Tag Archives: camera

Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia on the Culture of Photography

The Leica M is a core staple at Leica Singapore and the market it serves, straddling the spectrum of amateur and professional photographers

The Leica M is a core staple at Leica Singapore and the market it serves, straddling the spectrum of amateur and professional photographers

The culture of photography has been rapidly changing; the advent of social media has led to one of the major changes in photography for personal documentation (instead of printing, they mostly go onto instagram and facebook now) and appreciation (instead of albums, we are browsing online). Hours before the Leica Singapore Galerie officially opened at the neoclassical Fullerton Hotel, itself descended from historical Singapore’s General Post Office in 2001,  Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia talks to LUXUO about Leica Singapore and the Culture of Photography.

Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia on Leica Strategy and the Culture of Photography

Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia talking about the culture of photography before the opening of the new Leica Singapore Gallerie at the Fullerton Hotel

Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia talking about the culture of photography before the opening of the new Leica Singapore Gallerie at the Fullerton Hotel

Founded on a tradition of engineering excellence in the construction of lenses and optical devices, Leica has never lost sight of the importance of preserving the culture of photography.

Jonathan Ho for Luxuo: As part of your global sales and retail strategy, is Leica technology (lenses, software) going to be found in as many smartphones as possible or do you only stick with a few partners (e.g. Huawei)?

Jane Cui, President of Leica Cameras Asia: For now it’s only going to be with Huawei. From Leica’s perspective, we have a lot of intellectual property in terms of optical technology, we are continually evaluating how we extend new lens, optical technology and camera modules into other products and brands.

Opening the Leica Singapore Galerie Fullerton is 'Memories of Istanbul', a collection from Magnum photographer and Leica Hall of Fame award recipient, Ara Guler.

Opening the Leica Singapore Galerie Fullerton is ‘Memories of Istanbul’, a collection from Magnum photographer and Leica Hall of Fame award recipient, Ara Guler.

I often encounter Leica partnerships with watchmakers like Vacheron Constantin, is this an example of your “effective partner network” and what are some of the criteria for being a partner with Leica?

In general, there’s a lot of cross-branding already happening in the business world, historically Leica always had some element of this. We’ve had an Hermes edition and a Paul Smith X2. Whether it’s a watch or fashion brand, we’re looking for a reputation for good craftsmanship and heritage. Are they a leading authority in their area of expertise? These are some of the key criteria we look for.

Let’s touch on heritage for a moment, there is an increasing amount of investigative journalism that has uncovered instances where some brands have “betrayed” their heritage by seeking greater profit margins via outsourcing, does this mean Leica have to do deeper research on potential partners?

From a Leica perspective of heritage, we still build all our products in Germany and we’re continually expanding our production facilities. Brands we choose to work with are usually still dominantly produced in the countries of their heritage, Hermes is still made in a French workshop in-house and it’s a skill passed down. Technology has been added to the manufacturing process for efficiency but the core of tradition is still there. Leica already has a few key partners, we currently don’t plan to work with LVMH but we still use the same criteria to measure any partnership we choose to go into.

A skeleton view of the Leica M3

A skeleton view of the Leica M3

An increasing number of interesting photography blog posts involve how a DSLR died and the photographer had to depend on a smartphone, is this a symbol that dedicated cameras are likely to disappear much like how iPods have almost been replaced by the iPhone?

In the music world, vinyl is making a comeback. I come from an IT background and have witnessed an acceleration of technology and the digitisation of our lives. We are at the point where people realise there’s so much that can be done electronically and there are things which just can’t be replaced. People are looking for that “true” element which the mp3 cannot replace in vinyl media. The same likewise for photography. As a smartphone user, I had once believed that a smartphone might realistically replace a camera someday but the key issue here is one of physics. A smartphone has a limited amount of space and it would never be able to have the same image sensor as a dedicated camera might have. Even from the lenses, physics dictates that you need a certain size to capture lighting, a smartphone will never be able to have a big lens. A lot of what a smartphone is able to do today does not come from true optical engineering but post-processing software. What you take is not what you see in an iPhone. In a Leica camera, there’s very little post-processing, what you capture is what you see. I don’t believe the camera will go away, the market may become more selective and the cameras which are not too distinct from the smartphones like your entry level point and shoots, those are the ones which will disappear.

