Alongside news that it will partner with Panasonic and Sigma in an L-mount alliance, Leica has announced something for medium-format fans too: the Leica S3. Details are thin at this point, but the S3 will increase resolution from the S2's 37.5 megapixels up to 64 megapixels. Leica also promises a "large and bright SLR viewfinder," 3 fps burst shooting and 4K video capture. The Leica S3 is slated to arrive in spring of 2019.

Other Photokina announcements from Leica include a new FOTOS image capture and sharing mobile app compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled Leica cameras and firmware updates for the SL system, S (Typ 007), M10 and M10-P. Find all the details below.

Leica Camera Unveils Five Major Announcements at photokina

A first-of-its-kind mount that sets a new industry standard, the next evolution of the Leica S-System, a new mobile application and more take center stage

September 25, 2018- Leica Camera today unveils five major announcements at photokina including a groundbreaking L-mount, a new mobile application - Leica FOTOS, the Leica S3, a new color option for the Leica CL, and firmware updates. Each announcement, on their own and collectively, both raise and challenge the bar for what innovation, craftsmanship and ingenuity mean in the photography industry.

The Game-Changing L-Mount
The new L-mount sets a new industry standard and marks the start of a new era of creative freedom. A first of its kind, the mount will allow for a nearly limitless array of options by combining different interchangeable lenses with cameras featuring different sensor formats. This user-friendly solution pioneered by Leica in strategic collaboration with Panasonic and SIGMA, three key players in the camera space, will allow photographers to mix and match any of the three manufacturers’ full-frame and APS-C cameras with any lens from each other’s product portfolios, thereby opening an untold number of creative possibilities in any photographic situation.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG and majority shareholder notes, “In the rapidly growing market for mirrorless system cameras, users seek increasingly greater product diversity to fulfill a wide range of different photographic needs. To meet these needs, we have decided to work together with prominent partners in the photographic segment. Our long-established partnership with Panasonic is a collaboration based on mutual trust, and the company's expertise in the area of electronics is unquestioned. SIGMA is also a highly respected company that has become firmly established, especially in the areas of optical design and lens manufacturing and is able to perfectly complement our existing portfolio of L-Mount products.”

The L-mount features a large diameter, which ensures maximum product diversity, as well as multiple electrical contact points, allowing for seamless communication between the lens and the camera. It boasts first-rate quality, featuring four prong segments, wear-resistant stainless steel manufacturing and, and with the dependable Leica SL-System protection from spray water.

Mr. Tetsuro Homma, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation notes, “Panasonic has always focused on revolutionizing the camera sector to make the lives of photo enthusiasts easier, more sophisticated and more enjoyable. Our longstanding partnership with Leica has brought many high-performance and high-quality digital cameras to the market; fusing Leica's superior optical technology with Panasonic's digital technologies. Our partnership has enabled us to accelerate the development of excellent digital camera products, and the L-Mount alliance with Leica and SIGMA is a great example of such acceleration. This is an alliance of growing players, which will make a fundamental difference to the future of the imaging industry.”

“As SIGMA strives to develop high performance, high quality and innovative products, this alliance will strengthen the level of completion and the extensibility of our camera system and provide greater user benefits,” noted Mr. Kazuto Yamaki, Chief Executive Officer, SIGMA Corporation. “Leica is a magnificent company that has been contributing to photographic cultures for more than 100 years, and Panasonic is leading the industry by developing reliable technologies across various fields. Together with SIGMA’s unique, high performance and high quality products, the L-Mount will evolve as an extremely attractive system for users.”

This strategic partnership, at its core, will allow customers to choose from a much wider selection of cameras and lenses without limiting themselves to one specific brand. Photographers can expect future product announcements from Leica Camera, Panasonic and SIGMA that will adhere to this new standard.

The Next Evolution of the Leica S-System
The launch of the Leica S3 marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Leica S2 at photokina 2008. Among an array of cutting-edge technical advancements, the new medium format camera, which utilizes the Leica ProFormat developed especially for the Leica S-System, features a striking increase in resolution, from 37.5 to 64 megapixels, and impeccable performance in any lighting situation. Subjects can be composed in the large and bright SLR viewfinder, focused sharply with the fast and reliable autofocus and captured at a continuous shooting rate of three frames per second. The entire sensor area enables not only full-HD videos, but, for the first time, also 4K cinema resolution, including the characteristic medium format look.

The S3 will be available beginning in Spring 2019 at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers, for more information, please visit www.leicacamerausa.com.

