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Leica and Panasonic ‘maximise synergies’

Leica and Panasonic have jointly announced a strengthening of their business alliance, resulting in the development of ‘new technologies and solutions’ under the banner L² Technology, or L Squared.

It ain’t exactly clear what this all means, as nothing has yet come from this new collaboration. And, frankly, the press release perfects the art of using lots of buzzwords to say almost nothing.

Y’know, eye-rolling terms and sequence of words like ‘maximising the synergies’, ‘increasingly bundle their core competencies’,’deliver new value in the new era’, ‘ jointly explore new creativity and expressive power’, and ‘L² Technology… will open up new possibilities for creative camera users, in their marketing activities in order to develop a collaborative system over the long term’.

Leica and Panasonic have apparently been bedfellows since the year 2000. The most notable outcome so far is the L Mount alliance, a ménage à trois with Sigma whereby the three companies develop full-frame mirrorless camera products for the Leica L mount.

The L Mount Alliance makes sense, as each brand designs quality products in their chosen field. Sigma is the third-party lens market leader, Panasonic makes great ‘hybrid’ cameras, and Leica sells luxury cameras with an iconic red dot. With no direct competition with each other, working together provides an opportunity to build a product line up and entice customers into the L mount ‘ecosystem’.

Panasonic told DPReview that the new L Squared Technology arrangement isn’t a ‘new alliance’ that threatens Sigma’s position, but a ‘new value created by Leica Camera AG and Panasonic’.

‘This new value will be integrated to our new cameras for Panasonic and Leica and by each company we will have our own marketing story,’ the spokesperson said.

The L Squared announcement isn’t giving much away. No big product launch to kick off this, um ‘new era’ that will supposedly ‘create a new imaging world’. Seems like overly grandiose promises without providing anything of actual substance.

The press release is so awash with marketing corporatese that the glum tech writers covering the announcement made little effort to interpret it or speculate what this all means. They simply re-printed the verbiage almost word for word.

Have a read:

Leica Camera AG and Panasonic signed strategic comprehensive collaboration agreement

Panasonic Entertainment & Communication Corporation (Headquarters in Osaka, Japan) and Leica Camera AG (Wetzlar, Germany) today announced that they have reached an agreement for a new comprehensive business alliance. Both companies agreed to increasingly bundle their core competencies and to develop new technologies and solutions resulting from this collaboration under the name of “L² Technology ” (L squared Technology) which symbolically uses the two „L“ of “ Leica ” and “LUMIX ” in their marketing activities going forward.

L2 Technology will unify the strengths of two brands, Leica and LUMIX, be a symbol of the collaboration by combining the technologies and know-how of the two companies in the fields of new camera and lens products and next generation software, and create technologies and solutions that deliver new value in the new era. Through this collaboration, both companies will be able to maximize the synergies by Leica’s optical and imaging technology and Panasonic’s video and digital technology that have been cultivated over many years in the camera and imaging market, and jointly explore new creativity and expressive power. They will continue to develop innovative L² Technology that will create a new imaging world.

Through this collaboration, the two companies will jointly invest in new technologies that can be incorporated into camera and lens products, and will incorporate jointly developed technologies into each other’s Leica and LUMIX products to further enhance their product capabilities. Going forward, Leica and LUMIX will utilize L² Technology, which will open up new possibilities for creative camera users, in their marketing activities in order to develop a collaborative system over the long term.

“With the arrival of an era in which photos and videos are shared globally in real time, cameras are required to have capability to create more impressive and breathtaking expression. I have always been impressed by the high picture quality and the picture-making philosophy that Leica has developed over its long history. I am very pleased and excited to continue working with Leica to develop technology that will enable people around the world to share their emotions,” said Akira Toyoshima, CEO of Panasonic Entertainment & Communication Co.,Ltd.

“We have been working with Panasonic for many years in a spirit of partnership and trust, and their extensive expertise is undisputed. The combination of our competencies in L2 Technology is another milestone in the partnership and proves that the best way to meet today’s challenges in the camera market is not to segment and specialize, but to deepen capabilities in order to jointly create solutions for the future,” said Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG.

History of collaboration
The cooperation between Leica Camera AG and Panasonic Corporation has existed since August 2000. Initially, the companies had signed a cooperation agreement for lenses of digital, audio-visual equipment, and in 2001 the decision was made to cooperate in the digital camera sector as well. Since then, the companies have steadily expanded their technological cooperation. In 2018, together with Sigma, the “L-Mount Alliance” was founded, an unprecedented type of cooperation that enables Panasonic, Sigma and, since 2021, Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH to use the L-mount standard developed by Leica for their own developments and thus also offer cameras as well as optics with this lens mount.

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