• #10022
    David Farkas

    I’m curious how many S users are planning on taking advantage and using 4K video on the new S 007.

    Is this limited to commercial shooters or are we looking at a new presentation medium for landscape/travel as well?

  • #10024
    Jack MacD

    I have a director/cine friend who has been encouraging me to always shoot video on my still landscape shots, just to provide it to video stock agencies. Haven’t bothered in the past, but might with 4K on the 007. I like 4K over HD as it is a bit of future proofing. As a presentation format, I need to be inspired by seeing someone else’s creative ideas first. I can achieve quite a bit of movement and cropping within a good slideshow program with a still shot out of the S.

  • #10025

    I cross-posted this on a few Leica S related forums hoping to read how other Leica S users now feel about the new camera.

    Now that Photokina-storm is behind us and we’ve all had a little more time to let everything sink in, here are some of my thoughts and questions (to Leica) on the new S. The more I think about it, the more I like the new camera, but I have some questions/suggestions. The final version is still at least 6 months away, so I guess there’s enough time for the design team to sit down and evaluate some of the feedback from potential customers.

    This write up by David Farkas is quite interesting:


    The pictures on this website (in Dutch) made me think about the video implementation as it was presented at PK’14.



    – Why not CinemaDNG instead of Motion JPEG? This should give considerably more headroom in post. Of course there’s a lot of data to be chewed on, but Motion JPEG seems too limited.

    – Why not HDMI 1.4(a) out for external 4K recording? HDMI v1.3 cannot carry 4K signals and will be quite out of date in 2015 and beyond. Lots of consumer electronics come with the new HDMI standard already.

    – 4K recording from the whole sensor would make the camera much more interesting, even if this means pixel binning/line skipping. The look from the complete 30x45mm sensor would make it quite unique and wide angle lenses would stay wide angle.

    – Looking at the picture of the video camera rig I can’t understand why they’d have designed it like this; looking through the optical viewfinder makes no sense since the mirror has to be up for video-shooting. Why not make the flash-shoe take an EVF so that is an option for more ergonomically handling in video-mode?

    – As for sound, I don’t think the use of 3.5 mm jack connections is going to be enough for professional sound. Balanced XLR is what will be necessary if sound is recorded directly on the camera.

    – I think Leica still has a lot of work to do concerning video in the new S. I suggest they take a long, hard look at the video specs of for example the €1500 Samsung NX1. Again, to really be of interest to the motion/video crowd in 2015-2019 (2-4 years for the next completely new S to arrive) the video specs need to be much better implemented and certainly be more modern than the newly announced S.

    I’ll leave it at that for now, with one more minor remark about the hyperfocal distance read-out on the top-display, I think the order should be reversed so that it reads back/focus/front instead of front/focus/back. To me, this seems much more logical from the POV of the camera operator. Maybe Leica can make the order of appearance a menu option.

  • #10026
    David Farkas

    I would have loved to see HDMI v1.4 to carry 4K as well, but it was not possible when the MAESTRO II chip was designed for the camera.

    Regarding the audio input: the use of an external recorder is usually the preferred method with timecode syncing between the camera, the audio recorder and the timecode generator. The Audio adapter has an input for timecode.

    I also had a similar thought initially about the option for a shoe mount Visoflex, but thought differently when seeing the rig. The rear LCD and the live video out to either a capture device or an external screen/viewfinder seems the better choice.

  • #10092


    I am considering the new S for its video allowing the flexibility of a single uni for photos and video. However I read about the M’s video limitaitons and will wait and look forward to evaluating the S’s capabilities. I would use it hand-held in some situations and the lack of optical stabilization is a concern. I am wondering how large the video files will be and the storage necessary. Or are files downsized but lose the image quality of the sensor/lenses.

    • #10118
      David Farkas


      My impression is that the video quality from the S 007 will be superior and more purpose-driven than that of the M 240. Still, the M40 video does actually look pretty good. We filmed our entire video instruction series on the S 006 with the M 240. You can view the series here.

      You are correct that there is no image stabilization for video. RED, Arri and Sony 4K cameras don’t have IS either, so perhaps this isn’t a requirement for professional video applications. There are many rigs purpose built for video that offer stabilization and camera movement.

      Storage can be easily accommodated on ever-increasingly spacious memory cards. I’m sure a 128 GB CF card will store a good amount of 4K video. The video isn’t downsized, but is lightly compressed using 4:4:2 color sampling.

      • #10154

        Hi everyone, I think it’s a really good that David started this thread about video in the new S.

        First, there is a lot of technical aspects to video/motion and some may benefit from watching this video here:


        It’s 40 minutes, but quiet helpful to anyone who is new to this.

        As for the new S video specs, I’m not at all impressed. Some will say, wait and see, numbers don’t tell the whole story, the IQ will be good. Perhaps they will be right but I don’t keep my hopes up high.

        I’m afraid with these specs the S will not be competitive as far as video is concerned. Not today, and certainly not in 2015-2018, because that is when the camera is going to be bought and used and by then there will be much, much cheaper video options with much better specs and most likely better IQ. With the gap already today so wide looking at the Samsung NX1, which was also announced at PK ’14 and which is less than 10% of the price of the new S, it’s going to be difficult to decide for the new S if video is important to your shooting.

        I would have loved to see HDMI v1.4 to carry 4K as well, but it was not possible when the MAESTRO II chip was designed for the camera.

        Than Leica should perhaps go back to the drawing board because this camera is in the coming years going to need the most powerful processor it can get.

