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The Rise, Near Demise, and Rebirth of the Leica Camera


Leica made its name a very long time ago by creating the first practical 35mm camera to use standard cinema 35mm film. The rest, as they say, is history. A history filled with successes and failures alike, most of the latter coming in the early 2000s when the company was having trouble moving into the digital age.

In 2013, Leica has a couple of things to celebrate. For one, its no longer in financial trouble; and for another, the company is turning 100 this year. In light of that momentous birthday, here are a couple of short videos (the first one is above) by Deutsche Welle that take a look at Leica’s past, present and future.

In 2004, Leica was snatched from the brink of bankruptcy by Andreas Kaufmann. Beyond just providing the capital the company needed at the time, Kaufmann was the driving force behind Leica’s successful move into the digital age. And even though the video above is titled “revival of a legend,” Kaufmann maintains that no revival was necessary — the legend never died.

Whatever the case may be, what he’s done has worked and worked well. Leica’s revenue between 2011 and 2012 doubled — from 150M Euros to 300M Euros — and he’s not done yet. Assuming the high-end camera market keeps chugging (plus whatever massive revenues those lens mugs will bring in) he’s intent on hitting 500M by 2016.

(via Leica Rumors)