The new Leica C (Typ 112) was unveiled a short time ago. It will be available in October and be priced around € 600,-. It might well be a sufficiently nice compact camera, but since I cannot see much of a difference to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1, I do not feel a great urge to go into any detail about this Leica offspring. If I decide to do a full review at all, I will write about the Panasonic later. I always prefer the original.
By the way – the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 can be had for around € 450,-. Of course there are differences (e.g. Leica adding a free Lightroom license) – but all in all this Leica compact does not thrill me much. IMO this is another Leica product that simply does not quite hit the mark. But there may be enough amateur photographers that are willing to pay the premium and simply love that shiny red Leica logo. Leica is a luxury brand after all and of course it is quite legit to try and scoop up some of the dough folks wish to depart with.
So the Leica C is not the real Leica “Mini M” I was anticipating but IMHO rather what I feared “…might turn out to be just another point and shoot Panasonic clone.” You can read my wish list for a new Leica “Mini M” here. So it did not turn out to be the camera some Leica fans (myself included) hoped for. Neither did the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) which was promoted as Leica “Mini M” and initially raised quite false hopes (see my article on that here). I am sure both camera models will be sought after and guarantee good returns for Leica nonetheless.
But as it goes, I have now given up waiting for a new Leica Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILC) with AF and some other features that are clearly missing in previous versions of M-mount cameras. Sony will probably deliver the goods for those that think likewise. Maybe those Leica Lenses can be put to good use on one of the future full-frame Sony NEX cameras that are rumored to be shown off in the next month or so. That might be worth writing about…