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There has been considerable advertising of the above in the national press recently, and the price has been reduced to £179.99. I have looked at the website and, despite the fact it is only 3Mp, it does have a Leica lens.
Any used this camera? Feedback would be welcome.
The camera you are referring to is the Panasonic DMC-LC50B with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens - it is stated to be manufactured using measurement instruments and a quality assurance system that have been certified by Leica Camera AG, based on its own quality standards.
It is most likely that the camera is a model rebadged by Panasonic and there is also a 4MP version. The price of £179.99 is only for online orders and the 4MP version is £229.99.
Details at click here and click here and click here
Slightly earlier version on test, also with Leica x 3 zoom lens:
that much I have found out already. I would be interested to hear from anyone who actually owns one.
Panasonic is a long established, highly respected Japanese company offering a variety of technology products.
Its parent company is Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, whose other famous brand names include National, Technics and Quasar.
Matsushita manufactures many of the components used in its technological products such as hi-fi separates in its own manufacturing plants.
You can be assured that the camera will be top notch - Leica Camera AG will not take the slightest risk with its reputation by allowing an inferior product to be fitted with a lens bearing its famous name.
In the past, I have owned both a Leica M4 and a Leicaflex SL (in the 1960s when I had a well-paid job), but redundancy forced me to sell both. However, from that experience, I know that a Leica lens will cost more than the price of both the 3 and 4 MP versions, so either the lens has been downgraded (which seems unlikely) or money has been saved on the build quality of the camera. There is a Leica version of the 3MP camera, which costs £598.00, so the math does not add up.
I would like to own a Leica lens again, so I would be interested to hear from an actual user.
I take your point, but don't forget that over the past five to 10 years the retail cost of computer systems and components, hi-fi, televisions, cars and other high technology products has gone down dramatically, despite inflation and many similar factors.
I paid more than £600 for my Nikon F401 body and Tamron 28-200mm automatic focus zoom lens in 1995 (including a discount) - today a similar or even superior combination would be about half that price.
Again, I paid £499.99 for my Toshiba 21in Nicam TV in 1990, by 1996 it was down to £379.99 and the equivalent today is less than £200. The 1990 set is still in constant every day use at my son's home.
I assume from the wording about the Leica lens for the Panasonic that it is built under licence to minimum standards laid down by Leica AG.
I have done considerable research on Leica products, and discussed them with a local Leica specialist. I can assure you that Leica have not gone down in price the same way that other products have. If anything, they have dramatically increased. I still receive Leica Newsletters because, once you own a Leica you are regarded as a lifetime customer, even if you no longer actually have one. The basic Leica rangefinder camera (body only-no lens) is in excess of £2,000. There are no lenses under £700. Zoom lenses are in the second mortgage area! This is because they are all hand made in Germany. You are talking Rolls Royce here, none of your production line stuff, and well beyond the means of most of us. Indeed, even if I did have that kind of money, I could not justify such a purchase.
When I sold my 3-year old M4 body in 1970, I actually got £800 for a camera that cost me £300 new, so you can see that they are in that limited category (like the Rolex watch) that increases in value over the years. I even sold my copies of Leica Fotographie (the magazine) for more than I paid for them!
It is clear that these lens are neither German made, nor manufactured to the same standards. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that Leitz had nothing to do with them other than, perhaps, to supply the drawings, but that they are totally Panasonic, made to a (probably outdated) Leitz formula.
You may well be right - pure quality doesn't come cheap and nor should it.
However, the Leica Digilux 1 is £670 at Jessops and the Contax TVS digital, with a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens, is the same price; the Leica D-Lux is £598 and the Digilux 2 £1,298.
The biggest problem with digital cameras is that apart from the long established manufacturers such as Nikon, Fuji, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Canon, Ricoh, Ashai etc there are many other big names jumping on the bandwagon.
Sony, Casio, Panasonic, HP etc are not photographic names that spring readily to the lips of long established film camera users....:-)
For obvious reasons they rebadge models under their own name, mainly from Taiwanese manufacturers and, it must be said, so do some of the big boys.
As I've said before it's a minefield but, personally, I rather stick with the names I know from way back when buying a digital camera than experiment with the new kids on the block.
If you look at one of my postings in click here you'll discover some Taiwanese manufacturers' models which are rebadged and by who.
If I remember rightly it was Yashika which took over the production of Contax bodies and lens quite a long time back.
I once had a Yashica twin lens reflex camera (superb lens) but you don't seem to see the brand name as much these days.
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