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New Pana-Leica camera soon?


oldwino
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I don’t think this Pana-Leica will be an SL line camera…Leica reserves this for their pro cameras, which I doubt they will share with Panasonic…in the same way that they would be unlikely to sell a rebadged version of the M. I suspect this camera will slot in where the CL and T cameras were, albeit with a full frame sensor. My guess is that it will be cheaper and more compact, but also lack the features and megapixels of the SL2/3. Kind of like the S5 was for the S line. I have no info, this is just my speculation. 

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37 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

I don’t think this Pana-Leica will be an SL line camera…Leica reserves this for their pro cameras, which I doubt they will share with Panasonic…in the same way that they would be unlikely to sell a rebadged version of the M. I suspect this camera will slot in where the CL and T cameras were, albeit with a full frame sensor. My guess is that it will be cheaper and more compact, but also lack the features and megapixels of the SL2/3. Kind of like the S5 was for the S line. I have no info, this is just my speculation. 

My view on this is that S1R and SL2, as well as S5 and SL2-S, are more similar than the opposite. Looking into the future, the processor, the basic sensor technology, IBIS, AF-technology, flash protocols, etc. can be shared; the exterior and specific features/fingerprints not. 

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14 hours ago, helged said:

As far as I know/have read - and also consistent with experiences with SL2/SL2-S plus S1R/S5 - these bodies share the same IBIS-mechanism; a very good one, actually. It is also my understanding that the IBIS comes from - or via - Panasonic.

In a forthcoming FF collaboration between Leica and Panasonic one can foresee similar bodies, but with distinct fingerprints like special micro-lenses & thin IR-filter in front of the sensor + in-house colour technology and an über-good EVF for the Leica-body; and somewhat less special (expensive) & more general features on the Lumix-body. Time will tell...

I would buy the HECK out of a S5 type body with Leica styling, high res EVF and M lens compatobility. Give it Panasonic video capabilities and it would be my perfect walkaround camera. Not that the S5 is a slouch in any regard, it would just be nice to have even better compatibility with M lenses.

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1 hour ago, Archiver said:

I would buy the HECK out of a S5 type body with Leica styling, high res EVF and M lens compatobility. Give it Panasonic video capabilities and it would be my perfect walkaround camera. Not that the S5 is a slouch in any regard, it would just be nice to have even better compatibility with M lenses.

Yup, give me the S5 size with flip screen in an the SL2 layout, viewfinder, build quality, and the M11 sensor and I would buy it immediately as long as it was under 10 grand.  

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I'm not sure why people assume that the result of a collaboration would be two identical cameras with different badges and price tags!

No one wants that. Not consumers: it limits choice; not the two companies: it diminishes brand value.

We constantly interact with products that are highly differentiated despite sharing common hardware and software: your phone, every other appliance, your car, even your entire house if it doesn't date back to before the industrial-revolution. Things are the same on the software side: the "look and feel" may be different, but no one writes their whole end-to-end software stacks anymore (outside of academia).

Look at it this way: Panasonic's L-Mount cameras are very different from each other. Compare an S1H to an S5. Why would they start copying Leica's products, or vice versa?

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13 minutes ago, BernardC said:

Why would they start copying Leica's products, or vice versa?

That's what Leica used to do with Pana for 20 years more or less, besides Minolta since the seventies (R3 to R7) and possibly Fuji in the nineties. Not to say that both Leica and Pana cameras would be identical of course. My R4s was not the same camera as the corresponding Minolta in the eighties, the same way as my Digilux 1 was not the same camera as the Lumix LC5 20 years ago. We've been discussing about IQ differences between those two cameras on the LUF then. Funny thing both were perhaps a Canon clone but we could not care less about that. Was in 2002, newbies are too young to understand :D. Just kidding and nothing personal of course :cool:.

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2 hours ago, lct said:

That's what Leica used to do with Pana for 20 years more or less, besides Minolta since the seventies (R3 to R7) and possibly Fuji in the nineties.

Things were different in the R3 and R4 days. The physical layout of the camera was fixed because of the mechanical bits. Different models just enabled built-in functionality (shutter-priority and program modes, if I recall), or added some additional component (TTL flash). Leica couldn't change the physical layout, because it was dictated by mechanical controls.

Most buttons are now software-controlled, and user-assignable. The only fixed physical relationship is between the lens mount and the sensor. Everything else can be moved, as long as there's space for the circuit boards. Look at the S1 and S5: same platform, different layout, materials, battery, I/O, EVF, etc. There's no reason why the next SL can't be as different from the next Lumix as those two Lumixes are from each other.

