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Leica announces S-System 37MP medium format body and lenses

By dpreview staff on Sep 17, 2012 at 22:59 GMT

Photokina 2012: Leica has announced its latest S-series medium format camera body. Dropping the version number from its moniker - like the recently announced Leica M - this update to the S2 is dubbed simply the Leica 'S'. It retains its predecessor's 37.5MP pixel count but offers improved image processing, a sensitivity  range of ISO 100-1600, a 2GB image buffer and 166MB/s transfer rate. A new predictive AF system and 920k dot resolution rear LCD panel round out the highlights, along with an internal GPS module. The camera will be available in December for a retail price of US $21,950. Three new lenses for the system have also been announced; the Super-Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH, Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH and TS-APO- Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. tilt/shift lens.

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Press Release:

NEW: LEICA S

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) - Leica Camera presents a new camera in the Leica S- System portfolio, a revolutionary digital camera concept to meet supreme professional requirements. The next generation in the successful line, the Leica S offers increased imaging quality and sensor sensitivity, predictive autofocus, higher speed and improved handling. Numerous enhanced functions contribute to the camera’s further acceleration and greater security of the professional photographic workflow. In addition to the new camera body, three lenses have been added to the S-System portfolio, significantly expanding the capabilities of the system: the Leica Super-Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH. super-wide, the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. and the Leica TS-APO- Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. tilt/shift lens.


“This expansion of the system is further confirmation that the dedicated digital concept of the S- System sets new standards in the world of medium format photography while providing the speed and handling of a 35 mm SLR,” said Stephan Schulz, Head of Professional Imaging at Leica Camera AG. “In terms of its rugged resilience, reliability and versatility, the new Leica S is the first choice for photographers who refuse to make compromises.”


New Image And Sensor Board For More Quality And Higher Speed
One of the most remarkable innovations in the Leica S is its new image and sensor board. The upgrade of these electronic components has led to the increased imaging quality of the Leica S, as well as the improvement of noise characteristics, natural color rendition and the precision of its white balance. The latter function has now been extended to include a ‘Grey Card’ option that allows photographers to shoot a subject with a neutral grey area, such as a grey card, and define the white balance determined as a reference for all following photos to ensure a consistently precise color mood from beginning to end of a shoot. The extended sensitivity range of the sensor at both ends gives photographers more freedom of choice in the selection of exposure parameters. For example, the lower basic ISO setting of 100 allows longer working at maximum aperture in extremely bright conditions, while the maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600 enables them to capture noise-free images even under difficult lighting conditions. In addition, the double buffer memory of 2 GB and support of transfer rates up to 166 MB/s enables photographers to shoot continuous sequences of more than twice as many (up to 32) consecutive images in RAW format, at a full resolution of 37.5 MP. There is no limit to the number of consecutive images that may be captured in JPEG format. Images can be saved parallel to the original files in a choice of 37.5, 9.3 and 2.3 megapixels to provide photographers with a preview of the work in progress straight from the camera at the desired resolution.


Fast, Predictive Autofocus Module For Subjects In Motion
The upgraded autofocus module not only increases the speed, but also enhances focusing precision. In combination with its fascinating imaging quality, the Leica S sets new standards for professional action photography. To ensure that moving subjects remain sharp and can be swiftly tracked, the Leica S features a predictive autofocus. The camera compares past movements of the subject and computes the location of the subject at the time of exposure. The autofocus locks on to this computed point before the shutter release is pressed.


GPS System And Leveling Aid For Precision And Uncomplicated Workflows
The Leica S is the only professional camera to feature an integrated GPS module that can add the geographical positioning data of the exposure location to the Exif data of an image whenever necessary. This function allows the precise synchronization of the system time (internal clock) for any worldwide location where satellite signals can be received. With software (the professional image administration and processing tool, Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4 is supplied with the camera), every image can be shown on a map and tagged with a location name that can be used to locate the image in the future. The new dual-axis leveling aid (spirit level) displays its readout in the viewfinder to allow photographers to align the subject with absolute precision in the horizontal and vertical plane without the need for external aids.


Optimized Handling
The monitor screen offers a resolution of 920,000 pixels, a 3" diagonal and full sRGB color space, as well as increased contrast and brightness to allow for greater precision when assessing images. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from tough, scratch-resistant Corning®Gorilla®Glass. The increased viewfinder coverage of 98 percent, additional information displayed in the viewfinder, optimization of the camera menu and a softer rubber coating for better grip all make the new camera easy to handle. Significantly faster navigation in the camera menu is now possible with the new integrated joystick control located on the back. Greater security in the control of studio flash systems is afforded by the new LEMO flash sync socket.


