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Thread: What's Next for Leica?

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    What's Next for Leica?

    It's been interesting to watch as Leica has put together a digital line-up that is unique in so many ways first with the Digilux, DMR and M8. Most recently it is the X1, M9 and S2.

    One could easily classify each as a niche product ... protecting Leica from the big bad world of the digital giants as they evolved from analog to digital (to avoid becoming irrelevant at best and extinct at worst).

    Maybe an undated R is next ... or maybe it's not, depending on Leica's confidence in being able to differentiate itself in a very competitive DSLR market. So what else lurks around the corner? Are there more niches, categories and opportunities for Leica to exploit and create a leadership role (beyond and/or capitalizing on its strength in glass)?

    Avoiding all of the woulda, shoulda, coulda pedantic angst that revolves around any discussion involving Leica gear, what do you think? What would you bring to market?

    Kurt

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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    It's surprising to me that Leica discontinued the R line. Surely they are looking at the Zeiss ZE/ZF/ZK line and thinking, "we could do that". Or maybe they are coming up with a new SLR mount that is backwards compatible with the R mount. Things that would get my attention are:

    1) New R-based body w/ a FF sensor

    2) The X1 upgraded with a F2 or F1.4 ASPH lens (and the other quirks addressed)

    3) A radical price reduction on the S2

    I would really like to see Leica resume friendly cooperation with Phase One for C1 support. Having a good raw editor solution is vital.

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    I would love to see, though somewhat doubt- Digital CL/CLE.
    Especially now with digital you can cram all the components in the smaller package.
    They could offer it at a discount to the M9+ mainline, say $4k vs $7k.
    This would allow them to hit the market of people who are instead buying used gear.
    It would also give them opportunity to sell 2 cameras to people who might have only bought one, but like the idea of a smaller second body.

    They could essentially recycle some of the engineering from the main M line.
    Probably hobble it/reduce cost by putting in the previous generation sensor, decreasing buffer, shorter RF EBL like the CLE, etc.

    Could be done in a similar fashion to the game console makers, who after a few years are able to shrink all the circuitry, and re-issue the console in smaller form (PS3/xbox360 slim).

    Initial engineering effort would be in building out the digi-CLE body design.
    Each future iteration the engineering effort would be transferring/shrinking the technology from M line into CLE line.

    Would they do this? Doubtful, given the price direction from M8->M9, and now the new S2. Not to mention the pricing on that X1.
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    steve

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    I am thinking of two products that have potential to both appeal to current Leica M dedicated digital users as well as bringing those in who would like to test the waters but want to make less of an initial investment.

    1. Just like Nikon has the high resolution D3x, where resolution is a put at a premium as opposed to high ISO performance....Leica has the M9, which would be anaogous to the
    D3x. Now I think I (and many others) would like to see a D3 (D3s) equivel;ent, where 10-12 million high quality large pixels (on a full frame chip) would be used to provide a high ISO performing alternative or companion to the D3x.

    2. The second product as was previously mentioned is a digital leica CL, where it would be a lower cost alternative to the above proposed bodies. This would be accomplished much as Nikon does, by using something analogous to the M8 chip...ie: a cropped 1.3x sensor, but without the IUR /filter issue. It would be approx 12 MP, 1.3x crop, M mount and compact like a Leica CL.

    These are the two products I believe would have potentially large markets, both for current users as well as new ones.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member M5-Guy's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    I like the idea of a Digital CL size M mount... Yes, a 1.3 crop... not a 1.5 crop. 10mp would be great too with great high ISO imaging. That is,a low noise very usable ISO 1600/2000...

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    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    Leica Rumors is reporting a new m4/3 camera with 3x fixed zoom that starts at 24mm f2.0, and some type of rangefinder. It falls between the LX3 and GF1. Maybe like a small D2.

    John

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    Member Seascape's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    Leica has stated that they have some options under R&D for a R lens compatible body, and I would expect at least some firm announcement of their intentions at Photokina this fall.

    To my mind the R lens line up was as good as it gets for SLR lenses. It would be a crying shame to not provide a new digital body to utilise R lenses. Whether Leica would ever do R lenses that are compatible with other manufacturers bodies is another matter.

    My R lenses are waiting

  8. #8
    tokengirl
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    I would like an X1-type camera with a wider and maybe slightly faster lens.

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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    How about a B/W M9 without bayer filter. would be amazing camera and something very doable I imagine for Leica... I would buy one in a flash
    JOHN

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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    dlux 5 with a 4/3 or aps-c sensor?

  11. #11
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: What's Next for Leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seascape View Post
    To my mind the R lens line up was as good as it gets for SLR lenses. It would be a crying shame to not provide a new digital body to utilise R lenses.
    I have a hard time believing that Leica would just abandon the R lens designs - whether re-mounted to fit other brands, re-barrelled for a new AF mount, the designs licenced to Panasonic or someone else to jump-start their own dSLR system... abandoning them would be foolish.

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