful could depend on their old glass, and that the glass continued to maintain and increase in value. All of that provided justification for exorbitant prices.

This is breaking with all of the above. Will Leica manage to justify the prices on looks alone?

3 upvotes
badi

For some yes.
Also, considering the type of manufacturing they can produce them as the retailers ask for more bodies... unlike sony/etc who produce a bilion units and if they fail to sell them, they fire-sale so they just finish the stock and recover part of the money...
so, if they sell a few thousands, it's ok, after that design T2, and so on... the lenses however will have to stay, so they better be brilliant.
I am afraid however that the kit lens is ... unattractive... to say the least (3.5-5.6 ... at £1250 really?)

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

"All teed up: Leica T First Impressions Review"

How about "Teed off: Leica T First Impressions Review"?

dpreview, you can made the edit! Pretty please!

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
davids8560

There can be no disputing that an historic, well-deserved prestigious reputation and a dedication to high quality has demonstrated repeatedly that Leica owners are something. Or other. Anyway.... Count me in!

0 upvotes
iAPX

Seems low iso wasn't for it, at least compared to Fuji X System. Not talking about other's attribute's, tag price, 2 lenses only at first.

But still I find the this object incredibly built, Apple's way, with a commitment to durability, and while not the best of the mirrorless camera, solid performances. And Leica red dot!

0 upvotes
dpreviewprov

Why is "hand-built" is better than machine (or factory-robot) built?

I always thought that machine/robot-built is more precise and has LESS variations (or human error) than hand-built.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

1 upvote
Storky

You are correct. The only thing that's better about hand-built is that it is more exclusive and expensive.

0 upvotes
Retzius

Yesterday, a well known Leicaphile on this site told me the Pentax K50 was "junk" because the 16mp sensor was "yesterday's technology" compared to the current batch of 24mp sensors.

Today, the same Leicaphile said that the Leica T is "exemplary" because the 16mp sensor is the "perfect balance" of resolution and noise compared to the current batch of 24mp sensors.

I hope the Leica T comes with a packet of the Kool-Aid you need to drink to shut down all rational thinking and embrace the "essence of photography".

11 upvotes
CanonKen

But those are *LEICA* megapixels, not those junky Japanese megapixels.

;)

12 upvotes
Wombat_VC

Guess who makes those pixels.

1 upvote
BarnET

Sony and they do a better job with it as canon.
Canonken.

0 upvotes
Clint009

Sensors, wherever they are made, they are made for the cameras specifications from camera's compagnies.

0 upvotes
andrewD2

The 55-135 is exactly what I'd like for the sony e mount. Right size and speed.
Pricing is nothing to do with how well they are built. I saw a blad USB cable for £80.

0 upvotes
Wombat_VC

Pricing has everything to do with what the target customers are willing to pay.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic

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.

6 upvotes
quiquae

Well, yes and no. What really marginalized Leica post WWII was their slowness in responding to the emerging SLR threat in late 1950s and 1960s. It's hard to blame that on the WWII patent loss, because innovations that allowed SLR to perform at a professional level--e.g. instant return mirror, automatic diaphram--happened after WWII, and prewar patents would have expired by late 1950s anyway..

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Zvomimir:

True to a point, but remember East German Contax made the first SLR in '48 or 49.

Likely the reason for cheaper Japanese variations was that Japan didn't hand craft things. Even Mercedes was having trouble with expensive handling of car bodies on productions likes as late as the early 1990s.

0 upvotes
plasnu

Is this supposed to be an excuse for the price of this camera?

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

A very elegantly designed camera for elegant people. Leica has come the full circle from the ovf that everyone had to have to join the arms ahead and squint at the lcd of popular use. In a Leica-owners elegantly manner of course. and who needs an ovf anyway now that Leica have effectively discarded it?

Omission of focus peaking - Leica too worried about Ricoh to borrow their excellent Mode 2 focus peaking assist? No doubt the Leica MF glass adapted to this camera will be so precisely sharp that focus peaking is hardly necessary and there is always the clip on evf which might in fact be an essential "option".

T mount? here we go again - yet another mount system to collect glass for ....

I really think it is a remarkable effort, but I simply cannot make myself afford one.