Advantages Of The S-System
The new Leica S possesses all the standard quality characteristics of the S-System including the large (30 x 45 mm) Leica Pro Format sensor and its microlens layer that guarantees consistently uniform brightness from corner to corner. Resembling all S-Lenses, the camera is extremely rugged and sealed against environmental influences such as dust and rain. The unique dual shutter concept offers photographers the choice of using the camera’s fast focal plane shutter or the central shutter of CS-version lenses that allows flash sync at shutter speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. The eight Leica S-System lenses currently available (five of which will also be available with a central shutter) offer photographers all focal lengths and a first-class tilt/shift lens. Furthermore, a wide range of medium format lenses from a number of other manufacturers can easily be mounted on the Leica S using adapters such as the S-Adapter H, which allows the use of Hasselblad H-Lenses with full support of all functions including autofocus, central shutter control and automatic aperture control.


Photographers never face compromises when they choose a Leica S due to details such as secure cable connections, multifunctional memory card slots, further improved energy efficiency and scratch resistant monitor glass. The Leica S stands alone as an ideal and extremely reliable tool for achieving maximum quality results both in the studio and on location, under even the most unfavorable conditions.


Together with the new Leica M, the Leica S marks the beginning of a new era in Leica’s product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the long-term significance and enduring value of the respective systems.


Purchase of the Leica S includes the Leica Protection Plan, offering photographers an extended warranty for a period of three years, as well as a replacement camera during repair. The Leica S will be available from select Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, beginning in December 2012.

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 139
mr pix
By mr pix (10 months ago)

Guys guys

You are all forgetting the Pentax 645d the Nikon
D800 have only 14 bit image processing capability
The Leica S series has 16 bit. Pros who pay pro photogs can tell the differennce.

0 upvotes
Pbartf64
By Pbartf64 (Mar 25, 2013)

I see so many here comparing megapixels such as the Nikon D800 36mp vs the Leica S (type 006) 37mp. Quality has little to do with resolution after a certain point. I'm a commercial photographer who owns 2 Nikon D800's and a Leica S system and can tell you that the Leica is far superior. The Leica S is much sharper, dynamic range is better and the color depth is incredible and accurate. It's beyond description and comes down to seeing it, not a spec sheet. Don't get me wrong, the D800 is great and I use it for low light work because of high ISO ability and telephotos lenses. If I was doing this as a hobby, the D800 is plenty. If I need to make a living and offer the best to ad agency clients, the Leica pays the bills and gives my work the edge over the competition.

1 upvote
altugo
By altugo (8 months ago)

Yes but Leica S is almost 7 times expensive than D800e... Also D800 is a 35mm sensor camera while Leica S is medium format. I think you should compare Leica S with other medium format cameras such as Hasselblad and PhaseOne-Mamiya... I like the medium format in landscape and commercial studio photography, but for the rest of the photography 35mm full format cameras still best choice.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
msstudio
By msstudio (Oct 26, 2012)

For those who question the existence of the camera, I have to say that I usually shoot Canon and occasionally Phase one on Hasselblad. This S body and the lenses are in another league. I had a whole kit for a commercial job last year and the image quality just blew me away.
In the right lighting. Conditions!
That's right, Bette than any Canon with fixed focal L glass, better than H system. But certainly not versatile. The moment I went over 320 ISO the whole file was nearly unusable, my 5D II blew all of them. But at 100ISO with nice light, aka studio or on a tripod the images are terrific with nice overhead to adjust and the lenses are outstanding.

1 upvote
paolopan83
By paolopan83 (Sep 24, 2012)

Well, if it is for studio why did theu put GPS and they talk about moving subject shooting? For sure seeing its price I do not even bother thinking about how good/bad could be for me, but yet it seems a camera designed more by marketing than by engineers and photogrphers.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 22, 2012)

Why would anybody buy this?

0 upvotes
tirmite
By tirmite (Sep 24, 2012)

if you have to ask, then you obviously don't "get" it. incredible image quality. the same reason commercial pro photographers shoot other medium format cameras. but this one is as holdable and fast handling as an SLR. Great optics and the ability to use other lenses from other manufacturers.
When you're working at the pro level and making thousand$$$$s of dollars per assignment, this is NOT an expensive investment. When your images pop off of the page/screen and you land the next job and your competition does NOT, then you wouldn't ask who would buy this. If it's not YOU, then I have a better chance of getting the job that you didn't get if you were bidding on the same job.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (Sep 24, 2012)

I think peevee1 meant buy this instead of Mamiya, Pentax or Hasselblad. Those firms produced MF for a long time and Leica has never been popular in MF.

1 upvote
RadioGnome
By RadioGnome (Oct 3, 2012)

I saw Medvedev taking some snapshots with a Leica S, apperently his own. I could be wrong, but judging the light-conditions, the possible subjects and his overall dedication in taking the pictures, lack of image quality is the least problem any picture taken there would suffer.

