The most expensive camera in the world: 1923 Leica sells for $2.97M at auction

A private collector in Asia just bought her or himself the most expensive camera ever sold at auction, making away with an ultra-rare Leica 0-series no. 122 for the mind-boggling price of €2.4 million (approximately $2.97M USD, or £2.15M)—a sum reached when you combine the hammer price of €2 million with the €400,000 premium.

The auction took place on Saturday at the famed WestLicht auction house in Vienna, where Leica majority owner and chairman of the board Andreas Kaufmann was there to watch the record be set.

Leica 0-series no. 122 | Photo: WestLicht

According to WestLicht, the astronomical price “reflects the camera’s fantastic original condition.” Only 25 of these ‘test’ cameras were produced by Ernst Leitz in 1923—two years before the first Leica camera was officially brought to market—and WestLicht claims that of those 25, only three are known to still be in ‘original condition.’

Speaking of which: this sale beat the former €2.16 million (~$2.67M USD) record price paid for another Leica 0-series (no. 116) in 2012.

Press Release

The Most Expensive Camera Ever

Leica camera sold for 2,400,000 Euro (USD 2,976,000) at WestLicht record auction

The 32nd WestLicht Camera Auction brought not one but two record winning results. With the new world record price of 2.4 million Euro (2 million hammer price plus premium) the Leica 0-series no. 122 is the World’s most expensive camera to date. Furthermore, the auction turned out to be the most successful one in the rich history of the Vienna auction house.

The Leica 0-series had started at a price of 400,000 Euro and rose to a result 6 times higher. A private collector from Asia emerged as the winner from the exciting bidding war. The remarkable price certainly → continue…

From:: DPreview

Slow start to year as camera production and shipping plunge

Photo by Arno Body

According to the latest data released by CIPA, the number of cameras made and shipped in the first month of 2018 barely reached 70% of the volume for the same period last year and the year before that. Not a great start to the year…

As usual, cameras with lenses built in—compacts and bridge cameras—continue to show the worst decline, with only half as many of these models shipped to the USA and Asia in January 2018 as there were in January 2017. But while production and shipments were quite dramatically down by volume, measurements by value are not quite so bad, indicating that a more high priced cameras are selling… or that camera prices are rising.

The value of interchangeable lens system mirrorless cameras produced actually rose by 8% even though the volume produced was only 80% of production last January—just fractionally ahead of DSLRs. Interestingly, DSLR shipments to Japan in that period were up on the previous year by volume and by value, but it was the only region that didn’t see a decline in this category.

Further figures released by CIPA demonstrate the market’s decline since 2016, and show that while January 2017 was almost level with January 2016, this year has started very differently. The decline of cameras with built-in lenses has dropped to only 60% of the number shipped in 2016, and more worryingly, graphs show that January 2018 shipment figures are well below almost every other month in the last two years.

Hopefully this is just a blip, and we’ll see the numbers jump back into the black (or closer to it) in February. For more information, → continue…

From:: DPreview