New Product Directions for Leica

As we've written about earlier, Oliver Kaltner takes over as CEO of Leica Camera AG, effective today, April 1, 2015. Apparently his extensive background in marketing will have an impact on the future of Leica as well. Some well-placed sources have shared with us a few startling new product directions that will soon take effect, in an effort to boost flagging sales of late.

As many know, Panasonic has been the partner of choice for Leica-branded compacts, which up until now has had mixed results. One effort to boost sales is a new partnership founded with Fujifilm Corporation. The first camera to be released is the above-pictured new Leica XT camera! It is based on the Fujifilm X100T, so shares its basic specifications. A 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor with a fixed lens. Where it gets interesting is that the 23mm f/2 lens is instead a Leica design, based (loosely) on the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. Also, like with previous Panasonic collaborations, the firmware has Leica's "special sauce" when it comes to processing.

Leica 28-90mm lens

The second bombshell is that Leica will be pulling a Zeiss-inspired move and get into the lens business - selling R lenses in three mounts, initially... Canon, Nikon and Sony. We don't yet know how many lenses we're talking about yet, but we've been told to expect the Vario-Elmarit 28-90mm f/2.8 (pictured) as well as the Summilux 50mm lenses as a sure start. A 35mm and 80mm will likely follow.

Stay tuned as we learn more about these very, very interesting developments.

Update (04/02/15):

In case you didn't pick up on it, this was an April Fool's joke. Must say, it went over extremely well!