Leica has confirmed plans to launch the ‘R10’ – a digital camera we believe is likely to contain a full-frame imaging sensor and be more ‘classic’ in design than the current crop of digital SLRs on the market.

We believe that the R10 will be AF-enabled, meaning it will accept any future AF lenses as well as current R-system optics.

Leica’s CEO Andreas Kaufmann revealed plans to launch the R10 at an informal press briefing last night.

Though he didn’t elaborate, we expect the R10 to be more ergonomically simple to operate than current DSLRs, borrowing technology to be included in the S2 ’35mm plus’ model that is due out next year.

Kaufmann has, so far, not revealed a likely launch date for the R10.

In a separate development Leica has announced a ‘strategic alliance’ with Phase One that is likely to see the two companies exchanging technology for development of the S2, the first DSLR in the Leica S-system.

Leica hinted that the partnership could help speed up the launch of the S2 which is due out next summer.

Leica says it has employed 100 extra R&D staff to work on the S2.

It also now seems more likely that Leica will launch a full-frame M9 digital rangefinder camera. However, Leica Camera Limited’s UK-based managing director David Bell would neither confirm or deny such a launch.