Leica Camera AG and Yuneec announce strategic technology partnership
Leica Camera AG and Yuneec have today announced their agreement on a strategic technology partnership. This announcement presents the jointly developed ION L1 Pro Camera, which will be marketed with the Typhoon H3 Multicopter from Yuneec. Leica Camera provided support in the specification and development of hardware components and the image processing software. The consequence of this is outstanding image quality, intuitive handling, professional image processing capabilities and iconic Leica design. The joint development of the ION L1 Pro Camera is to be seen only as the first step in the collaboration between Leica Camera and Yuneec.
One of Leica’s essential core competencies is the overall understanding of the imaging chain, including all factors that have a bearing on the final image. This includes both hardware, for instance the choice of sensor or the analysis of the optical system with regard to inherent optical aberrations, and software, for example for the design and definition of parameters for the image signal pipeline. In their work, the engineers at Leica Camera were able to draw on more than 100 years of optical expertise and precision engineering and combine it with state-of-the-art digital imaging technologies. The technical side of cooperative developments is augmented by an organisational ecosystem created especially for projects conducted in collaboration with partners. In addition to dedicated development capacities in specialised teams, these also comprise professional support and advice, for example in commercial and legal matters. All this makes Leica Camera AG the ideal partner for the realisation of innovative and groundbreaking solutions in the areas of optical systems and imaging.
“Within the framework of the strategic partnership with Yuneec, Leica can concentrate on the most important thing – its core competence in optics and digital imaging – and, at the same time, position itself in a highly innovative and attractive business sector. This commitment will enable photographers all over the world to experience Leica photography from completely new perspectives,” says Matthias Harsch, Chief Executive Officer of Leica Camera AG.
“The Typhoon H3 with ION L1 Pro camera merges art and technology, craft and modernity in a unique manner and, in doing so, takes our aerial photography to dizzy new heights. This symbiosis makes it possible to take unique aerial photographs from unlimited angles that are so breathtaking, they not only reflect the creativity of each and every photographer and filmmaker, but also constantly push them to achieve more. In the partnership between Yuneec and Leica, the focus is on the photographer and their artistic vision. This manifests itself in our first jointly developed product, which will soon be released as a perfectly matched tool that meets the highest quality standards,” explains Wenyan Jiang, Founder & Chairwoman of Yuneec International.
The development of multicopter cameras is a complex challenge, particularly in view of critical restrictions in terms of size and weight and the generally difficult conditions in which they are used. In contrast to classical camera systems, this requires the development of completely different approaches.
With regard to hardware, the optical system of the ION L1 Pro Camera is specially adapted for the special needs of photography from multicopter platforms. Apart from this, one of the biggest challenges faced by the Leica specialists was the minimisation of ghosting and lens flare. Here, a specially modified software was employed to conduct complex ghosting and flare simulations. The result of this was the maximisation of overall imaging performance in all relevant areas such as sharpness, contrast or distortion.
In the case of the image processing software, a number of essential features were implemented that are of particular relevance to photographers. The technical versatility of the camera provides numerous options – from bracketing and semi-automatic mode to wide dynamic range. On top of this, a dedicated ADOBE RAW profile enables professional and easily manageable workflows in Lightroom and Photoshop software. Reflecting the Leica leitmotif of concentration on what’s essential – ‘Das Wesentliche’ – the handling was designed to be as intuitive as possible and the capture modes are optimised and attuned to the special needs of aerial photography in a way that ensures that they fulfil Leica’s stringent expectations with respect to imaging quality.
The Typhoon H3 Multicopter with the ION L1 Pro Camera will be on sale from end of October 2019 at a price of 2,199 USD (MAP), 2399 Euro (RRP).
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellent quality. In combination with innovative technologies, all Leica products fulfil a common objective: better pictures, wherever perception and visualization matter. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hessen in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal and operates its own worldwide network of regional organisations, Leica Retail Stores, Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies.