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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Leica’s new app brings classic camera aesthetics to your iPhone

The Leica Lux app offers iPhone users classic Leica camera looks and lens simulations through a subscription-based model.

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Leica has released the Leica Lux app, aiming to offer users a taste of its camera magic through colour profiles and lens simulations.

Leica Lux, a novel addition to the App Store, boasts 11 distinct “Leica Looks” that faithfully replicate the aesthetics of Leica's contemporary cameras and vintage film styles. The app flexes its versatility with a choice between a fully automatic mode and an “Aperture mode” that emulates the look and bokeh of high-end lenses like the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH and the iconic Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH from 1966.

The free version of the app offers access to five Leica Looks and one lens imitation. To unlock all features, including manual exposure controls and additional lenses, you must subscribe for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

User experience: pros and cons

My hands-on experience with the beta version of Leica Lux on an iPhone 15 Pro was a blend of positives and negatives. The interface, with its intuitive , features a streamlined menu and customisable controls for exposure compensation and live histograms. It's a sleek interface, reminiscent of Halide, another popular iOS camera app. The app also seamlessly integrates photos from Leica cameras, allowing you to view them in the in-app gallery.

The Leica Looks add dramatic effects to your photos with a single click, although some may find them too strong. The portrait mode and lens simulations can be inconsistent, sometimes producing a cut-out effect that does not match the quality seen in Apple or Google's portrait modes. There were also issues with pixelation around the edges of subjects, but this may improve with the final release.

A notable limitation of the app is its inability to revert portrait mode shots to regular photos, unlike Apple's camera app. Moreover, when viewing Leica Lux photos in the iOS camera roll, you can inadvertently apply Apple's own portrait and bokeh effects, which can alter the intended look of your photos.

Leica's subscription strategy

Leica's attempt to monetize its software is not new. It previously introduced a pro-tier paywall for the Leica Fotos app, which was not well received by users who were unhappy about paying for features like Adobe Lightroom integration. Leica eventually made all Fotos app features free again.

Leica Lux, however, introduces a new experience with its lens-bokeh simulations and the ability to transform your iPhone camera into a Leica-like device. While the app presents some innovative ideas and a well-designed interface, it's important to note that a subscription is required to access all features. This aspect might not appeal to everyone, but it's a key part of the app's offering.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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