The press conference, which took place at 10 On The Park at Time Warner Center in New York City, was broadcast live around the globe. In addition to aficionados and dealers watching from personal computers, Leica and its top retail partners hosted invitation-only viewing parties, allowing brand enthusiasts to celebrate the exciting announcement together.
“We are not interested in making cameras with a machine that stamps out 100,000 units per month,” said Mr. Spiller. “We desire to create photographic tools - like an artist’s fine brush or a mason’s level. The value of a Leica product is tangible, the experience is personal. At Leica, we dedicate extra time and effort to design and craft these products not only because our audience anticipates the finest, but because they expect the extraordinary.
Joining Mr. Spiller on stage to introduce these new products was Director of Product Management Stefan Daniel. Mr. Daniel described the highlights of each camera in an overview segment of the press conference. The next installment in the 55-year-old M-series, the LEICA M9, will feature a full-frame 18 megapixel sensor and will be available to consumers in September 2009. A feat of engineering, the LEICA M9 will extend the legacy of the M-series through the digital era. The LEICA X1, a new system product for Leica’s camera division, will be a point-and-shoot camera that will closely resemble the beloved M-series, albeit in a more compact size. The LEICA X1 will have a fixed focal length of 35mm and will be available to consumers in January 2010. The LEICA S2, announced at the Photokina trade show in September 2008, is Leica’s professional medium format DSLR hybrid, incorporating a
sensor that is 56% larger than a full-frame 35mm DSLR. The S2 will be available to consumers in October 2009.
Participating in the announcement was international recording artist Seal, who serves as an official product tester for Leica - a task he takes very seriously. An avid Leica photographer, Seal uses his Leica M-series cameras both personally and professionally.