As Leica continues to diversify its world view— a Leica television in cooperation with Hisense being one example — I set to wondering just how much attention a photographic site such as Macfilos should give to Leica watches, Leica TVs or even, Leica-lensed smartphones. It’s a tricky one.
After all, we don’t cover every Panasonic product just because we like Panasonic Lumix cameras and lenses. There must be limits. What’s your view? How far should we go? Add your comment below.
I believe that, for us, Leica means cameras and superb lenses — and perhaps the odd exhibition or photo competition. But I can’t drum up much enthusiasm for even a Leica television, never mind a Leica dishwasher.
Yet, having made this case for exclusivity, I admit there is one new Leica-branded product that does pique my interest. It’s the 4K ultra-short-throw projector — successor to the Pradovits perhaps — that was announced at IFA Berlin last weekend. Leica believes the Leica Cine 1 will revolutionise the way you watch TV.
The concept definitely works for me since Leica has drawn my attention to it. Gone are the days of a slide projector mounted on a table at the back of the room, illuminating a rather wobbly tripod-mounted roll-up screen. If ultra-short-throw is what it appears to be, I’m all for it. And it could well revolutionise the way I watch TV.
I confess I haven’t recently paid attention to the world of projectors, and the ultra-short-throw concept — eminently attractive now I’m aware of it — has completely passed me by. I realise it’s what I’ve dreamed of in a projector for many years.
Leica’s latest Cine 1 comes in two versions, one capable of projecting a 100-in picture (2,500 lumens) and the other an 80-in frame (2,100 lumens). But it’s that closeness to the screen that most impresses.
Even the bigger picture requires the projector to be no more than 12in from the display surface (I have a large white wall in my kitchen earmarked for the purpose). And the 80-in projector need sit no more than six inches from the wall or screen. This is instantly attractive to me, and I’d be in the market if it weren’t for the price. The 80in is likely to cost $6,900 while the 100in could be a thousand cheaper.
The idea of a moving picture on the wall is alluring. Recently, I installed a 55-in Samsung Art television on the wall in question. It’s very discreet, especially with the accessory white frame, and convincingly displays a static picture that could just, at first glance, be a work of art. Just.
I can smirk when visitors are fooled into thinking it is a piece of artwork. Not that I could afford any of the great works that are available as licensed images on the Samsung.
There are a few freebies, including the one in the picture to the left, but a wide range can be accessed for yet another monthly subscription if you are so inclined.
Shortly, however, the screen will be used to display my own photographic works of art, such as they are. At least they’re mine when someone asks.
This new Leica projector has set me thinking. It could be an even better solution for displaying photographs and, of course, for watching television.
What do you think? Can you pluck up the enthusiasm for a new Leica projector? Could you justify the price?
Before you get your credit card out, though, bear in mind that if Leica does something for six grand, you can bet your boots that someone else can sell a similar product for half the price.
Apparently, this is so. See this review of the “best ultra-short-throw projectors of 2022”. The one that catches my eye is the Hisense PX1-Pro (now, where did I hear that brand mentioned before?). This paragon can sit 10in from the wall and produces a variable image between 90 and 130in. You can find it advertised for around £2,500. No red dot, though. And, in fairness, it doesn’t look as captivating as the Leica.
You’ll need to be sure of the supremacy of the Leica brand before shelling out over twice as much. Of course, we all know that the Leica Cine 1 will be much better than the Hisense PX1-Pro and worth every extra penny you spend. It’s a Leica, for heaven’s sake.