We’ve long associated Leica cameras with a very specific styling – one that’s fitting of its high-end stature among enthusiasts. Surprisingly, they’ve abandoned that styling for their newest product, the Leica Sofort, which, we guess, is fitting, since it also abandons the company’s usual stomping grounds when it comes to technology and price. Simply put, this is a very different Leica camera.
No, they didn’t quite get into the budget point-and-shoot game. Instead, this is the red dot outfit’s version of a modern Polaroid, not unlike Lomography’s instant cameras. Except, of course, it’s a Leica, so there’s a bit more luxury edge to your instant print gear.
The Leica Sofort has a squarish body that looks more adorable than intimidating, which should go well with the novelty of instant prints. It comes with an optical viewfinder like all the cameras of old and uses Fuji’s Instax film for the prints, although it does come with modern elements that should help keep your instant photography endeavors less of a hit-or-miss affair.
There are eight shooting modes, including selfie, sport, and party, each of which automatically adjusts the focusing distance, flash, and exposure compensation to optimal settings, so you need not bother experimenting (there is a manual mode, though, for more experienced lensmen). You can flip through the modes through buttons on the back, with the current settings easily verifiable from the vertically-oriented monochrome display.
At $300, the Leica Sofort might very well be the most affordable camera from the brand. It is, however, a pretty steep price for an instant camera, which isn’t surprising since this is still a Leica, after all.