September 25, 2017

This Leica Camera Only Costs $300

When the Leica Sofort was announced last year, I was sure it was a hoax perpetrated by a savvy Photoshopper with too much time on her hands. Leica, the company best known for its high-end shooters, making a camera out of plastic? It seemed like a perfect joke, like if Bugatti rolled out a hatchback commuter car.
 
But, here we are. Leica released the Sofort to stores last November. You, faithful consumer, can now purchase a camera designed by Leica in Germany that shoots tiny, business card-sized pictures. This is a product that exists, and Amazon can even ship it to you.
 
The Leica Sofort is a great little instant camera. It has the obligatory red dot front and center, and it comes in three appealing, surprisingly un-German colors (I sampled the bright white version but vastly prefer the orange and mint color schemes). And, it’s compatible with either Leica or Fujifilm Instax Mini film packs, which can be bought at just about any Urban Outfitters from here to Rhode Island.

Leica-IL.jpg

 
Having shot most of the instant cameras that are available today, I more or less knew what to expect from the small Leica. That’s because Leica has based the Sofort off of Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, the best instant camera that Fujifilm makes. The two competing cameras have similar lenses, use the same battery, and look like cousins, if not fraternal twins.

Leica Sofort

6/10

Wired

Great design in some eye-catching colors. Intuitive controls make it easy and fun to shoot. Uses utterly ubiquitous, affordable Instax film. Rechargeable battery is convenient, and spares are affordable.

Tired

Square shape can be hard to hold. Shutter button is inconveniently placed. Almost three times the cost of its Fujfilm-made cousin.