 

Looking forward, I wonder what this means for the flash interface. We have three different ones for L mount, which is a needless complication. Sigma makes their own flashes, but I can't imagine that they sell many with their own interface (they also sell Nikon and Canon-compatible flashes).

I also hope that the next SL will use Panasonic's hot-shoe-mounted XLR microphone interface. The SL microphone interface isn't very good. On the other hand, Panasonic can learn quite a bit about intuitive UI from Leica. It's not as bad as Sony's UI, but it's still bad.

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16 minutes ago, BernardC said:

On the other hand, Panasonic can learn quite a bit about intuitive UI from Leica. It's not as bad as Sony's UI, but it's still bad.

Another reason for Leica and Pana versions to be close. What Leica should keep original is anything related to M and R lenses though. More luxury and settings for doddery old men too :D. Just kidding again sorry.

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On 8/12/2022 at 1:55 PM, BernardC said:

I'm not sure why people assume that the result of collaboration would be two identical cameras with different badges and price tags!

No one wants that. Not consumers: it limits choice; not the two companies: it diminishes the brand value.

Agreed.

That's what my guess is, driven by the past, personal hope, and what I learned about marketing and brands:

1. Leica can only survive in a niche that provides the funds for their high-quality approach, namely luxury items nobody needs but everybody wants. That isn't news and sports journalism, and that isn't the advanced hobbyist on a budget, nor specialised areas such as bird-in-flight applications. All these areas are driven by intense competition between the big 3 Japanese camera manufacturers, with Fuji in another niche. 

2. Leica's selling proposition is the long-term value from a technical perspective and an artistic point of view as well. Leica users particularly appreciate that and call it the Leica user experience - from unboxing the camera to the final image (the Leica look, whatever that is). That's at the heart of Leica's marketing. With that in mind, portraiture, landscape and street photography, and anything artistically which includes, to a small extent, video, are Leica's specific target groups, including analogue Leica film shooters, often owning a digital Leica as well.

Due to the legacy AF technology, Panasonic is connected to a similar target group, albeit tied to a more reasonable budget. They have a solid and demanding user base regarding hybrid video, which is their USP.

Regardless of the kind of collaboration, Leica won't sacrifice any of the abovementioned points. Panasonic won't step into Leica's domain of costly camera gear because that's never been their user base.

What kind of collaboration in terms of new products can we expect? I would say there are two areas:

1. A pocketable camera 

Since Panasonic is in the MFT camp, and Leica dropped the CL APSC camera, the next pocketable Leica could be an MFT camera. There are already a few highly-acclaimed Leica MFT lenses out there. Such a camera would probably keep the CL naming and range-finder style.

2. A mirrorless FF camera, very likely the next Panasonic S and Leica SL generation

Panasonic's S line is somewhat EOL. With the current AF system, they won't go anywhere in a larger market. The next iteration must catch up with modern AF technology. Until that isn't accomplished, there won't be a successor. That also counts for Leica's SL line.

With an up-to-date AF, Panasonic will try to get some of the Canon-Nikon-Sony cake with pricing and video specs. At the same time, Leica will stay where they are: well-funded enthusiasts and a few professionals whose work allows for expensive gear wanting the unique Leica colour science and best-of-class build quality.

I think there will be a new Panasonic S2 with surprising video specs at the beginning of 2023 and, half a year later, a Leica SL3 that is more photography centred and specialised in taking M lenses. After that, and I guess that won't take long, we will see a less-resolving but highly video-centric model of either manufacturer. Both manufacturers' mirrorless will sport a contemporary AF and an articulated back screen, in Leica's case, with an unseen user experience. I could imagine that the next SL2-S will see a price hike, differentiating the two models more by application rather than resolution (high-end photography vs advanced video capabilities). That could mean that the SL2-S and S1-H successors won't have a shutter anymore.

The size and heft will shrink a bit. But not into S5 territory.

 

I could be wrong, of course. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by hansvons
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On 8/11/2022 at 8:41 PM, helged said:

My view on this is that S1R and SL2, as well as S5 and SL2-S, are more similar than the opposite. Looking into the future, the processor, the basic sensor technology, IBIS, AF-technology, flash protocols, etc. can be shared; the exterior and specific features/fingerprints not. 

Well, a victory for common sense would be for Leica to adopt the Olympus / Panasonic flash protocols (which are also used on the M4/3 systems). This would broaden the choice of reasonably-priced and reliable flash units available to Leica users.  There is no point in being different just for the sake of exclusivity.

