Leica T: a stunning system camera milled from a single block of aluminium

Compact, gorgeous and very expensive – it's Leica's latest lens-swapper
Leica T: a new system camera milled from a single block of aluminium

A new Leica camera?Even better: a new system. Leica has a long, rich history of interchangeable lens cameras – probably the longest and richest of any company still in existence, in fact – and now there’s another page to be written. The company this week launched the Leica T, the first camera in its new T-System.

The Leica T and the first two T-System lenses

T-System?Yes, a new range of bodies, lenses and accessories. T-System cameras will use APS-C sensors (the same physical size as most DSLRs and compact system cameras) and interchangeable lenses, as well as other add-ons like viewfinders, flashes, cases and straps.

So there are new Leica lenses?Only two for the T-System at present, but more are sure to follow. There’s a 23mm F2.0 prime lens and an 18-56mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens. You can see a gallery of photos taken with them here.

The Leica T-System
The T's touchscreen UI

And the Leica T itself?It’s something special, isn’t it? The T has an aluminium unibody; Leica has milled the camera from a single block of metal, then hand-polished it for 45 minutes.

Inside there’s a 16MP sensor (able to also shoot video at 1080p quality), Wi-Fi and GPS. And Leica has dispensed with tradition by fitting a 3.7in capacitive touchscreen to the rear and implementing a totally new user interface.

Tell me about this “new interface”In a move that’s likely to upset a few diehard Leica fans, it’s touchscreen-based. In fact, it’s almost like a smartphone UI, with icons replacing lists of functions. Only time will tell if it works better than a traditional dial-based setup, though.

I want one...Well, write 26th May in your diary, because that’s when the T goes on sale. It’ll cost £1,350 for the body only, £2,600 with the 18-56mm lens, or £2,700 with the 23mm lens.