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End of the R era

March 6, 2009

Leica has announced it is discontinuing its R-Series manual focus SLR. In a letter sent to dealers, the company said the R9 and R-series lenses would no longer be produced. The camera, which was compatible with Leica’s DMR digital back, still featured on the company’s stand at PMA in Las Vegas, despite the move. The company said that insights gained during the development of the S2 (its first autofocus camera), will feed into the development of a future generation of the R-system.leica-r

Not to worry, the M-series is alive and well. I suspect that this is a move that will take the R-system completely into the digital arena or it will at least give the R cameras that archaic auto-focus, read smiling. However, the new S2 seems to be on the cutting edge of digital imaging. 

 

Photokina 2008Leica has today unveiled a brand new autofocus DSLR system designed for professional users, which is configured around a 30x45mm sensor (i.e. 56% larger than 35mm full-frame). The S-system will utilize an advanced new dual shutter, with both an in-body focal plane leica_s2_001shutter for fast lenses, and in-lens leaf shutters for high flash sync speeds. The first camera, the S-2, will feature a 37.5 megapixel CCD sensor in a weatherproof body which is similar in size and handling to conventional 35mm-type DSLRs. The new ‘Maestro’ image processing system provides twice the operating speed of current medium-format backs, significantly reduced power consumption, and allows production of in-camera JPEGs. The company has also developed a range of nine new lenses, including macro, ultra-wideangle, and tilt-and-shift designs. The lens range will consist of 24mm ultrawide, 30mm tilt-and-shift, 35mm wide, 70mm standard, 30-90mm standard zoom, 100mm short tele, 120mm macro, 180mm telephoto, and 350mm telephoto optics (all of which will apparently incorporate leaf shutters).

Looks like a promising year for leica.

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