0 upvotes
aftab

Joy of taking pictures with a mirrorless redefined. If the lenses are top of Leica quality then I am in. :)

2 upvotes
pew pew

the boy looks exactly like the samsung nx 300 imo.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Sort of but I bet the Leica takes an EVF.

0 upvotes
ulfie

It should be the CC not the T model. CC for Conspicuous Consumption.

0 upvotes
Mike FL

"Built-in 16GB memory", why not 64GB (for a such expensive toy)?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
bobbarber

Memory is notoriously unreliable. What do you do when it fails? Cameras need more parts that can be swapped out, not less.

2 upvotes
Edmond Stuart

A Leica with no built in EVF or OVF is NOT a Leica, rather an overpriced mainstream POC.

0 upvotes
intruder61

OMG!!!!!!!
a hand built body............ummmm..........no thanks.

3 upvotes
ryanlee

"Leica has become a premium, essentially 'designer' brand, but even so the idea of spending £2700 for a mirrorless camera with no built-in EVF and a slow zoom lens is difficult to accept rationally. But exclusivity has become part of Leica's continued existence, and manufacturing this kind of product in Germany (complete with 45 minutes of hand-finishing each body shell) both contributes to, and helps justify, the high price. The design is - quite deliberately - all about desire over reason."

i.e. Lets try to sell shallow-minded rich users a gutless camera for a lot of money. If someone offered to give me one of them or the OMD-EM1, I'd pick the OMD because I don't think I could live with the shame of carrying around something so obscene. The OMD would probably take better pictures too and wouldn't constantly remind me of the plight of these guys: http://tinyurl.com/klyf6bo

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Let's just care about optical quality and the f/2.0 lens.

0 upvotes
nonuniform

This feels like a bespoke Sony. If you want a really great APS-C system to use as a photographer, buy a Fuji. If you want to impress everyone with your ability to purchase luxury goods, buy the Leica.

4 upvotes
shigzeo

There is much more to it than that. I own and love the X Pro 1 and X-T1. Both are great cameras, but both suffer from trying too hard to be something they are not.

The X-Pro 1 looks like a late film-era rangefinder. In all its actions it is slower and more cumbersome to operate. A M7 can fire off more shots, be instantly ready, and never require reset. The X-Pro 1 looks the part, but is so slow to operate.

I've had professional photographers (obviously not Leica owners) mistake the X-Pro 1 for an M. The X doesn't look like an M, but it is designed to emulate the look, the mystique. If anyone is trying to show purchase power, it is Fujifilm.

It's exciting that Leica still follow build standards perfected decades ago. They go their own way. They always have. I can't afford one as is the case for many others. But that doesn't make their camera toys.

Their decision to make things a certain way and to keep their brand image high, is completely unique in today's camera market.

4 upvotes
nonuniform

Well, we're not comparing the X-Pro to the M7, but to the Leica T. As an M4/M6 user of over 20 years, I have some opinions about what makes them great, but what makes them less great is that digital offers flexibility not found in film.

Comparing the X-Pro to the T, I would say that the value proposition of the Leica has very little to do with "going their own way" as it does with brand marketing.

You can convince yourself that there is something special about the Leica T, that's your prerogative. I simply disagree. There is nothing special about this camera compared to a Fuji.

0 upvotes
shigzeo

Fujifilm have a special mirrorless idea in the X100 and Pro 1 but apart from that, make the same mirrorless camera that everyone else is making. The difference is the dials, and if you think it helps, X-Trans.

I'm not in the market for the T. But then again I thought I wasn't for the Pro 1, which also came out at 1800$, which as prices fell to below 900$ in Japan in less than a year, was obviously too expensive.

I think Fujifilm's best, most well thought-through camera is the X100/s. It works as it should. It isn't too slow, too large, or trying too hard to be something it isn't. I hope Fujifilm can run up the X 200 to include various focal lengths.

Why the T excites me is the glass. Leica designs lenses with character. Sometimes it is good, sometimes not. But no one else does. Everyone else makes sharp for sharpness' sake and, when it comes to bokeh, just smooth. There's very little brand look out there besides a few classic-desinged lenses.

