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Leica LUX App for iPhone: Leica goes Mobile!


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Leica is today launching its own iOS app, Leica LUX, which makes the Leica look available directly on the iPhone. Although the app uses the built-in cameras of the smartphone, it simulates …
  • … the image characteristics of classic Leica lenses such as the Summilux (28 or 35 mm) or Noctilux (50 or 75 mm)
  • the look of various film settings such as Leica Classic, Leica Contemporary and Leica Black & White

There are two different operation modes:

  • an easy-to-use automatic mode
  • manual control over important parameters such as exposure compensation or shutter speed

The app is available in two different versions:

  • a free Leica LUX version includes the automatic photo mode, the Aperture mode with the simulation of the Leica Summilux-M 28 and five different Leica Looks.
  • The Leica LUX Pro version (from €7.99 per month) also provides access to manual controls for exposure, focus and white balance, 11 Leica Looks and five lenses.

» Leica LUX in the App Store

Leica promises to continuously expand the range of functions, e.g. through access to exclusive Leica content and events or additional functions.

Images Leica LUX Lens Emulations

Images Leica LUX Looks

Images Leica LUX Interface

Takeover of Fjorden Electra AS

The Leica LUX App was made possible by the collaboration with the Norwegian company Fjorden Electra AS. The competencies of both companies complement each other:

  • Fjorden Electra AS brings extensive know-how in the development of iOS camera apps and iPhone accessories.
  • The Leica Mobile development team has strong expertise in image processing and image quality

After the Leitz Phone (so far only available in Japan) and the collaboration with Huawei, this is the third major project in the mobile sector. This shows how important it is for Leica Camera to strategically focus on smartphones - and thus on a younger target group, who are introduced to the Leica brand and the values associated with it via the Leica LUX app, for example.

Leica LUX: Leica Camera AG presents the professional photo app for the iPhone

Wetzlar, 06th June 2024. Today, Leica Camera AG presents the Leica LUX app, a professional camera app that brings the iconic Leica Look to the iPhone. Leica LUX enables iPhone users to immerse themselves in the world of Leica photography and lenses and create the Leica Looks with their unmistakeable photographic aesthetics for the first time with an iPhone. The app addresses both experienced and entry-level photographers for everything from spontaneous snapshots to artistic photos.

The ‘Leica Lens Look’

With Leica LUX, users can experiment with well-known Leica lenses without having to physically take a camera in their hands. In ‘Aperture-Mode’, iPhone photographers can take pictures with the characteristic signatures of a range of classic Leica lenses, among them, the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH and the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/1.2 ASPH. Thanks to Leica’s proprietary image processing engine, which is based on machine learning and computer-aided photography, these lens simulations reproduce the unmistakeable look for which these lenses are famed, including, of course, the characteristic bokeh effect. This means that an iPhone can also emulate photos with the unique aesthetic of the legendary Leica M lenses.

The world of Leica Looks

Leica LUX uses Leica colour science to offer a selection of colour gradations and film presets that emulate those of Leica cameras. These include options such as Leica Classic, Leica Contemporary and Leica Black-and White. When using the Leica Standard Look, the proprietary image processing in Leica LUX already displays colours and contrast differently and more naturally than the native iPhone camera app. With Leica LUX, the iPhone camera becomes the key to a world of powerful artistic expression, rich textures and impressive nuances. Each Leica Look has been developed to lend the captured image depth and character.

Leica LUX features a powerful and intuitively usable automatic mode and also offers photographers creative freedom through manual control of important parameters such as exposure compensation or shutter speeds. This means that every aspect of a photo can be composed to reflect the photographer’s personal preferences. Whether used by an experienced professional or an enthusiastic amateur, Leica LUX is a tool that enables all photographers to capture professional images and simultaneously maximise their creative freedom. The unique feature: the app is regularly updated with new Leica lens profiles, Leica Looks and functions.

Leica Camera AG takes over Fjorden Electra AS

On 1 December 2023, Leica Camera AG took over the Norwegian company Fjorden Electra AS in the course of the development of Leica LUX. The strategic acquisition took place within the framework of the development of new business areas in the Mobile Business segment.

The business models of both companies ideally complement one another: Fjorden Electra AS brings extensive know-how in the development of apps and smartphone accessories, while the Leica Camera AG Mobile Imaging development team contributes its expertise in the areas of image processing and imaging quality.

Marius Eschweiler, Vice President Business Unit Mobile, Leica Camera AG: ‘With the takeover of Fjorden, we systematically press ahead with our strategic growth strategy and further consolidate our positioning in the smartphone photography segment. In the future, customers will benefit from the combined expertise of two innovation leaders who have bundled their core competencies to open up new creative capabilities in smartphone photography.’

