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Leica will not join MicroFourThirds (via Steve Huff)


Steve Huff met Sefan Daniel and Steffen Keil from Leica on a party and…

What Stefan did tell me was that I could SQUASH any rumor of a Leica mirrorless m4/3 camera. He pointed to the M9 and said “We already have a mirrorless camera”. He also told me that M4/3 is NOT in the future for Leica as the quality is just not there.

source: Steve Huff
via: noisycamera

  • Eric

    That’s fine, I just hope they come out with the rumored 35mm mirrorless camera. The M9 is an ideal digital rangefinder, but where do they really go from here with that line? The M9 should keep most any purist happy for years to come. They need to reinvent the M camera using full modern technology instead of simply retro-fitting a 60 year old film camera design.

  • RomeoBSM

    I surely agree with this strategy of increasing quality: Leica must differentiate from the others japanese companies. For sure 35mm sensor is bigger and potentially better than 4/3 one and at the same time Leica’s customers are the ones who already have Leica lenses: having a cropped sensor has no sense for them. So, from this point of view I totally agree with Leica.

    On the other hand Leica’s prices are grown up incredibly during years, the competitors’ ones fell down. Reflex and mirrorless cameras prices start at 400$: you need 20 times this money to afford a M8-M9. A body plus a lens cost like a good car. Who wants to sell a car to take sharp photos? Who is brave enough to bring the camera to the outskirts? Who use it under the rain? Who put it into the sand?
    The truth is that Leica’s it’s made for Museums, Sheiks, and Collectors. In the real life, fews use it to make photos.

    I hope Leica would be able to find a manufacturing process to reduce costs. I am in love with Leica’s cameras: they have a soul and principles, but unfortunately as long as I want to take photos I will use an E-P1.

  • Fred

    Eric is right the M9 screen is so poor !!!Panasonic would have giving them theyr nice screen If they were not stupid buying 3 years technology to put it on a full frame Kodak sensor,I bet the Pentax full frame is already better!!!!
    They will com back to Panasonic for video, I m sure anyway!!!

  • BBernhardt

    Umm? D lux, C lux
    LX3 TZ10
    arent these lower spec cameras than micro 4/3rds.

  • Ryo81

    I totally agree with BBernhardt.
    Why would they think quality is not in m43 while all other P&S cameras come out from Leica?
    And why would they produce lenses for 43 and m43 if the system cannot deliver their desired level of “quality”?

  • Eric


    “They will com back to Panasonic for video, I m sure anyway!!!”

    I don’t think you understand the Leica crowd any better than I understand the people clamoring for 1080p video on every single camera made. There are plenty of people that kept on using their film Leica M6’s up until the M9 came out. I myself am back using a 35mm Pentax LX (after trying and selling 5 different DSLR’s and an E-P1). User’s like myself couldn’t care less about video. We just want a pure picture taking machine without all the fluff. If I could afford an M9 I’d be all over it. It would be my main camera conceivably for the next 10 years.

    That said, I’d simply love to see what Leica could do with a full frame EVIL. As much as I’d love an M9 it has serious limitations when shooting telephotos and obviously has no AF (AF comes in handy some times I must admit). I’d love to see a Leica EVIL come out to address those issue, yet maintain the build quality and simplicity that is the M9.

  • Borbarad

    of course Leica as part of the m4/3 would have been awesome but on the otherside if you “see” want a Leica M9 with a Summilux attached is cable of doing ….
    They – Leica M (and S) – are just are just from a different league and you have to pay for If you want the same or similar IQ.

    The only DSLR I know of which “could” come close is the Nikon D3x


  • rUY

    that depends how they position m4/3. if they consider it as an competitor, they will not join them and give them a piece of muscle.

  • Tom

    I understand the “purity” with respect to form and function, but what if those of you who could care less about video could see an M10 that did 2K or 3K RAW video? Suddenly it is a competitor for professional video cameras and the $10K price becomes very cheap for some. If they could increase their sales by 1000% or so, it would still be sold in relatively small quantities and a $10K camera may be able to be sold for $5k or so, due to economies of scale. Would you be interested then? Video features would not take anything away from still photo capabilites, it would simply be another mode on the selector and addition of some DSP under the hood that would be completely transparent to the shooter. Video is the “value added” feature that will make or break cameras in the future, in my opinion. At $30k for a body with some prime lenses, Leica has positioned themselves to make collectors pieces, not real working professional models.

