Today, as part of their Photokina announcements, Leica has introduced the Leica S (Typ 007), the highly anticipated successor to the Leica S (Typ 006) medium format digital SLR camera. The S (Typ 007) features a 37.5 megapixel CMOS sensor with live view, focus peaking, HD video up to 4K, integrated Wi-Fi and GPS, and an ISO range from 200-6400. The official press release from Leica:
With the Leica S (Type 007), Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents the new top model of the Leica S-System. As a logical development of its predecessors, the new Leica S features a multitude of radically new components – like the Leica CMOS sensor and the Leica Maestro II image processor – and now opens up new dimensions in the field of medium-format photography.
For the first time, the combination of the highest burst rate, extreme sensor sensitivity and comprehensive capture modes for still pictures – and now also video in exceptional quality – provides photographers with the opportunity to exploit the superior imaging capabilities of medium format for productions that demand maximum mobility and drive. The Leica S significantly accelerates and simplifies the photographic workflow with a multitude of features that are unique to medium-format photography – and some of them not only there. In addition to the new body, a new lens also expands the capabilities of the S-System. With regard to speed and imaging quality, the Leica Summicron-S 100 mm f/2 ASPH. telephoto portrait lens represents a new benchmark.
New image sensor and new processor for increased quality and higher speed
Amongst the most remarkable innovations in the Leica S are the new Leica CMOS sensor and Maestro II image processor. Thanks to these, it has been possible to enormously increase the speed and versatility of the S-System and raise it to a level that was previously unheard of in the medium-format segment. With a burst frequency of up to 3.5 frames per second, full-HD video in full-frame medium-format sensor size and 4K video recording, fast Live View mode and exceptional imaging quality at all ISO settings, the Leica S (Type 007) once again documents its status as the benchmark in the medium-format segment. The 2 GB buffer memory ensures smooth shooting of rapid sequences and, despite its more than doubled burst rate capability, the new focal plane shutter in the camera offers a further significantly increased service life of at least 150,000 cycles.
Fast, predictive autofocus module for subjects in motion
The revised autofocus system brings not only higher speed, but also more reliable and more precise focusing. To ensure optimum sharpness and precise tracking of moving subjects, the Leica S (Type 007) features a predictive autofocus mode: the camera registers the motion of the subject and determines the distance to it at the moment of exposure. In combination with its fascinating imaging quality and high burst rate, the Leica S sets entirely new standards for professional medium-format action photography.
Integrated Wlan, GPS system and levelling aid for precision and uncomplicated workflows
The Leica S is currently the only professional camera to feature an integrated GPS module that can record the geographical positioning data of the momentary location in the Exif data of the image file whenever needed, as well as automatically set the local system time. On the basis of the coordinates, appropriate software installed on a computer, for instance the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom package supplied with the camera, can display the precise location of each image on a map and register the corresponding place names as search keys for archived photos. The new dual-axis levelling aid (spirit level) displays the precise horizontal and vertical orientation of the camera in the viewfinder to allow photographers to align the subject with absolute precision and without any need for external aids. In combination with an app for smartphones and tablets, the camera’s integrated Wlan module enables remote control of the camera and remote image assessment in Live View mode to provide simpler and intuitive workflows.
With a resolution of 921,600 pixels, a 3″ diagonal, full sRGB colour space and increased contrast and brightness, the display allows optimum assessment of subjects and images in every situation. The glass plate protecting the monitor is manufactured from tough and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass.
The panel on the top deck of the Leica S has been redesigned as a trans-reflective display with a larger area and optimised information content to ensure optimum legibility – even in bright sunlight. Two new control elements on the top deck enable direct selection of Live View mode and the activation of video recording.
Leica S-Cameras are designed and constructed for many years of daily use. The new stainless-steel bayonet guarantees even greater endurance under even the toughest conditions. The Leica S (Type 007) possesses all the proven quality characteristics of the S-System. These include the large 30 × 45 mm Leica Pro Format sensor and its micro-lens layer that guarantees consistently uniform brightness from corner to corner. The camera and S-Lenses are extremely ruggedly built and sealed against environmental influences like dust and rain. The system’s unique dual-shutter concept offers photographers the choice of using the camera’s fast focal plane shutter with speeds up to 1/4000 s or the electronically controlled central shutter of the CS lenses that allows flash sync at all shutter speeds up to 1/1000 s. The ten currently available Leica S-System lenses, six of which are also available with a central shutter, offer photographers all important focal lengths and a first-class tilt/shift lens. At the same time, numerous third-party medium-format lenses can be mounted on the Leica S with adapters: for instance the Leica S-Adapter H for Hasselblad H lenses and the Leica S-Adapter C for Contax 645 lenses, both of which provide full compatibility – including autofocus, central shutter control (Hasselblad) and automatic aperture control.
The Leica S is uncompromisingly built for maximum dependability in use and also features details like cable connections with strain relief, separate slots for CompactFlash and SD memory cards, further optimised energy efficiency and a scratch-resistant display. The Leica S therefore stands alone as an ideal and extremely reliable tool for achieving maximum quality results in the studio and on location under even the most unfavourable conditions.
The Leica S is supplied complete with the Leica Protection Plan. The LPP offers photographers an extended warranty for a period of three years, a replacement camera to cover repair times and numerous other benefits.
The launch of the Leica S (Type 007) is planned for Spring 2015.
This is a HUGE update for the S-System and is one of the most significant announcements at this Photokina. You can learn more about the S (Typ 007) at Leica Store Miami's website, or you can give us a call or email us anytime.