Leica are the only one that can do it

0 upvotes
nonuniform

Actually, you missed my point. I don't think there's anything special about the Fuji, and I think there's nothing special about the Leica to warrant the higher price. Having used Leica lenses alongside Zeiss and Nikon glass, I really don't think Leica lenses have any special character except maybe some of the older Summicron's when used with film.

0 upvotes
valdazis

a Porche with Hyundai engine inside :)

3 upvotes
meland

I think you'll find porches are something you sit in on your easy chair with a cold beer dreaming of when you can afford that Leica.

6 upvotes
Claudio NC

Porsche !!
... porca miseria zozza!

1 upvote
trainerKEN

more like... WITH Toyota engine inside... (if it was using a Samsung sensor, then yeah... Hyundai) ;)

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr

And it's pronounced POR-SHUH.

Giapponese!

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov

Good old NEX C3 for 10X the actual price...good engineering Leica....

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Too bad about so many Sony Nex lenses just not being very good.

Too bad about so many Sony Nex menu fails.

7 upvotes
Mel Snyder

Too bad about not being a good enough photographer to get great images no matter what's put into your hands.

8 upvotes
Claudio NC

Mel, this is the usual banal trifle, told and retold, that says everything but says nothing.

2 upvotes
naththo

If you take bad picture thats your fault, human error. If you are a real photography, you know what lens you should be really getting for your camera, but its what you get for what you pay depends on lens quality.

1 upvote
BarnET

Howabout raw. The 16-70mm zeiss lens for the alpha 6000 is excellent. and it can be bought for less. It's also faster and has more reach.

The sensor has better on sensor AF it will have a viewfinder and the list goes on and on.
Ow the menu of this camera is rather good too and it's cheaper.

Don't compare the pathetic 16-50mm pancake to a leica lens that costs 10 times as much.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

BarnET:

"so many".

Don't dispute that there are good SonyZeiss lenses--and those lenses don't retail for a few hundred usd.

Right the AF on this Leica won't be great.

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov

It's all about being stupid enough to overpay 10x the price of an already dated sensor... One can take poor pictures with any camera and one can use actual Leica glass on E mount.

0 upvotes
Tee1up

I really don't get the attraction of this kind of thing. Charging a huge premium for "hand-finishing" an essentially useless external shell while incorporating the guts that can be had with other brands for a fraction of the price. I love precision engineering when it comes to mechanical movements and such but this really is as another poster noted, competition for that silly Hasselblad.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

The lenses, those be a huge attraction.

4 upvotes
Nick932

Part of good image taking is amazing precision and craftmaship. You cannot ignore this.

7 upvotes
The Jacal

Which silly Hasselblad? there are so many!

2 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

The Panasonic GM1 also feels like a solid little brick in hand and actually works quite well. Price is something you tend to forget if the gear is well enough built - aka the GM1 which for some of its odd eccentricities of its multi-function wheel which can be forgiven as the whole concept works so well. Including the touch screen but the GM1 touch screen and inadvertent presses is a good lesson on the lesser joys of an interface highly dependent upon the same touch screen no matter how wonderful it otherwise seems to be.
Therefore I might wonder what the T offers that the GM1 does not other than a sense of style.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Retzius

Its the Samsung NX2000 with a hand polished aluminum body

http://www.samsung.com/us/photography/digital-cameras/EV-NX2000BFWUS

the emperor has no clothes

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

No, it isn't, wrong MP count for starters.

0 upvotes
plasnu

I expected really good sample images, but they are nothing different from its competitors, or could be worse.

0 upvotes
Seeky

Funny to see, this camera uses a Sony sensor, it has similar dual control wheels like the NEX-7 and the kit lens hood is about identical to the lens hood of the Sony FE 55 f1.8. Last but not least, there seems to be a new MIS hot shoe on top of it... Is Sony the new Leica then?

8 upvotes
Marty4650

Anything is possible.

After all Leica has rebranded cameras made by Minolta, Fujifilm and Panasonic, so they certainly don't have a policy against doing this.

1 upvote
Tom Caldwell

I did not notice who is actually making the lenses other than that they are made in Japan and not by Panasonic.

0 upvotes
Clint009

Sensors are made to specifications from the buyers (Leica in this case)

0 upvotes
HENNIGArts

Nice camera with interesting touch screen UI. But for me an external EVF is a no go, because I need EVF and flash at the same time for studio work. Thats why I prefer the Fujifilm X-T1. For casual, smartphone-fan shooters this might be the right thing - if they are willing to spend the money.

