Leica has refused to either confirm or deny rumours that it is gearing up to announce a full-frame ‘M9’ digital rangefinder camera next month.

French magazine Chasseur d’image has reported that Leica is to release a successor to its non-full frame M8 in September.

‘We are not making any comment on any of the rumours,’ said Leica Camera Limited marketing manager Jenny Hodge.

Speaking this morning, she told Amateur Photographer (AP): ‘There have been a lot of rumours for a while and we have had a lot of calls about it.’

Last year, Leica Camera’s former CEO Steven K Lee, was removed from power by the company’s supervisory board after he controversially suggested that Leica was seriously considering upgrading the company’s M8 digital rangefinder with a full-frame sensor.

The firm later issued a statement, countering Lee’s comments.

However, a full-frame digital rangefinder camera has continued to be an option for Leica, a spokesman told AP in an interview at the PMA trade show in the United States.

In February, Christian Erhardt, director of marketing for Leica USA’s Photographic Division, said: ‘We are always looking for new products? We will have to see what technology brings.’

However, he stressed that Leica would still have to overcome the issue of short back focus and the difficulties faced by digital sensors when light approaches from narrow angles.

This problem arises when producing a full-frame sensor in a rangefinder body, where the rear lens element sits so close to the camera’s digital sensor.

Erhardt told AP that customer feedback suggested M8 users ‘are not bothered’ by non-full-frame.


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