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On 8/12/2022 at 12:55 PM, BernardC said:

I'm not sure why people assume that the result of a collaboration would be two identical cameras with different badges and price tags!

No one wants that. Not consumers: it limits choice; not the two companies: it diminishes brand value.

 

This was basically every PanaLeica. Some here insist that the Leica versions were somehow more special (I have heard everything from Leica being made from the 'best' parts and the rest being used for Panasonic, to Leica being made to 'tighter tolerances').

The differences were purely styling and branding. I still have to see anything to prove that it was more than that and if you know anything about Panasonic  (whose factories made the Leica branded models anyway) you would know that they'd never accept their products being second best!

As for consumers, many just don't realise the connection and then some do but are convinced that the Leica version is technically better.

As an aside I bought a new Panasonic camera some years ago, which had a 'genuine' Leica lens for £99. Now, we all know that if it was really a Leica lens that would be an impossible price. Leica just allow their branding to be used as part of the agreement. Leica probably looked at an example, said 'yeah that's good enough' and allowed their name to be stuck on the front.

 

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James, consumers are a lot more brand-cognizant than you give them credit for.

 

You are confusing the Digilux cameras with main line products like the SL and M.

To a first approximation, no one is ever fooled into thinking that Leica point-and-shoot cameras are anything other than re-branded Fuji or Panasonic cameras. Honest dealers will tell you right away what they are.

There's a a myth that someone somewhere was fooled into buying a Digilux thinking that they were actually getting an M, but do you really believe such fairy tales? How many people buy a Gordon Ramsay-branded frozen entree while thinking that they are eating a meal served at a Michelin-starred restaurant?

Here in Canada, the Digilux cameras are usually a decent deal. They have a different finish than their Panasonic siblings, they usually come with more accessories, they have a much longer warranty, and the extra cost is roughly what you would pay to get a store's own extended warranty. They aren't the "value shopper's choice," but they aren't outrageously expensive either. Let's face it, their main purpose is to provide more merchandise for Leica boutiques. It's something to buy for the spouse/child of a Leica customer.

As for Leica branding on Panasonic lenses, both companies are very clear. It denotes the top tier of Panasonic lenses. Absolutely nobody claims that a £99 camera is the same as one costing 100 times that amount, just like nobody thinks that a Zeiss, Leica, or Hasselblad-branded smartphone is the same thing as those companies' high-end products.

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13 hours ago, earleygallery said:

[...] if you know anything about Panasonic  (whose factories made the Leica branded models anyway) you would know that they'd never accept their products being second best! [...]

+1. However significant differences are expected at the level of the sensor, its thickness and/or microlenses i guess, the Leica model being designed for L but also M and R-mount lenses whereas the Pana model would be designed for L-mount lenses only and would be less expensive for that and a less luxurious presentation. Pure speculation on my part.

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20 minutes ago, jaapv said:

Actually Panasonic FF models do better with M lenses than for instance Sony. (Although not as good as Leica) For R lenses there are no limitations at all with any brand. 

Your Panasonic camera has no menus for M or R lenses i suppose. Just a guess as i have no experience with FF Pana cameras.

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Jaap is correct. The S1 is a lot better than my Sony A7S and A7RII were with M lenses, but still not nearly as good as the SL2 is. That said, I think the best place for M lenses, particularly wides, is still an M. SL lenses outperfom the M lenses on SL bodies in most cases. Sigma's lenses often do too...

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1 hour ago, lct said:

Your Panasonic camera has no menus for M or R lenses i suppose. Just a guess as i have no experience with FF Pana cameras.

No but what would one need a menu for other than getting some stuff in EXIF? 

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30 minutes ago, jaapv said:

No but what would one need a menu for other than getting some stuff in EXIF? 

Yes for that and to recall what lens or focal length was used. As much as i like using my Sony body with M and R lenses it is something i miss and i'm glad to have it in my Ms and digital CL. YMMV.

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1 minute ago, jaapv said:

Really? I can nearly always tell by looking at the image. Either I recall the shooting situation or the perspective is clear. 

I guess you're using less lenses than i do. Go telling if you were using an M 35/2 v4 or a 35/2 asph for instance. In some cases it is obvious, in other cases much less so. Let alone when using R lenses. I can recognize easily an R 180/3.4 or S-A 28/2.8 because there is no M equivalent but otherwise it is another story, at least for me.

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