1 upvote
Tom Caldwell

I am afraid that this camera is not designed for professional use but for the top end of the compact camera user range. The destined market is for relatively unsophisticated users who simply want the best built camera on offer and where price is no problem.

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland

At least we got more than 350 comments now, and still counting. Leica is like a stand-up comedian show.

1 upvote
pumrel

Why, just tell me why it does not have an EVF?

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

Because it is an accessory?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

pumrel:

Did you ask the same of the Sony Nex 5?

0 upvotes
Amnon G

What's the reason for a new mount?

2 upvotes
steelski
2 upvotes
Cyrus A

My guess is slight increase in T vs. M-mount diameter allows inclusion of AF motors and zoom rings. Have no idea if same glass or glass quality is used in both or not.

0 upvotes
soyo

They can't put few pins in the same M mount?

0 upvotes
Seeky

Good question I asked myself too. But the T mount has a shorter flange distance. It is strange though, that it has a wider diameter than the M mount.

0 upvotes
Mel Snyder

Needs to be wider to handle AF & AE

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

A yes, the LM mount is to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Alas even the shortish LM mount was still not short enough to meet the current trends. It would have been nice to make a LM mount with electronic compatibility and backward compatible with all LM lenses but I suppose an elegant adapter will do much the same thing even if it deliberately shuts out all those horrid large loutish legacy MF lenses form slr cameras by not allowing "shoot without lens".

Therefore users are being steered every which way into buying Leica only - right down to Leica straps. But the clone industry is strong and I guess aftermarket accessories will happen soon enough - that is if any Leica owner is to be seen as fashion dead with any non-oem part on this camera.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

Because Sony said "no"?

0 upvotes
soyo

Finally hasselblad lunar has something to compete!

4 upvotes
white shadow

If you can wait, in two years, there will be a special edition which will be crafted from a solid block of gold. The body will surely last for 20-30 years. Lets hope the electronics inside will last just as long too.

Oh, I am sure the circuit boards are made from gold too for better conductivity.

5 upvotes
AV Janus

Will it blend?
NO!

hahahaha!

1 upvote
abolit66

Wow! Nice price tag, Leica! Way to go!

1 upvote
samfan

Sounds like a camera for the same people that believe Apple was the first to have a web browser and camera in the phone.

Now they can buy a Leica, believing it's the most advanced ILC.

Just from the control description, this contains features that p*ss me off royally on any camera: such as not being able to have both grid and live histogram at once and having exposure info on the display essentially cropping the preview image.

And that touchscreen also appears to be used as well as on the current smartphones, i.e. poorly. The whole screen just does things that would be achievable by 2 buttons and a 4-way controller. You can do much more with a touchscreen if you don't design only for the lowest common denominator with fat fingers. Which this camera apparently is.

It's no longer a "nice toy for the rich" like Leicas tend to be, this is a toy for the stupid who want to feel smart.

1 upvote
Mel Snyder

Look, it's not for me. But there's no need to dump on those who just want a Leica. And can afford it.

And I am sure they would LOVE to be where Apple is today in the minds of consumers. Who cares who was first - in business, it's the brand people trust with their money. Apple has just 19% of the global smartphone market, yet >60% of the profit. Leica could only dream of that domination.

3 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

I do agree with you Mel on the basis that this is a very elegant, well thought out camera designed for a less involved user who simply wants the best camera in that class which money will buy.

It should sell very well, and will join the gaggle of cameras at the tourist barricades being used at arms length by the usual squinting at the lcd. I doubt if the lcd will be any more visible in bright light than any other camera so equipped. But it does have what seems to be a pretty neatly designed clip on evf.

Therefore the target market does not seem to be the one I am in either. If any other camera manufacturer made a similar popular-user camera at this price it would be laughed at considering this price. But there is no doubt that it is an elegant design and will take good images. It just seems that there are other more capable cameras about for enthusiasts which are nearly as elegant and at a fraction of the cost.

