The Leica Mini M Won’t Be Full-Frame, It’ll Be an X Vario System Camera

This is from trustworthy new sources with access — you can check our track record and we’ve consistently been right. We were the first to know the name of the X Vario, and THEME’s the first site again to learn more details about Leica’s long rumored, new, more compact system camera. There have been consistent hints by Leica itself and by rumors that the legendary camera maker is going to go more mainstream with a slimmed down Leica M, mistakingly anticipated as the Leica Mini M. Within the next few months there will be a mini M, but it won’t be an EVIl Leica M, it will be a X Vario system camera with interchangeable lenses.

Leica mirrorless design concept |
Leica mirrorless design concept |
From what we learn you can expect at least two lenses at launch, and I wouldn’t exclude the possibility of a strategic collaboration with Panasonic. Leica will have new capacities with the soon to be opened Wetzlar plant, but if priced reasonably (in Leica terms) they need to outsource certain components. The body might sport the “Made in Germany” engraving, not necessarily the lenses.

As reiterated several times in the past, Leica won’t go Micro Four Thirds, but it’s a safe bet that they’re building on an APS-C size sensor making for low image noise, high dynamic range accurate color differentiation and — most importantly for some — smaller lens size with autofocus capability.

The X Vario is also called “Type 107.” According to a screenshot leaked by Digicame-Info in October, an upcoming, not yet known Leica camera is codenamed “Typ 701” (Leica T). If that’s no coincidence:

While I’m not a 100% certain these product screenshots refer to the upcoming X Vario system camera — Leica Rumors expects it to be “a new camera without a rangefinder” –, the new Leica compact system camera will be placed between the M and X lines. What to expect?

  • No viewfinder
  • X Vario innards
  • A new, more compact Leica system camera

Announcement? Within the next months or as far away as Photokina 2014 next October.

Too late for Leica to join the “mirrorless” party? Are they going after Fujifilm?

  • Omer

    “…but if priced reasonably (in Leica terms)…” Not sure if this was meant to be funny, but it is.

  • Gear becomes pricier and pricier, at least the “Leica tax” stays the same…

  • wolfd

    Will it also be known as a GM1?

  • Gorodish

    This is what many of us were asking for last June, an X body with interchangeable lenses. But no EVF? If Leica goes this route, it will be a big mistake. They should include a built-in tilting OLED EVF just like the similarly sized Lumix GX7.

  • That — depending on the lens mount — could seriously threaten M sales.

  • Gorodish

    That might be possible if the new camera was full-frame with an M mount. But the vast majority of M buyers are diehard RF stalwarts. If Leica wants this new camera to succeed with a larger customer base, they must recognize that EVIL is the future for mirrorless system cameras.

  • Omer

    Pandering to a larger customer base is easy. Competing with Sony or Canon is not.