Under the umbrella of the L-mount alliance, Leica, Panasonic and Sigma have been doing business together in the field of cameras with interchangeable lenses for quite some time. Now Leica and Panasonic are jointly announcing a new camera based on the L-mount.
Leica x Lumix: New camera in L-mount
After the L-mount was launched by Leica back in 2014, the manufacturer teamed up with Sigma and Panasonic in 2018 to form the so-called “L-mount alliance” to jointly and independently offer full-frame cameras and full-frame lenses for the L-mount that are compatible with each other.
Leica and Panasonic are now taking this collaboration to the next level, as they are working together on a camera with the working title “Leica x Lumix.” That’s according to the PetaPixel website, citing a report from Nikkei.
So far, the reports do not provide particularly many details. Apart from the L2 technology that will be used, which both manufacturers had already mentioned for the first time in May, it is only said that it will be a mirrorless DSLM camera.
The cooperation with Leica almost ensures that the joint debut will be in the high-end range, because anything else would definitely not be in Leica’s interest. The Leica x Lumix camera is expected to be released in about a year, i.e. in the summer of 2023. The fact that the L bayonet will be used is also considered extremely likely.
Panasonic is discontinuing Lumix compact cameras
The Nikkei report also reveals that Panasonic will withdraw from the compact camera business segment and completely discontinue its own Lumix models. After competitor Nikon also recently discontinued its compact Coolpix camera series, the end of compact cameras may be all but sealed.
This is understandable, since sales figures in this segment have been declining drastically for years. Of course, this is also related to the ever-improving smartphone cameras, which, at least according to Shimizu Terushi, CEO of Sony’s semiconductor division, are even expected to outrun cameras with interchangeable lenses in just a few years.
About a month ago, Nikon also announced that it would no longer develop DSLR cameras (i.e., camera models with mirrors) in the future, because mirrorless DSLM models have almost completely outstripped them.
In the long run, it seems that only DSLM cameras with interchangeable lenses will exist alongside smartphones. Panasonic will then only focus on the high-end segment, whether with the new Leica x Lumix camera or with the Lumix S or Lumix G series in the full-frame or MFT segment.
They also confirmed this to Nikkei, saying “We plan to focus only on the development of high-end mirrorless cameras in the future, which are mainly aimed at enthusiasts and professional filmmakers.”
With the Panasonic Lumix GH6 you currently already have in hot iron in their own portfolio anyway, which with 25-megapixel sensor and 5.7-K resolution with 10-bit color depth in videos even professionals absolutely thrilled. Leica’s current L-mount top model goes by the name Leica SL2-S and is also aimed at photo and video professionals. The camera records moving images in 4K and Cine4K with Leica L-Log Gamma and 10-bit resolution in 4:2:2 and up to 60 frames per second.