Leica S Review – The Leica S (Typ 007) medium format DSLR is based around a 37.5-million-pixel CMOS sensor.
First shown in prototype form at Photokina 2014, the Leica S (Typ 007) is a successor to the CCD-based Leica S2 from 2009. It uses the unique Leica ProFormat sensor size of 30x45mm, or about 60% larger area than full frame. The S2 itself continues on sale in a slightly redesigned form as the S-E (Typ 006).
Unashamedly a top-end model that’s designed primarily for working professional photographers, the S brings medium-format image quality in a conventional-shaped body that’s similar in size to professional full-frame DSLRs. It features weather-resistant construction and continuous shooting at up to 3.5 frames per second, which is unusually fast for medium format. Even 4K video recording is on offer, although only from a small Super 35 crop in the centre of the frame. The line-up of ten lenses ranges from 19mmequivalent wideangle to 144mm-equivalent telephoto. Contax and Hasselblad lenses can be used too via Leica’s electronic adapters.
In terms of controls, the Leica S uses a minimalist layout that contrasts strongly with button-encrusted pro DSLRs, having twin control dials and four buttons arranged around the rear LCD. A joystick on the back navigates menus and changes settings.
The Leica S is probably not the sort of camera that even the most ambitious of enthusiasts would consider buying, given the price tag of the system. Instead, it will be most attractive to professional studio and landscape photographers looking for a rugged, portable system with exceptionally high image quality.
Leica S Specifications
- 37.5-million-pixel, 30x45mm sensor
- ISO 100-12,500
- Leica S lens mount
- 3.5 fps shooting
- 0.87x viewfinder
- 3.2in, 921,600-dot LCD screen
- 4K video recording
- Price £12,900 (body only)
- Not yet tested