Leica: Selling L-Mount Cameras is ‘Tougher Than Selling a Q or an M’

Leica SL3

An executive at Leica has admitted that selling its L-mount SL series of cameras is more challenging, at least compared to its other offerings, but argues its important to be a part of the conversation nonetheless.

Speaking to Amateur Photographer, Leica’s Vice President of Photo and Technology Stefan Daniel explains that the company could have chosen to sit out on making a full-frame mirrorless camera, but decided it was important to take part.

“This is by far the biggest market in the camera industry, and the fastest growing. Either we participate, or we keep to our photographic specialties. We decided that we wanted to be part of it quite early when we launched in 2015, when the battle between DSLR and mirrorless wasn’t decided yet,” he says.

Daniel says that the goal was to appeal to new customers, not just the ones who are already fans of what Leica does, but to do it in the “Leica way” with fewer buttons, easier operation, and Leica build quality and image quality.

Leica Sl3

“Of course, it’s tougher than selling a Q or an M. But the good thing about the system market is that once people are in the system with the lenses, they might also buy a new camera,” Daniel adds.

Leica’s digital cameras have almost always been considered niche, so jumping into a mainstream format like full frame mirrorless was always going to be more difficult than the specialty market where the M and Q series cameras have lived. That said, admitting it is difficult likely only reaffirms what many already believed.

Daniel says that the SL series — including the recently added the SL3 — which might not have the most advanced features compared to the competition, is designed to appeal to the type of photographer who might not care as much about those things, but more about what Leica can offer.

“The distinctive factors in my opinion are the design, the build quality, the usability,” Daniel tells Amateur Photographer.

“Leica image quality, the versatility when it comes to the L-mount, that you can offer a broad range of lenses. Not only those with the Leica brand, there are many more options than we could offer as a single brand.”

Leica’s SL3 is available to order today for $6,995.

Image credits: Leica