Today, Leica jumps into the future with the Leica T, a brand new camera and lens system from the storied maker of luxury cameras you can't afford. The new unibody shooter has a huge 3.7-inch touchscreen and a brand new interface that looks unlike anything we've ever seen on a camera before. It's gorgeous, it will take lovely photos, and of course, it's pricey -- a camera and lens will set you back nearly $5000 in Australia.
As a camera maker Leica stands in its own category, mostly because its fabulously expensive cameras and lenses are designed for people obsessed with craftsmanship and quality. People who want the old world of cameras.
The Leica T is completely different from the M-series cameras that photo nerds have long lusted over. It sports a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor and a brand new "T" mount for lenses. It has Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity. It shoots 1920 x 1080 video at 30 fps. You can expect photo quality on par with the X1.
Basically the camera has all the features you'd expect. If you buy this camera, it's because you want an insane luxury product. The body is chiselled out of a single block of aluminium, and it feels more like a smartphone than any other camera I've ever held, owing to its beautiful, huge capacitve touchscreen.
Leica even built an entirely new touch interface that makes the T handle more like a smartphone than any other camera. The T ditches the menu lists that you're used to on other cameras and instead goes for an icon based design. Settings and options look more like apps than items on a drop down list. It's refreshingly simple and intuitive compared to most cameras out there that are swelling with features crammed into impenetrable interfaces.
The Leica T body will cost a staggering $2500 in Australia. At launch, the camera will only have two lenses in the system -- a 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 and a Summicron 23mm f/2. The 23mm prime will be $2500 in Australia, and the zoom $2300.
Obviously, two lenses does not a system make. More than cameras, Leica has always been all about glass. If somebody is going to invest more than $5000 in a camera system, they're probably going to want a range of really hot lenses and for now, the T doesn't have them -- but it can use M lenses with an adapter. The company says we can can expect more at the Photokina trade show in late 2014. [Leica]