I think he bought the camera because he wanted the biggest and most expensive camera to show off he is the boss.

1 upvote
Chekr
By Chekr (Jan 6, 2013)

So Queen Elizabeth and Medvedev are Leica fans, shows how rich you have to be :P

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

Because they want exceptional glass and the color and tonality of a large CCD sensor..and also the ability to flash sync at high speeds..

0 upvotes
ornitho1
By ornitho1 (11 months ago)

I would ask the same question

0 upvotes
turner72
By turner72 (Sep 21, 2012)

Regardless of all other features of the Leica S: this is just the best looking and best designed DSLR I have ever seen. I doesn't look like a chewed and spit out bubble gum like all the Canons and Nikons. The Leica S looks solid and sturdy, plain and noble - and not because it has a red dot on it.

4 upvotes
howardfuhrman
By howardfuhrman (Sep 19, 2012)

I want a 4x5 digital so I can get better quality that the Leica S, Hasselblad, Pentax 645D, etc. With the 4x5 digital I can have the best quality digital of any camera on earth --better than FF and medium format digital cameras.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Sep 21, 2012)

I'm working on that. :)

2 upvotes
cnit
By cnit (11 months ago)

I bow before you. lol!

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (Sep 19, 2012)

Will it do for posting shots on facebook?

4 upvotes
HB1969
By HB1969 (Sep 20, 2012)

instagram maybe :p

0 upvotes
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (Sep 20, 2012)

I love it it's the price that made me ask )))

0 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (Sep 19, 2012)

Nice camera. As a matter of fact, it's almost as nice as a Pentax 645D. Ah, Oops!

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Sep 19, 2012)

This system is only for some kind of pros. And it is Leica.

3 upvotes
alexpaynter
By alexpaynter (Sep 19, 2012)

There is no point going to larger format unless you want more pixels or the ability to resolve detail in lower light. This does neither.

Obviously all those photographers who take great pride in the fact that they provided feedback to Leica, have given the wrong feedback.

3 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Sep 19, 2012)

There is the Nikon D800 and D800 E. 36 Megapixels. Full frame 35mm.

1 upvote
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 19, 2012)

Right ok so larger format is for using in low light!? Eh?
How about in a studio?
The feedback was correct Leica have listened, would Canon or Nikon do this?

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

you are right, that is why those 40, 50, 80 mpix sensors of the 5x4 formats are limited to 1500 ISO and get noisy at 800. Resolving more detail in lower light, you said ??? Find the error?

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

This is not about more pixels,larger CCD sensor's have a different look and tonality to them and files of medium format look sharper due to larger sensor which puts less stress on the resolving ability of the glass..

1 upvote
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Sep 19, 2012)

Only $22,000? Geez... I'll get another mortgage for a 'camera'.

2 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Sep 18, 2012)

Love all the spec-sheet warriors here, because totally, having a max sensitivity of ISO1600 means that the camera is worse than a D800.

Okay sure, it is very expensive and maybe a bit overpriced. But seriously? Comparing it to a D800?

1 upvote
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Sep 19, 2012)

I totally agree. If you have a D800 why would you ever consider spending 4 or 5 times more money on this.

5 upvotes
HB1969
By HB1969 (Sep 20, 2012)

Agree with tkpenalty
If megapixels and apparent max iso is all people are worried about then the nokia purview might be the camera/phone they want.
This Leica might have a riduculously high price but they are aiming for a niche professional market. Leica wouldn't be making many of them so they would be limited in how low they can sell them for to recover costs and make a profit.

1 upvote
JLRX
By JLRX (Sep 18, 2012)

So the only thing that Nikon has to do is to market a couple of leaf shutter lenses that synch at 1/1500 or 1/2000 and the 'advantage" of the S2 is gone. I vote for a 28/35mm, 50mm or 85/105mm, for all I care they can be f/2.8 but very sharp at f/5.6.

0 upvotes
JLRX
By JLRX (Sep 18, 2012)

Or even make an adapter that can take MF lenses and use their built in leaf shutters with AF (same as the S2).

0 upvotes
Theeky
By Theeky (Sep 18, 2012)

I think I will sell the house to buy this one! ahah

Who really spends so much money on this!? I can't understand.. really!?

Just give the money to people that don't have nothing to eat!

6 upvotes
Goreyo
By Goreyo (Sep 20, 2012)

Perhaps professionals whose livelihoods rely on such cameras?
My housemate reviews images for ad campaigns, the company only accept images produced on mf cameras and they process dozens of campaigns each month.

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

I found one photobase site with pictures of the former modell. It is a rcih Chinese who makes family shots on tourism. Thus, this is a tourist DSLR, :-)

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

people who are earning money with them.. i mean how much does a NYC taxi cost to buy?more than this camera i bet..

