Leica Roundup: Few surprises at Leitz Park opening event
Despite weeks of wild speculation, there was nothing too surprising about this evening’s announcements at the opening of the Leitz Park in Wetzlar. The elephant in the room, the supposed Leica CM “mini SL”, failed to materialise as I predicted last week. This isn’t to say there isn’t such a camera in the wings. There is usually no smoke without fire and, in this case, something is probably happening but not just yet.
The C-Lux is as expected, although the vast array of boutique-style accessories is pretty impressive — if you are into that sort of thing, of course. It’s hard to keep a camera secret when the Lumix model on which it has been on the market for some months. The C-Lux is an interesting departure for Leica and competes head-to-head with the new Sony VI. While the Sony has a better viewfinder, a tilting screen and (possibly) greater image sharpness, it’s slightly faster zoom tops out at (only) 200mm compared with the rather exceptional 360mm reach of the C-Lux.
The price is also interesting. At £875, including VAT, you can have a Leica for £275 less than a Sony. The C-Lux’s sister camera, the Panasonic TZ200, is currently selling at £730, some £145 cheaper than the Leica. However, as usual, the Leica premium is worth paying, not just for the DNG processing and the prettier body. The whole-life cost of the C-Lux will be less than that of the Panasonic — the real-world depreciation will be less because Leica cameras tend to hold their prices much better.
The Leica watches were actually announced a couple of days ago but the press release appeared today, alongside the C-Lux and the aluminium M10 Zagato special edition. However, there are special commemorative editions of the M10, Q and D-Lux to come. We will catch up with them over the weekend since the releases were not included in this press pack I received this morning.