Great interview by Barnaby Britton of DPReview of Stephan Schulz, head of Professional Imaging at Leica. Leica views its entry/re-entry into the medium-format category as a prestige thing:
The biggest risk Leica has ever taken [that] refreshes the image of Leica, to make cameras that are really used by professionals. This is what we need, and this is not only a system, it’s a statement for the brand. [...] Leica can do something beyond everything else on the market. It’s a brand statement — our flagship.
Earlier on, Schulz took a stab at those [amateur and professional photographers alike] questioning the need for medium-format: “This question comes only from people who have no experience of medium format at all.”
Schulz clains the S ["the most advanced system"] holds roughly 20% of the medium-format market behind Hasselblad and PhaseOne but that Leica’s aim “is to become market leader.”
As camera manufacturers increasingly shift their focus to mirrorless, Leica might find that this goal is attainable quicker that they anticipate. Should Leica pour its meager resources into a “brand statement?” It might do well to reconsider that the long line that were snaking toward its booth may well mean that it is focusing on an alphabet too far: the long line twisted and turned not for the S, but for the M.
Read the interview at: DPReview.