|Introduction | Leica S: CCD sensor limited | Leica S vs Phase One IQ180 Digital Back vs Pentax 645D | Leica S vs Sony A7R vs Nikon D800E: Lags behind in DR and high ISO sensitivity | Conclusion|
Leica’s re-imagined S medium format camera adopts the 30 x 45mm 37.5-Mpix CCD of the original Leica S2 but adds improved image processing, built-in GPS and a number of other refinements. Read on to find out how well the new camera performs.
Launched at Photokina in 2012, the Leica S is a revised version of the original Leica S2, the firm’s professional medium format camera intended for both field use and studio photography. Like the original, it adopts a custom made Truesense Imaging 45 x 30 mm (3:2 aspect ratio) 37.5-Mpix CCD but features improved image processing with increased sensitivity from ISO100-1600 including an auto ISO selection option. Other upgrades include a larger buffer (now 2GB) and faster transfer rates, allowing consecutive capture of up to 32 lossely compressed DNG files.
Although the environmentally sealed magnesium alloy shell remains virtually unaltered, the Leica S features built-in GPS. In fact, the inclusion of the GPS antennae on the top plate can be used to identify the new model, while to the rear, a new rocker switch for improved menu navigation, replaces a push-button on the previous iteration. As a system intended for professional use the Leica S has both a focal plane shutter with a flash sync up to 1/125th second the option to use the firm’s CS (central shutter) lenses with flash syncing up to 1/1000th second. Leica delayed the launch of the CS lenses till they were certain the internal shutter mechanisms were durable enough for professional use – they’re guaranteed for a minimum 100K actuations. Measuring 6.3 x 3.1 x 4.7" (160 x 80 x 120mm) and weighing 2.78 lbs. (1260g) the Leica S is available now at $21,950.