Leica? Making an instant camera? What the heck?

It’s certainly a strange one, given Leica’s (well-earned) reputation as a staunchly traditionalist camera maker focused on image quality above all else. But maybe even those super-serious Leica photographers need to kick back and have some fun once in a while, eh?

It’s going to cost $399 when it goes on sale in November which, while hardly chicken feed, isn’t pricey by Leica’s standards. Of course, you’ll need to buy instant film on top of that.

While the press release takes great pains to avoid mentioning it, the Sofort uses ISO 800 Instax film, like many modern instant cameras. Leica will sell its own branded colour and monochrome film packs, but it’s not clear how much of a hand the company has had in its production (we’re guessing very little, if any).

The camera itself has a 60mm f12.7 lens equivalent to 36mm in 35mm terms, and can shoot at shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/400 of a second. It has a light meter for automatic exposures, and exposure compensation of -0.7 to 0.7. There’s a mode dial, allowing you to switch between several shooting types, including Macro, Action & Sport, Self-Timer, Double Exposure and Selfie.

Like we said earlier, this isn’t Leica’s usual beat. However, the Sofort does look to be built to higher standards than most modern instant cameras; it’s stylish, compact and has an accessible, user-friendly set of controls, which are all things you would associate with Leica.

This article originally appeared at Stuff.tv

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