      • #10158
        David Farkas


        One big difference in the video specs between the S 007 and the NX1 is the color sampling. The S 007 uses 4:2:2 while the NX1 uses 4:2:0. Having seen comparisons, the color accuracy and quality of 4:2:2 is vastly superior.

        Granted, there are other cameras offering Cinema 4K capture with 4:2:2, but none using medium format sensors and none that are able to use Leica S lenses.

        The biggest benefit I see is that a photographer on a mixed media shoot can get the exceptionally high quality still imagery of the Leica S and capture matching video with the same setup. Everything matches and there is only one camera system to worry about. This has obvious uses in fashion, advertising and catalog work, but also can open up a lot of opportunities for landscape and wildlife photographers. As Jack mentions, you’d be able to capture stock video clips while on location. Or for high-speed capture needs, shoot in 4K then do a screen grab at 8MP. Good enough for on-screen or even small print reproduction.

  • #10170

    Thanks David, I’ve waited a few days before responding, because I was hoping that others might chime in, but somehow there doesn’t seem to be much interest in this topic. In any case, it’s still early days and a lot might happen between now and second quarter 2015.

    I like your matching argument and that can be an important consideration, though we’ll have to wait and see how this can be accomplished. Video post-production will probably be done in different software that will render contrast and color different than Lightroom. Lr 5 can take some video and maybe that will work with the new S files, but Lr is not serious video editing software, of course.

    4:2:2 doesn’t necessarily mean good IQ, it sure helps but there are so many factors to reckon with. Bitrate of 50 Mb/s as you mentioned isn’t a specification that tells a whole lot about IQ; an older, inefficient codec may need a high bitrate, but a newer codec may be less lossy at a lower bitrate. In fact, there are so many choices to be made, each with their own trade offs; 8 bit, 10 bit, color space, frame rate, codec, etc, etc.

    I think the fact that Leica chose motion jpeg could be quite telling. It is less processing power-hungry and has less memory requirements. The already on board processor/jpeg engine can do the job quite easily, I guess. AFAIK motion jpeg is mostly a consumer codec aimed at web use. Looking at the new video section over at the S-League website, this is probably what Leica has in mind for S video, which is fine, of course. But the indy crowd and more serious filmmakers will be probably look elsewhere.


    Of course, some will be attracted to the large sensor-look, though that is only in 1080, and I don’t doubt that some will make very nice imagery with the S, but they will find out very soon that focus pulling while shooting documentary or fiction with such a large sensor, is almost impossible to do without professional aid.

    One last thought: on paper, the video specs of the new S are not particularly promising or anything special, compared to other DSLR’s and/or MILC’s. Dedicated $5.000 video cameras will most likely outperform the S video, let alone serious digital cinema cameras. But knowing Leica, paper specs aren’t going to tell the whole story. In photography they’ve always shown that image quality is king and I would not at all be surprised if the video from the new S will somehow look quite good. In any case, I look forward to seeing what the new S can do and I will surely consider upgrading from my S2. I hope others will contribute to this thread and we can all learn from each other.

  • #10303

  • #10887
    Woodrow Wilson

    Hi everyone,

    I myself plan on using 4k video with the next S.

    As a professional the myriad approach of having 3 systems ( S type 6 , Nikon and Gh4 for video ) is a small nightmare. Unfortunately as it stands this is the only work around at the moment.

    I agree completely with the above comments.

    If Leica is going to be relevant in the video realm at the price point it’s floating at – 4k 24fps 4:2:2 internal isn’t enough.

    Clients are forever demanding more in less time, and given the investment required for the S system – the premium has to be above consumer video options.

    I personally feel that it’s premature to judge the final product. As it’s at least 6 month aways I would imagine that the engineering teams will be pushing to get the most out of the sensor and processor.


  • #12178

  • #12477
    Boris Massieux

    I am very much looking at this camera for photos and videos.
    I’m buying a studio and I think/need to renew the “main” camera.
    HBlad with P25+, very good but starts to be a bit old, costly in terms of repair…
    Also, the studio just shoot stills and I come from photographer/DP background, and I want to offer video to the clients.
    I use Canon, Nikon, Mamiya, Leica M for stills (and now HBlad).
    And I used Canon 5D MIII, Sony and RED for videos.
    But I do not have all this equipment available anymore (moving from Brazil to France now).
    That’s why I’ve been seriously thinking and evaluating a lot of combinaisons of cameras/lenses/accessories/costs.
    I’ve been evaluating all the possibilities: invest heavily in Canon lenses, invest in Pentax 645Z, invest in Sony a7 for videos, invest in Shogun, invest in RED, in FS7…
    At the end, I always come back to the Leica S.
    With the price going, relatively, down. With a Hasselblad V adapter for 600 euros I can adapt the Zeiss lenses on to the S. I am thinking I get if not the completely cheapest, and totally best camera for each purposes, at least a very very good compromise.
    And concerning the 4K video out of the S, it still is a Cine 4K 4:2:2, and in Mov which might make my workflow easier.

  • #12996

    Good for you, Boris. I hope you’ll like your S, from the little video I’ve seen, the look of it is very nice. Maybe the video specs don’t look impressive compared to RED cum suis, but I like the look in this short video. I think I do recognise those S lenses.

  • #13528
    Al Tanabe

    Not really interested in shooting 4K with this camera, I wish they would strip this out and put the savings into a lower priced option. To me, video has to be done right, which requires a lot of support equipment which I do not carry around on a daily basis.

    • #13781
      David Farkas

      Al, the S007 is already priced considerably less than the S006 was, for a lot more features and performance.

      While I am solidly in the photos-only camp with you, I think that it does open the use of the camera to those that need high quality video some of the time, to augment still work.

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