0 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Sep 18, 2012)

Why would you buy this over a D800? I'm seriously asking this because I would like to know.

3 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Sep 19, 2012)

Well, it is capable of shooting at ISO 1600...so there is that.

Seriously though, Leica makes some of the worlds best glass but once the cameras went digital I can't understand why someone would pay this kind of money. They have gotten a lot of milage out of their old, sturdy mechanical rangefinder's reputation. Purely an emotional purchase.

4 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Sep 19, 2012)

Build quality, image quality (download some and see) fantastic lenses, probably last forever - unlike Canikon which are designed to fall apart when an upgrade hits the shelves ( all mine have) There is less uneccessary stuff in the way of taking pictures. Image quality - already entioned but if I could afford it and with the sort of photography I do I would take a Leica anyday.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

For that price you can buy a lot of new Nikons, Canons, and new lenses, every time an upgrade hits the shelves, don't you think so? Nothing lasts forever, since nothing is eternal, it is all what is left when something falls apart. A D800 with 4 good pieces of glass can cost less than half of this and in a few years, it is old stuff, same as this S2, you won't even like to take it in your hands anymore. And then, the S3 will cost again 30000 for the new body alone, sick.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

show me which glass for a d800 that can match the Leica S lenses.. and show me a d800 that can flash sync i at 1/1000th sec.... just because you don't understand this camera doesn't mean it's not interesting

2 upvotes
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 18, 2012)

Lots of negative comments, why?? Do I sense some bitterness here?
You don't see the same comments with Hasselblad, maybe it's something to do with the red dot!?

6 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 19, 2012)

The comments are negative because a lot of people realize that it's a rip-off, and it's our way of saying that people who buy this should feel embarrassed instead of feeling cool. How about give a scholarship to a smart kid with no money for college, and ALSO buy a D800 (or D600 if you're feeling extra charitable)?

By the way, you must not have checked out the comments on the Hasselblad Lunar if you think that people are just being anti-Leica instead of anti-rip-off.

2 upvotes
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 19, 2012)

So in your world everything is a rip-off if you can't afford to buy it so no one is allowed anything nice!
Some people work hard to enjoy nice things!

3 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Sep 20, 2012)

Most of the people who work hard barely get by. Hedge fund managers and CEOs just think they work harder than other people. They don't scrub toilets all day then go to their night jobs.

I have no problem with smart, capable people earning a lot of money and buying nice things. Even this, overpriced as it is. I do wish Leica didn't reserve their optical excellence for the .1 percent, but it's a formula that's working right now. The megarich insist on exclusivity, and pushing the prices up reassures Leica's most valued customers that they are special (they being both the customers and the cameras.) The rest of us get by with splendid cameras without red dots.

3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

you can dress a monkey in a 20 000$ suit, it still remains a monkey.

0 upvotes
bstolk
By bstolk (Sep 18, 2012)

Wake me up when someone finally comes with a 60x60mm sensor. The term 'Medium Format' is getting more diluted all the time.

8 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 18, 2012)

Max ISO 1600 and a max aperture of F3.5? I hope you bring a lot of light with you.

4 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Sep 18, 2012)

A Profoto pack puts out a fair bit, yes.

1 upvote
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Sep 19, 2012)

Yes, this is for studio work. Was that your point?

1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

maximun aperture is 2.5 on the 70mm and 120mm .. on ly the 180 and tilt and shift and 3.5

0 upvotes
Indio888
By Indio888 (Sep 18, 2012)

Created for Mitt Romney's crowd.
No taxes and an array of well hidden offshore accounts.

11 upvotes
pev70
By pev70 (Sep 19, 2012)

Under the Obama great economic recovery Leica can forget about selling any of their units here.

4 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

Wow... what a bitter comment..

0 upvotes
Indio888
By Indio888 (Sep 18, 2012)

Built like a tank, no doubt.
The catch is...you'd have to sell the Bentley to pay for this stuff.
No problem...most of the people who would buy this aren't really photographers. They just have way too much money.

5 upvotes
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 18, 2012)

You couldn't be more wrong! Have you heard of the S League?
Infact the changes made are the results from photographers such as myself giving Leica the feedback they wanted.

2 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

Nikos, many photographers in this world do great things with low budget material. So, if you, as a studio photographer, will take a D800, a D600, any A99 or NEX-7, or even equal 645D or Pentax, do you really think that people will see the difference. If you can handle a camera, and I do not doubt at any moment you can, if your name is correct and you are the one I think about, you do not need a 35000$ material to make the same good shot. All is a choice to make. You might have the budget for this, but not every one has that, also not every one gets his material paid by a company. The S2 might be what it be, built like a tank, despite that, other material like a 645D and a Phase one or Leaf, same as a Pentax with those backs, would get my attention long time before I would consider a DSLR with a half size medium format sensor. We enter then here again in the discussion APSC vs FF, just here in medium format range. Who buys an APSC for 8000 if he can get a FF for 2500, good question?

