The evolution of the Leica camera business
Since its original conception by Oskar Barnack in the early 1900s, the lightweight, practical Leica camera was originally produced for photographers who wished to capture stunning landscape shots. Originally known as Ernst Leitz GmbH, Leica Camera AG has since gone from strength to strength, developing their cameras and expanding their range to incorporate well-renowned rangefinder cameras alongside standard use cameras.
Although in a competitive sphere, with companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Nikon and many more providing high-quality cameras, the influential camera brand is popular not only with street photographers and camera enthusiasts, but have also won international acclaim for their designs of cine lenses, such as the Leica Summilux-C lenses. Their lenses are known to be incorporated within a number of Panasonic Lumix cameras and video products.
With news that the company has released their new instant camera, the Leica Sofort, we take a look at how the company has evolved.
1920 – 1930
The company begins developing their cameras and lenses which will be implemented into their models.
The rangefinder camera Leica I is released.
1930 – 1940
Further editions to the Leica I are released.
The Leica Standard and smaller model Leica model C are also launched.
1950 - 1960
The company releases their Leica M3 camera, alongside the Leica M Mount, which has since remained unchanged. The model merged both rangefinder and viewfinder and was an instant success.
The camera model remained popular until production ceased to make room for newer, more sophisticated models within the M series.
1960 – 1970
Upon Barnack’s death, the company released a number of single-lens reflex cameras, such as the Leicaflex and rangefinder camera M5
1970 – 1980
The company releases their Leicaflex SL2 and Leica R3 cameras. The company has since released further editions.
1990 – 2000
The Leica R8 and Leica R9 were launched, but have now ceased production as a result of newer, more established models.
The company also launches the Leica S1 Pro in 1996.
2000 – 2010
2010 – Present
The Leica C compact camera is launched beside digital camera Leica Q.
The release of Leica’s first instant camera, Leica Sofort, available in 3 different colours and incorporating first-class technology highlights how the company is increasingly moving towards utilising innovative technology in order to remain competitive and appeal to market demand.
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How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.