Even with the majority of images being used for social media, do we need such powerful optics? Not many people are printing photos anymore?

That’s not true, there’s a growing number of photography enthusiasts returning to print formats. Demand for film is coming back too. Furthermore, in the interior design community, more and more people want wallpaper prints of their personal images – that industry is booming, a smartphone shot can never be used for that sort of project.

The unibody Leica TL is considered to be trendy and fashionable, aimed at catering to the design oriented market.

The unibody Leica TL is considered to be trendy and fashionable, aimed at catering to the design oriented market.

With S, SL, M, Q, TL, X, D-Lux, V-lux and C lines, is Leica spreading itself thin? Surely there are some cross-segments in consumer needs/demands and it seems contrary to traditional business strategy to run specific product lines to address specific needs?

We continually evaluate our product lines and the various segments we are targeting. The M series is our heart and soul product for both amateurs and professionals whether it’s the optics or the mechanics. The Q product range is often used as a companion device for people who already have the M, there’s a lot of flexibility in capturing the moment without prior configuration. The point and shoot categories are the ones we monitor constantly to determine if they’re fitting the needs of target groups. The smooth, unibody TL was designed for the fashionable and trendy.

Many digital cameras shoot video now, it’s a feature curiously missing on the Leica M, was it a strategic choice or simply oversight?

With the ubiquity of smartphones, I feel that there is no lack of availability for devices which can capture video. That said, there are very few companies which deliberately remove a feature. Product managers tend to be relatively lazy, it’s easy to layer features upon features in a product, it’s very difficult to remove features and claim that’s new. Only one other company is brave enough to do this, and it’s Apple. The iPod was not the first mp3 player but it was the first to insist that it had to be operated from a central wheel, a product company which is willing to remove features and launch it is extremely brave. You have to be able to have that courage to understand what is your product and stay true to it, to me Leica is one of those rare product companies. The video feature is not something used by our true M users, they’re looking for that vintage raw feeling.

Arguably Turkey's most eminent photographer, Ara Guler impressively portrayed life in Istanbul, city of his home and birthplace for over 60 years; now on display at Leica Singapore Galerie at The Fullerton Hotel

Arguably Turkey’s most eminent photographer, Ara Guler impressively portrayed life in Istanbul, city of his home and birthplace for over 60 years; now on display at Leica Singapore Galerie at The Fullerton Hotel


What product lines will eventually form the core of Leica’s business?

We have to stay true to our fans and heritage. The M product line is the heart and soul. We are focused on growing the professional lines, as this segment is already dominated by other brands thus the challenge is breaking into it. Finally, there is going to be outreach to new users and younger generation. Surprisingly, this region has a greater number of youths interested in a Leica.

Whether as a point of differentiation or a genuine interest, I’ve noticed more photographers are using film again, does this mean that Leica will be expanding its film based cameras?

We continue to have our film cameras. Analogue products exist not so much because they’re trendy but because like vinyl, photographers are looking for the warmth of film. There are certain things that a digital camera cannot replace, there’s an authenticity of film. It’s also a lifestyle, life is pretty faced already, using an analogue camera slows it down, you actually to return to the process of thinking – creation, framing and then the last action is that button press. The creation process is vastly different from a digital camera where you greater flexibility with your shots and then just delete what you don’t want.

Exhibited at Leica Singapore Galerie, Ara Guler is well known for his work covering political affairs, politicians and artists like Dali, Chagall, Hitchcock, Churchill, Picasso and Gandhi.

Exhibited at Leica Singapore Galerie, Ara Guler is well known for his work covering political affairs, politicians and artists like Dali, Chagall, Hitchcock, Churchill, Picasso and Gandhi.

Does this imply that the analogue line will see very few improvements because you want to keep that “feel”?

