This Was Leica’s First Digital Camera – 20 Years Ago

I don’t remember very much from the mid-1990s, but I’m certain I never saw Leica’s incredibly strange (and damn beautiful) digital camera. It had awesome giant handles, and it took gorgeous photos. 20 years ago. But the wait? Not gorgeous.

Each image – weighing in at a very-impressive-for-its-time 5140×5140 (yes, it took perfectly square pictures) took over three minutes to capture. So those handles were there for a reason – just don’t get jittery. Realistically, the handles were employed for pinpoint framing, not actually holding – the thing was meant for stationary use, as it was essentially a miniature scanner with a film camera’s lens. It might sound a little crude – but keep in mind, thing was a trailblazer. Still, most of Leica’s customers were museums and research groups – which is a shame, because, were this thing a viable point and shoot, I would love to see the looks on peoples faces when I took it out of my bag. Whether they’d be looks of horror, mockery or astonishment – hard to say. [Photojojo and B&H]



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