Leica X1 Hands-On Review

The Leica X1 is a compact camera with a fixed lens and an APS-C sized sensor. The camera has the largest sensor in it’s class, dwarfing Micro Four Thirds and the Sigma Foveon. I received some personal hands-on time with the camera. While I wasn’t able to put a card in to take samples (I handled a prototype) the short experience with the camera was overall quite positive and, in fact, it may very well be a camera that will put more pressure on other companies to start really developing their technology to do just the same thing.

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Leica M9 Hands-On Review

Since the announcement of the Leica M9, there has been much interest in the powerful but little camera. The main reason for this is the full frame sensor in such a small body. I had the pleasure and opportunity to finally fondle the Leica M9. I previously brought up the issue of really needing a rangefinder for street photography, and while I have not solved that question yet, I can tell you that the M9 has characteristics that surely can help with doing such things even at close range. However, it is not perfect. [Read more...]

Leica Announces New Products on 09/09/09


Today is 09/09/09, the day that Leica has said that they will make some new announcements catering to different crowds of people. So far, we’ve seen and heard so many rumors about the new Leica M9 that may be coming our way. According to LeicaRumors.com we’ll also possibly be seeing the X1 and the R10. Here’s what we’ve got for you so far since the webcast hasn’t begun yet here in NYC.

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Leica M9

Leica M9

The Leica M9 is set to be announced on Wednesday, September 9, 2009; however, a tipster sent a very official-looking brochure for the Leica M series (including the M9) to me today.  The Leica M9 brochure reveals that the new camera packs an 18-megapixel, full frame 24 x 36mm CCD sensor.

The new CCD sensor appears to be a totally redesigned sensor, which uses a special layout of micro lenses to assure “uniform exposure and extreme sharpness from corner to corner in every image.”  Additionally, the sensor is couple with a new filter to suppress infrared light; however, the a moiré filter was not included due to concerns of “image deterioration through loss of resolution” and the need to ensure maximum resolution of fine detail.  Sensitivity range covers ISO 80-2500.

Leica M9

As you can see from the images, the Leica M9 offers a 4-way switch and dial on the rear, along with a 2.5-inch LCD screen.

In an interesting move, the Lecia M9 is supplied with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as its RAW processing software.  Purchasers of the Leica M9 can download the software for free.  For its RAW format, the Leica M9 uses Adobe’s DNG standard.  Speaking with Leica representatives at PMA 2009 about the Lecia S2, I was told that this decision was a natural fit due to Leica’s in-house software development limitations.  Using a universal standard gives Leica the ability to focus on hardware.  The Leica M9 produces 16-bit DNG files for maximum quality.

No word on price yet; however, you shouldn’t expect to find the Leica M9 at a discount price in your local Best Buy anytime soon.  If you want all the details on this potential game-changer from Germany, get the complete specifications along with a couple of additional photos below. [Read more...]

Salgado’s Leica Goes On Sale

Photo-Arsenal has Sebastiao Salgado’s Leica for sale on eBay. The camera is priced at $140,183 — plus $42 for shipping.

This camera set was made specially to commemorate serial number 3,000,000 and presented to Salgado to honor the Brazilian photographer’s work. Looking at this camera, however, I don’t think Salgado put many miles on it.

While I doubt Salgado’s camera will bring in the sort of notice that the sale of Ansel Adam’s Hasselblad set did in its 1998 auction, his documentary work continues to grow in reputation. I know that I’m not going to be picking up the commemorative set, I do find Salgado’s work worth revisiting.

Leica S2

Leica has dropped quite the shocker on everyone with their new Leica S2, which is a relatively compact DSLR with a monstrous 37.5-megapixel sensor.  The shocking part is that the sensor size is 56% larger than a 35mm (or full frame) sensor found in “pro” level DSLRs.  Kind of makes Canon’s 21.1 megapixel 1Ds Mark III look kind of quaint, eh?  Leica has announced a number of lenses to accompany the new system as well. [Read more...]

D-Lux 4 Leaked in French Magazine

Leica’s D-Lux 4 was spotted in Chasseur d’Images, priced at approximately $980. At first glance, the D-Lux 4 looks very similar to the D-Lux 3, but there are some changes. The most significant difference is the addition of a hotshoe on the top of the D-Lux 4. The lens for the new camera also has a wider and faster lens (24-60mm, ƒ2-2.8). The camera does have a slightly lower pixel count: 10.1 megapixels. The D-Lux 3 had 10.4 megapixels. The sensor size is almost identical, shrinking from 1/1.65″ to 1/1.63″.

It’s expected that confirmation of the new D-Lux model will occur at Photokina.

The Digital M – LEICA M8

The Digital M – [LEICA M8 Silver]

Originally uploaded by takuhitosotome.

Shutterbug tested the new 10-megapixel Leica M8 in the April issue of the mag.

While no digital camera can expect to be pre-eminent for decades at a time like the 35mm M Leicas, and the M8 will inevitably be surpassed in five years by the Leica M9 with more megapixels and even better image quality, the Leica M8 is about as good as it can be given the current state of digital imaging technology.

Head on over to get all the goods on this long-awaited and pricey digital rangefinder.