The much anticipated Leica S3 medium format camera, first announced at Photokina, is now shipping. The new flagship from Leica packs a brand new 64 megapixel 30 x 45 mm medium format sensor, expanded 4K video capabilities and some of the most dramatic imaging potential from a camera system – for use both in the studio and out in the field. Capture the world with the storied Leica look in the highest fidelity possible.
Leica S-Lenses are the highest quality optics in the medium format world, and with fast autofocus and burst shooting, the S3 is a system that can excel in just about any application. High-speed lenses such as the Leica Summicron-S 100 f/2 ASPH encapsulate the benefits of the S-System – the Leica look and falloff from incredible sharpness to beautifully blurred bokeh that is a signature style of S-cameras, now at an even higher resolution with the S3. With 16 lenses to choose from, some equipped with Central Shutters for high-speed flash sync, the Leica S3 is equipped to meet the needs of any pro in need of a workhorse system.
New image sensor and new processor for increased quality and higher speed
Among the most remarkable innovations in the Leica S are the new Leica CMOS sensor and Maestro II image processor. Thanks to these, it has been possible to enormously increase the speed and versatility of the S-System and raise it to a level that was previously unheard of in the medium-format segment. With a burst frequency of up to 3.5 frames per second, full-HD video in full-frame medium-format sensor size and 4K video recording, fast Live View mode and exceptional imaging quality at all ISO settings, the Leica S (Type 007) once again documents its status as the benchmark in the medium-format segment. The 2 GB buffer memory ensures smooth shooting of rapid sequences and, despite its more than doubled burst rate capability, the new focal plane shutter in the camera offers a further significantly increased service life of at least 150,000 cycles.
Fast, predictive autofocus module for subjects in motion
The revised autofocus system brings not only higher speed, but also more reliable and more precise focusing. To ensure optimum sharpness and precise tracking of moving subjects, the Leica S (Type 007) features a predictive autofocus mode: the camera registers the motion of the subject and determines the distance to it at the moment of exposure. In combination with its fascinating imaging quality and high burst rate, the Leica S sets entirely new standards for professional medium-format action photography.
Integrated WLAN, GPS system and leveling aid for precision and uncomplicated workflows
The Leica S is currently the only professional camera to feature an integrated GPS module that can record the geographical positioning data of the momentary location in the EXIF data of the image file whenever needed, as well as automatically set the local system time. On the basis of the coordinates, appropriate software installed on a computer, for instance the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® package supplied with the camera, can display the precise location of each image on a map and register the corresponding place names as search keys for archived photos. The new dual-axis leveling aid (spirit level) displays the precise horizontal and vertical orientation of the camera in the viewfinder to allow photographers to align the subject with absolute precision and without any need for external aids. In combination with an app for smartphones and tablets, the camera’s integrated Wlan module enables remote control of the camera and remote image assessment in Live View mode to provide simpler and intuitive workflows.
With a resolution of 921,600 pixels, a 3" diagonal, full sRGB color space and increased contrast and brightness, the display allows optimum assessment of subjects and images in every situation. The glass plate protecting the monitor is manufactured from tough and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass®.
The panel on the top deck of the Leica S has been redesigned as a trans-reflective display with a larger area and optimized information content to ensure optimum legibility – even in bright sunlight. Two new control elements on the top deck enable direct selection of Live View mode and the activation of video recording.
Leica S-Cameras are designed and constructed for many years of daily use. The new stainless-steel bayonet guarantees even greater endurance under even the toughest conditions. The Leica S (Type 007) possesses all the proven quality characteristics of the S-System. These include the large 30 × 45 mm Leica Pro Format sensor and its micro-lens layer that guarantees consistently uniform brightness from corner to corner. The camera and S-Lenses are extremely ruggedly built and sealed against environmental influences like dust and rain. The system’s unique dual-shutter concept offers photographers the choice of using the camera’s fast focal plane shutter with speeds up to 1/4000 s or the electronically controlled central shutter of the CS lenses that allows flash sync at all shutter speeds up to 1/1000 s. The ten currently available Leica S-System lenses, six of which are also available with a central shutter, offer photographers all important focal lengths and a first-class tilt/shift lens. At the same time, numerous third-party medium-format lenses can be mounted on the Leica S with adapters: for instance the Leica S-Adapter H for Hasselblad H lenses and the Leica S-Adapter C for Contax 645 lenses, both of which provide full compatibility – including autofocus, central shutter control (Hasselblad) and automatic aperture control.
The Leica S is uncompromisingly built for maximum dependability in use and also features details like cable connections with strain relief, separate slots for CompactFlash and SD memory cards, further optimized energy efficiency and a scratch-resistant display. The Leica S therefore stands alone as an ideal and extremely reliable tool for achieving maximum quality results in the studio and on location under even the most unfavorable conditions.