Leica has released a new ‘professional camera app’ for iPhone users, called Leica LUX. It’s designed to simulate the look of using various classic Leica M rangefinder lenses, such as the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH and the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/1.2 ASPH, including their characteristic bokeh effects. It also offers ‘Leica Looks’, which provide the same colour profiles as the firm’s latest cameras, such as the Leica Q3 and Leica SL3.

Leica LUX app at a glance:

  • iPhone camera app
  • Includes ‘Leica Looks’ colour modes
  • Simulates various Leica M lenses
  • Freemium model – ‘Pro’ version requires subscription (from £6.99 per month)

If the features offered in the Leica LUX app sound familiar, that may be because we’ve recently seen them in recent Xiaomi phones, including the superb Xiaomi 14 Ultra. But this is the first time they’ll be available to iPhone users.

Leica says that its ‘Standard’ look renders colours and contrast more naturally than the native iPhone camera app. Other Leica Looks available include Classic, Contemporary and Eternal colour modes, plus various toned Black & White options (Blue, Selenium and Sepia). The initial set of lens emulations is rounded off by the Apo-Telyt-M 135mm f/3.4 and the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH.

The Leica LUX app will be available as a basic free version, which offers a single lens (the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH) and five Leica Looks. However, to unlock the full feature set, users will need to subscribe to the Pro version, which will cost from £6.99 per month. This also brings additional manual control over various camera settings such as exposure compensation.

The new Leica LUX app is available to download now from the Apple App Store.

Leica LUX app screenshot Leica Look selection
The Leica LUX app lets you select between Leica Looks and lens simulations, while offering a good degree of manual control. Credit: Andy Westlake

Leica has also announced that it’s acquired Fjorden Electra AS, a Norwegian company that makes an add-on camera grip and associated camera control app for iPhones. According to Marius Eschweiler, Vice President Business Unit Mobile, Leica Camera AG: ‘In the future, customers will benefit from the combined expertise of two innovation leaders who have bundled their core competencies to open up new creative capabilities in smartphone photography.’

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From Leica:

Leica LUX app sample image
Images shot using the Leica LUX app can be saved with added EXIF data. Credit: Andy Westlake

Leica LUX: Leica Camera AG presents a professional photo app for iPhone

Wetzlar, 6th June 2024. Leica Camera AG presents the Leica LUX app, a professional camera app that brings the iconic Leica Look to the iPhone. Leica LUX enables iPhone users to immerse themselves in the world of Leica photography and lenses to create unmistakeable Leica Looks for the first time with an iPhone. The app addresses both experienced and entry-level photographers for everything from spontaneous snapshots to artistic photos.

The ‘Leica Lens Look’

With Leica LUX, users can experiment with well-known Leica lenses without having to physically take a camera in their hands. In ‘Aperture-Mode’, iPhone photographers can take pictures with the characteristic signatures of a range of classic Leica lenses, such as the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH and the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/1.2 ASPH as well as others. Thanks to Leica’s proprietary image processing engine, which is based on machine learning and computer-aided photography, these lens simulations reproduce the unmistakeable look for which these lenses are famed, including the characteristic bokeh effect. This means that an iPhone can also emulate photos with the unique aesthetic of the legendary Leica M lenses.

The world of Leica Looks

Leica LUX uses Leica colour science to offer a selection of colour gradations and film presets that emulate those of Leica cameras. These include options such as Leica Classic, Leica Contemporary and Leica Black-and White. When using the Leica Standard Look, the proprietary image processing in Leica LUX already displays colours and contrast differently and more naturally than the native iPhone camera app. With Leica LUX, the iPhone camera becomes the key to a world of powerful artistic expression, rich textures and impressive nuances, with each Leica Look having been developed to lend the captured image depth and character.

Leica LUX features a powerful and intuitively usable automatic mode and offers photographers creative freedom through manual control of important parameters such as exposure compensation or shutter speeds, which allows every aspect of photo composition to reflect the photographer’s personal preferences. Whether used by an experienced professional or an enthusiastic amateur, Leica LUX is a tool that enables all photographers to capture professional images and simultaneously maximise their creative freedom. The app is also regularly updated with new Leica lens profiles, Leica Looks and functions.

Leica Camera AG takes over Fjorden Electra AS

On 1 December 2023, Leica Camera AG took over the Norwegian company Fjorden Electra AS during the development of Leica LUX. The strategic acquisition took place within the framework of the development of new business areas in the Mobile Business segment.

The business models of both companies ideally complement one another, with Fjorden Electra AS bringing extensive know-how in the development of apps and smartphone accessories, and the Leica Camera AG Mobile Imaging development team contributing its expertise in the areas of image processing and imaging quality.

Marius Eschweiler, Vice President Business Unit Mobile, Leica Camera AG: ‘With the takeover of Fjorden, we systematically press ahead with our strategic growth strategy and further consolidate our positioning in the smartphone photography segment. In the future, customers will benefit from the combined expertise of two innovation leaders who have bundled their core competencies to open up new creative capabilities in smartphone photography.’

Dr Victor Henning, founder and CEO of Fjorden Electra AS, adds: ‘Our vision was to bring more joy and professionalism to mobile phone photography. The iconic Leica cameras were role models in our development processes when it comes to functionality, design and haptics. As long-standing Leica fans, our team is eager to further develop this vision as a part of Leica and simultaneously benefit from the company’s technical and optical excellence’.

Pricing and availability

Leica LUX will be offered under a ‘Freemium’ model, where a free version includes access to the Automatic Photo mode and the Aperture Mode, including emulation of the Leica Summilux- M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and five Leica Looks.

Leica LUX Pro (from £6.99 per month) enables additional access to manual control of the exposure, focus and white balance as well as the complete current range of 11 Leica Looks and five Leica lenses, which will continue to grow through updates. The range of functions, including access to exclusive Leica content and events and a series of other functions, is being continually expanded.