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

It remembers me the issue of D800 when we have seen a match made with a shot of plate of berries, shot with d800 and Nokia's last super phone chip. Yes, there was a difference, but not 3000$ of difference. Both shots where stunning and much closer to each other in quality than anyone could imagine.
http://www.digitalversus.com/mobile-phone/nokia-808-pureview-p13536/mystery-camera-revealed-nokia-808-pureview-test-shots-face-off-n24775.html
get an idea on that site

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 7, 2013)

Says who? you...?

0 upvotes
Nerdlinger
By Nerdlinger (Sep 18, 2012)

And this is twice as good as a Pentax 645D? At least it costs twice as much...oh I know the red dot...

6 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (Sep 18, 2012)

try almost three times...and no, it's not...

2 upvotes
Hauer
By Hauer (Sep 18, 2012)

Leica seems to have a wonderful imagination when it comes to pricing their products!

9 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (Sep 18, 2012)

Yeah. D800 anyone?

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

D800 is FF. Not MF. This has 2x size of FF sensor. Thats why its so expensive.

I wonder if its still CCD or CMOS. Otherwise S2 is one of really amazing MF dSLRs, except that price.

Btw. cause its bigger sensor = not so fast diffraction problems like in D800. And much much higher quality lens. Well in fact S lens are currently best money can buy.

3 upvotes
disasterpiece
By disasterpiece (Sep 18, 2012)

I get your point, but the Leica is 7 times more expensive and yet, I think, not 7 times the quality you'd get from a D800.

2 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Sep 18, 2012)

Why is this large sensor limited to ISO1600?

0 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

It's the size. The larger the sensor, the more problems you get to concentrate light on a such a big surface.Try a magnifying glass of 4 inches in the sun and you see the concentration of light you get on a small spot, Now consider the distance from the glass to the spot. Now, to get a same concentrated light on a spot of 4x5 cm you need a magnifying glass that is a 2 feet in diameter and get 4 feet away form the spot. That is a reason why in a FF DSLR, the distance sensor to lens is the same and with any APSC lens you get a higher light concentration on the chip than in FF. That is also why grinding glass for FF is more difficult and getting the right amount of light concentrated to fully lit the sensor is tricky. In medium format cameras the distance lens to sensor is a 3 times bigger than in any FF we know, and that is why the body is larger. Doing a DSLR like Leica or Mamiya once did, is thus a challenge. But it works and Leica limits the sensor to half of the medium format size.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Sep 18, 2012)

Well, the price isn't bad for medium format + Leica branding, and the mostly ordinary feature set isn't that ordinary for medium format, but I wonder if IQ can beat the Nikon D800. Sadly for Leica, my guess is no.

1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Sep 18, 2012)

I have used a D800e and an S2.. the leica lenses give it a big advantage.. the S is better than the D800 except at high iso

1 upvote
VivaLasVegas
By VivaLasVegas (Sep 18, 2012)

Leica branding, I would understand if I saw this thing hanging around Angelina Jolie's neck or Bill Gates. Around regular people, no. No reason to buy camera except when you have money to burn. I will refuse this camera even if it was given free of charge.

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

If you shoot for living and you are successful in that, you can buy one and you can justify that.

http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Start.html

Check him. :) Otherwise I know about few others. 1 wildlife photographer (Leica R APO telephotos are usable on S2) and one shooting for model agency.

Its not that expensive if you live in modeling or high photography world. Just for regular photographers it is a lot of money. But then we can buy Pentax 645D which actually is almost as good as S2 for much less money.

2 upvotes
KitHB
By KitHB (Sep 18, 2012)

for VivaLasVegas...
If you see Angelina with a big Leica it's one she got off Brad - after he replaced the one he had stolen.

0 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Sep 18, 2012)

What I would like to know is how can an item produced in this low quantity compare to one that is mass produced in terms of the AF system. It may have predictive AF but is it up to the level of a Nikon?

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Sep 18, 2012)

"revolutionary digital camera concept to meet supreme professional requirements"

hahahahahahahaha

4 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

Its one of two existing and fully working MF dSLRs. Its more evolution than revolution, but it deserves it. IMHO 645D being first usable MF dSLR and in same time weather sealed is much more revolutionary (and 40 mpix really does meet professional requirments).

Most MF cams have very poor performance on everything else than base ISO to 400 range and AF on EVERY other MF cam is incredibly bad. Leica and Pentax are only truly advanced MF cams.

1 upvote
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 19, 2012)

This camera is for rich people who like to masturbate in front of a mirror. These are the ones whose egos are stroked by the words "supreme professional requirements". So they ask their wealthy dads for this as a present, and are confident when they take their snapshots, that they are of "supreme professional" quality.

