Leica Sofort 2 review: a hybrid instant camera with style

The Leica Sofort 2 is a really brilliant hybrid instant camera – and it's the cheapest way to get some Leica in your life!

The Leica Sofort 2 in white, surrounded by instant film snaps
(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)
T3 Verdict

The Leica Sofort 2 is a great option for a lot of different users. Whether you want a top hybrid instant camera, an affordable Leica, or just a stylish point and shoot, this camera has an awful lot to offer.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Exceptional app

  • +

    Effortless to use

  • +

    Some useful effects

  • +


Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Most effects won't be used

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The market for the best instant cameras has changed dramatically over the course of the last few years. Gone are the days when it was just hipsters finding their parents' old Polaroid – the market is now peppered with modern options to satisfy that retro-tinged craving.

Of course, with modern units hitting the market, we've also seen modern features. The market for hybrid instant cameras has been huge, with popular models like the Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo offering users the functionality of a traditional camera and an instant printer in one.

That is the blueprint which the Leica Sofort 2 is built on. A digital sensor is built onto an instant printer, allowing users to enjoy both the digital and analogue snaps. Of course, there's one big difference – this one has the iconic red logo on it. But is it any good? Well, let's find out.

Leica Sofort 2 review: Price and Release Date

The Leica Sofort 2 was first unveiled on the 9th of November 2023. The camera retails for £350/$389, making it one of the more expensive options on the market.

The Leica Sofort 2 in white

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

Leica Sofort 2 review: Features

So, what does that £350 get you in the world of instant cameras? Well, a fair bit, actually. As mentioned, the Sofort 2 is a hybrid camera. That means you get a digital sensor on the front, with an internal memory and a printer all in one box.

The internal memory can store around 45 images, while a 1GB microSD card would allow for around 850 to be kept secure. Those can then be printed at will, from the playback section of the device.

Those are captured by a 1/5-inch CMOS sensor. That produces JPEG images with a 2560 x 1920 resolution. 

There's no manual control of things like aperture, though it is automatically adjustable from f/2 up to f/16. Shutter speeds range from 1/4 of a second up to 1/8000 of a second, while the focus distance goes from around 10cm up to infinity. 

Perhaps the coolest bit of this camera is the range of effects. There are ten film styles and ten lens effects on offer, combining to offer 100 different styles. Those include things like colour filters, vignettes and fisheye lenses, offering an easy way to boost your creative output.

The Leica Sofort 2 in white

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

Leica Sofort 2 review: Performance

So, is it any good? Well, yes. In short, this does just about everything you'd expect an instant camera to do. Okay, the sensor isn't the highest quality for digital snaps – your phone is probably the better bet there – but you probably aren't buying this for its digital chops.

When it comes to snapping images for instant printing, that CMOS sensor is more than good enough. In fact, the slightly lo-fi look helps give everything a more analogue feel than it probably deserves.

Making use of the camera itself is as easy as pie. The Leica focus of minimalism can be found throughout the design, making option paralysis a thing of the past. Don't be fooled – this is packed full of features, you just won't be bombarded with them at every turn.

Instead, this acts much like a simply point and shoot camera. Then, if you want to dive in a little deeper, a series of clear and concise menus offer that functionality. Perfect.

Those camera effects are arguably one of the top features on offer here. The pairing of ten lens effects and ten film styles offer up 100 different creative combos for your shot snapping exploits.

In practice, I found there were only a few that were really useful, though. I often took to the half frame – a style I thoroughly enjoy – setting, as well as the colour shift for a more Tumblr-era aesthetic.

It's all incredibly easy to setup. Plus, the effects reset button next to the shutter release makes it simple to revert back to normal if you get lost in oddities.

Printing images is really simple, too. Just head to the playback menu, find the image you want to print and pull on the lever. The image on screen will move up on the display, mimicking the print emerging from the top of the device.

One of my favourite bits about the camera is the ability to print images from other sources. Taking shots from professional cameras and printing an instant copy showcases just how good the film really is.

With the Leica FOTOS app, that process is – as you might have guessed by this point – super simple. With the camera paired, you'll be greeted with your photo gallery. Simply pick the photo and press print. It takes around 15 seconds to print out.

The Leica Sofort 2 in white

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

Leica Sofort 2 review: Verdict

Look, there's no getting around the fact that this is a pricey camera. It's twice the cost of the Instax Mini Evo it shares a good deal of the spec sheet with, in fact. And look, this isn't a comparison piece – though I have spent a short time with the Instax Mini Evo, it certainly wasn't enough to form any conclusive opinions on it – but we should be aware of what else is out there.

If you're just looking for a hybrid camera, and don't care too much beyond that, the Instax is probably a better bet for you. It's arguably 90% of the camera for 50% of the price.

That extra 10% is where you get into proper Leica territory, though. The build quality is just that extra bit more sturdy, while things like an included magnetic lens cap make it easy to carry everyday without worry.

The integration with the Leica FOTOS app is arguably one of the biggest sells here, too. That should make it a no-brainer for any current Leica owners, making it easier than ever to print out images from your main device.

Of course, if you just fancy yourself a Leica for less? Well, that's a fine excuse to pick one up, too.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.