April 3, 2013 posted By Admin (http://www.downtownexpress.com)
BY BOB KRASNER | Did you hear the one about the $8,000 digital camera that only shoots in black and white? Funny, right? Leica, the revered camera manufacturer, doesn’t think so. Their M Monochrom is one of the more intriguing items in their new Soho location, which is filled with compelling merchandise for both pro and amateur shutterbugs.
The store recently opened at 460 West Broadway, between Houston and Prince Sts. It’s a collaboration between the 150-year-old manufacturer and Elliot Kurland, a Leica enthusiast and former proprietor of Kurland Photo. While the brand name instantly conjures up images of film cameras for photographers of a certain age, the company has jumped almost completely into the digital market. Although they still sell two models which use that archaic format, their focus on digital is both a leap into the modern age and a nod to the past, using classic designs to house a contemporary format.
The store’s minimalistic design space is filled not just with cameras, but books, magazines, accessories and a photo gallery. The place’s rear is designed to convert into a classroom as well. Customers are encouraged to test drive the wide variety of models available, and the extremely knowledgeable staff is more than willing to educate the consumer. Even the guy who came in and asked, “How is a Leica different from my iPhone?” got a straight answer.