1 upvote
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 19, 2012)

Add some sugar in that bitter lemon!

1 upvote
Joe Pineapples
By Joe Pineapples (Sep 18, 2012)

There are going to be a lot of excited orthodontists...

5 upvotes
jrg
By jrg (Sep 18, 2012)

If you're that rich, why not buy all three?

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 18, 2012)

I am wondering if you buy this, why not buy Hasselblad or ALPA?

4 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Sep 18, 2012)

'coz it's the Leica!

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 18, 2012)

I see!
But Leica is famous on 35mm format, not 6x6!

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Sep 18, 2012)

Because this is more compact and manageable...?
Just saying.

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Sep 18, 2012)

H4d-60 is twice the price..

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

Cause it does AF, cause its perfectly calibrated and QC is perfect aswell. It fits hand nicely (its smaller than D3X for example). Consistent exposure. Usable ISO up to 1000 (with LR4 maybe bit more). Incredible OVF which allows you to manul focus perfectly.

You can use some older Leica R telephoto APO lens, aswell as Hasselblad/Pentax/Mamiya lens via adapter.

Most important is that it works pretty much like any high end dSLR while giving you 2x sensor size of FF.

But Pentax 645D will give you similar for bit less money. :) Tho its quite bigger (and heavier if I remember correctly).

5 upvotes
robjons
By robjons (Sep 18, 2012)

I'm curious how big the sensor is, but I can never find your (DPR's) sensor size graphic. What do I type in the search to see it? Of course, it probably only shows FF as the largest...

0 upvotes
Howard Prendergast
By Howard Prendergast (Sep 18, 2012)

It is listed above in the text under "Advantages of the S System". It reads: "S-System including the large (30 x 45 mm) Leica Pro Format sensor"

2 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Sep 18, 2012)

Not too much bigger than fullframe 36x24

6 upvotes
Robert Delcea
By Robert Delcea (Sep 18, 2012)

@Zebooka
No, no more than 56.25%

12 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Sep 18, 2012)

What does this 56% increase in sensor size give us? Better sharpness?

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Sep 18, 2012)

I simply fail to see the advantages of this camera over a Pentax 645D. In terms of image quality, weather resistance, general built quality, handling and price, 645D is a no-brainer. Leica is for Leica users (or should I say rich followers and "successful" -financially-speaking- professionals).

11 upvotes
schorscho
By schorscho (Sep 18, 2012)

I have the film 645 and probably will own a 645D and the end of the year. I love Pentax and probably will never buy a Leica S. But the Leica S is better the leaf shutter lenses at the 645 are a pain to use have only manual focus and manual cock and the choice is very limited (75mm is the widest, there is the 90mm from the 67 System and a 135mm..)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Sep 18, 2012)

Leica Glass is way better.. and 645d uses dodgy sd card..

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

SD card isnt problem. :D

Advantage is that S2 simply works as regular dSLR with only downside being not so good high ISO (tho neither Pentax). Both cams are using Kodak medium format sensors. So yes they are quite close.

2 upvotes
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 19, 2012)

Have you tested both cameras yourself? The difference between them is night and day!
It all comes down to glass! Pentax is nowhere near as good as Leica for lenses so the pictures are simply not as good!
Try and see!

1 upvote
laszlokovacs
By laszlokovacs (Sep 20, 2012)

The advantage accrues only to those who like the Leica look. I'm sure that for practical purposes the Pentax system and lenses are more than good enough, but they will produce images that have a Pentax look, not a Zeiss, Leica or Nikon look. If you like the Pentax look (and it is a nice look!) then congratulations, you just saved a lot of money! If you look at the lens tests, I think you'll see that at the very extremes, the S glass does perform better, but not enough to warrant the price difference. I have a Summilux 50 1.4 M lens and a Nikon 50 1.4 G lens. They have a VERY different look. Was it worth 4k? That's up to the individual. One thing is clear from this thread, both conspicuous consumption and class envy are thriving today.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Sep 18, 2012)

Why is Leica getting cheaper? Both the M and the S are cheaper than older model.

3 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

They build new factory recently, so they can go down with price a bit (as they can make more and faster then before). Price was higher before cause they used it to regulate demand (simply they were not able to feed market fast enough, still does apply to some Leica M lens).

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Sep 18, 2012)

Medium Format

Now you're talking, Leica

Improve on brand support and you'd be king of the genre.

.

2 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Sep 17, 2012)

Think I'll go look in the dumpsters for the old $24,000.00 model.

9 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Sep 18, 2012)

This must be a great camera, but recouping $24000 in a few years is not easy for most independent photographers. Digital technology is still immature.

