In the last couple of months, the words “price increase” have been thrown about like powder paint at Holi. Everything from petrol to energy to food has got more expensive. Sadly for photographers, cameras and lenses haven’t come off unscathed since several major brands, including OM Digital Solutions (formerly Olympus) have already put up their prices while Leica has announced there are more to follow.
Perhaps the one silver lining to this latest announcement is that the Leica price increases that come into play on 10 May will only affect the Japanese market, and OM Digital told Amateur Photographer that "has no immediate plans for more changes on lenses or camera bodies" after increasing some lens prices recently.
There is a list of Leica products that will be affected, but sadly it's in Japanese. Thankfully, the folks at Leica Rumors picked out some examples of products that will be affected by the price increase, including the Leica M11 (which will increase by approximately $342 / £263 / AU$463), the Leica Summicron-M f/2 50mm ASPH (also increasing by $342 / £263 / AU$463) and the Leica Summincron SL f/2 35mm ASPH (jumping by $171 / £131 / AU$231).
This news follows announcements from the major players Canon and Nikon, which both increased their prices on 01 April, as well as Fujifilm, which just announced price increases of up to 25%. The reason for the price increase is to combat the rising cost of raw materials, transportation and energy.
Since the start of the pandemic there has been a worldwide chip shortage, due to factory closures and an increase in demand for laptops, smartphones, cameras and so on. Almost all modern technology relies on computer chips and, as they’re in such demand, prices have skyrocketed.
This probably isn’t the last we’ll hear of price increases – if anything, we expect it might get worse before it gets better. For now, at least, things seem to have settled – but if the record-high prices make you weep, find out why DCW writer Dan Mold is buying second-hand camera kit for the foreseeable future.