Leica Sofort 2: Hybrid instant camera that shoots digitally and prints

Leica Sofort 2 is a hybrid instant camera that shoots digitally and prints
Leica Sofort 2 is a hybrid instant camera that shoots digitally and prints

Leica has introduced Sofort 2 , a new instant camera. The first such device – Sofort – appeared from Leica seven years ago. The new, second version is a hybrid instant camera, meaning that in addition to shooting on film, it now offers users the ability to save digital images. The digital image path in the case of Sofort 2 is a two-way street. Users can send photos from the Leica Fotos smartphone app to Sofort 2 for printing, including images taken with other cameras.

“Since 1947, instant cameras have offered a new photography experience that has achieved iconic status, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, an instantly printed photograph symbolized acceleration ,” writes Leica. “ Sofort 2 seamlessly combines digital advancements with the timeless analogue world.”

Sofort 2 looks stylish in typical Leica style. The camera retains the same square shape with rounded corners as its predecessor, although Leica has simplified some of the accents. The famous red dot logo is still present and prominently featured.

Available in black, white and red, this stylish hybrid camera is designed with ease of use in mind. It includes a selfie mode with a dedicated shutter button, a landscape mode, as well as a macro mode that allows you to take close-up shots from a distance of 10 cm.

Sofort 2 is built using a plastic body with a polycarbonate frame. Without inserted film, the camera weighs only 320 grams, is equipped with a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C interface, and has a standard 1.4” tripod thread at the bottom. The internal memory is enough to store about 45 images, although its capacity can be expanded using a microSD/microSDHC card slot.

The camera has 10 lens modes and 10 film effects, allowing photographers to train their skills. Available creative effects include vignette, focus, blur, fisheye, color distortion, light leak, mirror, double exposure and half-frame.

The built-in Sofort lens is a Leica Summar 2.4mm f/2, which is equivalent to about a 28mm lens in full frame terms. The camera is equipped with a rather small – 1/5 inch – CMOS sensor, which allows you to shoot images with a resolution of 2560 x 1920, which corresponds to ~4.9 megapixels.

However, the output resolution of Sofort 2 is not 2560 x 1920, it can be 1600 x 600 or 800 x 600 in case of image output through the Fotos app. The Leica Sofort 2 prints on Leica instant films, which include Sofort (mini) color films: Warm White and Neo Gold.

Since the Sofort 2 is a hybrid camera, unlike the first Sofort, it has a rear display – a 3-inch TFT LCD with a resolution of about 460,000 dots, and the layout of the controls and menus of the Sofort 2 is reminiscent of other Leica digital cameras.

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What about the prices?

Leica Sofort 2 will be available worldwide in Leica stores and authorized Leica dealers from November 9th. Retail price will be $389. In addition to the camera, Leica will release a variety of accessories, including stylish wooden frames for photos taken with the Sofort 2, straps and carrying straps, bags and more.