Watch out, Instax – a new Leica instant camera is on the way

Leica Sofort
(Image credit: Leica)

Leica could be resurrecting its Sofort instant camera, but this time in hybrid form, following a new FCC registration earlier this month. 

The original Leica Sofort was technically one of the best instant cameras when it launched in September 2017, though it came with a steep $300 price tag in the US that made its lo-fi features inexplicably expensive (since it was effectively an Instax Mini Neo Classic, launched in 2013 for $200). 

This time Leica is releasing a hybrid digital instant camera – which, based on the design in the registration documents (and Leica's habit of upcycling Fujifilm tech), looks to be based on the Instax Mini Evo – released in 2022 for $200, in case you were wondering, so we'd imagine a similar $100 price tag to get that prized red dot instead of the Fujifilm and Instax logos. 

Instax vs Polaroid

While the FCC diagrams reveal nothing of the camera's final design, observers such as Leica Rumors have pointed out that the rear of the camera bears a striking resemblance to the back of the Evo. 

It appears to have the same input dial at the top-left (which, on the Instax, is the Film Dial to select between film effects) and a lever at the top-right (which is the Print Lever on the Evo, used to print out your shots).

We were big fans of the Mini Evo, which scored four-and-a-half-stars in our review. There are no further details on a launch window or any other additional features but, provided the price tag isn't too silly, Leica's new hybrid will be a welcome addition to the instant camera segment. 

You might also be interested in the newly launched Instax Square SQ40, and don't forget to check out our "What type of instant film do I need?" guide to ensure you get the right film. And if you're a red dot aficionado, check out the best Leica cameras on the market right now. 

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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.