Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Leica 12/01/2003 Press Release
Press Release - December 1, 2003
LEICA DIGILUX 2 - The "Analog" Digital Camera
With the LEICA DIGILUX 2, Leica Camera AG, Solms, presents a high-performance digital reportage camera for ‘traditional photography’. It is the first Leica digital camera that can be operated like a professional analogue camera: the crucial photographic parameters such as focus, aperture, shutter speed, and focal length can be set using rings on the lens and a shutter speed dial, as on a classic reflex camera. In addition to its convenient automatic functions the LEICA DIGILUX 2 thus combines creative freedom and the familiar handling of traditional cameras. "Just like photography with the legendary Leica coupled rangefinder cameras, the LEICA DIGILUX 2 concentrates on what is essential. The camera’s basic functions are simple and intuitive to master and provide an optimum basis for individual digital photography with a personal touch, says Markus Ring, Compact Cameras Product Manager at Leica Camera AG.
The new compact camera is notable for its high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. zoom lens, which covers a focal length range comparable to 28 to 90 mm in the 35 mm system. The 2/3-inch image sensor is extremely large and gives a resolution of five million pixels. Each individual pixel has a size of 3.4 µm thus has more surface than is normal in this class of digital cameras. Larger pixels can register the light more quickly and therefore reduce errors such as interference. "The combination of the high optical quality of the Leica lens and what is currently the largest sensor area per pixel in this class of digital cameras leads to extremely high picture quality, adds Markus Ring.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 has a large and bright 2.5" monitor, allowing excellent picture evaluation during and after taking. The 64 MB SD memory card included with the camera provides an above average memory holding 6 to 484 images, depending on the selected picture quality. The markedly short shutter release delay means that the camera is outstandingly well suited for quick and spontaneous shots.
The clear, modular design of the digital camera is the work of the Berlin designer Professor Achim Heine. The controls, which are predominantly based on traditional analogue photography, are clearly positioned and support the easy operation of the camera.
The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. lens consists of 13 elements in ten optical components. Two of the lens elements have an aspherical surface, differing from the normal spherical shape. All lens elements are made of genuine optical glass and provided with a coating by means of a state of the art technology. The exclusive use of high quality materials – including special glass types produced in low quantities – contribute to the increase in contrast and brightness. The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. has a fixed first lens group. Focusing and focal length adjustment take place exclusively inside the lens. This results in excellent mechanical stability, guaranteeing optimum setting accuracy, durability and precise control.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2’s 2.5" LC display is transreflexive: a combination of backlighting and use of the available light increases its brightness. This eliminates most of the troublesome reflections that sometimes appear on display surfaces in bright ambient light. Picture evaluation is possible even when looking at the display from extreme angles. The high-resolution 211,000-pixel camera display provides a bright, high contrast image. As an aid to manual focusing, the center of the display’s screen serves as a magnifying glass, showing an enlarged section of the subject.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 has a large, high contrast electronic viewfinder with what is currently the maximum possible resolution of 235,000 pixels also featuring diopter compensation. The former prevents the viewfinder image from being obstructed, which the large lens and the wide-angle range would cause with an optical viewfinder. The 15 mm eyepoint makes the viewfinder easy to use, even for people wearing glasses. All the information in the display is also available in the viewfinder. In addition, saved pictures can be viewed in the viewfinder, which can be very useful in extremely bright sunlight.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 will be available in stores as of February 2004.
New Leica SF 24D Flash unit for DIGILUX 2 camera
December 24, 2003 -- Leica Camera AG of Solms is pleased to introduce the new LEICA SF 24D, an improved flash unit with automatic guide number control. The optimised functions offered by the LEICA SF 24D make it possible to control flash exposure directly through the camera, making this unit the perfect accessory for a wide range of Leica cameras. The LEICA SF 24D is suitable for use with Leica rangefinder and SLR cameras, and can also be connected to the LEICA CM analogue compact camera and the LEICA DIGILUX 2, which will be available from February 2004. The flash unit automatically recognises the type of camera to which it is connected, and adjusts itself to the relevant operating mode. Ease of use and compatibility with the full range of modern flash techniques are features of the LEICA SF 24D.
The LEICA SF 24D has retained all the application features of its predecessor model the LEICA SF 20, and has complemented these with new functions. For example, the range of automatic apertures has been enhanced. All apertures from 2.0 to 11 are available with this new dedicated flash unit. The LEICA SF 24D also provides improved flash compensation of +/- 3 EV.
The illumination angle of the LEICA SF 24D corresponds to a 35 mm focal length for the 35 mm system. The two ancillary screens supplied with the unit for the wide angle and telephoto range cover focal lengths of 24 mm and 85 mm respectively. The flash unit automatically recognises the two diffuser screens supplied, and immediately adjusts the range display to the new guide number. The black/silver version of the LEICA SF 24D is suitable for Leica M and Leica R cameras, and the LEICA DIGILUX 2. The titanium colour version of the LEICA SF 24D matches the LEICA CM. Both are available from Leica stockists.