Milled thrills – the Leica T 16.5 megapixel camera

leica-t-camera

Milled from a single block of aluminium, and designed in collaboration with Audi, the all-new Leica T is a fairly remarkable piece of kit. This is a radical departure for the German photography brand, introducing an entirely new operating system alongside Leica’s first touchscreen and their inaugural integrated Wi-Fi module.

Weighing less than 400g, the Leica T is equipped with a 16.5 megapixel CMOS image sensor that delivers a maximum image resolution of 4944×3278 pixels. Its minimalist design ensures everything is operated via four haptic controls and the 3.7-inch TFT touchscreen. The cool aluminium body has a pleasingly tactile surface, while the Wi-Fi capabilities enable wireless distribution of pictures and videos without the use of cables. An app for iOS devices is already available, enabling smartphones or tablets to serve as viewfinders and adjust the camera’s shutter speed or aperture values.

The Leica T’s shatterproof design and equally robust engineering has already won it praise from seasoned observers. Amateur Photographer complimented the “beautifully designed menu system” and its “excellent customisation”, as well as pointing out that the T’s “clean and minimal” design benefits from features like a pop-up flash and a strap that clips straight into the body shell. However, TechRadar concluded that form had been placed ahead of function, arguing that the T has been positioned “more towards the luxury end of the market, as opposed to the practical end”. As a result, “the design element is the key selling point, rather than actually using the camera.”

Rear of Leica T
Rear of Leica T

T3 described the new Leica as “a bold move in a market that’s flooded with compact system cameras”. They also acknowledged the strong accessory lineup, while pointing out that the £1,350 price tag will place it beyond the reach of many amateur photographers. Digital Photography Review concurred, saying only “well-heeled photographers are likely to get their hands on one…it is not in any way intended as a mass-market product.” However, their fulsome praise of the T’s “extraordinarily tactile and rather beautiful” design concluded with the observation that this is “the kind of camera that Apple might make, if it were so inclined.”

If the standard Leica T doesn’t provide enough functionality, it’s also possible to add accessories including an integrated high-res viewfinder with GPS. Semi-professional photographers can purchase the new Leica SF26 flash unit for greater brightness, and backwards compatibility is assured thanks to an adaptor that allows Leica’s popular M-Lenses to be attached to the T’s body.

Price: £1,350. Available from May 26th through authorised Leica dealers.