Technology improvements are not in conflict, we will always apply what we believe is the best to the analogue line. That said, it’s true that there are fewer avenues for improvement as opposed to an electronic camera. There’s always new ways of improving on a product depending on the research.

Automated robot vacuum cleaners used to cost north of $500 and now they cost slightly more than a $100 due to Chinese clones, now that you’ve entered China with your own subsidiary, is there a concern on leaks of intellectual property?

I have to be politically correct and coming from Microsoft, I have to say that every company with intellectual property (IP) struggles in China. The Chinese government has begun to enforce stronger IP protection and that’s because Chinese companies have started creating IP for themselves and they need laws to protect their own intellectual property for it to be exportable globally. China eventually be on par with the rest of the world in terms of intellectual property protection when they see GDP improvement from IP rather than just manufacturing. I don’t know when that’s going to be but until then, there’s always going to be an element of risk for us. Unlike misuse of our branding and logo, our camera technology is quite protected because we are made in Germany and the barrier to entry is quite high. You must have the know-how and you can’t just go into a factory to curve out special glass lenses, assemble it and call it a Leica. From an optical engineering perspective, that is not something that can be copied in China.

Leica Singapore Galeria at The Fullerton Hotel

Leica Singapore Galeria at The Fullerton Hotel

Leica Singapore unveiled the all-new Leica Galerie at the heritage location of Fullerton Hotel, reinforcing the importance in tradition, passion and culture of photography. The Leica Singapore gallery joins Leica’s international presence of Leica Galeries from Milan, Los Angeles, Prague, to Kyoto, Sao Paulo, Istanbul and more.

The new Leica Singapore Galerie Fullerton is a 850 square feet tribute to the culture and journey of photography. It is a showcase of Leica pictorial culture with a curated selection of historical and collectable Leica cameras from the Silver Jubilee Edition and the M3 Betriebsk Chrome.

Leica Singapore Galerie Fullerton opens with “Memories of Istanbul”, a collection from Magnum photographer and Leica Hall of Fame recipient, Ara Guler.

Michael Kors x Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

Michael Kors x Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

Michael Kors is collaborating with Fujifilm to launch the special edition Michael Kors x Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 camera.

The film camera is sleekly designed and wrapped in gold metallic colors, expressing Michael Kors’s signature jet-set style. The man does love gold! Beyond aesthetic appeal, the camera also features a high-performance flash that automatically calculates surrounding brightness and adjusts shutter speeds accordingly. A special selfie mode is also included with a built-in mirror, to capture the best angle of yourself.

“Using instant photography has always been such an integral part of my creative process, whether it’s snapping photos of looks in preparation for the shows or taking behind-the-scenes shots,” said the fashion designer.

The inspiration behind the collaborations is Kors’s Scout leather handbag collection, which is inspired by vintage camera bags. The camera will be unveiled on September 21, 2016 and available throughout the Holiday 2016 season.

Specs wise, the Michael Kors x Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 camera appears to be standard Instax fare. It is all in the look here folks.



ALPA Anniversary Edition Set: Capturing Milestones

For those who love old school analog cameras, the ALPA certainly tops the list of finely crafted photographic equipment from the 1940s. Seventy years after it was founded and 20 years after it was bought over by Ursula Capaul and Thomas Weber, the company has introduced the ALPA Anniversary Edition Set.

In a limited production of 20 sets, the anniversary edition commemorates the ALPA 12 SWA that was the brand’s first medium format camera. Boasting rosewood grips, the camera comes with several special edition extras that would fulfil camera collectors’ dreams. Along with the rosewood grip, the set will include a Rodenstock/ALPA HR Alpagon 5.6/70 mm lens with lens hood, ALPA/Linhof 6×9 roll film back, ALPA viewfinder, light meter and a roll of Fujifilm Acros 100 film.ALPA Anniversary Edition Set

While it is dedicated to film, ALPA is not committed to anachronism. As such, the Anniversary Edition also features a modern update, with the ability to use digital attachments that can help those who want a proper contemporary tool. To complete the set, those who purchase the ALPA Anniversary Edition Set will also be given a personal ALPA Anniversary Edition Set Certificate.