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 17, 2012)

I do not estimate it necessary to give any comment about this, It is a Leica at a Leica price, end of citation. Any more words would be insulting anyway. 22 Grant...sick.

0 upvotes
Photoman
By Photoman (Sep 17, 2012)

Lovely system, but why is these images of the body and lenses so under exposed? Maybe they didn't calibrate their big bright moniter? Rookie mistake.

9 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Sep 17, 2012)

The press images are admittedly disappointing. We'll update them when we can get a hold of better ones.

7 upvotes
zlatko
By zlatko (Sep 18, 2012)

These under-exposed images are a strange problem for a camera company to have. They need to provide better ones asap.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Plasmoic
By Plasmoic (Sep 18, 2012)

hope they are not taken with S2 :)

1 upvote
RicksSony
By RicksSony (Sep 18, 2012)

Look at www.photoscala.de here they have better images.

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (Sep 18, 2012)

I guess they 're doing it just to distinguish the brand from others.
They have to be distinguished from the "flock", no matter what...
The camera as a device is remarkable, apart all these marketing tricks...

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Sep 17, 2012)

The TS looks interesting!

1 upvote
alexst4
By alexst4 (Sep 17, 2012)

How many people ever bought Leica S in the first place that they decided to release the next version?
If I wanted a medium format digital, I'd certainly go with the Hassy. There's a reason it is seen in many high end studios.
Failing that, Nikon D800 is a very good choice for much much lesser price.

3 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Sep 18, 2012)

Lack of leaf shutters rule the D800 out for most pro's

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

Heh you would regret that Hassy really fast if you never used this kind of camera before and only used dSLRs. S2 is dSLR. Hassy is outdated on every possible level except pixel count. Those things are like dinosaurs and operate at same speed.

1 upvote
nikos theodosiou
By nikos theodosiou (Sep 18, 2012)

I have an S2 system and it's amazing! I actually traded up from my Hasselblad HD4 the reason they are called Hasselblad is all the Hassel they give you!
Battery grips fall off, camera crashes, it went back for servicing 4 times!
Add to that the lenses are not in the same league, made by Fuji!

The updates are after consoltations with pros who wanted more features, tell me another MF system that you can use at 1600iso?

Sure the D800 is good but its no S

2 upvotes
File Photography
By File Photography (Sep 29, 2012)

Do you need mor than 200 iso on a studio? Only if you are going to shoot outdoor you mast have so big iso. And if you shooting outdoor do you need MF? Only for very very big landscape prints! 21.000 for that ??

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Sep 17, 2012)

I don't think so- for basically the same amount of money one can get a Mamiya DM-Series 56Mp DSLR Camera Kit with 80mm LS Lens (sync 1/1600) allowing the person to upgrade backs as they choose.

I think that's a much better deal once you start thawing lens cost, etc., into the equation. Kudos to Leica on 2gb buffer, but that and the other upgrades I don't think give most people the warm and fuzzy feeling about the price. That said, I can see where this camera would be an asset to some.

It's really neat to watch the industry bring forth better offerings.

2 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Sep 18, 2012)

Does it have a red dot with Leica written on it ?

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Sep 18, 2012)

Good luck with Mamiya AF.

1 upvote
Apewithacamera
By Apewithacamera (Sep 17, 2012)

Drooling over that TS lens!

1 upvote
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Sep 17, 2012)

Only costs 22 grand, I'll buy a dozen...ha ha. But seriously why go for this when you can get a D800/D800e with virtually the same resolution, add to it a Zeiss prime and you've got a system with the same image quality for a fraction of the price. Still...a nice camera none the less.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Sep 18, 2012)

These S lenses are new for this S system. So the light hits the film plane/sensor straight on.

Those Zeiss lenses on say Nikons are film lenses which make the light hit much of the sensor at an angle. Those Japanese Zeiss lenses are very good, but Leica often beats them for quality. Also for now only Sony has AF Zeiss lenses.

So no, a D800/D800e with a Zeiss lens is not the same image quality.

4 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Sep 18, 2012)

I don't even have to see the Leica to know that the image quality will not be the same.

The Nikon may be a better choice for you - especially considering the cost - but it's definitely not equivalent.

3 upvotes
canonpro
By canonpro (Sep 18, 2012)

GabrielZ unless youve ever shot strobes outdoors the Leica S would not make sense to you. A flash sync at 1/1000 sec would be a god send for me and for most pro photographers. (I would love not to have to put on an ND filter just to shoot outdoors).

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Sep 18, 2012)

Remember: it's only a money. So your comparison is pointless, despite being perhaps honest. But once you try it, you'll understand it.

1 upvote
Dvlee
By Dvlee (Sep 18, 2012)

@ Canon Pro...with a high speed sync capable speedlight, you can use flash up to 1/4000, no ND filters required. An old school friend suggested that NDs would work just as well but I'd have to have three of them tyo fit the difffferent lens sizes.

