Industry News

Industry News: Leica makes 5 announcements, including a new Leica S series camera

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.

Aug 1, 2017
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L-Mount Alliance seemes to be the most interesting thing to come from Photokina so far. Panasonic, Leica and Sigma with native full frame interchangeabily seems like a good start to a new system. That Lumix SR1 could be a beast. What a great time to be a gear nerd!
 
Reactions: navastronia

BurningPlatform

EOS T7i
Mar 4, 2014
63
13
Wasn't the mount itself published in 2014, the news today was the consortium with Panasonic and Sigma? There already exists a number of L-mount cameras and lenses by Leica.
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
Wasn't the mount itself published in 2014, the news today was the consortium with Panasonic and Sigma? There already exists a number of L-mount cameras and lenses by Leica.
yes. It was introduced as Leica T-mount for APS-C. Then in Oct. 2015 Leica launched FF-sensored SL camera system and used the same mount for it. renamed the mount "L-mount" then. There are FF lenses for it and APS-C lenses. "1-mount solution" for both FF and APS-C image circle, like Sony E-mount.

Today's L-mount press release says 20 mm FFD and 51.6 mm "diameter", other/older sources state 48.8 throat width. Needs to be confirmed.

Unfortunately for me, so far, all L-mount bodies are BEHEMOTH. Leica SL is BIG & FAT and Pana S1/R are also way bigger than Nikon Z and Canon EOS R. similar to GH5: oversize shell relative to sensor surface. So for all with large hands and a preference for CHUNKY cameras, this is for you. Me, I'll pass. :)

Oh how I would like to get a compact FF mirrorfree camera without hump on top ... "range-finder-styled" .. a bit similar to new Fuji GFR, but of course not stupid retro looks and retro-UI with monofunctional pseudo-mechanical dials, but fully "digital", late 2018 UI.

Eventually I will get it. I There are enough people who would also like just that.
 
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Aug 1, 2017
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Same L mount as far as I know. The news is that it will now be supported with interchangeable cameras and lenses from both Panasonic and Sigma with more manufactures possibly to follow. Sigma will have a native platform for it's mirrorless lenses. Panasonic gets a headstart in jumping into Full Frame.
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
I'm a little confused: what's new about this L mount vs the old L mount?
nothing as far as mount geometry and parameters are concerned. But now it's no longer Leica-proprietary but supported also by Panasonic and Sigma. "gang-of-3 alliance" .. similar to mFT consortium. :)

https://l-mount.com/en/Overview


There will or might be bodies and lenses from all 3 of them. They will or should be "cross-compatible" amongst each other, but likely a good number of small-print footnote caveats and limitations will apply. :)
 
Reactions: tmroper

BurningPlatform

EOS T7i
Mar 4, 2014
63
13
This is very interesting news indeed. I hope Sigma makes an L-mount camera with a Foveon sensor. When you want to impress your friends, you take your Leica. If you want to shoot video, you'll take the Panasonic. And if you want the Foveon look for your photos, you'll take your (so far not announced) Sigma. This may be a game changer.
 
Reactions: FramerMCB

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
Has Sigma comented on Canon R or Nikon Z mount support? Makes you wonder if Canon and Nikon are trying to shut them out.
nope. Sigma only said the do native Sony (F)E-mount lenses (FF as well). I also think Canon and Nikon are shutting 3rd party out of R and Z mount using new, extremely proprietary, fully patented and technically protected software/protocol means. Just spoofing a 3-digit "lens-ID" will not give access to system any longer, but rather "error 99: not compatible lens" :)
 
Reactions: Chaitanya

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
This is very interesting news indeed. I hope Sigma makes an L-mount camera with a Foveon sensor. When you want to impress your friends, you take your Leica. If you want to shoot video, you'll take the Panasonic. And if you want the Foveon look for your photos, you'll take your (so far not announced) Sigma. This may be a game changer.
oh boy, I hope Sigma is cured from that Foveon-virus. If not, they will suffer the same fate as with all their Foveon cameras so far. Nice at ISO 100, pretty much useless otherwise.
 
Aug 1, 2017
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Apparently Sigma has announced they intend to release a full frame Foveon camera as well as an EF to L mount adapter sometime next year.
 

BurningPlatform

EOS T7i
Mar 4, 2014
63
13
I also think Canon and Nikon are shutting 3rd party out of R and Z mount using new, extremely proprietary, fully patented and technically protected software/protocol means. Just spoofing a 3-digit "lens-ID" will not give access to system any longer, but rather "error 99: not compatible lens" :)
Canon and Nikon may very well try to keep the Z and R mounts closed by using e.g. simple cryptographic protection in the lens to body communications protocol. I personally think that would not be a good idea, it would isolate these systems from possibly very useful extensions and options from third parties. In any case, as they have to provide full EF / F compatibility to the foreseeable future, third party manufacturers could probably still produce (physical) R-mount and Z-mount lenses that use EF or F protocol. Unless the adapter/body protocol also contains logic to prevent an 3rd party lens from talking to the body. In that case they would have to stick with EF and F mount lenses with adapter.
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
well, if i were on the "proprietary trip" as a company, I would make DEAD SURE i lock out anything and everything as best as i can.
If not, i would license or go open standard.
As a customer i would prefer legal EU requirement for ONE unified lens mount + protocol.
 
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FramerMCB

Canon 40D & 7D
Sep 9, 2014
319
39
51
nope. Sigma only said the do native Sony (F)E-mount lenses (FF as well). I also think Canon and Nikon are shutting 3rd party out of R and Z mount using new, extremely proprietary, fully patented and technically protected software/protocol means. Just spoofing a 3-digit "lens-ID" will not give access to system any longer, but rather "error 99: not compatible lens" :)
That may be, but you can still use all of the current (and future) Sigma Art's (etc.) on the R with the new Canon EOS EF/EF-S adapters. I'd like to see someone review Sigma's 14mm f1.8 using the fancier of the adapters (the one with the drop-in and "dial-up" with the ND) for some waterfall and landscape stuff (and/or the CPL adapter too)...
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
sigma art sh*t will only work on EOS R as long as Canon lets them ... the moment they want to shut them down, they can ... and will.
 

Quirkz

EOS T7i
Oct 30, 2014
78
14
well, iif i was on the "porprietary trip" as a company, I would make DEAD SURE i lock out anything and everything as best as i can.
If not, i would license or go open standrad.

As a customer i would prefer legal EU requirement for ONE unified lens mount + protocol.
Absolutely. Let’s get the government to design it and mandate all cameras conform to this new lens mount. Damn the corporations. They don’t know what they are doing, and I dislike this competition and choice.

While we’re at it, I’m sick of this Mac vs windows. I think the EU should require all computers be Linux from now on.

While we’re at it, what’s with this plethora of color choices in clothing and cars?

Colour puce from now on. Only puce.
 
Reactions: PGSanta

PGSanta

EOS M50
Sep 5, 2018
29
10
San Diego, CA
Absolutely. Let’s get the government to design it and mandate all cameras conform to this new lens mount. Damn the corporations. They don’t know what they are doing, and I dislike this competition and choice.

While we’re at it, I’m sick of this Mac vs windows. I think the EU should require all computers be Linux from now on.

While we’re at it, what’s with this plethora of color choices in clothing and cars?

Colour puce from now on. Only puce.
Seriously. It's like some people don't understand how innovation is usually triggered within markets. Want to kill the camera industry... have the E.U. step in and toss around mandates.