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Smart- & High End Photography

Dear PHOTOPIA Family,


The new year is still young, and yet there are already a few highly noteworthy developments. The first, major and important camera innovation in 2022 is undoubtedly the Leica M11. The fifth generation of digital rangefinder cameras from Wetzlar is certainly remarkable for many reasons.


However, only a few people will focus on the fact that this premium camera - the favourite of traditionalists among photographers - is a certified Made for iPhone and iPad product. "Made for iPhone" means that the camera - as defined by Apple - has been designed as an electronic accessory specifically to connect to the iPhone and has been certified by Leica to meet Apple performance standards. Fifteen years after the introduction of the first iPhone, Leica is thus bowing to the standards set by Apple, which represents an unparalleled paradigm shift. And yet Leica - just like the premium brands Zeiss and Hasselblad - has long been involved in smart photography.

In January, cooperation partner Huawei presented its P50 series with a dual-matrix quad camera "Made by Leica", OnePlus the 10 Pro, whose camera is equipped with the second generation "Hasselblad Pro Mode". The Sony Xperia PRO-I, where the 'I' stands for Imaging, has been available since December, as the smartphone offers a 1.0? image sensor with a 24-mm Tessar lens from ZEISS.

Xiaomi counters this with its new Redmi Note 11 smartphones, whose camera system with 108MP main sensors incidentally comes from Samsung. The possibilities of computational photography are at least as decisive for the image quality of the smartphones as sensors and lenses as physical components. The fact that the transfer of knowledge through cooperation with smartphone manufacturers works in both directions at Leica is demonstrated by the Triple Resolution function of the M11, which uses Dual Pixel Gain technology to read out all 60 million pixels of its sensor with less resolution, but with more dynamic range and optimised noise behaviour. A "trick" familiar from smartphones. The fact that sensor technologies are no longer being developed for photo cameras but first and foremost for smartphones is currently demonstrated by the 2-layer transistor pixel technology that Sony presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco in mid-December and which extends the dynamic range and reduces noise by roughly doubling the signal saturation value. At some point, this technology will probably also be available in photo cameras ...

So what belongs together is growing closer and closer together, namely the world of smart photography and the world of high-end photography. A claim, by the way, that PHOTOPIA Hamburg has been pursuing from the very beginning!

Yours sincerly
Christian Popkes