Lecia's update to the Sofort adds new buttons, internal memory, micro SD card support and Bluetooth for connecting to Leica's smartphone app.

Photo: Leica

Leica has announced the Sofort 2, the company's second instant camera. The Sofort 2 is a 4.9 MP compact camera/printer hybrid that captures images digitally and lets users decide what to save, what to send to a smartphone app for sharing, and what to print. It uses a tiny Type 1/5 (2.9x2.2mm) CMOS sensor and a 2.4mm F2 lens that gives a 28mm equiv angle of view, and is compatible with Fujifilm's Instax Mini film.

The biggest change with the Sofort 2 is the addition of internal memory (support for up to 45 images), a micro SD card slot for memory extension (a 1GB microSD allows for 850 images Leica says) and Bluetooth support. The latter of which was likely done in service of giving the camera access to Leica's Fotos smartphone app. With the Leica Fotos app, users can send 800x600 pixel digital images to a phone for saving or sharing. The app can also be used to send any image in a smartphone's camera library to the Sofort 2 for printing.

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Also new to this version is a second shutter button on the front of the camera, which should make taking selfies much easier than using the shutter located on the top plate.

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The previous Sofort was big on style and design and the Sofort 2 appears to have placed a similar premium on the Leica aesthetic. Beyond the prerequisite red Leica logo on the front, there's a branded lens cap, a minimalist top plate with two buttons and a dial, and a slew of accessories and bags to complement the Sofort 2.

Leica users will also see a familiar menu system, similar to the one used in the M and Q line of Leica cameras, and presumably, it'll be a bit simplified here to remove non-relevant options. Most eye-catching however may be the pull lever on the back of the camera, reminiscent of a film camera's frame advance lever, pulling the lever is the trigger to print an image.

To print an image, users will need to pull the lever behind the shutter button.

Photo: Leica

The camera has 10 lens effects (normal, vignette, soft focus, blur, fisheye, color shift, light leak, mirror, double exposure and half-frame) as well as 10 film styles that range from color hues and monochrome to 'retro.'

The previous Sofort had a removable rechargeable battery, however the Sofort 2 battery is now built-in and requires USB recharging. Leica says a fully charged battery should last 100 frames.

Along the back is a 3” 460k dot TFT LCD display. The camera also has white balance and exposure compensation controls.

The previous version of the Sofort was essentially a Fujifilm Instax mini 90 in a different suit, a different suit that cost nearly twice as much. It'll be curious to compare the Sofort 2 to Instax cameras on the market once we get it in hand. But so far on paper, the new camera does look and sound a lot like the Instax Mini Evo Hybrid, which also combined a printer with a camera, had 10 lens modes, 10 creative modes and used a lever to print images. Both cameras also promised 28mm equiv F2 lenses.

The Sofort 2 can be paired with the Leica Fotos app to transfer digital photos to a smartphone or to send photos to the camera to be printed.

Photo: Leica

Pricing and availability

The Leica Sofort 2 will come in three color options (black, red or white) with a camera strap, and be available starting November 9th, 2023 for an MSRP of $389.00.

Leica lists support for three instant film packs for the camera: Sofort color film pack (mini), warm white, Sofort color film pack (mini) Neo Gold, and Sofort color film duo pack (mini), warm white.

New: Leica SOFORT 2

Teneck, October 5, 2023–Since 1947, instant cameras have offered a new photography experience, which gained cult status, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, the instantly printed photo symbolized acceleration, whereas in today's fast-paced world, it represents a moment of pause and relief. It's no wonder that the fascination with instant photography is thriving once again, and now, with the Leica SOFORT 2, Leica Camera AG is introducing the second generation of their instant camera. This hybrid camera seamlessly combines fleeting digital moments with the enduring analogue world.

The modern, minimalist, and elegant look of the SOFORT 2 is a testament to the expertise of the company in industrial design. The Leica brand experience continues consistently with the handling of the SOFORT 2, as its user-friendly menu structure and button layout align with those of other digital Leica cameras.

What's new with the Leica SOFORT 2 is primarily the option to permanently save digital images and choose the best shots before printing them. This includes all photos on your smartphone and those taken with other Leica cameras, already stored in the gallery of the seamlessly connected Leica FOTOS App. These photos can be transferred to the camera via the app and printed as instant photos. Simply pull the manual printing lever on the camera, and seconds later, you'll have the print in your hands. Leica offers exclusive photo paper with a warm-white or golden frame.

Easy to use, minimalist, and stylish. The new Leica SOFORT 2 is available in black, red, and white and presents itself as a camera that will quickly find a permanent place in family life, at events, and during travels, creating special shared experiences. Numerous fun features further assist in creatively capturing moments: the selfie mode with a separate shutter button, the landscape mode with a wide-angle character, the macro mode for close-ups from up to 3.95 inches, as well as 10 lens and 10 film effects to unleash your creativity.

As versatile as the Leica SOFORT 2 itself are its accessories. Stylish wooden picture frames beautifully showcase the prints. Wrist straps, carrying straps, bags, and other high-quality accessories emphasize the camera's individuality and creativity - and, most importantly, the individuals who use it to capture and share special moments, whether as analog instant photos or digital moments on social media.

The Leica SOFORT 2 will be available globally at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and authorized dealers starting on November 9th, 2023. The US retail price will be $389.00