A new Leica camera costs $20,000 and has zero megapixels.

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Good, Watering cansit down, we need to talk for a minute. I know you are one of the iconic camera brands. I love my Leica M3 so much that I had a vasectomy so I wouldn’t have to give up my first child just to have one. And yes, some of the best street photography in the world – photos that changed the world in so many ways – Shot with Leica cameras. But at some point you have to take a breather and realize that you did everything you could.

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One such case was when you released the Leica MA Titan, a 250-unit limited edition camera that Leica announced this month. This is a gorgeous camera carved out of titanium with a gorgeous APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens. Titanium makes the camera strong and light, but the price tag — all 20,000 clams — weighs it down so much that it goes all the way from “yes, maybe” to “lolwut, okay, we need to arrange interventions.”

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Look at this photo at the top of this article. Fvoar. Tell me it’s not the prettiest camera you’ve ever seen (although it’s not all that different from Fujifilm X100Vwhich at least has the general courtesy of adding a screen and, you know, image sensor). MA Titan is an analog camera. Yes, analog. Yes, since you have to insert film into it, one that gives you 24 or 36 frames to shoot before you have to change film again. The kind that makes me think of hours spent sweating in a poorly ventilated dark room, inhaling the smell of fixative and other (possibly carcinogenic) chemicals.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Leica has driven a block of titanium into a mill and made special cameras – it’s the sixth limited edition the company has produced there. I suppose it must be nice to put up for sale a product so outrageously stupid that a tech journalist gets his panties with a camera pattern in a pile (Yes, I wear MeUndies underclangers which have cameras on them at this very moment), but I can’t help but wonder, by releasing such products to the world, Leica is even more inclined to alienate its avid rangefinder fans. They – we – are moving further and further away from the camera brand that was so relevant, and now it seems less and less.

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I understand this camera is not for photography lovers. Or at least not photography geeks like me. I suspect most of these cameras will end up being collectibles for people who once told their hedge fund manager boss that they were really into photography because they installed the Hipstamatic app on their iPhone, strategically timed right before bonus time. Or perhaps as wedding gifts. Or retirement gifts. Or . . . I don’t know, I can’t say that I received a gift of $20,000 for a hot minute, so I can’t even imagine the circumstances under which this happens.

Give me some grace here – as I scan my soul for why I’m so depressed, I realize I’m just mourning the way the strong fall. At least the venerable Hasselblad wouldn’t stoop so low as to lend its prestigious brand to something as frivolous as a phone camera, would it? Oh shit, I spoke too soon.

Okay, okay, I admit it. I’m just pissed off and sad that I’ll never get to play with this camera. However, I already have my M3. This is a peach. I love it. And if I took another Leica after winning three lotteries in a row, it would be 40 megapixel monochromewhich eschews the color matrix on the image sensor to create one of the most beautiful black and white cameras I’ve ever drooled over.

Listen, I understand. Camera brands are struggling. Leica only sells about 100,000 cameras a year and was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2005 or so, and today they have a market share of about 1% of the “real” cameras sold. They have to do whatever it takes to survive as more and more people ditch “real” cameras in favor of ever-improving smartphone cameras.

Sharply falling graph of sold cameras

If this is a chart of how things are in your industry, you will be forgiven for being desperate. Image credits: CC on Statistics. (original source)

It’s not that smartphones are much better than standalone cameras. This is not true. But with a good enough camera that gets better with every generation of smartphones and is always available in your pocket, why would you need to lug around another piece of steel and glass when you’re about to travel to the other side of the world? Mind you, I’m writing this 12,000 miles from where I usually live and only my Google Pixel 6 Pro keeps me photographic company, so I’m clearly in a deeply biased state here.

I just wish there wasn’t a new press release every 6 months that serves as a reminder of how fast the camera industry is going into oblivion.

This post was provided to you OldManYellsAtCloud.gif.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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