New Leicas Announced

Leica are a company that many photographers swear by. Their cameras are well known for their quality and performance. They also exude style. Earlier this week I was doing some searching to see what new models they had on the market and found nothing within the last six months. This left me wondering; sure enough a few days later they announce several new models for photokina 2006. The three new consumer/prosumer models, which are based on Panasonic technology, are the DIGILUX 3, the DSLR like V-LUX 1 and the D-LUX 3.

The DIGILUX 3 is based on Panasonic's DMC-L1 and features a 7.5 megapixel sensor. The "LiveMOS" based 4:3 DSLR also features an optical image stabilized lens, a supersonic dust filter and a 2.5-inch LCD. The V-LUX 1, which looks like a DSLR and is based on the DMC-FZ50, features a 10 megapixel CCD, a 12x optically image stabilized zoom lens, and a 2-inch LCD. Leica's D-LUX 3 takes on the ultra-compact styling of the DMC-LX2, and features a 10.2 megapixel 16:9 format CCD. It also features a 2.8-inch LCD, and optical image stabilisation.

The biggest news has to be about the Leica M8 rangefinder based, 10.3 megapixel digicam. This baby, which has an enormous £3,000+ price tag, will attract a lot of interest, but may be more of a curiosity for many photographers than it is a practicality. Still, Leica are known for their glass and I have seen many photographers preferring to use them with all their supposed disadvantages, over using SLR based cameras. The Lens encoding support plus the ease of focusing are going to be big draws to many existing Leica users.

DPreview have produced some excellent previews of these cameras, so please visit them at dpreview for more info.