dante stella stories photographs technical guestbook

"You think my methods are... unsound?"

"I don't see any methods here."

Leica Digilux Breaks New Design Ground

Left, new Leica Digilux Null-Series continues a proud design tradition that began fifty years earlier.

PMA 2/24/2002 - Leica releases its Digilux Null-Series, a startlingly repackaged Panasonic Lumix that brings the essence of Leica to soulless digital photography. Leica's Chairman, Mr. Cohn, explained, "Digital photography is slowly being accepted by photographers for some applications, and we at Leica AG believe that by the year 2025, even many consumers will have digital cameras in their houses."

The Diglux Null-Series is careful not to upset even the existing digital owner, who would no doubt be very upset if Leica tinkered with the traditional painful menus, the front-mounted collapsing lens, front focus control, and top-right mounted exposure readout. Most of all, the Digilux does not threaten the user by changing the basic annoyances of digital photography or doing something radical like changing the placement of the viewfinder windows.

"This is a product that is only possible through the collaboration between Leica and Matsushita," Cohn explained, "specifically Leica's 'mythos' and the vast technological superiority of our Japanese partner." Leica, a company lacking primary electronics design and manufacturing capability, now owned by Hermes Group, S.A., a notable fashion house, combined forces with one of the world's premier electronics design and manufacturing houses. "Only by whoring out our name to the leading Japanese producer of digital cameras, clock radios, steam turbines, and bicycles could we have brought a product like this to market."

When asked about the competition, Cohn was confident. "Sure, you can buy Canon or Nikon 6-megapixel cameras, but you will certainly not go to heaven!"

The press was very enthusiastic. Stup Niwre, a notable Leica enthusiast and historian, said "The Digilux Null-Series is the perfect tool for the Leica way of digital photography, whatever that is." Similar sentiments were espoused by legions of men wearing identical blue uniforms bearing large circular "Leica" logos who politely asked us to refrain from asking any more questions.

Others were not so impressed. Martin Candy, notable collectionist and proprietor of the Photosearch web site, said, "The Digilux Null-Series is clear for what it is not -- a clear knockout of the M6. For starters, it lacks 28-fps motor drive, multiple-wireless TTL flash, and thought-controlled predictive autofocus. It also lacks the bottom loading. For Chrissake, where do you put the film? I watched this guy trying to load it - put his finger right through that useless plastic panel on the back. It made me sick. I had to go back to shooting a Super Ikonta for a week after that."