Cheap and Leica aren’t terms that are used in the same sentence. However, when it comes to the Leica mini zoom, these terms can be used in the same sentence. Produced between 1993-1995, the Leica mini zoom was the third installation in the Leica mini camera series.
Despite its relatively lower price, this small 35mm point and shoot camera was of an exceptional build and performed impeccably thanks to the myriad of features it came with.
Keep reading to learn what these features are.
Features of the Camera
One of the most compelling features of the Leica mini zoom is its lens.
It’s almost impossible to believe that Leica was able to fit a zoom lens in such a small camera. But that is the case.
The Leica mini comes with a Vario Elmar 35 – 70mm f/4.0 – 7.6 zoom lens. This lens can turn from a 35mm to a 70 mm lens capable of taking high-quality images with remarkable contrast.
We can’t discuss the lens without talking about how this camera focuses. The Leica mini zoom comes with active infrared autofocus with focus memory.
Thanks to this autofocus feature, this camera can take high contrast and sharp images.
As if that’s not enough,
The Leica mini zoom also comes with an infinity focus feature, enabling you to take high-quality photos of far away objects—no need to worry about your landscape shots being blurred.
Infinity focus is just one of the program modes you get with this camera.
The Leica mini zoom also comes with an +2EV exposure override mode. Coupled with the infinity focus feature, this camera is excellent for either sunset or sunrise photos.
Even if you don’t use exposure override, you can be sure that your photos won’t be over or underexposed thanks to the center-weighted integral metering system.
The Leica mini zoom also comes with a bulb mode for long exposure shots.
When set to automatic, the camera uses the integral center-weighted metering to make sure your images don’t get over and underexposed.
As if that’s not enough!
The camera also comes with exposure and focus memory feature. When taking a photo, half-press the shutter for exposure and focus to be stored.
This camera also comes equipped with an inbuilt flash system for low light scenes. When taking a photo in low light, the camera automatically switches the flash on.
In outdoor scenes, you can choose to use the manual flash off mode. You can also choose to have the flash on for dark scenes by selecting the manual flash on mode.
One drawback of this camera is that it doesn’t store the selected flash mode and automatically reverts to automatic mode when switched off.
The Leica mini zoom also comes with a continuous shutter release function that can achieve 1.5 frames per second.
What about the viewfinder?
It also comes with a telescopic viewfinder with autofocus measuring fields for close-range photos.
Design and Handling
Like other cameras in the Leica mini camera series, such as the Leica Mini II, the mini zoom was designed by Leica but built in Japan.
However, this camera is larger than its predecessors. If you have small hands, this may be an issue. However, for photographers with large hands, the camera fits perfectly in their hands.
Like other Leicas, the camera design featured a minimalistic look that includes very few buttons. On the top, you have an LCD display, a shutter release button, a mode selector, and a zoom button.
In terms of material, the camera is made of plastic, which is quite a disappointment for a Leica.
Shortcomings of the Camera
One of the most significant drawbacks of this camera was the fact it is made of plastic. This plasticky feel doesn’t inspire much confidence when shooting, especially in rough conditions.
This camera also comes with a motor that’s quite noisy, especially when activating the shutter, zoom, or winder.
Of all cameras in the Leica mini camera series, the Leica mini zoom was the most unique.
It comes with an incredible zoom lens, fits well in most pockets, comes with auto flash and autofocus, and +2EV exposure compensation, among other features.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to own a Leica that performs exceptionally well and is of. exquisite design, you’ll love the Leica mini zoom.