Photokina day 1: The highlights

Okay, so today was the first day of photokina, so let’s see what there is to report on. Some exciting stuff from Leica, Fujifilm and Olympus was already announced yesterday, see my previous post.

Leica X1 in black

Today, another Leica goodie was presented: the long-rumored, all-black Leica X1! It’s got the same features as the standard model, the only differences being the all black body and a slightly more textured “vulcanite” leatherette covering. In this way, the X1 fits perfectly into Leica’s tradition of offering a silver-and-black next to an all-black version of each of their rangefinder camera models (– the X1 being the exception of course, as it isn’t a rangefinder).

The new all-black Leica X1. Picture courtesy of Leica Camera AG.

On another note from the mist of Leica announcements, David Farkas reports that a new firmware for the X1 is currently being worked on.

You’ve probably seen this picture already, as virtually everybody on the web is reporting on the new Leica M9 Titanium today. But as my post from yesterday didn’t contain a picture, here’s one:

The Leica M9 Titanium. Picture provided by

Doesn’t it look just breathtaking? As you see, it’s got no frameline illumination window, as the framelines will allegedly be illuminated by LEDs. How cool’s that?! Sadly, only 500 pieces will be made, and sold for about € 20k!

Sigma SD1

Now on to Sigma! There’s great news! (Oh, I know what you’re thinking now — what was it that happened last time Sigma announced something great? Oh yeah, right, it took them almost two years to finally get it done …) Sigma today presented the SD1, their new flagship DSLR, featuring a newly developed, APS-C sized Foveon X3 sensor, sporting a whopping 46 megapixels! Yes, you read that right! Of course, Sigma’s tradition with their Foveon sensors is to multiply all the pixels capturing each of the three colours (blue, red and green), which of course leads to a number three times as large as the pixel count in the resulting images. Still, this roughly translates to 15 “real” megapixels, which, considering the Foveon architecture’s ability to capture detail (each “final” pixel is built from three stacked photosites capturing each of the three base colours separately, so no de-mosaicing is needed as with classic Bayer-pattern sensors), promises an effective detail resolution close to the sensor’s effective pixel number. The only camera which could get close to the SD1’s output will be the Leica M9 (which has no anti-aliasing filter and thus captures more detail than classical CCD- or CMOS-based cameras, yet featrues a classical Bayer-pattern which records only one colour per pixel) — and medium format cameras of course.

The new Sigma SD1 Foveon DSLR. Picture provided by ePHOTOzine.

More details on the SD1 can be found at and at the new SD1 promotional website.

EDIT: In the BJoP report on the SD1, we find the following line: “Sigma says it is working on a full-frame version of the sensor, despite the three-layer design’s complexity.” Now isn’t that great news! I can only begin to fantasize about the possibilities …

Ricoh GXR A12 28mm module

From Ricoh, today we got the note that a new module for their GXR camera will be released — a 28mm-equivalent, f/2.5, 12 megapixel, CMOS sensor module called “A12”. This has also been rumored for some time, so it comes as no surprise. It’ll be a nice addition for GXR users, as it features a moderately fast wide-angle lens coupled with a large sensor that promises the same image quality as the current 50mm-equivalent A12 macro module.

More details on the 28mm A12 GXR module can be found at

Panasonic 3D lens for MFT

And, last but not least, Panasonic today officially announced their new Micro Four Thirds 3D lens, which projects two separate 3 megapixel pictures onto the sensor – one with each of the two integrated 12.5mm (65mm-equivalent) f/12 (!) lenses.

Panasonic's new 3D lens for Micro Four Thirds. Picture provided by

More information on the new Panasonic 3D lens can be found at the Amateur Photographer.

That’s it for today! More news tomorrow? Stay tuned! :-)

Sigma says it is working on a full-frame version of the sensor, despite the three-layer design’s complexity.

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