Leica T: The real Mini M? Kurt Kamka had the opportunity to test the new Leica T (Type 701) with a 23mm Summicron and shared his experience on his blog. He gave us the permission to crosspost his mini review here:

Leica T Mini Review

Yesterday, I was fortunate to be able spend a few hours with the Leica T and the 23mm Summicron lens.

Leica T test by Kurt Kamka
©Kurt Kamka

A big shout out to Sunil Kaul and the crackerjack team at Leica Singapore for arranging for the use of the T system with very short notice. Their customer service never fails to impress.

As I pursue a lot of street photography, street portraits and documentary photography, I was curious to see how the camera and lens combination would perform as a street photography camera while walking in the streets of Manila.

In crowded streets with lots of distractions, signage and people moving in and out of the frame, I often like to use a faster lens like a Summicron to create separation between a subject and the background to emphasize an expression or a connection with the subject. This sort of subject and background separation isn’t easy to produce on a cropped sensor camera.

I’ve used, tried or owned many of the cropped sensor cameras on the market in an attempt to find a small, but potent street shooting tool. I may have found it in the Leica T.

Every system has its strengths and weaknesses, but in my mind, a combination of usability and excellent image quality is paramount.

Leica T test by Kurt Kamka
©Kurt Kamka

Bottom line … I was very impressed with the images and how quickly I was able to adapt the camera to how I like to shoot. The camera delivered pleasing results in a wide variety of quickly changing, mixed light scenarios.

With any system, it should always be about the images you are able to bring home as jpegs or raw files. This is where the Leica T excels … excellent auto-ISO, dynamic range and detail from the lenses mean that you can manipulate the images how you see fit to create your own, distinctive creative vision.

Much of Leica’s marketing emphasis for the launch of the system went into describing the physical design and overall aesthetic of the T system. In my opinion, they could have spent an equal amount of time highlighting the excellent images that the system is capable of producing.

Kudos to Leica for developing an autofocus-based system that in many respects is a very capable mini-M in terms of image quality … minus the rangefinder of course for those who are looking for excellent images on the fly.

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