GoPro VR Camera Rig Omni

GoPro VR Camera Rig Omni Debuts

American tech company GoPro has announced a release date for its highly-anticipated 360-degree virtual reality capture Omni.

The six GoPro camera rig was initially announced in early 2016, but the company has now revealed further details regarding its end-to-end workflow and retail price.

The camera rig, designed to hold six GoPro HD Hero 4 Black cameras, can be used for capturing seamless 360-degree footage, for virtual reality (VR) or on-screen playback, with the company to start shipping preorder units on August 17.

Priced at $5,000 the full package includes six Hero 4 Black cameras, the cube-shaped metal housing, and all the hardware and software that is necessary to film and stitch the 360-degree footage that Omni captures. A prorated version of the package without the cameras is also available for $1,500.

DJI Inspire I Pro: Director’s Drone

Filmmakers are always looking for the next great piece of technology to help out in the directorial or shooting process. When Steadicam came out, genius directors like Stanley Kubrick would push the shooting capability of the device to its artistic limits. Now, shooting by aerial drone may be the next interesting technology to utilize. Beyond just cheap drones though, the DJI Inspire I Pro was made specially to allow directors to utilize the best of their abilities.

You can check out more on this gadget over at Mens Folio site.

Huawei Reaches to Leica for Flagship Phone

The Chinese company Huawei has announced a partnership with the respected camera company Leica for its next flagship phone in a bid to better its premium smartphone selection. At a time when Chinese firms are struggling against market dominators such as Apple and Samsung, this partnership is a milestone for Huawei.

“We are going to launch our P9 flagship phone very soon and this is a product that we worked with Leica to produce,” Huawei deputy chairman Guo Ping said at a press conference held at their Shenzhen headquarters. This was also parallel to an announcement that there was a jump in profits from their consumer division. Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has become one of the world’s top manufacturers of network equipment, operating in 170 countries and expanding rapidly into consumer electronics such as smartphones.


But the company remains mired in controversy with certain governments. US officials view Huawei as a security threat due to links to the Chinese government, while Australia barred them from bidding to build its national network due to warnings from security agencies. With this partnership, they hope to gain the prominence required to help win broader global consumer appeal.

The reveal of the Huawei P9 will take place on April 6 2016, where all the secrets the phone has to offer will finally be on full display.

Smarter Phone: Samsung Galaxy S7

Named the Samsung S7 4G+ and S7 edge 4G+, the new devices give us innovative and improved services. We had the chance to test out the new smart phone at Samsung’s consumer carnival, S7 Delights, last week and learnt more about what the Galaxy S7 series has to offer.

[UPDATE] If you were hoping to learn that there is a more luxurious option here, then you’re in luck. A UK based firm, Truly Exquisite, is currently taking pre-orders for those who would like a Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in precious metal finishes. Available in 24-carat gold, platinum, and 18-carat rose gold finishes, the smartphones will be presented in a wooden display box and will include a Samsung Gear VR as well as a Wireless Charging Pad. With a free worldwide shipping, dispatch is expected to be 21 days after the official release and priced at £1700 (SGD $3,343).

The Galaxy S7 4G+ measures in at 5.1 inches while its counterpart the Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ is slightly larger at 5.5 inches. Equiped with a Dual pixel camera that boasts an aperture of f1.7 and 1.4μm pixels, it produces images that are sharp even under low light conditions. The 3D curved glass and metal ensure durability along with a firm and comfortable grip. With an IP68 certification, the device is not waterproof but is water and dust resistant. This means that it is protected against the entry of solid foreign objects and water at up to 1.5 metres for a maximum of 30 minutes. While the specs of the device are impressive, we were more interested in the new features that were intoduced.Samsung S7 4G+ Black Onyx

Shopaholics will love one of the new features of Samsung Pay. Compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication), MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and barcode technology, you can leave those cards behind when you shop. Simply wave the S7 at the side of the payment device and you are good to go. This is proprietary technology, by the way, because only Samsung currently offers a solution that bridges NFC and MST. Better than online shopping, this is one we can’t wait to be rolled out to a larger market in future. Oh, did we mention the special connection the S7 has with the BMW i8?

