When the Leica Sofort was announced last year, I used to be positive it was a hoax perpetrated by a savvy Photoshopper with an excessive amount of time on her palms. Leica, the corporate greatest recognized for its excessive-finish shooters, making a digital camera out of plastic? It appeared like an ideal joke, like if Bugatti rolled out a hatchback commuter automotive. However, right here we’re. Leica launched the Sofort to shops final November. You, trustworthy shopper, can now buy a digital camera designed by Leica in Germany that shoots tiny, enterprise card-sized footage. This can be a product that exists, and Amazon may even ship it to you. The Leica Sofort is a superb little immediate digital camera. It has the compulsory pink dot entrance and middle, and it is available in three interesting, surprisingly un-German colours (I sampled the brilliant white model however vastly favor the orange and mint colour schemes). And, it’s suitable with both Leica or Fujifilm Instax Mini film packs, which could be purchased at nearly any City Outfitters from right here to Rhode Island. Leica Having shot a lot of the prompt cameras which are out there immediately, I kind of knew what to anticipate from the small Leica. That’s as a result of Leica has based mostly the Sofort off of Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, the perfect immediate digital camera that Fujifilm makes. The 2 competing cameras have comparable lenses, use the identical battery, and seem like cousins, if not fraternal twins. Leica Sofort 6/10 Wired Nice design in some eye-catching colours. Intuitive controls make it straightforward and enjoyable to shoot. Makes use of completely ubiquitous, reasonably priced Instax movie. Rechargeable battery is handy, and spares are reasonably priced. Drained Sq. form may be onerous to carry. Shutter button is inconveniently positioned. Virtually 3 times the price of its Fujfilm-made cousin. How We Price 1/10An entire failure in each approach 2/10Unhappy, actually three/10Critical flaws; proceed with warning four/10Downsides outweigh upsides 5/10Beneficial with reservations 6/10Strong with some points 7/10Excellent, however not fairly nice eight/10Wonderful, with room to kvetch 9/10Almost flawless 10/10Metaphysical perfection In some methods, Leica has improved upon the Japanese taste. I actually like its cute design, which is extra trendy than retro, though it proudly sports activities a fake leather-based wrap round its perimeter. The Sofort additionally reshuffles the controls to make the digital camera simpler to make use of, tying focus distance choices (both .6m-3m or 3m-infinity) to the ring across the lens. I discovered the Sofort very straightforward to determine with out even peeking on the directions. Its plastic enclosure, regardless of sporting a lovely Bauhaus look, wasn’t nicely designed from an ergonomic standpoint. No less than in my arms, this Leica wasn’t particularly snug to carry, so I’d undoubtedly advocate placing its included strap on for help. Whether or not it was in portrait or panorama orientations, the digital camera’s boxy corners made it exhausting to succeed in the small shutter button whereas gripping the digital camera. Amongst all of the Instax-suitable cameras, I’d need to put the Sofort near the highest of the listing. I actually wasn’t anticipating to kinda love this little sq. bundle of pleasure, and was stunned when utilizing it was a pleasurable expertise. However there’s nonetheless a reasonably large hurdle to giving the Sofort a full go-purchase-it-proper-now type of suggestion: the worth. The Sofort prices slightly below $300, which, for something labelled “Leica” is a complete steal. Recall for a second that this is identical firm that partnered with Lenny Kravitz to sell a limited-edition camera for $24,000. In any case, purple dots aren’t free. Distinction the German entry with what Fujifilm’s peddling and also you’ll come again right down to earth fairly shortly. The Fuji Instax Mini ninety routinely sells for a little over a hundred bucks on Amazon. Positive, the Fujifilm feels much less luxe, you’re getting at the very least eighty% of the identical expertise for nearly a 3rd of the fee. Even the quirky Lomo’Instant Automat Glass Magellan provides you a large-angle lens and artistic choices for less than $189. I gotta say there’s one thing concerning the Sofort that makes you are feeling such as you received what you paid for. No, you gained’t really feel as cool as when you have been carrying round a full-metallic Leica rangefinder nevertheless it’s obtained a stunning look and that darn purple dot. If type and sharp design converse to you as a lot as the thought of fortunately snapping away prompt photographs, then the Sofort could be for you. Whenever you purchase one thing utilizing the retail hyperlinks in our product critiques, we earn a small affiliate fee. Read more about how this works. Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.