Full-Frame... the last shoe? AFRika?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Iron Flatline, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. So, in the last few months we got really stellar new Full-Frame cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

    There might be one more coming, and some of us are REALLY excited about it.

    Leica is one of the most venerable camera manufacturers in history. Of course, they've been extremely stubborn, and have missed certain market opportunities. They make the M series Rangefinders, and finally came out with a digital version (the M8) about a year and a half ago. It's still a very classic camera - no zoom, no auto focus, although it does have Av mode.

    They also make an SLR camera, called the R series. The current version is called the R9, which is a film camera. Leica actually had a really interesting system called the DMR - Digital Module R - that allowed you to take the film-based R9 and insert a digital back and turn it into a dSLR. Unfortunately the sensor and software were provided by a third party, and the relationship came to an end too early. In its time (about five or six years ago) there were many people who believed that it was the best dSLR in the world - in terms of ergonomics, certainly the lenses, but also the RAW files the camera generated.

    But make no mistake about it, like all things Leica, you must have loved this thing. It cost a fortune, has virtually no modes, just a couple of dials. The Leica lenses do not have auto-focus. It's "old school" - people here complain about the number of AF points, well, let me tell you - Leica has ZERO. But the lenses are sharper than even most film could resolve, never mind past or current sensor technology.

    So for years us Leica users have been hoping for a real dSLR from Leica. Well, it might be on the horizon!

    There's supposed to be an announcement on Sept. 22 in the evening at a nice event at Photokina. There is a secret program that the forums have been rumoring about called Project AFRika - and the general assumption is that AFR stands for Auto Focus R. Others think this possible camera will not be called an R10, because Leica has realised there's little point in competing with the big companies in the dSLR space - they sell as many cameras per year as Canon sells in a weekend. Instead, the company is possibly entering the Medium Format market by developing a modular system that will also work in a studio, with a larger than FF sensor... 36x36mm.

    Many years ago, Leica actually had the first digital Medum Format camera, with a 75MP scan back.The camera was called the S1, and was for in-studio use only. Interestingly, it utilized Leica R lenses. They did not pursue it, and instead ceded the lead to Sinar... which is owned by Jenoptik. Leica two years ago was in the process of acquiring Jenoptik, but the deal never got completed. Recently, they signed a strategic partnership and cooperation deal.

    So is there a new camera? Is it the R10? The S2? Is it a modular system that can do both? We will wait for September 22 to learn more. One thing is certain: Leica doubled their Photokina space relatively late in the game, and supposedly have something called "the Africa Room."

    So for all you Padawans with your Nikon D3 and Canon 1Ds (that would be me) prepare to meet a Jedi Master of photography.

    ...and for all of you who always say you just want a basic dSLR with a few knobs and no menus, this might just be the answer to your dreams... for the cost of two 1Ds Mk IIIs... and NO KIT LENS :lol:
     
  2. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you sure the S1 was 75mp? I always thought it was about 22mp and as it took M and R lenses how could it of been medium format?
     
  3. No idea, I just repeat what others say on the internet, which is of course an awesomely stupid way of gathering and disseminating information.

    [​IMG]

     
  4. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ahh 75 megabytes not 75 megapixels

     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    75mb files at 36bit and 150mb at 48 bit.

    I was once told a story in which Leica basically gave its current progress in AF to Minolta which later released the 7000. If true... what an oversight.


    I agree.... I do hope Leica releases the "Jedi Master".... but if the relatively steady climbing of Leica dotted prices continue, I'll probably be priced out and stick to my Canon system for times that call for an SLR. For me... Leica == rangefinder and I'm already there and happy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  7. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    The plot thickens... [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I seem to recall hearing and have reading that Minolta at one point was the OEM builder for the R-system body so maybe the technology swap was to reduce the cost to Leica or it was Minolta's from the start. RUMOR: Recently I have seen on two other sites that Canon with be the new OEM supplier R-system body
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you heard correct... We do know for a fact that certain R-system bodies were built on minolta designs. All else... I'm not sure.

    Hmm.. 1ds/d MIII body with Leica AF glass.. hmmm..now that would be interesting. What would happen with their current partnerships with Panasonic and Kodak?
     
  10. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    It would be cool for Panasonic to roll out some Leica micro four third lenses with their new D1. I am still waiting on my Zeiss 50 f/1.4 in EF mount. Partnered with the new 5D Mark II will make me very happy. Luckily I have moved all the cash from my 1D Mark III fund over to the 5D so have some left over for a lens. I look forward to Leica's dSLR but the sticker shock might kill me.
     
  11. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All depends on the non-compete clauses in each agreement. But, I don’t think it would change any of the partnerships because product lines do not overlap and are for different markets.

    Is the Kodak partnership for anything other that the M8 sensor?
     
  12. Not to my knowledge, but they sure make good sensors.
     

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