Many of our readers will be aware that last week I was whisked away to the comfort of Leica HQ, Wetzlar, Germany, by telecom brand, Huawei. Lens and camera manufacturer Leica, originally announced in late 2016 their joint research and development centre with Huawei; working on optical and software systems. Now, this all takes place in the The Max Berek Innovation Lab. The Huawei P20 Pro that I was presented with has three cameras within this device and are co-engineered between Huawei and Leica. A spokesman for Huwawei explained “There has been significant technological collaboration between Huawei and Leica around many aspects of the camera, including optical design, imaging quality, image data processing, optimisation, and the mechanical construction of the camera module to the graphic user interface. The devices meet Leica’s highest imaging quality standards.”
The Lab’s establishment is the result of the vision and support of Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG, and Ren Zhengfei, founder of HUAWEI.
“With the founding of the Max Berek Innovation Lab, HUAWEI and Leica Camera AG are expanding the scope of their successful strategic relationship and are laying the foundation for close collaboration in research and development of ground-breaking technologies in the imaging segment,” emphasised Dr. Andreas Kaufmann.
“In the future, over 90 per cent of the data traffic will be images and videos,” said Ren Zhengfei, founder of HUAWEI. “The Max Berek Innovation Lab provides the capacity to establish an even closer partnership with Leica, leading to continuous improvements in image and video quality. As a result, we will deliver the most advanced innovations in the smartphone camera market and bring greater value to consumers.”
“HUAWEI and Leica share not only enormous innovation power and years of research experience, but also their dedication to providing the highest quality standards. The Max Berek Innovation Lab offers us a historic opportunity to unite the resources and extensive expertise of both companies to pioneer game-changing technologies,” confirmed Markus Limberger, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Leica Camera AG and director of the Max Berek Innovation Lab.
The R&D centre is named in memory of Max Berek (1886 – 1949), the German pioneer of microscopy and creator of the first Leica lenses. Berek was also responsible for the optical design of more than 20 lenses for the legendary 35mm camera, invented and built by Oskar Barnack. Thanks to the exceptional imaging performance and perfect harmonisation of the lenses, coupled with Barnack’s ingenious construction, Leica achieved worldwide success in 35mm photography.