Leica’s new app lets your iPhone mimic its cameras and classic lenses

June 6, 2024
3,273 Views

Leica wants in on Fujifilm’s film simulation hype, so it’s bringing its own color profiles to iPhone users by way of a new Leica Lux app — complete with a paid subscription. 

Leica Lux is a new camera app available on the App Store loaded with 11 color profiles (dubbed “Leica Looks”) designed to match current Leica cameras and classic film-inspired aesthetics. The Lux app can be used in a fully automatic mode like Apple’s own camera app, but it also has an “Aperture mode” using software to mimic the style and bokeh of multi-thousand-dollar lenses like the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH and classic Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH of 1966.

The Lux app’s manual exposure controls, which are restricted to paying subscribers.
Image: Leica

If you use Leica Lux in free mode, you’ll get five Leica Looks and one lens imitation. Unlocking all the color profiles, software lenses, and pro-oriented features like manual exposure controls costs $6.99 per month or a nice $69.99 per year.

I’ve had a brief chance to use a prerelease beta version of Leica Lux on my iPhone 15 Pro, and the early results seem mixed at best. The interface is nicely put together, with a streamlined menu system and lightly customizable controls that center nifty features like exposure compensation and a live histogram. It’s sleek — and a bit reminiscent of another popular iOS third-party camera app, Halide. Leica Lux also sorts in your downloaded photos from Leica cameras, as I was greeted with some of my personal Leica Q2 images when I opened the in-app gallery.

The Leica Looks add some nice one-click-and-your-done drama to images, though some are a little heavy-handed with a “filtered” look that’s sure to polarize. The portrait mode / lens simulations are also pretty hit or miss, and when they miss, they can miss badly.

The photos often have a very cut-out look that seems more than a few generations behind the portrait modes you see from Apple and Google — and nothing touches Samsung right now. I’ve also seen it render some weird pixelated blockiness at the edges of the in-focus subject, but for now, I’ll concede to the app’s beta status. 

Even when the lens simulation is done nicely, you have to contend with the fact that Apple’s own software isn’t always friendly to third-party apps. Leica Lux doesn’t allow you to reverse a portrait mode shot to bail yourself out with a regular-looking photo, unlike you can do on Apple’s own camera app. In fact, viewing Leica Lux photos in the iOS camera roll allows you to add Apple’s own portrait and bokeh effects, which is a weird anachronism that’s guaranteed to wreck any photo.

The Lux app in Leica Natural look with a 75mm f/1.25 Noctilux simulation (left image) and Apple’s default camera app in portrait mode (right image).

This isn’t Leica’s first foray in trying to milk its loyal fan base for that sweet sweet recurring revenue stream. For a period of time, it moved features of its Leica Fotos app behind a pro-tier paywall, forcing photographers who transfer images from actual Leica cameras to their phones to pay for things like an Adobe Lightroom integration. Full disclosure: I was working for Leica Camera USA at the time of this Fotos Pro rollout, and I can tell you photographers were far from thrilled. It didn’t take very long for Leica to reverse course and make all features of its Fotos app free again.

The Lux app in Leica Natural look with a 28mm f/1.4 Summilux simulation (left image) and Apple’s default camera app in portrait mode (right image).

Leica Lux, on the other hand, is something wholly new — well, mostly. Leica Looks debuted previously in the Fotos app for owners of newer cameras like the Q3 and SL3, allowing transferred images to have profiles applied to them on an iPhone or Android device. What’s really new in the Lux app is the lens bokeh simulations and the fact that you can Leica-fy your iPhone camera experience. There are some fun ideas and a nice design here for Leica fans, but it requires some nickel-and-diming to take full advantage of it.

Source link

You may be interested

More than 1,300 Hajj pilgrims die as extreme temperatures hit holy sites
World
shares2,100 views
World
shares2,100 views

More than 1,300 Hajj pilgrims die as extreme temperatures hit holy sites

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.Now PlayingMore than 1,300 people died…

How to remove car scratches: Man shares white vinegar hack
Lifestyle
shares3,615 views
Lifestyle
shares3,615 views

How to remove car scratches: Man shares white vinegar hack

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

A TikTok user has shared a genius hack to remove car scratches using two household ingredients.In a viral video that…

Biden and Trump face off this week in the first presidential debate. Here’s what we know so far about debate, prep and more
Top Stories
shares2,851 views
Top Stories
shares2,851 views

Biden and Trump face off this week in the first presidential debate. Here’s what we know so far about debate, prep and more

new admin - Jun 24, 2024

Washington — President Biden and former President Donald Trump are set to face off this week in the first presidential…