Leica finally releases S3 medium format DSLR flagship
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 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.
Product page: Leica S3