With high speed sync,one can switch from flash to ambient at the flick of a switch without having to fumble around with filters.

No need for a $21000 dollar camera to accomplish that.

3 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Sep 18, 2012)

the number of MP's might be the same as Nikon's, but don't forget that a medium-format is called as such because it's got a bigger sensor than the D800. On displays there won't be much of a difference, but on very large prints... is where it can be seen.

0 upvotes
KentG
By KentG (Sep 18, 2012)

Think of the D800 as the APS-C of medium format and you would then be correct. A 30x45 40MP sensor has the same advantages over a FF 39MP sensor as the FF does over APS-C. Greater DR and better DOF. A 35+ MP FF sensor has to use lenses that have the same resolution requirements as high end APS-C plus the corners have to be sharper than with older film lenses. But a MF DSLR is not made to use in the same of situations as a FF DSLR.

0 upvotes
aimpic
By aimpic (Sep 18, 2012)

When will people learn? This is the same argument about pixels we had when the D3 came out. Why should I buy a D3 at 12 mp when I can buy a smaller sensor thing with 12 mp.
Go get a basic understanding about pixels and sensor size before posting comments.
If you feel this way, why read this at all?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 18, 2012)

your right this is not the same as a d800. The d800 is the better camera.

2 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (Sep 18, 2012)

From what I understand, the larger the image sensor the larger the light capturing pixels, the lower the noise levels produced which is theoretically a good thing especially for low-light photography at high ISO's but at the lower ISO's most photography is done its less relevant and don't forget the Leica S uses a CCD sensor whose low-light abilities are inferior to that of CMOS sensors. As for DOF a full-frame 35mm equivalent sensor is more than adequate when using a fast prime lens in that department. As for large prints - how large do you need to have your prints? A 36MP Nikon D800e sensor is capable of supporting huge quality prints with the right lens connected to it. And finally the issue of high-speed flash - well you've got me there! The Nikon's focal-plane shutter is no match for the leaf shutters available in medium-format lenses. Don't get me wrong I really like the Leica S and if I was able to afford it I'd purchase one.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Sep 18, 2012)

The Leica Experience

"A 30x45 40MP sensor has the same advantages over a FF 39MP sensor as the FF does over APS-C. Greater DR and better DOF."

Sorry to interrupt you, but what is "better DOF"?

And what did you say about DR - go and check DxO's sensor ratings. I don't see any Leicas on the top. That lowly APS-C Pentax K-5 is at the third place, right after the two Nikon 800s. APS-C Nikon D7000 at the fourth place, Nikon D5100 is the fifth.

To get things even worse there is only one MF camera that has better DR than the lowly APS-C Nikon D3200 - Phase One IQ180 Digital Back.

Looks like Leica M9 is the 56th :)). I bet Leica didn't even give a S2 to test... That's the leica experience.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (Sep 23, 2012)

35000$ of material to print a wedding album in 13x18 cm prints, and then a few shots in A4 or even A3. So, we buy a camera able to make a house wall sized poster to shoot a wedding as a Pro. Who on this world, of all those you show pictures to, on a computer, or show prints in A4 format will ever see the difference between a 24 mpix APSC, a 24 or 36 mpix FF, or even a 37 mpix Leica. Bigger sensor, bigger image, that's a fact and who prints pictures of all his shots in the size of a house door? Is it not on the end only in your mind. It is the same thing as the 200 000$ stereo system where you need an oscilloscope to see that there is a difference you do not hear if compared to a 2500$ system. You all refer too much to what the technical paper says, not to what you all see on the shot. This seems to be a mania in those days. I have spent 6 years with the same camera and still use it. My NEX-7 makes a bigger shot, but on the end not a real better one.

0 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (Sep 17, 2012)

I want it in red! (I refuse to make compromises!)

OMG, wait: can't I get this with the sapphire LCD cover of the previous generation? Uh, dealbreaker.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Maxfield_photo
By Maxfield_photo (Sep 18, 2012)

The Pentax 645D Grand Prix edition is for you then :P

1 upvote
DStudio
By DStudio (Sep 18, 2012)

Plus, the exterior finish on the 645D Grand Prix edition gives it 68% better image quality and makes it 130 MPH faster!

5 upvotes
garyhgaryh
By garyhgaryh (Sep 17, 2012)

A d800 for 7 times the price!

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Sep 18, 2012)

Nope.

5 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Sep 18, 2012)

Mitt will buy a couple.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Sep 18, 2012)

Nah.

0 upvotes
File Photography
By File Photography (Sep 29, 2012)

Excellent camera superb lenses bat with 22.000$ i prefer a Phase One with 40mp. And in studio shooting i use only 50 - 100 ISO !!

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 139