Review: Leica Sofort Instant Camera

As soon as the Leica Sofort was declared last year, I was convinced it was a hoax perpetrated by a savvy Photoshopper with too much time on her hands. Leica, the company famous for its high-end shooters, building a camera from plastic? It looked like a perfect joke, like if Bugatti rolled out a hatchback commuter car. Nbsp; However, here we are. Leica introduced the Sofort to stores last November. You, loyal consumer, can now buy a camera made by Leica in Germany that shoots miniature, company card-sized pictures. This is something that exists, and Amazon can even send it to you. Nbsp; The Leica Sofort is a amazing little immediate camera. It’s the obligatory red dot front and centre, and it comes in three attractive, surprisingly un-German colours (I sampled the bright white version but vastly prefer the orange and mint colour schemes). And, it is compatible with Leica or Fujifilm Instax Mini movie packs, which can be purchased at almost any Urban Outfitters from here to Rhode Island.


nbsp; Getting taken many of the instant cameras that are available now, I more or less knew what to expect from the little Leica. That is because Leica has established the Sofort from Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, the best instant camera which Fujifilm makes. Both competing cameras have comparable lenses, use the exact same battery, and seem like cousins, maybe fraternal twins.

Leica Sofort



Terrific design in some eye-catching colours. Intuitive controls make it simple and fun to take. Uses utterly ubiquitous, cheap Instax film. Rechargeable battery is convenient, and spares are cheap.


Square shape can be tough to hold. Shutter button is inconveniently placed. Almost three times the price of its Fujfilm-made cousin.

How We Rate

  • 1/10A complete failure in every way
  • 2/10Sad, really
  • 3/10Serious flaws; proceed with care
  • 4/10Downsides outweigh upsides
  • 5/10Recommended with reservations
  • 6/10Strong with a few problems
  • 7/10Very good, but not very Wonderful
  • 8/10Outstanding, with space to kvetch
  • 9/10Nearly flawless
  • 10/10Metaphysical perfection

nbsp; In certain ways, Leica has improved upon the Japanese taste. I truly like its cute design, which is much more contemporary than retro, even though it proudly sports a faux leather wrap around its perimeter. The Sofort also reshuffles the controls to make the camera much easier to use, linking focus space choices (either .6m-3m or 3m-infinity) into the ring around the lens. I discovered that the Sofort very easy to figure out without even glancing at the directions. Nbsp; Its plastic enclosure, despite wearing an attractive Bauhaus appearance, was not well designed from an ergonomic perspective. At least in my own hands, this Leica was not particularly comfortable to hold, so I would definitely suggest placing its included strap for support. Whether it was in landscape or portrait orientations, the camera’s boxy corners made it tough to achieve the small shutter button when gripping the camera. Nbsp; Among all of the Instax-compatible cameras, I would have to place the Sofort near the peak of the list. I really was not expecting to rather love this tiny square bundle of joy, and was amazed when utilizing it was a pleasurable experience. But there is still a fairly major hurdle to providing the Sofort a complete go-buy-it-right-now type of recommendation: the cost. Nbsp; The Sofort prices just under $300, which, for whatever labelled “Leica” is a complete steal. Remember for a second that this is the exact same firm that partnered with Lenny Kravitz to market a limited-edition camera for $24,000. After all, red dots are not free. Nbsp; Contrast the German entrance with what Fujifilm’s peddling and you’re going to come back down to earth pretty quickly. The Fuji Instax Mini 90 routinely sells for a little more than a hundred dollars on Amazon. Sure, the Fujifilm feels less luxe, you are getting at least 80 percent of the identical experience for nearly a third of the price tag. The quirky Lomo’Instant Automat Glass Magellan provides you a wide-angle lens and innovative alternatives for just $189. Nbsp; I gotta say there is something about the Sofort which makes you feel like you got what you paid for. No, you won’t feel as cool as if you were carrying around a full-metal Leica rangefinder but it’s got a beautiful appearance and that damn red dot. If style and sharp layout talk to you as far as the notion of happily snapping away instant photographs, then the Sofort could be for you.

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