Leica has not ruled out the future launch of an interchangeable lens compact camera similar to the hybrid models announced by other manufacturers.

‘We are always looking at new ways to approach the market,’ said Christian Erhardt, director of marketing for Leica Camera USA’s photographic division. ‘We are not going to sit still,’ he added.

The decision on whether to launch a Micro Four Thirds-style system largely hinges on whether Leica feels such a camera could deliver the high standard of image quality expected by its users.

But the firm is keeping its options open and refused to be drawn on its future plans.

In an interview with Amateur Photographer at PMA Erhardt said Leica is watching to see how the market for such cameras develops before making a decision.

He told us: ‘Right now there are no plans either way.’

If Leica were to develop such a camera it would probably involve working with Panasonic, according to Andreas Brakonier, director for marketing and product management at Leica Camera AG in Solms, Germany.

The Leica representatives pointed out that the company already has a ‘strong relationship’ with Panasonic in the development of digital cameras, and that Leica, like Panasonic, is still part of the Four Thirds consortium.

If any such plans went ahead, said Brakonier, Leica would have to decide whether to use an APS-C size sensor – such as the one due to appear in Samsung’s NX system camera – or a smaller, Micro Four Thirds, sensor like the one featured in the Panasonic G1 and GH1.

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