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Next, a full frame upgrade, ML,

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You don't have to go that far back to make the point - Leica M9-M Typ 240-M60-M10...

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Guest VVJ

Would Leica have to introduce a new system of Mini-SL lenses to fit this QL?

 

If Leica wants the SL itself to be successful long term 3-4 smaller walkaround lenses would go a long way IMHO...

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You don't have to go that far back to make the point - Leica M9-M Typ 240-M60-M10...

They all had rangefinders - there I was thinking you’d got my point ...

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I would not be surprised if Leica offers a full frame L mount camera like CL, simply a M with EVF.and AF.

 

I agree that this is exactly the SL.

If you talk about a full frame camera with M mount it would be a different thing, but FF with L mount and AF = SL.

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I’ve never really understood the argument that releasing a new version of a camera eats into the sales of another. Say Leica sells 5,000 M units a month (it’s just a guessed figure). They have covered their R&D costs and they can continue producing the camera for so long as there is demand.

 

They already have 3 film M cameras and 4 M digital cameras on offer. We can expect at least 2 of those digital M cameras to drop out over the next few months. The digital M range will reduce to the M10, and other variants will follow - at least a monochrom version. In order to survive, the M digital needs these variants. This idea that Leica is competing with itself suggests that offering variants does not increase market share - if that were the case, then Leica’s product design and planning is hopelesly flawed. I doubt that is the case.

 

Putting the M camera on a pedestal, and refusing to push the boundaries will doom the system. An optical rangefinder version, like the M10 will always exist. Consider the rage and disappointment of some over the loss of video and tethering with the M10.

 

I think the essence of the M system is the lens offering. To make the most of those lenses, I’d like to see the standard M10, with monochrom, EVF, video and M-D versions. They will be staggered, so that surges on release get captured, and the M range expanded. I have no doubt that overall, the theoretical 5,000 units per month would be exceeded, there’d be an increase in secondhand sales of M cameras, with an increase in lens sales.

 

Sound far fetched? The M9 spawned the M9, M9P, Monochrom & M-E and the M(240), the M-P, M(262), M(246) & M-D. Was Leica competing against itself, and did overall sales fall? If anything, expanding the L mount camera range will cost the M range.

 

Like the shibboleth M means messucher, it doesn’t stand closer scrutiny. The M1, MD and MDA rather suggest that Leica can and will release an M mount camera if there’s demand (the M1 dated from 1959). The greater risk for Leica is if there’s demand that they don’t meet, the system won’t expand and buyers will be left with the L mount choices. Those L mount offerings don’t satisfy everyone, as is clear from here - a smaller full frame version, for instance.

 

Increasing M lens sales surely has to be profitable ...

 

 

I agree. But, as Jaap says, a M camera is a camera with M mount. 

 

A M camera with EVF is a possibility Leica should explore. 

 

Cameras with L mount are a different thing.

 

 

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If there ever is an EVF based M canera, my guess would be the 020 EVF or equivalent, and M mount. I don’t see Leica doing an M sized version of the SL. Why would they do that? Then again, I’m usually wrong.

 

 

I agree 100% here. 

 

A M camera with EVF could be smaller, cheaper, lighter... different... and it could appeal a new generation of customers. 

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Ok, since this is currently the thread for wild speculations on Leica's next next steps...

 

I don't feel any of us knows enough about Leica's sales, strengths, and staffing to do their business planning for them.  For example, Leica seems to have one department that does lenses from scratch and an unknown fraction of that department that works with outside suppliers to develop Leica-X (e.g. Panaleica) lenses in the past and currently the TL series of lenses, which say "Leica" but have no serial numbers, as they are completely sourced in Asia.  Does Leica similarly have a single pool of engineers responsible for next generation cameras, or at least two, one of which holds the future of the M's in their hands and the other the L's?  The differing UI directions seen in the M product line and the S/SL/TL product line would support the two camps picture, but the UI people are only a subset of product engineering skills that Leica shows.  If there really are two firmly committed camps, then Stephan Daniel and folks above him have to decide how much money each camp gets to spend on new products and that will determine whether M240 and M10 variants evolve into new and higher resolution versions with increased mono, video, and other functions.  If the M9 family showed steadily diminishing returns from the later variants, I wouldn't hold my breath. 

 

Currently the market excitement is with the L mount.  One decision that Mr. Daniel must be grappling with is whether to extend the S line to higher resolution, or move up the SL as soon as its lens portfolio is complete and shipping.  The SL lenses that we have are certainly capable enough to drive 36 MPx.  If the SL cameras had the same image quality with a smaller pixel size that permitted robust files to be made even with their APS-C portions then Leica could sell good lenses galore from both lines.  I have been hoping that the Luminous Landscape videos that were made at Leica in September would explore some of these questions, but so far they have been just pleasant chats, getting out a marketing message that supports the present products. 

 

So we should continue to rant about the products we want to see.  These tend to closely resemble the products we have with some bugs fixed, and as a result do impact firmware upgrades.  But really, I want Leica to be working now on what I will be amazed to see in two years and would not have anticipated. 

Edited by scott kirkpatrick

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So we should continue to rant about the products we want to see.  These tend to closely resemble the products we have with some bugs fixed, and as a result do impact firmware upgrades.  But really, I want Leica to be working now on what I will be amazed to see in two years and would not have anticipated. 

 

 

We expect too much from Leica. They have 3 mounts, several cameras per mount, analogue and digital offering, APS-C and FF on the L mount... accessories, boutiques... 

