All-star team up! Leica and Panasonic to release joint camera in 2023

L² Technology
(Image credit: Panasonic • Leica)

Leica and Panasonic will release a jointly developed mirrorless camera next year, according to a statement made by Panasonic. 

This will be the first fruit born of the L² Technology partnership ("Leica x Lumix") between the two companies, which was announced in May. However, while many expected this to be a continuation of the technology sharing that the brands currently enjoy, the statement from Panasonic makes clear that they are joining forces to produce an entirely new camera. 

"We are planning to release a mirrorless machine jointly developed with Leica Camera, which we formed a comprehensive partnership with at the end of May, in about a year," the manufacturer told Nikkei (thanks, Digital Camera Info).

This sounds like a distinct step away from the traditional camera strategy between the two companies, which has historically seen Leica releasing Panasonic bodies under its own branding (such as the Leica D-Lux 7, which is essentially a Panasonic LX100 II, and the Leica SL2, which is effectively a Panasonic S1R). 

So, what could this new camera look like from a technological point of view? What would make it different from a standard Panasonic camera, or a standard Leica camera? What sensor size will it employ? What mount will it use? 

Well, we can be sure of at least one of these things. The new camera will almost certainly feature the L-Mount, given that it is a joint product of two founding members of the L-Mount Alliance. In turn, it would also stand to reason that it would feature a full frame image sensor. 

In terms of how it would differ from each brand's individual cameras, that's hard to say. Panasonic cameras are typically defined by video-first capabilities, ergonomic yet oversized bodies, and an aversion to phase-detect autofocus technology. Leica's (mirrorless) cameras tend to embody sleek design, premium pricing and… well, the same specs and innards as Panasonic cameras. 

So what does a hybrid of these systems look like? Perhaps a more slick-looking camera, with more of a balance between stills and video performance, and greater focus on the art of imaging. Just please, please have phase detect AF. Please.

Read more: 

Best Leica cameras
Best Panasonic cameras
Best L-Mount lenses

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.