Leica is far and beyond our favorite camera brand for its uncompromising quality, history, and masterful design. Here's a few interesting facts about the brand that will make you want one of their cameras even more. They're a bit on the pricey side, but absolutely worth every penny. There's a reason they're on top of the photography food chain.
The company was founded by Ernst Leitz and got its name by using the first three letters of his last name and combining it with the first two from the word "camera."
In 1932, the the Soviet government ripped off Leica and created nearly exact copies of the Leica II.
In 1952, Leica created underwater cameras for the US Navy that looked like an amazing orange GoPro. These sell for enormous amounts at auctions nowadays.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of photojournalism, exclusively used Leica cameras. He famously considered them an "extension of his eye." The photo above is of his very first Leica camera.
Like Audi, BMW, Porsche, Braun, and Mercedes-Benz, Leica is a German company. The country produces almost nothing that doesn't have the most impressive attention to detail.
They're a collector's item but they're also meant to be used. Like a Porsche is meant to be driven or a Rolex is meant to be worn daily, Leica cameras are meant to shoot incredible photos and not be hung up on a wall, imprisoned for display.
Leica Camera was founded in 1849 whereas Kodak was founded in 1888, Nikon was founded in 1917, and Canon and Polaroid were founded in 1937. Seniority is never a bad thing.
Steve Jobs compared the iPhone 4 design to "a beautiful old Leica" and the cameras all meet famous product designer Dieter Rams' design principles.
Many iconic photographs were taken on a Leica. Che Guevara's portrait found on many T-shirts and the sailor kissing the random girl on V-J day are two of the most recognizable ones.
Famous astronaut John Glenn used a Leica 1G to snap the first human-operated photo of the Earth from space.