10 years after the release of the Leica S2, the company has now announced their new evolution of the medium format camera: the Leica S3. It still has the 3:2 ratio and it also keeps the optical viewfinder. It is still a DSLR too. Here are some of the major details. However, all we know that it is a prototype that is being shown off and full production units will be available next year.
So what we know so far?
- 64MP CMOS medium format sensor
- Video capabilities that give it 4K cinema shooting
- Wifi capabilities
That and here’s some info that we got from Leica
Just like its predecessors, the Leica S3 also utilizes the Leica ProFormat developed especially for the Leica S-System. With dimensions of 30 x 45 millimeters, it corresponds to the classic 3:2 aspect ratio of 35 mm full-frame format, but offers a 56 per cent larger sensor area. In comparison with its predecessor, the new 64 megapixel sensor developed exclusively for Leica offers a 71 per cent increase in resolution, a dynamic range of 15 stops and a maximum ISO sensitivity setting of 50,000 – sufficient reserves to be ready to handle any imaginable lighting situation and fully exploit the strengths of the medium format.
And literally, that’s it. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of other details thus far. But we’re going to try to get as much as we can. The Leica S and the Leica S2 were really popular with medium format shooters and the lenses were great too. But I’m not sure how they did in comparison to Hasselblad and Phase One–both of whom seem to offer more innovation.
The choice of 64MP they stated is very specific and was done after careful consideration. I’m not sure what that means; as maybe it’s for landscape and studio photographers first and foremost. In fact, during the presentation they showed off magazine cover after magazine cover that was shot on the Leica medium format cameras in the past.
As it is, full frame 35mm sensors are nearing the 64MP range and lower end medium format sensors are also around that area. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t try to go for a 100MP sensor of some sort and at the moment I’m not sure if this is a 645 medium format sensor os a cropped sensor. It seems brand new. No one on the market seems to have this sensor.