Allendale, NJ—The newly revamped Leica S, a medium-format system aimed at professional photographers, begins shipping in September and rolling out in U.S. stores throughout the fall. The camera boasts brand-new components, bringing together a 3.5-frames-per-second burst rate, sensor sensitivity increased to ISO 12,500 and a range of capture modes for photos and—for the first time—video recording. All this is complemented by features designed to streamline photographic workflow.
With a compact form factor, the Leica S employs a new Leica MAX CMOS image sensor and the Leica Maestro II image processor. The combo offers Full HD video recording in the full-frame, medium-format sensor size, 4K video recording in the Super 35 format and a fast live view mode. Its 2-gigabyte buffer memory helps ensure smooth shooting of rapid sequences, and despite its more than doubled burst rate, the camera’s new focal plane shutter is rated for 150,000 cycles.
The Leica S’s revised autofocus system was developed to bring not only higher speed but also more precise focusing. To ensure optimum sharpness and precise tracking of moving subjects, it features a predictive autofocus mode: the camera registers the motion of the subject and determines the distance to it at the moment of exposure.
Also notable is an integrated GPS module that records the geographical positioning data of its current location in the EXIF data of the image file. It can also automatically set the local system time. And software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom utilize the GPS coordinates to display the location of each image on a map, plus register the corresponding place names as search keys for archived photos.
In combination with the Leica S app for iPhones/iPads, the camera’s integrated Wi-Fi module also enables remote control of the camera and remote image assessment in live view mode.
Other features include: a 921,600-pixel, 3-inch LCD with increased contrast and brightness and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass; a transflective display on the top plate with an enlarged surface area; two new control buttons on the top deck for selection of live view mode and the activation of video recording; a new stainless-steel bayonet built for greater endurance under tough conditions; cable connections with strain relief; and separate slots for CompactFlash and SD memory cards.
The new camera also retains characteristics of the S system, including: a 30×45mm Leica Pro Format sensor and its micro-lens layer for maximum light output; weather sealing; and a dual-shutter concept that offers the choice of using the camera’s focal plane shutter with speeds up to1/4,000 sec or the electronically controlled central shutter of the CS lenses that allows flash sync at all shutter speeds up to 1/1,000 sec.
The 10 currently available Leica S-system lenses, six of which are also available with a central shutter, provide important focal lengths and a tilt/shift lens. Third-party medium-format lenses also can be mounted onto the Leica S with adapters.
The Leica S (Type 007) will retail for $16,900. us.leica-camera.com