Le­ica So­fort

Digital Photo (UK) - - GEAR -

“A HIGHLY CA­PA­BLE DE­VICE THAT PRO­DUCES PLEAS­ING QUAL­ITY PRINTS, BUT IT’S NOT EX­ACTLY A BAR­GAIN BUY”

Fea­tures 34mm-equiv­a­lent lens with two fo­cus set­tings, in­built flash, lots of cre­ative shoot­ing modes and set­tings Visit www.le­ica-store­may­fair.co.uk

In the last cou­ple of years in­stant photography has come back into fash­ion in a huge way, some­thing that Le­ica, arguably the most cov­eted of cam­era man­u­fac­tures, have em­braced with its lat­est product, the So­fort. While the de­vice’s de­sign is a lit­tle boxy, its re­fined build, retro styling, trio of avail­able colours (mint, orange and white) and vis­i­ble red dot are op­ti­mised to ap­peal to dis­cern­ing hip­sters.

Shoot­ing Fuji In­stax Mini Film (roughly 75p per shot), as well as Le­ica’s own mini film (£1 per print), it trans­forms fun mo­ments into mem­o­ries that can be held in the hand, while man­ag­ing to keep them cheap enough that you may even con­sider giv­ing them away.

As seen pre­vi­ously in Fuji’s own cam­eras that ac­cept this type of film, print qual­ity from the So­fort is highly com­pet­i­tive with good def­i­ni­tion and strong colours, al­beit with pho­tos look­ing much softer than what most dig­i­tal shoot­ers will be used too.

The So­fort’s lens is a fixed 60mm (34mm full-frame equiv­a­lent) op­tic that pro­vides an an­gle of view not too dis­sim­i­lar to the hu­man eye with an f/12.7 aper­ture, while there are two fo­cus set­tings se­lectable by a ring on the bar­rel, one for stan­dard dis­tances and one for close-up work. Along­side its op­ti­cal viewfinder sits a flash for use in tricky light con­di­tions, while there’s a raft of shoot­ing modes in­clud­ing cre­ative op­tions like mul­ti­ple-ex­po­sure, bulb and macro.

Other ad­vanced fea­tures are a self-timer and a rear LCD that dis­plays the cur­rent bat­tery level and re­main­ing shots. More in­tu­itive to use than Im­pos­si­ble Project’s re­cent I1, and much smaller, the So­fort keeps han­dling sim­ple and por­ta­ble.

At £229, it’s the cheap­est way to pick up a new de­vice from Le­ica, but with many sim­i­lar prod­ucts avail­able un­der £150, the So­fort is one of the more ex­pen­sive op­tions within its niche. In fact, this cam­era is sim­i­lar in terms of look and func­tion to Fuji’s own In­stax Mini 90 priced at £119, some­thing that may give pause for thought be­fore shelling out for it.

All in all, we found the So­fort to be a highly ca­pa­ble de­vice that pro­duces pleas­ing and qual­ity prints, but it’s still not quite the bar­gain you might hope for.

An LED in­di­ca­tor on the back dis­plays the re­main­ing shots avail­able

A mir­ror on the front of the So­fort is de­signed to make tak­ing a selfie eas­ier.

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