 

They have invested a lot in the past few years (S007, M10, SL, TL2, CL... new lenses for all cameras, Summicron-C lenses...).

 

I only expect moderate updates (mostly resolution in cameras), variants (M system: Monochrom, etc.) and (maybe) a printer, and a new M with EVF.

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Guest VVJ

We expect too much from Leica. 

 

Disagree.  If Leica doesn't push itself it will disappear...

 

About the S, except for the switch from CCD to CMOS the specs haven't been updated since 2008...

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Well, let’s see:

 

Leicas has three mounts, M, S, and L.

 

They have three sensor sizes, 45 x 30 mm, full-frame, and APS-C.

 

There are three concepts for the design and handling of a camera, that of the S, the M, and the TL.

 

 

Now the SL is a miniature version of the S with a full-frame sensor and an L mount.

 

The CL is a variant of the TL with the design and handling of an M.

 

 

So the proposed camera would be an SL, but with a design/handling of an M/CL, right? Given the mix-and-match nature of Leica’s product development this would certainly be an option. Whether there would a market for this I have no idea.

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I don't need a mini SL, but I'd jump at the current SL if there were some smaller native (weather sealed) lens options, even zooms without AF and/or with a narrower zoom range. The camera is great as is, and so are the lenses except for size and weight.

 

Jeff

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Remember when it was "impossible" to have a FF rangefinder?    Technology moves very rapidly, and if there is a market for a M mount, M10-size, FF camera with an EVF, and the technology allows it (someday it will, to be sure), then Leica could make it and many of us (including me) will buy it.   Similarly, if technology allows the SL to shrink in size and weight (accompanied by lenses that are sugnificantly smaller and lighter) that could happen.  But logically at some point down the line wouldn't a shrunken SL and an EVF M start to converge if not merge?  The SL successor EVF camera logically would accept both autofocus T and SL lenses and M lenses with adapter as is the case today.  Hence, if you ask me (and isn't it fun to speculate?), the SL will get smaller and smaller and become the EVF camera that accepts any lens, while the M11 or M12 will stick with the OVF and solely manual lenses.

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As a digital camera & photographic lenses producer, I see Leica having a good strategic line of products except below:

 

1 Capability of S & SL minimum differentiation

With 24MP offered as APSC sized sensor for TL & CL drives the expectation of SL customers asking for higher MP. With those trials made by some individuals applying M lenses onto X1D's 50MP MF sensor clearly spells the possibility of SL's mount big enough for a bigger sensor, perhaps the current S's 37MP sensor? But with the S Product line in offer without a upgrade into 50MP or 100MP, the SL replacement is cur rently stuck.

2 CL & TL minimum Product Differentiation

When the TL2 appeared, I was not excited, but when the CL appeared. I started to get excited but was quickly put off by the confusion

between the TL2 & CL. Perhaps Leica should have not lunched the TL2 but just replaced the TL with the CL making customers excited and

bring out their money from their pocket!

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RF's the soul of Leica. it's the centre of its philosophy... so being that, a larger body SL (it's got the whole package) and a smaller ASP-C CL makes sense to me

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although I had always wished for a weather sealed M-sized full frame TL mount (smaller glass but capable of full frame resolution) to replace the XT2 for harsh winter but beautiful winter in Canada

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So the proposed camera would be an SL, but with a design/handling of an M/CL, right? Given the mix-and-match nature of Leica’s product development this would certainly be an option. Whether there would a market for this I have no idea.

 

 

No... that does not work. 

 

The proposed camera is a M camera (M mount) with EVF. This would expand the M system. But... "whether there would a market for this I have no idea".

 

A SL camera with M/CL handling is not possible... the reason is the lenses. SL lenses are huge, and they need a big camera, with particular ergonomics and balance of mass. You cannot handle those big zooms or fast primes with a small brick-shaped camera. In fact, you can do it, because you can use them on the new CL or TL, but it is an unnatural fit and none would buy that camera for those lenses. The SL system implies large cameras.

 

A T camera with M handling was possible because the T lenses are small compared to the SL lenses. 

 

So we return to the zero base: the only new/different camera I can think on is a M camera with EVF. 

 

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Actually, I will buy a CL to use with long, heavy lenses. And it will handle well, as those lenses are held under their pivot point where the tripod mount is located.

Those lenses weigh something like 2 kg or more and are at least 30-40 cm long, so as long as the right-hand side of the camera has enough grip, the actual size and weight are of little influence on the handling.

Also SL lenses. The short zoom and Summilux may be unwieldy on the CL, the long zoom quite usable.

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They all had rangefinders - there I was thinking you’d got my point ...

Actually the M1 was designed to be able to have a rangefinder upgrade.

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Actually, I will buy a CL to use with long, heavy lenses. And it will handle well, as those lenses are held under their pivot point where the tripod mount is located.

Those lenses weigh something like 2 kg or more and are at least 30-40 cm long, so as long as the right-hand side of the camera has enough grip, the actual size and weight are of little influence on the handling.

Also SL lenses. The short zoom and Summilux may be unwieldy on the CL, the long zoom quite usable.

 

 

There are specific and very personal needs/preferences/constraints... but my comment referred to general terms. In my opinion you cannot present and sell a system with very unbalanced components. You can try, but it would be a failure. 

 

A particular person may use a Panasonic Lumix GM1 with an R adapter and R zooms... but this is a particular (exotic/eccentric) configuration. 

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