Concept Design for a Leica E-System DSLR Camera

Elizabeth Clark, an industrial design student at the California College of the Arts, was given the assignment of designing a camera in one of her classes, and came up with this Leica “E-System” DSLR. Her goal was to develop a product that breaks free from traditional SLR designs and appeals to multiple generations of photographers. An interesting aspect of the camera is that the materials used for the exterior include warm leather and wood accents… A wooden DSLR — now that would be something!

You can find an in-depth look at the design on Clark’s website.

Leica E-System (via KEH Camera Blog)

Image credits: Photographs by Elizabeth Clark and used with permission

  • Ludodonselaer

    Weird, totally goes against any of Leica’s design principles.

  • Alexis

    Never seen such an ugly DSLR ! Remove the Leica logo and you ll agree

  • Anonymous

    Way too tall, that goes against Leica’s drive to be as small as practical, see their rangefinder design. This is why camera makers make the flash flip up. I’m skeptical that the market would buy many cameras taken out of a surrealist painting.

  • Tomar

    Horrible! EEEEEEkkk!

  • Redmail

    Too much Red Bull.

  • Yelped

    Johnny Bravos Camera!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    And she failed.

  • Donovan Rekanize Fannon

    The flash alone is enough to make me cringe… I like when people try to experiment with design outside of the norm, but not all experiments are successes.

  • Gareth

    That is one fuck ugly camera. That’s not design, it’s pointless styling. It brings no benefits in usability. What’s the point?

  • Michael Jones

    i like it

  • Michael

    urgh… art students….

  • jeffery

    It’s difficult to improve on a shape that has been in use for so many years. All of these camera concepts remind me of the bicycle concepts that were prevalent in the late 90’s. Every time I looked at one of the concepts I was convinced that the designer had never ridden a bicycle.

  • Elias

    Epic fail.

  • Andy J. Scott

    You’ve posted a lot of really awful concept cameras and I’d like to congratulate this one for being in the top 3 worst.

  • bri

    it just looks all warped and distorted. I don’t see any significant improvements as far as practical design is concerned

  • bubb

    It looks like a Dr Seuss camera. Not a compliment.

  • Martin

    And with a Pentax lens :) Not my cup of tea design-wize though…

  • Martin

    And with a Pentax lens :) Not my cup of tea design-wize though…

  • Travis Forsyth

    What you can’t see is the little slot that dispenses cake.

  • Charcot

    Looks like something from Beetle Juice the movie. Absolutely horrible looking. The designer obviously knows nothing about Leica Photography – available light is the mantra – then this thing with a flash the size of a Buick. Ms. Clark should really stop doing drugs

  • joeguest

    Slighly Dali-esque look. The overall shape and look I don’t object to. If it’s slightly more ergonomic for the hands it will be good. I’d have to actually hold it to judge that for sure. With a big, heavy zoom or prime it could offer an advantage.
    I question, however, the designer’s actual working knowledge of SLR mechanics and optics. (I haven’t been to her website yet.) The lens is off-axis to what should be the prism housing, and I don’t think you could ever really put a flash in that same space (as the prism).

  • Wing Wong

    Judging it as a design/concept for a camera, there is so much wrong with it that it’s not even funny.

    – non-symmetrical flash will give bad exposure.
    – off balance body shape will result in poor ergonomics. Note the nearly football shape like hand grip that is WAY too thick with the option wheel where the thumb/heel part of the hand would rest, resulting in options getting bumped.
    – buttons jutting out will result in catching and in options being changed unintentionally.
    – miniscule eye piece will result in tunnel vision(read: poor user experience) of the viewfinder
    – grey dial/e-ink like display of settings on top is too far to the side and will be covered by hand or strap
    – trigger button is in a poor location.

    Ie, anyone trying to use this will discover their hand cramping after using it for a while. It big and clunky for no good reason. The distorted dimensions will result in poor image capture/illumination.

    Even the use of wood is a bad choice, given the heat output of the device!

    I can only hope this was not one of those “think outside of the box, even beyond practicality and usability” assignments where the student gets a passing grade for “creativity”. This isn’t creativity, it is as others have pointed out, a design mishap due to lack of understanding of what it means to hold and shoot with a camera.

    A small part of me wonders if Leica might not sue to have their logo removed from the mock up… unless they commissioned it and approved it.. in which case, my only thought is, “WTH!?”

  • BadAss

    I’m hurling. EPIC hurling… bwaaaaraaachhh

  • Adam

    Another pointless, rubbish concept from someone who has clearly never used a camera.

  • von Künstler

    when I first saw your design I noticed that it has an integrated flash, if it is a professional DSLR, there is No need to have an integrated flash see examples in the Canon line-up Mark’s. The design is unnecessary bulky, at least it suggests that. The lack of buttons not necessarily means improved ease of access of functions unless you are a beginner in photography. The viewfinder looks too simple in a way that glare can cause discomfort to the user and also in longer expositions there seems no way to cover the viewfinder. Anyway, if you want to design cameras then become a photographer and use and compare the flagship and see why they are that special wether the size of the sensor ease of access to key elements that a photographer need and start from that. Hope this help.

  • William Zhang

    You have succeed, if you are trying to hurt my eyes! What an ugly piece of poo!

  • John

    The next Hasselblad!!! The Hasselblad Lunatic! (of course with Sony mount, firmware, EVF and what not…) :D

  • Christopher

    Elizabeth, there is a job waiting for you at Hassleblad.