Dr Victor Henning, founder and CEO of Fjorden Electra AS, adds: ‘Our vision was to bring more joy and professionalism to mobile phone photography. The iconic Leica cameras were role models in our development processes when it comes to functionality, design and haptics. As long-standing Leica fans, our team is eager to further develop this vision as a part of Leica and simultaneously benefit from the company’s technical and optical excellence’.

Pricing and availability

Leica LUX will be offered as a so-called ‘Freemium’ model: the free version of Leica LUX includes access to the Automatic Photo mode and the Aperture Mode, including emulation of the Leica Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and five Leica Looks.

Leica LUX Pro (from €7.99 per month) additionally enables access to manual control of the exposure, focus and white balance and the complete – and constantly growing – current range of 11 Leica Looks and five Leica lenses. The range of functions, including access to exclusive Leica content and events and a series of other functions, is being continually expanded.

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I use an iPhone 8 Plus with IOS 16.7.8 beautifully, unfortunately Leica LUX App only runs with IOS 17.5 which cannot be installed on iPhones lower than number 11 :-((

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Leica Camera AG presents the professional photo app for the iPhone

Reminds me of that plastic Swatch you can get with Omega branding at a 50% premium over the regular models.

Perhaps Leica should start charging a subscription for the firmware in their real cameras if you want them to keep working?

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With regard to cost, I have used a Leica for more than 40 years for personal photography.  From a Leica IIIF to my current Q2.  Sadly, Leica has priced themselves out of my reach and this app is yet another example.  I cannot invest $15,000 for an SL body and ONE lens. And as far as the app, If a cell phone can deliver the "Leica Look," why do I need the mega dollar camera??  Thank you Leica for all the photographic pleasure you have given me in the past, but sadly, I cannot journey with you into the future with no professional use to cover the premium cost of ownership.

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Oh great, that's what I thought at first when I read the email. 

But at €7.99/€6.66 per month for an annual subscription, I'm more tempted to finance a Leica lens on the side than to pay for the app 😉 

Sure, developer work has to be remunerated, no question, but I think I get more out of a real lens in the end 😉 

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Just another in a series of interesting camera apps I've collected. Certainly not worth $70/year for me, but eh? Someone will enjoy it. 

My 'standard' non-Apple camera app is the Moment app. It does a terrific job of giving manual control of the iPhone camera hardware.

G

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🤣 € 79,99 a year. Sometimes I would really like the candy, they have in Wetzlar. 

I get the idea of creating an app to get users hooked to Leica, but why not take a look at what Blackmagic is doing with their app - guess what; it is free, no premium version. Blackmagic is using the app to get users into their system, a wise move. 

But I also remember the times, when I have had to pay for Leica FOTOS after purchasing a Leica SL2 to be able to use all features. 

Maybe it would be a wiser choice to hire some additional developers to get the firmware right on their actual cameras at launch, but what do I know....
 

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Trying now and it looks like just another filters for me 😉

 

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I've been playing with it and find it mildly disappointing they haven't, so far, leaned into some iOS features like widgets, shortcuts, etc.; I'd hate to think that they've simply gone the photos-app-with-filters route given how many of those apps already exist. 

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The Leica subscription price is ridiculous. There are nice photo apps like ProCam for iOS that give you full manual control and DNG output, though they don't emulate classic Leica lenses' bokeh. ProCam is $9.99 now on the App Store, one time purchase, with the option in app to add a "pro" video support package.

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If you have a Lightroom subscription, you can download the Lightroom Mobile app. It has a great integrated camera that has all the functions of the Leica Lux app and much more. And everything is included in the subscription, no additional costs. Only the lenses are missing. Instead of the Leica Looks, there are presets.

What annoys me about all camera apps and prevents me from using them is the fact that they are difficult to activate. Lightroom at least offers a widget. However, I would only switch to another camera app if I could activate the camera from the lock screen or via the function button (iPhone 15 Pro Max only).

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I bought the paid version 

Limited number of “lenses” as mentioned in the announcement 

Also, max aperture is restricted to f8 and f16 for the APO Telyt 135 

The Leica looks aren’t translating to impressive looking final pictures, and when I want to open an advanced editor it takes me the Darkroom App … for which I have to pay a subscription again 

The export menu from the app does not let me choose Lightroom for which I’m paying already. So I have to export to my iPhone camera roll and open in LR from there 

Let’s see how it evolves over time 

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18 minutes ago, elmars said:

What annoys me about all camera apps and prevents me from using them is the fact that they are difficult to activate. Lightroom at least offers a widget. However, I would only switch to another camera app if I could activate the camera from the lock screen or via the function button (iPhone 15 Pro Max only).

I don't know much about iPhones,  but maybe this?:

https://www.daviddegner.com/blog/change-default-camera-app-on-ios-14/

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The 75 NTX seems to have been removed in the meanwhile 

Only 28Lux, 35Lux, 50/1.2 and 135 Telyt visible for me 

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