Leica Teaching Us a Lesson in Marketing? Possibly Some Positive Mini M a.k.a. X Vario News

Who didn’t wonder why that Leica X Vario, to be announced on June 11, 2013, has this big and slow of a lens. Maybe, but only maybe good news. The latest Leica teaser suggests a smaller, lighter and — as I would assume — faster lens. Based on my source I stick to my guns that the camera is APS-C CMOS with fixed zoom lens, but I just checked with the source again and he confirms: nah, that fixed zoom on the X Vario will be big and relatively slow.

The upcoming Leica Mini M a.k.a. X Vario
The upcoming Leica Mini M a.k.a. X Vario

Right, in this latest teaser the lens looks smaller than on the French leak — well is it really fake. My source confirms the cumbersome lens size, its slow speed and noise appearing at ISO 1,600 already.

Witnessing a pretty brilliant Leica marketing campaign...
Witnessing a pretty brilliant Leica marketing campaign…
Leica, however, promises this on its Facebook page:

(…) the newest Leica family member (with) its larger than usual sensor for its relatively small body.

Why expect a 1.5 crop. The M8 has a 1.3x factor. Enough food for speculation.

From another side I heard that camera and lens are made in Germany, but were developed by a subsidiary of Panasonic — that’s maybe why they get the colors right. If you like postcard colors, then you’ll like the X Vario.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Solms leaked “fake rumors” by themselves to let the upcoming product go viral and gauge the market’s initial reaction to fine-tune marketing for launch day.

As it says on the teaser:

Heard the rumors? Get the truth.

These two sentences give them away.

A trap. Well done Leica! They wanted the negative rumors.

Even though, if this is true, I’d rather be suspicious of a company that bets on negative marketing to highlight the own not so perfect product.

Just don’t set your hopes too high.




  • I was still hoping for a CL like version that used M lenses. The new teaser does make more sense. If it is a cropped CMOS sensor and cost around $3k is still a bit expensive for most. However, for the diehard Leica officiandos the smaller faster lens will sell.

    • Hope prevails. As a direct competitor — in price, body size an IQ — to the RX1, albeit with smaller sensor, it might even sell quite well!

  • Kartoffi

    Anything below a full-frame sensor is a failure in my book.

    • Bengt Nyman

      I agree. However, Leica customers do not seem think that way. They willingly trade half their image sensor for a red club member insignia.
      It’s a funny world.