A Leica Mini M full-frame EVIL that is. As we know now, thanks to the Leica cock up teaser suggesting that a miniaturized Leica M will see the light of the day on June 11, 2013, Leica calls all its cameras an “M.” The M is a Leica M, the X2 is a Micro M, the D-Lux 6 a Nano M and the infamous X Vario a Mini M. Many expected this “mini M” to be an APS-C compromise. Many though hoped for a real mini M, meaning: a smaller full-frame M without rangefinder mechanism and less battery space/weight — but with some sort of electronic viewfinder and clever focus peaking.
Question is, is such a Mini M even possible?
I asked someone who does know and whom most of you know, but for fear of “what a load of rubbish” comments this knowledgeable source prefers to keep his name out of this.
Here’s his assessment:
Could Leica produce this Mini M? Ah yes — but first you must define a mini M. They can’t make it thinner (because of the registration distance and the lens mount). They can’t make it shorter because of the rangefinder (and the EVF if you ditch the rangefinder).
The basic truth is that smaller means a different lens mount – and how popular would that be.
I think the difficulty is that everyone wants a smaller full-frame camera — Sony have managed — but it’s not with an M mount (and there is the issue).
There’s no surprise and no secret in what I’m saying. It’s all public domain information. Just look at an M. The registration distance is quite a lot bigger than any of the other mirrorless cameras (largely so that the other cameras can have an adapter for M mount lenses).
I mean, the X-Pro1 is bigger than an M (marginally) and that’s only APS-C.
The Sony works because the lens is designed specifically for the sensor (and vice versa).
Just ask yourself why nobody had produced an autofocus full-frame mirrorless camera despite the apparently infinite desire for it?
My guess is that:
- It’s too difficult to get the sensor to work with varying third party lenses (you can’t just bung an off-the-shelf Sony sensor in).
- Any autofocus lenses for full-frame are simply going to be too big (we know that don’t we!).
I’m sure that it’ll happen sooner or later – but don’t expect it to play well with old symmetrical lenses.
Anyway, I’m not sure that anyone wants anything smaller than a Leica M – they might like it as thin as an M6, but sensors are fatter than film, and that’s why the digital Ms are a bit fatter.
Everyone says Mini M, oh yes! But what are they actually thinking of? Of course, everyone is thinking of something different (to suit themselves). I mean, what I would like is a camera the same size as an M6 classic, with a normal rangefinder and a switch to change it to an EVF with a 120/s refresh rate — simple as that — but I don’t think it’s possible (for the reasons given).
I suspect others would like to ditch the rangefinder — but then it’s a completely different beast.
Most people don’t want to look at it like that.