0 upvotes
Max Fun

Oh no! I just bought the E-PL5 as my carry around solution! My consolation is that Leica did not come up with a 50mm prime lens, which is my standard lens in the line up, so I probably have a few years to enjoy my Oly before I evaluate again :)

0 upvotes
Petka

@ Tom C: "best camera in that class that money can buy". Which class it that? APS-C class maybe? There is no indication whatsoever that this the best camera in that class. I would rather think that it will be nowhere near "best" either in IQ or especially ergonomics in real shooting situations. I personally would much rather take two Fuji T-X1 instead...

It is a basic $400 mirror less modern camera in a $200 aluminum shell with smartphone touchscreen, and $2000 logo. Nothing more, nothing less.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Raist3d

I have to applaud Leica for including 16GB ram built in. This means you never forget to take that menaced with you.

I always wondered if anyone would do this and I have to say 16Gb is pretty usable generous even for raw+jpeg shooting.

This may sound stupid until that day you have the camera with you and you realize you have no memory and you have some killer shot in front of you.

Very few things are more frustrating to a photographer than seeing a shot s/he can't take in front of him or her.

14 upvotes
citrontokyo

Yeah, you're right. It sounds stupid. It's the equivalent of forgetting the battery.
Having 16gb built in is nice, sure, but not for the reason you state.

2 upvotes
bobbarber

It's worth 3 grand to me. I mean, to avoid the hassle of having to remember a memory card and all. You're right, it doesn't sound stupid at all.

2 upvotes
Marty4650

It really makes you wonder why everyone doesn't include some built in memory. Especially now that memory is so cheap, you would think a $1,000 camera could include at least 32 GB of internal storage. That 16 GB probably cost Leica less than $10 to include.

After all, they can put 64 GB on a tiny micro SD card, and then sell it for under $40. So why not make this a feature to set you camera above your competitors?

7 upvotes
Richard Murdey

@Marty4650

It was a feature on P&S cameras for a while: the chip used to store the firmware had space left over, so you could store 5-6 shots or something even if you didn't have the memory card.

1 upvote
ulfie

The original-version jpeg sample pics aren't better than much cheaper camera-lens options. To me, at least, jpeg IQ quality is all I want and need and use (for now). To spend this much money for this quality is a non-starter for me. Your bank account may vary.

0 upvotes
munro harrap

Another ergonomic disaster from Leitz. Great viewfinder though. There is nowhere you can place you hands to keep it still as your digits will slide on the screen on the back. The grip on the front is OK, but it needs a left side thumb support (as they ALL do). I could see myself using it, but not in preference to full-frame, but only with a shutter with no lag (i.e 0.007 msecs -Sony DSC-R1 prefocussed 2005). Where do our noses go if we use the viewfinder?

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

A good opportunity for a bright after-market vendor to make a useful thumb rest?

0 upvotes
munro harrap

Therefore I must ask if a company using foreifn components made on another country can call it by its name. I have asked this for a long time, like a football team composed of foreign players calling itself Manchester United!!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
munro harrap

The lenses look like the FUJI lenses to me, and the camera looks like a modified NEX-7 Sony. Who does the sensor I wonder.

It wont bounce!, but break, no doubt.

1 upvote
BarnET

When looking at the performance of the x vario. Likely the old 16mp Sony. Great sensor from yesterday.

0 upvotes
Everlast66

You mean the legendary NEX 5N Exmoor 16Mp sensor

0 upvotes
Boerseuntjie

Sony sensor with Leicasonic lenses

2 upvotes
BarnET

Yeah everlasting that sensor. But it was used in the Nikon d7000 well before the nex5. And in a Sony before the SLT age but can't remember the model. It was 2009-2010 when it first saw light.
And my god it was a good step forward for apsc shooters.

0 upvotes
Daedbird

The touchscreen and controls look awesome, and the design of the whole camera is beautiful.

If it had a mic jack, I would seriously think about saving up for one. But it doesn't, and if that is the price tag for the zoom, I shudder to think what other faster lenses may cost.

I guess I am not a Leica guy, but she sure is a beaut.....

3 upvotes
Higuel

Yes! Indeed the biggest problem is in the price of the lenses!!! Migth as well go for M in second hand!!!

1 upvote
Marty4650

The styling really looks like a dressed up version of a Sony Nex C3, or a Samsung Galaxy camera. Except the Samsung actually looks better. The omission of a built in EVF is deplorable at this price.And while "sleek" might be stylish, it just isn't a good design for a small camera that is easy to drop.

