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Leica CM: Rumours are unlikely to be true this time round

Posted on by Mike Evans

After the naming of the CL after the 1970s compact film camera, it would have been tempting to think of the rumoured "mini SL" as a CM — borrowed from the Leica CM compact film camera made between 2003 and 2006. But it is likely to remain wishful thinking, at least for this year

There will be no new “mini SL” or CM camera announced this month in Wetzlar, according to sources last weekend in France. The rumour of such a camera, teased as the C-M or CM, appears to have been vastly exaggerated.

As I mentioned in the original article on Macfilos, I seriously doubted that such a radical design could have gone under the radar until just a few weeks before launch. Normally, rumours start much earlier and by this time would have been supported by leaked images and more concrete detail.

Future

While no one can say for certain, I’m quietly confident that any smaller full-frame digital camera is well into the future. For one thing, without reasonably sized lenses to support the announcement, the main interest in such a camera would be from users of M lenses. SL lenses would all be too big and would negate any advantage of a smaller, lighter body. And, such a smaller but competent full-frame camera would kill the SL as far as its role in handling M glass is concerned.

As for the Wetzlar event this month, it is to celebrate the extension to the Leitz Park and will also mark the opening of the Ernst Leitz hotel. I’m booked in there in early October for the LHSA meeting and am looking forward to it. 

I would not be surprised if there were a new camera announcement of some sort, although it is more than likely to be a rebranded Panasonic, possibly a Leica version of the new one-inch-sensor TZ200 zoom, sitting slightly below the D-Lux in the lineup. This would give Leica a stab at the market dominated by Sony with the RX100 and the newly announced 24-200mm version, the Mk VI. A new version of the Panasonic LX100, on which the D-Lux is based, seems just as far away as ever. It could, however, come later in the year around Photokina time. If so, the revised D-Lux will follow swiftly.  I think the M10-based MD is also on the cards for later in the year but it is unlikely to be announced this month. 

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