The Samsung Pay feature with the Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+

The Samsung Pay feature with the Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+

By pairing the smartphone with the car, the consumer is able to control the air temperature, locks, engine amongst others with the click of a button (or in this case, a tap on the screen). We only hope that this feature can be introduced to other car models in future.

Another perk of owning the Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ and Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ is the first-ever Samsung Concierge, a service exclusive to those in Singapore. The suite of premium value added services, is the result of Samsung addressing the needs of its customers. For a flat one time fee of S$38, you can enjoy five different elements that would usually cost you a total of S$960.

We start with the New Yearly Phone, that allows you to enjoy an early upgrade fee waiver from your carrier from the 12th month onwards. For those without a contract, you can enjoy S$350 off your next Galaxy smartphone. With the concierge service, customers can also enjoy a one-time on-site personalized assistance and repair right at their doorstep within the first year of purchase.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ and Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ in Gold Platinium

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ and Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ in Gold Platinium

Under the exclusive service, there will also be a one-time 50% discount on any out-of-warranty repairs from cracked screens to liquid damages within the first year along with a 30-day one-to-one exchange promise due to any functional defects. The icing on the cake for those enjoying the concierge service, is the hassle-free data transfer when switching to a new Galaxy smartphone, using the Samsung Smart Switch.

While the Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ and Galaxy edge 4G+ is the only model to be included in the program, consumers can expect more Galaxy models to be included in future.The Galaxy S7 4G+ and S7 edge 4G+ will be available from March 12 in Black Onyx, Gold Platinum and Silver Titanium at all local telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics stores and authorised retailers and Samsung Experience Stores.Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Four-colours

The Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ will cost S$998 while the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ will cost S$1,098.


Final Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Our friends from the Men’s Folio Singapore team had a bright idea for looking at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – give the phone to non die-hard Samsung users for a fresh take. Below we present their final verdicts on the phone.

A Blackberry Classic user’s point of view

By Rachel Ang

Despite the cries of astonishment and undeserved horror whenever I whip out my Blackberry Classic to tap out a reply, I’ve stuck with the brand for the past four phones I’ve owned because I appreciate its focus on messaging, whether SMS, email, WhatsApp, or Blackberry Messenger. I’m not somebody who plays many games, so the fact that many applications aren’t available on the Blackberry platform doesn’t bother me. That being said, it was a pleasant surprise to see most of the common apps already installed on the Galaxy S6 Edge, even after rebooting it to factory settings. Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Drive are all there ready to go. For me, the only necessary app that needed to be downloaded specially was WhatsApp. Another reason I’ve remained using a Blackberry is its ability to multitask, especially between apps. I can easily minimize a browser window that is playing a YouTube video, and it will keep playing while I reply to any messages that come in. Although the Galaxy S6 Edge has a multi window feature, it unfortunately is not exactly user-friendly or intuitive. Perhaps, it takes a little getting used to. That being said, I do appreciate the touchscreen real estate on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, which is halved on my Blackberry Classic due to the physical keypad. I’m rather hard pressed to choose between being able to browse beautifully through feeds and banging out emails under the table without having to look and check for autocorrect blunders.

Final Verdict: The sleek form of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge certainly wins points for attractiveness. While its user interface has room for improvement, I can certainly see myself living with it quite comfortably.