Leica would have been better off by rebranding the Panasonic GM1, slapping a red dot on it, and selling it for $1300, lens included. That method worked for them so many times before. Instead they ended up with another camera that might sell 300 copies in the next 12 months.

A $699 Olympus EM10 will beat the pants off it, as will any Fuji X camera made.

This camera will only appeal to Leicaphiles and people with too much disposable income.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
meland

I find you can never have too much disposable income.

6 upvotes
Higuel

Very rigth Marty!!!
Except that leica proved ( also hasselblad and even canikon with their +&+ EXPENSIVE lenses) that there are always way too many people with more money then brains!!! Unfortunately for all us others that in such a way can only buy such lenses in 2nd hand(or more!).

1 upvote
Nick932

It is an amazing company. Is the only camera manufacturer that has sense of usability, current market/era and lets not forget that they provide a tool to create breath taking images. They know what innovation is, they define innovation. They just do it over and over and making the camera look simpler but very configurable customizable.

This is leadership in innovation. It is great that a company like you exists so all others can follow and try to reach you so we see new and better products; but you clearly show them who is the brain and ruler.

I just wanted a smallish camera that I can use my M lenses and yet be able to use AF and zoom lenses. Nearly all other cameras I have tried do not work 100%.

Thanks Leica.

PS:I cannot wait for the next Leica M I know it will be leapfrog again in the market.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
areichow

"they define innovation" LOLwut

13 upvotes
Tom Caldwell

Not mentioning Ricoh of course.

0 upvotes
sgtsween

Meh. Looks like a Samsung. Stupid prices.

2 upvotes
schorscho

It's a beauty! Wirklich sehr schön!

0 upvotes
Ejner Kristensen

I'm going to do more traveling just to have an excuse for buying one. Also, Nikon you better hurry up if you want to keep providing my future cameras.

2 upvotes
Johannes Zander

If you just want to spend more money buy a Nikon DF and 58mm AF-S and enjoy pure fotography.

2 upvotes
GabrielZ

With this model Leica are really trying to be
the Apple of camera manufactures. The super
minimalist industrial design, snap on cases,
premium pricing (well they've always done
that haven't they) Yet despite being an Apple
fanboy myself, this camera doesn't do it for me. I
desire a Fujifilm X-T1 more!

6 upvotes
Alexander Barus
1 upvote
Nick932

fujis are corky, leak light, flimsy and you are lucky if they work.
that is expensive and unusable.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
shigzeo

Actually, I think Apple are trying to be the Leica of personal electronics. Their designs, like most Leica designs, eschew complexity for elegance.

They design and iterate. Even Apple don't do that, although they design with a lasting image in mind. Leica have had a far more profound effect on the blossoming and defining of their industry than have Apple.

The X-T1 is a great camera, but with three massive caveats, none of which the T will suffer from. Those caveats are:

1. unobserved metering and servo changes
2. SD card that opens of its own accord
3. attempting to include everything in a body that isn't designed well enough to emulate everything.

No one will purchase the T thinking they will replace an SLR with it. The will with the X-T1. For the vast majority of SLR users, almost any camera out there can replace their camera. But for the person who relies on absolute stability of function, the X-T1 is far from it.

0 upvotes
shigzeo

I wanted to add that the X-T1 is a great family/travel camera, or great if you are in the studio with external lights. It is NOT a sports camera, not a camera great for the full time photojournalist, not great camera for the person that demands instantly usability and complete reliability. But neither is the T.

The thing is that the X-T1 looks like it is supposed to replace the SLR. The T is hardly as deceitful.

0 upvotes
Malikknows

The design of this camera tells me Leica does not understand why its M is so revered. If I want modern design, I'll go to Sony or Panasonic. If I want classic design, it would have been nice had Fuji been joined by Leica. Pity.

1 upvote
shigzeo

The T isn't that far from the modern M, which has few to no lines, no place to hook a thumb, is practically flat, etc., and so on. Leica get minimalist. They've done it for a hundred years. This is the first minimalist camera they have created for the fully automatic world. Like it or not, it's Leica through and through.

0 upvotes
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