Will Leica make a medium format mirrorless camera?

Leica medium format mirrorless rumor
(Image credit: Leica)

Those eagle-eyed folk at Leica Rumors have spotted something in the keynote presentation for the Leica M11. It’s a scene in a Leica design office with a row of camera mockups on a bench – and one of them, says Leica Rumors, looks like a medium format mirrorless.

We’re not so sure. To us, the body looks bigger but the sensor looks like regular full frame. To be fair, either possibility is intriguing. If Leica does make a medium format mirrorless camera it could spell the end for the big and pricey Leica S3 medium format DSLR, which does look beautiful, but with only 64MP and a $20,000 price tag it feels like this once-innovative camera is now some way behind the curve.

If this is a mockup of a larger full frame camera, that’s intriguing too. Will Leica make a super-fast sports camera in the same style as the Nikon Z9 or Canon EOS R3

Given Leica’s long association with Panasonic, we’re not so sure. Panasonic does not have a camera like this in its line-up, so pretty much all that’s left for a new full frame model is a ‘cinema’ Leica SL2 based on the Lumix S1H

Wouldn’t this have happened already? Not necessarily. The 24MP Leica SL2-S arrived a considerable time after the Lumix S1 we reckon it's based on.

The Leica S3 is a beautiful beast, but is mirrorless the future of medium format? (Image credit: Future)

So, back to a medium format mirrorless camera. It seems to us that in order to make this work commercially and technically, Leica would need one of Sony’s medium format sensors, notably the 100MP sensor in the Fujifilm GFX 100S.

And why not? The assumption is that the new 60MP Leica M11 uses the Sony sensor that features in the A7R IV (we don’t know if that’s true).

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com