Nikon mirrorless cameras im Stock and new reviews roundup!

Unlike many other manufacturers that would let you wait months before to get the new camera or lens (I am talking to you Panasonic) Nikon has the new cameras already in Stock!
The Nikon V1 can be ordered at .
The Nikon J1 can be ordered at .

I am already seeing many Nikon 1 commercials in European TV’s and newspaper. It’s all well coordinated and I am wondering if that massive commercial orchestra will bring some results. Meanwhile many websites are posting Nikon tests: Dpreview posted the V1 and J1 Hands-on Preview. Focus Numerique posted a Nikon 1 V1 test. And ePhotozine have been invited at a Nikon 1 Series China Factory Tour.

Nikon is pushing hard. Will they succeed with the new system?

Surprise!!! Blackstone Buys a 44% Share of Leica Camera!!!

Damn what a news! Read the press release we found at

Leica Camera gains strategic investor in Blackstone

ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH will remain the majority shareholder

London, Solms: The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) and ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH today announced they have agreed a strategic partnership whereby investment funds advised by Blackstone will acquire, indirectly through a holding company, a 44% minority stake in Leica Camera AG (“Leica”), to support Leica’s international growth plans. ACM and Blackstone have agreed that the value of the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q4/2011.

Headquartered in Solms, Germany, with 1,150 employees, Leica has a long tradition of manufacturing premium-segment cameras and sport optics products. Over the past sixty years, Leica has grown to become a leading German brand and is seen as the epitome of German engineering excellence and an ambassador of the “Made in Germany” quality seal. Leica has become synonymous with the best tools of the trade, blending hand-crafted quality with a dedication to precision mechanics and producing the best optics the industry has to offer.

Building from this highly successful market position, Leica now endeavours to expand the business into new markets. Blackstone is seen as the right partner to support Leica management to achieve these goals in light of its global footprint, in particular with significant operations in Asia, and its development capital and strategic expertise.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica commented on the transaction: “With Blackstone we have gained an experienced and internationally established strategic partner, which also understands and appreciates the established brand philosophy and business model of Leica. Following the successful turnaround of the business and record sales last year, we are now focused on the continued development of the brand, its products and our growth plans into new markets such as Asia, South America and the Middle East. ACM has no plans to sell more shares in Leica Camera AG. Our long term strategy is to accompany Leica Camera in its continued expansion worldwide.”

Axel Herberg, Blackstone Senior Managing Director, said: “Leica is deeply rooted in Germany’s history and we would like to help grow the business in a manner that is true to this heritage, ensuring that the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Leica unique is preserved. We are very excited about supporting Leica to secure long-term commercial relationships, specifically in emerging markets, and help strengthen the company’s operational and retailing capabilities globally.”

Leica Camera AG concluded the 2010/2011 financial year with record sales of € 248.8m. The Hessen-based traditional manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products increased turnover by 57.2 % compared to the previous year (€ 158.2 m). The operating result (EBIT) increased almost six fold: it rose from € 7.4 m in 2009/2010 to € 41.6m. The consolidated surplus also took a positive turn: at € 36.3 m it is more than eleven times the previous year’s figure (€ 3.2m). The sales increase is attributed above all to the strong demand for the two camera systems, Leica M and Leica S.


What a news! Who are these guys? This is the Blackstone website:

Nikon apologizes for facebook statement (and says Megapixel race is dead!)

You might remember Nikon’s statement on Facebook last week: “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures!”. Nikon recognized the mistake and said that “We know some of you took offense to the last post, and we apologize, as it was not our aim to insult any of our friends. Our statement was meant to be interpreted that the right equipment can help you capture amazing images. “e appreciate the passion you have for photography and your gear, and know that a great picture is possible anytime and anywhere.

What’s more important is the ePhotozine interview with Nikon (Click here): “Nikon believe that the megapixel race ended years ago with the Nikon D3s. Its not a megapixel race anymore but instead a development of quality and the 10mp sensor in the Nikon 1 series has been specially selected to enable high speed.

P.S.: Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Preview Samples at Dpreview.

Mirrorless news roundup…

Luminous Landscape (Click here) wrote an interesting Ricoh GXR A12 Field Report: “The Ricoh GXR-M is a very appealing camera for anyone who owns Leica M mount lenses, or who would like to. At 1/7th the price of an M9, and with its very good build quality and wide ranging features, it’s a relative bargain. A Live View LCD and an optional EVF give the GXR-M capabilities that many users, even those that may currently own an M9, will find very attractive. Certainly it can serve as an ideal back-up body for an M9 owner.

Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless Compact Camera Review at ePhotozine (Click here): “The price of the V1 seems expensive compared to other mirrorless cameras and the consumer orientated features (lack of AEB, Manual controls on the mode dial, etc) could be a disappointment to some. If you can live without the EVF, and don’t mind a smaller buffer then the J1 appears to be much better value for money, although with a shorter buffer for continuous shooting“.

Nikon V1 Photos (Photographyblog).

Nikon J1 review: TechRadar labs data (Techradar).

Nikon V1 review: TechRadar labs data (Techradar).

Nikon V1 comparison shots added to dpreview database.

Samsung lens roadmap

Photorumors found that screenshot showing the Samsung NX lens roadmap for 2012! Two lenses will be announced within the first 6 months of 2012 and the other three by end of the year.

12-24mm f/4 ED iFn VCM (Voice Coil Motor)
24mm f/1.8 ED SSA iFn
55mm f/1.8 iFn pancake
80-400mm f/4-5.6 OIS SSA iFn
135mm f/2.0 OIS SSA iFn

Sounds Like a very intriguing roadmap. The 24mm and 55mm lenses are definitely on top of my wish-list!


Kodak said to Weigh Bankruptcy! What will happen with Leica?

Image on top: The Leica M9 uses a 18 Megapixel Kodak sensor.

According to Bloomberg Kodak is “weighing options including a bankruptcy filing because of concerns raised by possible buyers of its patent portfolio, said three people with direct knowledge of the process.

If you read the full article you get (a pretty scaring) idea of what is going on with Kodak. If Kodak quits the digital camera business (and sensor business) than many medium format manufacturers and of course Leica will have to look for new sensor partners.

Months ago there were soem rumors saying that Leica is ready to use Sony sensors for their future mirrorless cameras. But who will make the sensor for the S-system? That’s another big question that needs to be answered if Kodak quits the sesnor business.

Confirmed. The new Fuji system is a “premium” system and not Micro Four Thirds.

It is certainly nto a surprise anymore but at leats now it is official. Fuji’s new interchangeable system will not become part of the Micro Four Thirds system This will be “premium” cameras! That is what the Fujiguys tweeted today (Click here / found via Noisycamera).

My guess is that the sensor is larger than APS-C but not as large as Fullframe sensors. But that’s just a guess for now…