Did I only buy it because it has ‘Leica’ on it?
It’s a not-particularly-small point and shoot with minimal controls, a short zoom range and a max aperture of f4… why else would anyone buy it?
It is quite compact, but just a bit too chunky for a pocket (but then I’ve been spoiled by the Mju II).
It feels quite robust considering it is all plastic . Compared to your proper Leicas though, it’s a Christmas cracker toy.
Don’t be fooled by the promisingly-large-looking viewfinder; it’s a pokey little thing to look through with barely visible frame lines.
The buttons are a bit vague, including the shutter release. Which added to the shutter lag means you’ll likely miss a few shots.
Generally it feels slow.
It’s got infinity focus, red eye and flash control, but all accessed by cycling through all the options (and combinations of them) one by one with the mode button. A sure sign that the designers weren’t expecting anyone to use any of these options often.
So, not too promising so far.
How about the pictures? I’m half way through a film; I’ll get it processed tomorrow and we’ll see. I find myself rooting for it.
It says on the bottom ‘Manufactured in Japan for Leica Camera GMBH’ and according to the Leica Wiki ( http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Mini_Zoom ) it was made by Kyocera; but I like to think Leica had at least something to do with the lens.
Some time later…
The pictures… they are sort of OK using flash and converted to black and white with plenty of post-processing. In natural light, in colour, the pictures are insipid; there’s something a bit vague about them. Have a look at the gallery below; all the colour shots have had the vibrance pumped way, way up – the balloon one especially. And even then they lack the snap I’d get from the Mju.
I put the rotten picture of the duck in there so you can see what the pics are like with no post processing. As my children would say; meh.
Any charity shop zoom compact would be as good. For example, the Ricoh Shotmaster which only cost a few quid (I paid about £30 for the Leica) is a much nicer camera to use and produces snappier pics.
(It’s come out a comfortable last in my compact camera comparison.)
Leica camera forum: http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Mini_Zoom