If ever we needed to know for sure that the mirrorless camera market was not just a fad, but is here to stay, we heard it loud and clear today from none other than Leica. Throwing its hat into the mirrorless camera market with its new T-System gives the mirrorless camera market a stamp of approval (though common sense should already have made it clear for all) that this is how cameras are supposed to be for the forseeable future.
Of course, the Leica T is not Leica’s first compact mirrorless camera: the Leica M has that distinction. The T adds autofocus lenses.
We are surprised that Leica has abandoned its traditional shutter speed/aperture ring controls to instead use twin dials and reliance on a touchscreen. Certainly it is targeting a different audience than those who buy its M-System cameras.
Whether the Leica T gets the traction it needs to break into a market that every other mirrorless player is struggling to stay alive in will depend on the big question: What kind of pictures does it take? Since the Leica T uses the same 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor used in the X-Vario zoom, we may already have our answer.
Debut of the New Leica-T System
Celebrating the Essence of Leica; 100 years of Innovation.
Los Angeles, California–April 24th, 2014 — Leica Camera continues to celebrate its journey into the future with the launch of the radically new yet brilliantly familiar Leica T-System. The Leica-T was designed with dynamic simplicity in collaboration with AUDI Design and it is the fourth system ever to be released from Leica. The Leica T-System features Wi-Fi, a rebuilt graphical user interface (GUI), Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®.
Leica has been praised for a century for its precise engineering while understanding the importance of design. As a result, Leica has created tools that are the perfect balance of purpose and emotion. At the heart of this praise is the collaboration with AUDI design and the creation of the Leica T-Unibody. The Unibody was painstakingly made by hand and machined from a single, solid block of aluminum, with a sleek and tactile finish. The new body is a natural extension of the user’s hand and photographic vision allowing complete focus on crafting the perfect image. Using the integrated Wi-Fi module these images can be wirelessly transmitted to smartphones, tablets, and various social media platforms via the new Leica-T app which is available for iOS devices. Leica customers can also download image processing software, Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, free after registering their camera on the Leica website. The digital image processing software offers a comprehensive range of functions for the management, processing, and presentation of pictures and video.
Leica has also collaborated with AUDI Design to create new and unique accessories. These accessories include bags and cases available in yellow, orange-red, black and white. The bags, cases, and straps were designed using the new, innovative Easy-Click system. Easy-Click was designed to effortlessly connect the user’s straps to their bags and cases.
Two new lenses are being introduced that will accompany the Leica T-System launch: the Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH and the Leica Summicron-T 23 mm f/2 ASPH. The Leica Vario-Elmar is ideal for creative innovators who want true versatility in their photography allowing them to seamlessly shoot landscapes, portraits, and other limitless forms of creative outlets. The Leica Summicron-T 23 mmf/2 ASPH which equates to the traditional reportage focal length of 35mm gives the user everything they need to capture all the decisive moments. The Leica M-Adapter T expands the lens selections to include all Leica M-Lenses produced after 1954.
The Leica T features a large high performance, APS-C-format CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP) that is the perfect combination of performance and image quality. The MyCamera menu can be customized to the user’s preferences allowing easier access to all their frequently used settings. The system also includes a high-resolution electronic viewfinder with an integrated GPS feature and tilt and swivel function allowing angles to be adjusted. The new Leica SF 26 flash unit gives users the ability for perfect flash exposures and fill light. Unique to the Leica SF 26 flash allows it to be used as an LED light source for recording video.
The Leica T-System will be available to order starting Monday, May 26th through Leica Stores, Leica Boutiques, and select Leica Dealers.
About Leica: Leica Camera is a global Icon that over a century has mastered the balance of art and engineering – achieving an immutable balance of form and functionality. Join Leica Camera on its journey to celebrate 100 years of innovation with the launch of the unforgettably new and unmistakably familiar Leica-T System. www.leica-camera.com
Dr. Andreas Kaufmann: About the Essence from Leica Camera on Vimeo.
Technical Data: LEICA T
- Camera type: Leica T (Typ 701)
- Lens connection: Leica T bayonet fitting with contact strip for communication between lens and camera
- Lens system: Leica T lenses
- Sensor: CMOS sensor, size APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) with 16.5/16.3 million pixels (total/effective), format aspect ratio 3:2
- Resolution: JPEG: 4928 x 3264 (16 megapixels), 4272 x 2856 (12.2 megapixels), 3264 x 2160 (7 megapixels), 2144 x 1424 (3 megapixels), 1632 x 1080 (1.8 megapixel), DNG: 4944 x 3278 pixels
- Picture data file formats/compression rates: Selectable: JPG Superfine, JPG Fine, DNG + JPG Superfine, DNG + JPG Fine
- Video recording format: MP4
- Video resolution / frame rate: Selectable: 1920 x 1080 p, 30 fps or 1280 x 720 p, 30 fps
- Storage media: 16GB internal memory; SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, multimedia cards
- ISO range: Automatic, ISO 100 to ISO 12500
- White balance: Automatic, presets for daylight, cloud, halogen lighting, shadow, electronic flash, two manual settings, manual color temperature setting
- Autofocus system: Contrast based
- Autofocus metering methods: Single point, multiple point, spot, face detection, touch AF
- Exposure modes: Automatic program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, manual setting, scene exposure modes: Fully automatic, sport, portrait, landscape, night portrait, snow/beach, fireworks, candlelight, sunset
- Exposure metering: Multiple field, center weighted, spot
- Exposure compensation: ±3 EV in 1/3 EV increments
- Automatic bracketing: Three pictures in graduations up to ±3 EV, adjustable in 1/3 EV increments
- Shutter speed range: 30 s to 1/4000 s
- Picture series: Approx. 5 fps, 12 pictures with constant picture frequency, then depending on memory card properties
Pre-order the Leica T at Adorama:
LEICA T DIGITAL CAMERA – SILVER
LEICA T DIGITAL CAMERA – BLACK
LEICA SUMMICRON-T 23mm/F2 ASPH Lens
LEICA VARIO-ELMAR-T 18-56mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH Lens
LEICA VISOFLEX VIEWFINDER – BLACK
Pre-order the Leica T at B&H:
Leica T Digital Camera
Black & White
$1,850 Available for pre-order
Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Lens
$1,750 Available for pre-order
Leica Summicron-T 23mm
f/2 ASPH Lens
$1,950 Available for pre-order