Leica, the German manufacturer of iconic cameras and optics, has announced a partnership with Amazon India. The German company started direct distribution of its camera gear in India last year and starting midnight, photography enthusiasts will also be able to buy Leica cameras from Amazon.in and get the delivery next day using their Prime subscription.
Leica has been one of the leading brands in the world of photography. It started its journey by building microscopes before pivoting to high-end and highly recognized cameras. It built the first 35mm full frame compact rangefinder camera in 1914, more than a century ago. While it makes cameras with great precision, it is most often recognized for the optics that it designs at its manufacturing unit in Germany.
As part of the announcement, Amazon India will sell Leica cameras, binoculars and accessories through its e-commerce platform. Leica is synonymous with the world of high-end photography equipment like Rolls Royce is for high-end luxury cars. While Leica is widely known among photographers and photography enthusiasts, it has been difficult to procure them in the past. With the Amazon.in partnership, Leica wants to remove the friction and is making it easier for anyone to purchase their world renowned cameras with few taps on your smartphone.
Amazon India says starting midnight, it will be home to a total of 45 products from Leica. This will include three different colors of Leica Sofort instant camera, Leica D-Lux and Leica V-Lux cameras while rest of the products will be binoculars and accessories. The Indian entity of Seattle-based e-commerce giant is taking a calculated approach since Leica cameras are expensive and there is a need for education about their superiority. The company says it will add other Leica cameras including the M-type, Leica Q and Leica SL depending on initial feedback.
“The photography industry is booming in India and we are committed to creating and building a community around the brand by connecting with our target customers,” said Sunil Kaul, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Leica Camera. He added,” This partnership with Amazon India is a great opportunity for us to create a strong online presence and engage with our customers effectively across the country.”
“Leica Camera is iconic in the world of photography with enthusiasts cherishing their hand-crafted masterpieces. We are delighted to be the partner of choice for Leica Camera in India and are excited to offer their products exclusively on Amazon.in,” commented Nadeem Karbhari, Category Leader – Consumer Electronics, Amazon India.
Leica is most widely remembered for some of the iconic pictures that have adorned the billboards and covers of leading newspapers and magazines. It is the camera that was used to shoot the iconic picture of Napalm girl in 1972 and the Situation Room when former President Barack Obama was coordinating the capture of Osama Bin Laden in 2011. Leica says it is the only brand whose products are allowed inside the government buildings in the United States.
Here is what Amazon India plans to offer at start:
1. Leica Sofort: While Leica cameras are known for serious photography, the Sofort divulges from that notion to act as a fun camera. It is an instax camera that is being spearheaded by Fujifilm and offers the build and design that Leica is known for. The Sofort is for those moments when you want to click a picture and want to available immediately in the form of a film. The Sofort comes in the choice of white, orange and mint colors and is ideal for shooting pictures in bright light. It also comes with a variety of modes like Automatic, Party, People, Sport, Action, Macro and other creative programs for multiple and time exposures. Since selfie has become such a big thing, the Sofort also comes with a mirror to view yourself while shooting self-portraits. It supports instax format cartridge and can click 10 pictures in one go. The biggest advantage of Sofort is the immediate film of the picture you just clicked and it will retail for Rs 25,000.
2. Leica D-Lux: The D-Lux is Leica’s arsenal meant for those wanting a compact shooter than can also do decent zoom. The D-Lux uses a four thirds sensor with Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34mm ASPH zoom lens with f-stop ranging from f/1.7 to f/2.8. It has a practical zoom range o 24mm to 75mm in 35mm format, which makes it ideal for clicking portraits, landscapes, architecture and even macro shots.
The camera also comes with modern features like ability to connect with a smartphone via WiFi and shoot 4K videos. It has a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600 and D-Lux users can compose their shots via the the 3-inch LCD monitor screen or the integrated electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2.8-megapixels.
3. Leica V-Lux: The V-Lux is the zoom camera in Leica’s portfolio with a zoom range of 25 to 400 mm equivalent in a 35mm format. It comes with Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 9.1-146 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH super zoom lens and can be used for shooting scenarios such as wide-angle, wide-angle, telephoto to macro close-ups. With V-Lux, Leica is offering ability to shoot up to 12 frames per second at full resolution and record 4K videos.
During my brief time with these cameras, I can ascertain that the pictures look nothing less than extraordinary. The color grading that Leica follows is markedly superior than most other brands and it does achieve all of that via optics and not software. As you would have noticed, Leica is not talking megapixel count here because it doesn’t want to be in the megapixel race. The company says it is investing in optics and sensors to achieve best pictures rather than competing with its peers by packing a sensor with high megapixel count.
Leica wants to not just sell its cameras in India but also educate its potential buyers about the legacy. The company along with Amazon India will participate in the e-retailers’ new initiative called Shutterbug, which will be a custom program for photography enthusiasts. The program will be a gateway for all photographers to come under one umbrella and hone their skills in the field of photography. Amazon India will also open a microsite for professional cameras in order to help professional photographers shoot their next gear wisely.
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it,” said American photographer Ansel Adams. Leica says you don’t make an ordinary photograph with its camera, instead every photograph is a memory worth making.