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#TheMeasure: Leica’s Sofort Instant Camera

Simon Skinner - 6 years ago

PhotoBite recently enjoyed the rare privilege of an audience with Andreas Kaufmann, Chief Executive of Leica, during the biannual photo event Photokina in Cologne, Germany.

It was during this chat that we asked Dr Kaufmann about the recently announced Sofort camera.

Leica’s instant Sofort camera

We asked him about the reasons behind the company’s decision to release an instant camera; quiet possibly the cheapest Leica you could ever own. He replied with a short story about an encounter with close friends and their teenage daughter.

He recounted: “We had met for dinner and as you might expect, the girl was glued to her smartphone; disinterested in our conversation and the gathering in general. It was only when a Fujifilm Instax Mini camera was pulled out as the evening progressed, that she lit up, full of curiosity and amazement at the fact that the camera could produce an instant photograph”. He continued: “She became animated and immediately joined in the conversation. For the rest of the evening, she had joined us and it was entirely down to the camera. It was at that moment that I realised that this was a camera that could build pathways for young photographers to take an initial interest in image-making, beyond snapping with their smartphones”.

So there it was, the collaboration with Fujifilm ensued and earlier this year Leica’s Sofort was launched! We managed to get hands on with the Sofort (see Christmassy pictures in this review, as shot at PhotoBite Towers) and we had just about as much fun as you’d imagine. It travelled to a kids party, went along to a business networking event and at each stop, it commanded the exact attention that Dr Kaufmann described in his original story.

Coming in three colours, orange, mint and white and taking Fujifilm’s instax Mini film, the functions on the Sofort are many and various and allow complete control or complete automatic function for when you just want to snap away. These comprise of:

  • Macro
  • Bulb
  • Automatic
  • Self timer
  • Party and People
  • Sport and Action
  • Double Exposure
  • Selfie

This camera gave us just about as much fun as you can imagine having whilst making instant memories. It’s been painful sending it back and so we’re hoping Santa will leave one under our tree for real. Pricing for the Sofort comes in at around £230 and they are available now

About the author

Read #TheMeasure: Leica’s Sofort Instant Camera

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.