Leica X-Vario system camera could be next

Posted on by Mike Evans

Before the X-Vario was introduced earlier this year there was hope that it would be an APS-C system camera featuring the M mount. Despite arrival of the fixed-lens XV, the prospect of a new, cheaper system camera has been under constant discussion on the forums. Now, if various rumour sites are to be believed, such a camera, the Type 701, is nearing launch. Daniel Kastenholz of has given his thoughts and he is sure that something is in the works.

Daniel believes this new camera will be an APS-C X-Vario but with a new-to-Leica lens mount. The camera could be made in Germany, following the lead of the X-Vario, but more likely will be manufactured by Panasonic in the Far East:

From what we learn you can expect at least two lenses at launch, and I wouldn’t exclude the possibility of a strategic collaboration with Panasonic. Leica will have new capacities with the soon to be opened Wetzlar plant, but if priced reasonably (in Leica terms) they need to outsource certain components. The body might sport the “Made in Germany” engraving, not necessarily the lenses.

Despite the expected involvement of Panasonic it is unlikely that the camera will be a Micro Four Thirds device. If the Panasonic link is confirmed there is a possibility that the camera will also be sold under the Panasonic brand as is the case with smaller models in the Leica range. Daniel expects two lenses at launch, probably made by Panasonic to Leica's designs and bearing the Leica brand.