Lifestyle Image_9

A Nokia Lumia 930 user’s point of view

By Patrick Chew

Here’s the thing, I like my phones to have a bit of weight to them. I need it to feel solid and sturdy so that when I place it in my pocket, I’ll know it’s there instead of feeling the urge to perform the ‘mobile phone dance’ every once in a while, you know, the one where you’d frantically pat down all your pockets the moment you don’t feel like your phone is on you. That’s why the 132g and 7mm thickness of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (a feat that Samsung’s engineers must have worked tirelessly to achieve) just doesn’t quite cut it for me. Having said that, I do appreciate its sleek design, held together by a metal frame with chamfered edges, a refreshing step away its predecessors’ heavy use of plastic. The mix of curved lines with right angles also gives it a very contemporary and expensive look and feel. My moment of satori came when I turned on the phone. The images and colors were incredibly sharp and more vibrant than anything my Lumia 930 has ever displayed, courtesy of a Quad HD (2560×1440) 557ppi display, which made it slightly underwhelming when I switched back to my Nokia’s 1920×1080 resolution. Additionally, the Google Play store presented a vast variety of apps, from immensely useful ones to the downright redundant, that the Windows Store sorely lacks. For years, I had convinced myself that Window Store’s embarrassing array of apps actually enabled third-party app developers to release their own versions of popular apps, but with added features. But I’ve found that there’s nothing like owning official versions of apps and taking comfort in its guaranteed quality and customer service.

Final Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge succeeded in persuading me to consider switching to an Android operating system. But whether or not I eventually opt for the S6 Edge is something that’s still up in the air.


An iPhone 6 user’s point of view

By Beatrice Bowers

My first reaction to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was typical of any staunch Apple fan – derision that slowly faded into indifference. But pulling my courage and spirit of adventure together, I set my iPhone 6 aside (sorry, my love) for a day, and gave the S6 Edge a shot. Its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen is significantly larger and has a higher resolution than the iPhone 6, so watching movies on it is particularly enjoyable, especially with the tasteful color settings that made visuals appear crisper. Also a plus, it processes most common video formats, allowing me to watch MKV versions of MasterChef on the bus without the hassle of converting them first. My inner narcissist also believes that the cameras is an important part of a phone and the S6 Edge’s 16-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, had me sold with the Beauty setting, which eradicated my blemishes and made me look like a K-pop star’s unsuccessful sister – a massive boost for my self-esteem since the front camera on the iPhone 6 tends to make my zits look more offensive than usual. When it comes to usability, and multitasking abilities, the S6 Edge left me confused. Being accustomed to the neat iOS interface without many opportunities for customization, its TouchWiz interface was overwhelming, partially due to my innate handicap from having used iPhones since its advent. It really took awhile to grow on me.

Final Verdict: If you’re one who enjoys making technology your slave instead of the other way around, and loves tinkering with interfaces, go for the Galaxy S6 Edge. Also, take lots of selfies. Your self-image will thank you.


Marriott + GoPro

Guests staying at select  will be able to share their experiences scuba diving in the Caribbean, summiting Machu Picchu, or jungle trekking with friends and family back home in a new program that will lend out complimentary GoPro cameras.

The program has been launched in 17 properties across the Caribbean and Latin America, destinations that also attract many an outdoor adventurer for the variety of adrenaline-pumping and scenic activities.

As part of the program, guests will be able to take GoPro’s latest Hero4 camera for a test drive. GoPro cameras are compact, lightweight devices designed to capture extreme-action video photography.



Guests who share their photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #GoPro, #travelbrilliantly and #viajegenial may see their content shared across Marriott International’s social media channels and in-room entertainment systems.

Visit the Marriott website to find out exactly which hotels are participating in the promotion.

camera drone

Are GoPro camera drones coming?

camera drone

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that GoPro is going to start making its own consumer drones.

Adrenaline junkies are already strapping action cameras to drones in order to capture even better footage of their extreme exploits and so it makes perfect sense that GoPro would want to cut out the middleman and offer a drone of its own, with its own camera technology built in.


The WSJ’s sources claim that the drones will be multi-colored and are expected to touch down in time for the 2015 holiday season.

Unlike the commercial drones that Amazon and Google are toying with, the same restrictive laws do not regulate consumer models.


This lack of restriction is why there is already a burgeoning market for consumer drones which French company Parrot and China-based DJI currently lead but don’t dominate.

GoPro’s drones are expected to go head-to-head with the best offering from both companies and will retail for between $500 and $1,000.

Sky Rider Drone

WATCH: Pininfarina-designed flying camera drone

Sky Rider Drone
The legendary Italian company, most famous for designing Ferraris, has turned its attention to drones with the Sky Rider.

