Leica, Panasonic and Sigma announces strategic alliance in L-mount mirrorless camera system

(From left) Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki, Leica Camera AG's chairman Dr Andreas Kaufmann and Panasonic Corporation's Executive Officer Junichiro Kitagawa announcing the L-mount strategic partnership at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 sta
(From left) Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki, Leica Camera AG's chairman Dr Andreas Kaufmann and Panasonic Corporation's Executive Officer Junichiro Kitagawa announcing the L-mount strategic partnership at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 starts. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
Panasonic Corporation's Yosuke Yamane announcing the Panasonic S1 and S1R L-mount mirrorless camera at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 starts.
Panasonic Corporation's Yosuke Yamane announcing the Panasonic S1 and S1R L-mount mirrorless camera at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 starts. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki revealing that there will be a Foveon full-frame L-mount mirrorless camera at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 starts.
Sigma's CEO Kazuto Yamaki revealing that there will be a Foveon full-frame L-mount mirrorless camera at a media conference, a day before Photokina 2018 starts. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

COLOGNE (GERMANY) - Iconic German camera brand Leica, Japanese mirrorless camera maker Panasonic and lens maker Sigma announced a strategic alliance of Leica's full-frame mirrorless L-mount system, a day before the start of Photokina 2018 - the world’s largest camera trade show.

This is at a time when full-frame mirrorless camera market seems to hot up with veteran camera makers Canon and Nikon both announcing new full-frame mirrorless camera systems last month.

The new alliance will allow both Panasonic and Sigma to create camera and lenses for the L-mount system. Currently, Leica’s full-frame SL and its APS-C CL and TL series use the L-mount system. 

Almost immediately thereafter, Panasonic announced its S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras in L-mount. In addition, Panasonic unveiled a 50mm f/1.4, 24-105mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 L-mount lenses. These cameras and lenses are slated for release sometime next year. 

Panasonic previously only make mirrorless cameras with the much-smaller Four-Thirds or Micro Four-Thirds image sensors. 

In a separate media event, Sigma’s chief executive officer Kazuto Yamaki revealed that there will be a new Sigma L-mount mirrorless camera using the company’s own Foveon full-frame image sensor - slated to be released sometime next year. Mr Yamaki also said Sigma’s native L-mount lenses will be available from next year onwards.