Leica is planning a new mirrorless medium format camera

There have been a number of rumors about a mirrorless medium format camera from Leica over the past few years, but now it’s been confirmed. Leica is going to produce a mirrorless medium format camera.

What is medium format?

Medium format cameras have a sensor that is much larger than the sensor in a full frame camera. A standard full frame sensor measures 1.42 inches (36 mm) wide and 0.94 inches (24 mm) high. However, the sensor in Leica’s S3 medium format camera is 56% larger, at 1.77 inches (45 mm) by 1.18 inches (30 mm). As well as the higher resolution, the larger sensor size of a medium format sensor means that each pixel is larger. As a result, each pixel captures more light leading to better overall image quality.

Mirrorless rumors

Back in May 2022, the Leica Rumors website posted an image of a camera body mockup seen in the background of a product launch video. The website suspected the large body design was a prototype for a mirrorless camera. Following on from that, more information was also released in October 2022 by Stefan Daniel. He was Leica’s Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations. Speaking to the Leica Society International in Dublin, Daniel said that a Leica mirrorless medium format camera was scheduled for production in 2025.

What has been said now?

Last week the French YouTube channel Lovelight TV posted a video. The video was filmed at Leica’s flagship Leitz Park factory in Germany. During the video, Gaëlle Gouinguené, one of Leica’s public relations managers, confirmed that a mirrorless medium format camera is coming soon. She said, “We will have a successor within two years which will be a hybrid medium format with a new mount and a new range of optics.”

What we think

Mirrorless cameras have become the norm in the camera industry. Therefore, it was inevitable that Leica would move to the design with its medium format cameras. Mirrorless cameras have a much shorter flange distance on the lens mount. This is because they don’t need to leave room for a mechanical mirror shutter. As a result, Leica will need to develop a new lens mount for their mirrorless camera. However, the company has confirmed that it will be producing an adaptor so that customers can use their S-system lenses with the new mirrorless camera.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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