Digital Cameras

Leica finally releases S3 medium format DSLR flagship

Leica finally releases S3 medi...
First shown at Photokina 2018, the Leica S3 medium format DSLR flagship is now available for pre-order
First shown at Photokina 2018, the Leica S3 medium format DSLR flagship is now available for pre-order
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The production Leica S3 medium format DLSR looks pretty much the same as the model we saw at Photokina 2018
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The production Leica S3 medium format DLSR looks pretty much the same as the model we saw at Photokina 2018
Around back you'll find a 0.87x optical viewfinder and 3-inch Live View monitor
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Around back you'll find a 0.87x optical viewfinder and 3-inch Live View monitor
The Leica S3 has been weather sealed for use in the field
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The Leica S3 has been weather sealed for use in the field
User can quick check settings via the monochrome panel to the top
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User can quick check settings via the monochrome panel to the top
The Leica S3 features a 64-MP CMOS sensor
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The Leica S3 features a 64-MP CMOS sensor
First shown at Photokina 2018, the Leica S3 medium format DSLR flagship is now available for pre-order
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First shown at Photokina 2018, the Leica S3 medium format DSLR flagship is now available for pre-order
The pre-production Leica S3 on show at Photokina 2018
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The pre-production Leica S3 on show at Photokina 2018
The Leica S3 has been sealed for use in all weather
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The Leica S3 has been sealed for use in all weather
The S3 can record Cine-4K video at up to 24 frames per second
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The S3 can record Cine-4K video at up to 24 frames per second
View gallery - 9 images

We first clocked eyes on a pre-production version of the S3 at Photokina 2018, and were pretty impressed during our very brief hands-on. Now Leica has officially launched the 64-megapixel medium format flagship, and as we predicted, the professional-focused camera is not cheap.

The last Leica S-series flagship DSLR's image sensor had a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, which was quite impressive back then. Needless to say, camera technology has moved on quite a bit since, and at the heart of the S3 is a 30 x 45-mm CMOS image sensor at 64 million pixels.

That Leica ProFormat sensor works with the company's Maestro II image processing engine for light sensitivity of ISO100 to 50,000, up to 15 stops of dynamic range, a burst rate of three frames per second, and phase-detection AF. A 2 GB memory buffer should help smooth the workflow.

The Leica S3 has been sealed for use in all weather
The Leica S3 has been sealed for use in all weather

The S3 is capable of recording Cine-4K (4,096 x 2,160) 8-bit video with 4:2:2 color sampling at 24 fps, or Full HD at up to 30 fps. There's an integrated stereo microphone to record audio at up to 16-bit/48 kHz resolution, and an audio jack for cabling an external mic if needed.

Around the back you'll find a 0.87x optical viewfinder covering approx. 98 percent of the frame, with horizon leveling, and a 3-inch, 921,600-dot LCD monitor (non-touch). Quickly checking camera settings is undertaken via the monochrome settings panel up top.

Elsewhere, the weather-sealed DSLR has GPS and 802.11n Wi-Fi cooked in (the latter allowing users to sync the camera with the Leica Fotos 2.0 app running on an iOS, iPadOS or Android mobile device), and offers a battery life of more than 1,000 stills per charge.

Leica says that the S3 is now shipping to dealers, where you can pre-order one for US$18,995. The video below has more.

Leica S3 - The One.

Product page: Leica S3

View gallery - 9 images
1 comment
f8lee
Let's see...if I sell a kidney on the black market.... Oh, darn! That still would mean I have to buy a lens!