Just as the Digital Bolex is put to bed, Leica announced a new concept camera that's not too far removed. It may be in the land of dreams, but they certainly mean business when it comes down to the future of cameras. Leica's new cinema camera concept debuted at Photokina, and has proved an interesting foray into digital cinema. Although not their first entry into the market by any means, it's certainly eye-catching and hopes to inspire ideas surrounding what consumers want from a camera.
The concept consists of slapping a sensor between the L-Mount and an SL Viewfinder, propping it up on a handle and attaching a smartphone to the top. An eclectic mix, sure, but a tad familiar idea nonetheless.
They don't seem to be defining this camera any time soon either, telling Cinema5D that the sensor could possibly become that of a Lytro camera, but then telling NewsShooter that smartphone tech could coordinate with the sensor. It's as if Leica threw an improv actor in front of a bizarre camera, and asked them to talk to journalists.
One thing is clear though. This is not a camera, and it's not even a concept. It's so ambiguous that Leica are suggesting using the camera to test shots, before bringing in a proper, higher quality camera. I'm not sure I can see the market for cameras that aren't cameras, but pretending to be a camera. It's like a self-esteem issue — usually BMW announce their concept cars by telling us they'll be the most efficient in the world.
However is this just a half-baked concept? I'm not sure that's the point. Maybe it's the ideas of what it could be, that Leica wants to hear. Do we think it should house a built in gimbal? What should it record onto? Should the smartphone on top have any real purpose?
In a way, it's an interesting way of collecting customer feedback. They're saying that the Digital Bolex was too classic for the modern world, and they want to lead it's spirit into the future.