  • Neonart

    This is very simple guys. It’s already been revealed that the m4/3 cameras out have excellent image quality. Steve Huff himself said the EPL1 was the “best jpeg camera ever”. Of course, an M9 is better for 10-12x the price. But if Leica released a m4/3 camera with excellent image quality (as we know it will have) and a red dot sales of M9s would drop! Even Leica people like a better deal and will compromise a little.

    This is not about “quality”. Otherwise they would not sell re-badged Panasonics. This is a financial decision to make the most profit from their flagship Camera. The gap from P&S to M9 is great enough where there is no cannibalizing. Not so with M9 to m4/3.

  • Leica is being stupid! I really love micro four thirds.. And I want an M9, but this just stinks. It’s elitist and snobbery. :( – The quality is there… and the compactness is great. I don’t see why they can’t help develop the concept alongside the M9 and that series!? :( I hope Leica reads this…

  • Ck

    Leica is not able to compete with Panasonic / Olympus price wise, due to their much higher manufacturing cost compare to the japanese firms.

    It’s obvious that Leica has to target the different market segments – re-branded Panasonic (C-lux, D-lux) to satisfy the needs of those who can’t afford a real Leica but really like the brand, and more importantly, the high-end enthusiasts / collectors market. This is how they position themselves, at least from the way I see it.

  • Din

    I don´t know why all the fan-boys want compare the M4/3 and 4/3 with Leica system…

  • Radis.rut

    Uh, Leica M is really mirrorless….why I didn’t have a thought about that before ? LOL!

  • Marty

    I agree with those who say that it’s not about image quality. As long as it brings in the cash, why should IQ matter to them? It’s either they have too much hubris or they are plain obstinate. Or both. Perhaps they have misjudged the potential of m43 before its launch, and have locked themselves out in the process. M43 is a hot product now, and I’ll bet that seeing Panny’s and Oly’s successes now they must be cursing themselves for not opting in at the beginning. Now they would not be able to come in even if they wanted to. In their absence, Panny already had made some very good lenses on their own, and the quality of these lenses may be hard even for Leica to surpass. Which puts them in a quandary. If they were to offer an m43 body now, will it be bundled with a Lumix 20mm (perhaps rebranded?). Or will it be bundled with a Leica lens that is less than convincing when compared to the Lumix? Either way it will be a shame to them. So there, they had made a mistake prior to the launch of m43, and now there is no turning back, so what they can do to save face now is to make disparaging remarks about IQ. Another possibility could be that Oly and /or Panny had shut the door on them either prior to the launch or after it opted to stay out at the beginning. I will not mourn for them when they are gone.

  • LX3owner

    Leica is full of s**t as always. Instead of embracing a new market, they choose to reside in La La land. 7K is in no way a superior solution to a $700, its just out of price range for normal people. I would love to see Leica join other dinosaurs and be purchased by Panasonic for a bargain basement price.

  • Mumbly

    Boooooorrrrrriiiinnnngggg!! *yawn* The quality factor may have been Leicas strong point in the past, but since image qualitity isn’t solely dependent from the resolution of the optics anymore (nowadays, the image quality is also dependent from the quality of the imager, the image processing and other factors), other manufacturers can do it at least equally good, if not better! So they should stop bragging about things where they have lost their superiority; only egg-heads and hardcore-fanboys like Ken Rockwell still believe that Leica has got the superior image quality!!!!

  • Hi
    I think Leica has ordered a 4/3 sensor to Kodak to study a new m4/3 campera
    because Kodak has developed a new 8.8MP 4/3 sensor and Leica use only Kodak CCD Sensor with the same CCD fotodiode dimension.

    The quality directly depending from sensor dimension is only a commercial boutade to push FF M9 sensor or S2 sensor.
    because the Kodak sensor photodiode has the same dimension in 4/3 sensor and in S2 Sensor.
    bye ;-)

  • Martin

    I think, when ” met … from Leica on a party ” is not anymore possible because The S2 system costed a lot of money and does not bring in any, and if the Leica managers will be starving, then Leica will rebrand a m4/3 camera, paint the red dot on it, make a small firmware change and sell the leica version for the double price, to be able to go to parties again, and this might work ;-)

  • Leica determined that the market for m4/3 is enthusiasts looking for high quality in a compact package, and thus the increase in bulk from an interchangeable mount is not worth it and the way to go is the X1. I never use any other lens that the 20mm pancake on my GF1, and if the X1 had better AF, I would probably have gotten one myself. Comparing the M9 to a m4/3 camera is of course completely ridiculous. As for image quality, neither m4/3 nor the M9 perform adequately at ISO 1600 and higher compared to full-frame and even APS-C DSLRs.

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