Prototype of Jony Ive's (RED) Leica camera heads to auction

Posted:
in General Discussion
A prototype of a Leica camera designed by former Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive and designer Marc Newson is going up for auction, with the lot expected to raise up to $300,000 when it goes on sale in June.

The prototype Leica doesn't have any of the decorative features of the final version.
The prototype Leica doesn't have any of the decorative features of the final version.


Sold by the Leitz Photographica Auction, lot 38 is described as a "Jony Ive/Marc Newson Design Leica Prototype." It is a pre-final version of the camera famously sold as part of the Product (RED) charity auction in 2013, which fetched $1.3 million at the time.

The prototype similar to the final version, but instead shows the "final development step" of the project, one that used hundreds of prototype parts. Only one final version of the camera was put on sale.

The top section of the prototype.
The top section of the prototype.


Made from an aluminum body, the prototype has all of the usual dials, buttons, windows, and the screen on the rear, but without any of the final decorative elements. It is accompanied by a matching Apo-Summicron 2/50mm ASPH lens, to show what the final finish product could look like.

It is unclear if the camera is functional or simply was used as a physical design aid. The final version was a 35mm full-frame camera with a full-format CMOS sensor and a high-performance processor.

Described as having a "B+" condition, the prototype camera is estimated to sell for between 200,000 euro ($235,000) and 250,000 euro ($294,000), with a starting price of 100,000 euro ($117,000).

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,770member
    If I’m honest… this looks more like something attempting to look Apple-esque rather than something designed by Ive, IMO. Looks like a 2000’s design, similar curves to the iPod Mini but less sleek. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,127member
    elijahg said:
    If I’m honest… this looks more like something attempting to look Apple-esque rather than something designed by Ive, IMO. Looks like a 2000’s design, similar curves to the iPod Mini but less sleek. 
    You do know that Ive worked at Apple right?

  • Reply 3 of 11
    This looks to me a lot like minimalism for minimalism’s sake, which is hardly in keeping with the Bauhaus aesthetic upon which much of modernist design is supposedly based. I mean, the form is supposed to follow the function, but this just looks like it is less a camera for the working professional and more an objet d’art that is only of interest for a collector. If so, then it isn’t really a Leica. (Perhaps that was the only reason for the design in the first place?) That said, this is only a prototype, so let’s be somewhat charitable about that. I would, however, be curious about how functional the finished product actually is?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    dk49dk49 Posts: 267member
    Can Jony Ive ever design something that's not made of aluminium and doesn't look silver/white? 
    edited March 2021 pulseimagesOctoMonkey
  • Reply 5 of 11
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,770member
    flydog said:
    elijahg said:
    If I’m honest… this looks more like something attempting to look Apple-esque rather than something designed by Ive, IMO. Looks like a 2000’s design, similar curves to the iPod Mini but less sleek. 
    You do know that Ive worked at Apple right?

    Never! :open_mouth: 
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Looks like the guts of a Leica M10 stuck into the body of a Leica Q.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    It’s not thin enough!
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    This looks to me a lot like minimalism for minimalism’s sake, which is hardly in keeping with the Bauhaus aesthetic upon which much of modernist design is supposedly based. I mean, the form is supposed to follow the function, but this just looks like it is less a camera for the working professional and more an objet d’art that is only of interest for a collector. If so, then it isn’t really a Leica. (Perhaps that was the only reason for the design in the first place?) That said, this is only a prototype, so let’s be somewhat charitable about that. I would, however, be curious about how functional the finished product actually is?
    I found pics of the finished camera here: https://marc-newson.com/red-leica-camera/

    The lack of control labels on the prototype would make it very "interesting" to use, assuming it is functional.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Ta. Even looking at the finished product, I’m not sure that it inspires confidence, tbh. I like Leica, but far from being “point-and-click” simplicity, I think with that one I would read the manual in its entirety.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    dk49 said:
    Can Jony Ive ever design something that's not made of aluminium and doesn't look silver/white? 




    The Ive-Newson designed Fiat Jolly!
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Personally, I like the prototype more than the finished product:
    watto_cobra
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