As well as all of the things one would expect from a premium drone, excellent maneuverability, an integrated camera and GPS tracking, the Sky Rider sets itself apart thanks to its attention to detail.

 claims that the finished device has a unique visual identity and boasts a perfect aerodynamic shape that minimizes friction thanks to its elegant and pure lines.

Pininfarina collaborated on the project with fellow Italian company DeAgostini Publishing, famous for its part works series. And that’s how the drone will be sold, as a step-by-step, issue-by-issue, 55-installment home build.

The total cost of completing the drone could come to over €1500! For more information visit www.skyriderdrone.com.

Leica II Mod D Luxus

100 rare Leica models go up for auction

Leica II Mod D Luxus

On May 23, the Austrian auction house Westlicht will organize the sale of around 100 items from Leica’s history, including a telescope built by Karl Kellner in 1852, a Leica I Mod, a 250, a Luxus, a prototype of the M3 and several iconic photographic prints.

The auction will take place at the brand new Leitz Park complex in Wetzlar, Germany, on the site of the optical plant where Leica’s story began.

Some of the items going up on the auction block are expected to bring in €300,000 or more. Among the highest-valued cameras are a 1933 Leica II Mod. D Luxus (above), a 1942 250 GG and a 1957 Black Paint MP-99.

100 years of Leica

Several of the cameras are certified to have been used by renowned photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson, René Burri and Elliott Erwitt.

In November 2013, two Leica cameras — a 1930 Luxus I and a 1932 Luxus II — fetched a record $620,000 at auction.

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Leitz, the very first camera produced by .

leica T

Leica Launches Mirrorless T Camera System

leica T

The Leica-T is a premium mirrorless interchangeable lens camera milled from a single billet of aluminum. It is a minimalist design approach, developed in partnership with Audi, which requires maximum attention to detail.

Once cutting the unibody is complete, the camera has to be hand polished, something that takes at least 45 minutes. The end result is a camera that’s lightweight — just 95g — yet stronger and more rigid than devices built by gluing or fixing different layers and materials together.

As well as boasting a new precision manufacturing technique, the Leica T is also the first camera in the company’s 100-year history to come with a built-in wi-fi module to make image transfer simple and to boost the camera’s functionality via a dedicated smartphone and tablet app.

The app can turn a handset into remote view finder and shutter release system and will help to classify and examine captured images up close.

The camera’s back side features a very generous 3.7-inch high resolution touchscreen interface (a clip-on viewfinder is also available for old-school photographers), and when it is launched, it will be offered with two lenses.

In terms of specs, it has a 16-megapixel sensor, can shoot at a maximum five frames per second in continuous shooting mode and the ISO tops out at 12500. Oh, and it can record video in full HD.

So, by Leica standards a mid-range camera, albeit one in a premium shell, and one that will cost $1850 when it goes on sale on May 28.

That price doesn’t include either of the lenses available, each of which will add another $1750 to the price. However, for existing Leica owners, the company is also offering an adapter for $395 that will allow the camera to be used with existing Leica-M lenses.

As well as the bare aluminum model, the company will also be launching a Leica T produced the same way but with a black finish, in July.

Hello Kitty Playboy Leica Camera

Leica X Hello Kitty X Playboy Camera for Colette

Playboy and Hello Kitty are two of the most recognizable design icons of pop culture, and to mark their respective 60th and 40th birthdays the two brands have teamed up with photography brand Leica for a limited edition camera.

Hello Kitty Playboy Leica Camera

The C camera model has a black body and features a white graphic design of Hello Kitty wearing Playboy bunny ears and holding a camera.

The camera has a shutter speed of 250 to 1/4000 per second and an MOS primary color filter. It comes with a price tag of $1,264 and only ten of the models have been created.

The design is part of a range of Hello Kitty and Playboy collaborations for the luxury French concept store Colette. Other items in the unlikely range include socks, candy, bow tie, iPhone cases and mugs.

Hello Kitty Teams Up With Playboy

Olympus launches Harrods Art Edition PEN camera

Olympus PEN Art

Olympus has teamed up with urban artist Susie ‘Suzko’ Lowe, fashion photographer Jay McLaughlin and Harrods to offer a strictly limited number of handpainted special edition cameras.