A New Striking Silver Finish Option for the Leica CL
The Leica CL, a versatile, intuitive, lightweight and compact system camera, is now available in a sleek silver finish. While its technical specifications remain identical to those of its black counterpart, the new offering stands out with a classic combination of black and silver. While the black leather trim of the black style has been maintained, the top plate and baseplate are both silver anodized, and the control elements of the top plate are finished in silver.

The Leica CL represents the juxtaposition of iconic design and advanced technical standards. This portable system camera is a versatile everyday tool for photographers that delivers pristine image quality and sensory satisfaction.

The silver TL lens offerings are the perfect accompaniment to the iconic silver design of the new camera. The silver Leica CL is available this week in Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers, for $2,795. More information can be found at www.leicacamerausa.com

New Editing and Sharing Capabilities with Leica FOTOS
Leica Camera introduces Leica FOTOS, a brand new mobile app which offers Leica photographers the tools to stay connected easily through a single app. Compatible with almost any Wi-Fi enabled Leica camera, the new app allows photographers to capture unforgettable moments remotely, transfer, edit and share images quickly, easily and on-the-go.

The Leica FOTOS app makes it easy to connect a smartphone to a Leica camera with the easy instructions provided at the start. All current Wi-Fi enabled Leica Cameras can be connected to the Leica FOTOS App. The app will automatically save all Leica camera credentials to instantly connect the next time it is used with the phone.

Leica FOTOS enables photographers to access the Live View function of the camera and remotely change exposure-relevant settings such as the aperture, the ISO value, the shutter speed and exposure compensation from a smartphone. It naturally also allows wireless control of the shutter release, which opens up entirely new creative opportunities. Leica FOTOS can be used for this in combination with many popular software tools, ranging from Adobe® Lightroom® Mobile® to VSCO®.

The Leica FOTOS app currently supports Leica S (Typ 007), Leica SL, Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica Q, Leica TL2, Leica TL, Leica T, Leica CL, Leica D-Lux and Leica V-Lux cameras.

Beginning today, Leica customers can register for a free beta-version of the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android devices at fotosapp.leica-camera.com. The app will continue to be available free of charge after completion of the beta-evaluation phase.

Firmware Updates Enhance the Leica SL-System, Leica S (Typ 007), Leica M10 and
Leica M10-P

Leica’s latest firmware update for the Leica SL-System, version 3.3, addresses a number of improvements and is also fully compatible with the aforementioned Leica FOTOS app. Firmware improvements include an upgraded Power Saving Mode, which allows the camera to go into ‘Auto Power Off’ after a fixed amount of time – formerly 10 seconds and now three seconds – that the electronic viewfinder or any operating element is not in use. This function helps maximize battery life for users who need to get the very longest use out of a single charge. Furthermore, an additional option ‘Shutter Pressed’ has been added to Auto Review settings, and the option ‘Off’ no longer enables the camera to show Auto Review while the shutter release is pressed. These revised settings allow photographers to focus on the action in fast action moments where there may not be time to review each picture. Leica SL-System Firmware update 3.3 is available beginning today from the Leica corporate website or can be downloaded from the Leica Owners Area.

Firmware Update 5.0.0.0 for the Leica S (Typ 007), also fully compatible with Leica FOTOS, offers a number of improvements, including an improved video operation with the Leica S Cable Release for remote start/stop control, as well as a new 3:1 photo mask that enables easier composing for super wide aspect ratios. To allow further flexibility, the update also allows for a longer exposure time of up to two minutes. Additional quality-of-life improvements include center markings for Live View Autofocus, customization for the Top Dial and a number of bug fixes relating to the GPS Tag, the mirror and color patterns with certain lenses. Firmware Update 5.0.0.0 for the Leica S (Typ 007) is available beginning today from www.us.leica-camera.com or can be downloaded from the Leica Owners Area.

Leica Firmware Updates 2.6.5.0 and 2.6.5.1 for the Leica M10 and Leica M10-P respectively, both fully compatible with Leica FOTOS, add a number of improvements including a new QR code which enables easy pairing of smartphones and Leica cameras and 1-Click Connection with the FN button. The firmware updates also remove the submenu for setting a name and password by offering a fixed Wi-Fi name and password, while also removing the submenu for setting a connection mode. Leica Firmware Updates 2.6.5.0 and 2.6.5.1 are available beginning today from the Leica corporate website or can be downloaded from the Leica Owners Area.