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Leica introduces new Audi-designed Leica C camera line


September 17, 2013

The Leica C is the the first Leica to come with Wi-Fi and NFC

The Leica C is the the first Leica to come with Wi-Fi and NFC

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Leica has introduced a new line of compact cameras with the unveiling of the Audi-designed Leica C. The new camera has been created to combine a sophisticated feature package with a small form factor. As such, it's the first Leica to come with Wi-Fi and NFC. And yes, the pocketable 12 megapixel shooter does bear more than a passing resemblance to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 it's based on.

Because the Leica C is a reworking on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1, it shares its key specs with its less bling sibling. It features a 12 megapixel 1/1.7 inch (7.6 x 5.7 mm) MOS sensor, which is larger than normal for a point-and-shoot. This is paired with a Leica DC Vario-Summicron 6-42.8 mm f/2-5.9 ASPH lens, which gives a focal length equivalent of 28-200 mm in 35 mm format. It can shoot Full HD video and has a continuous-shooting mode capable of up to 10 fps.

The Leica C also boasts a 200K-dot equivalent electronic viewfinder which differentiates it from Leica's D-Lux and V-Lux offerings. This will be a welcome addition for photographers shooting in bright light, or those who just don't want to compose shots on the 3-inch, 921,600 dot LCD monitor. It also boasts integrated Wi-Fi and NFC allowing for wireless sharing of images and remote shooting with the Leica C Image Shuttle app (available for iOS and Android).

What Leica has brought to the table with the Leica C is the styling, which was done in collaboration with Audi Design. Luckily it's not of the overly garish Hasselblad Stellar and Lunar bejeweled and generally blinged-to-the-max variety. Instead the 103 x 63 x 28 mm (4 x 2.5 x 1.1 in) camera is available in two simple but stylish color combinations – gold and ivory, or dark red with black.

With buttons which are more rectangular, and a slightly altered body shape (particularly around the EVF), the camera looks considerably more stylish than the Panasonic it's based on, and almost reminiscent of a mini Leica CM. Our only niggle would be the loss of the rubberized thumb-rest in favor of a few (less comfortable-looking) vertical indents.

A series of Leica-branded accessories will also be released for the Leica C. These include standard-style cases (the C-Case), a rigid plastic and elastic silicone rubber cover which snaps into place (C-Snap), and a wrap which attaches to the tripod thread (C-Twist). Possibly telling us about the market Leica is aiming for with the camera, there is also a polished pouch bag (C-Pouch) and a clutch handbag (C-Clutch), which has a dedicated spot for the Leica C along with space for a smartphone and a purse.

The Leica C will ship with a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 when the camera goes on sale in October for a price of US$700.

Source: Leica

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee. All articles by Simon Crisp
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