Available exclusively through Harrods in London, each ‘Art Edition’ camera has been individually hand-painted by Susie ‘Suzko’ Lowe, and has its matching Vespa Motor scooter and crash helmet.

The final cherry on the cake is that it comes with a one-one-one photography lesson with renowned fashion and street photographer Jay McLaughlin who was brought in by Olympus to document the customization process (he has created a special perfect-bound catalogue detailing the transformation) and to help decide the camera’s specification and accessories.

As well as a unique, hand-painted body, each camera also comes with a second, stock camera body for everyday use and one of each compatible Olympus-made lens currently available.

Harrods and Olympus have not confirmed how many Art Editions will be created. The Art Edition goes on sale from Thursday, exclusively at Harrods for £16,000 (about US$25,000).

Olympus Vespa

instagram socialmatic camera

Polaroid, the next generation

Polaroid Socialmatic

A new Polaroid camera will be released next year that allows users to both instantly print photos and share them on Facebook and Twitter.

It supports wi-fi and Bluetooth and will be built around the Android operating system when it launches in early 2014, but, unlike a number of other Android cameras already out there, the Socialmatic has another trick up its sleeve. It can share photos just as easily in the real as well as the virtual world.

Thanks to a built-in Zink Printer, it can instantly print out a physical copy of anything it snaps — just like the Polaroid cameras of old.

The camera will cost $299 (€225) when it ships, but for that, you’ll get a 14-megapixel front facing lens and a 2-megapixel rear facing camera for the now-obligatory ‘selfie’ while inside it offers 4GB of storage plus further expansion via SD card.

The surprisingly slimline device also has a 4.3-inch color touch screen, integrated speakers (for video playback) and a number of standard photo filters that will be familiar to anyone who uses Instagram (the camera was originally conceived as the Instagram camera until Socialmatic went into partnership with Polaroid). What’s more, it will be able to physically print photos sent from other cameras.

Topping it all off is a small LCD panel on the camera’s front side which displays emoticons as a means of translating photography conditions into moods.

Socialmatic Instant Camera

1931 Leica camera sells for 528,000 euros

1931 Leica camera

A 1931 Leica camera has sold for 528,000 euros ($683,000) at an auction that included rare photos and the camera that snapped an iconic shot of an American sailor kissing a nurse the day World War II ended.

The rare Leica, which belonged to German winemaker Karl Henkell, fetched more than three and a half times the expected price at the Vienna sale held by auctioneers Westlicht on Saturday.

Other models by the famed German camera firm also fetched far higher prices than expected. A prototype Leica M3 estimated at 70,000 euros sold for 432,000, and a prototype Leica Reporter 250 estimated at 30,000 euros fetched 240,000.

The camera used by German-born American photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt to shoot his famous picture of a US sailor bending over and kissing a young nurse in New York’s Times Square during victory celebrations after Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 sold for 114,000 euros.

A signed print of the photo itself sold for 24,000 euros. A 1949 photo by American photographer Irving Penn of his wife, “Woman in Chicken Hat”, went for 66,000 euros.

sailor kissing nurse

leica m9 black

Apple design director to create Leica photo camera

leica m9 black

Leica and Apple, two of the most desired brands in the world of design, are getting together to produce yet another fascinating — and very expensive — product.

The German photography company is working with Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, on the design of a one-off version set to be auctioned for charity.
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Fujifilm Globe-Trotter suitcase

Fujifilm x Globe-Trotter X-Pro1 suitcase

Fujifilm Globe-Trotter suitcase

Fujifilm has teamed up with British luggage company, Globe-Trotter to release a limited-edition suitcase containing a complete Fujifilm FinePix X-Pro 1 system.

Exclusive to London’s world-famous Harrods, only 12 of the cases will be available – each costing a staggering £5,695 ($9,000).

The cases each contain a Fujifilm X-Pro1, the company’s one-and-a-half grand compact system camera, plus three lenses, flash and a filter.
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