RVB commented on the post, Why Leica is staying at 37.5MP for the S (Typ 007) 5 years, 8 months agoIn reply to: David Farkas wrote a new post, Why Leica is staying at 37.5MP for the S (Typ 007) Since Photokina, I’ve read some comments online expressing disappointment in Leica’s decision to use the same 37.5MP resolution of the current S (Typ 006) in the upcoming S (Typ 007). I’m not surprised. Indeed, as a long time S-System user myself, I can’t say that my initial reaction wasn’t similar. I too wondered why there was no resolution bump. But, unlike the average S-System user, I have a certain advantage and a somewhat unique perspective that most don’t. I’ve had a few hours of one-on-one time during Photokina with key individuals at Leica responsible for developing the product. And believe me, I am grateful for the continuing opportunities that my close relationship with Leica has allowed for over the years. Besides speaking with the head of professional imaging Stephan Schulz and S 007 product manager Toni Felsner at some length in Cologne, I also had a very informative chat with Dr. Volker Zimmer, the head of R&D at Leica. In each of my conversations, I pretty much led off with, “So, why only 37.5?” And, to the casual observer, the reactions and responses to such a direct question that I received might be surprising. Instead of the defensiveness that one might expect, I was greeted with knowing smiles and articulate reasons surrounding the decision.Before even delving into Leica’s strategy, we, as users, have to really ask if this resolution is holding us back. Some might say, “Yes, absolutely. More is always better.” And perhaps others would reason, “No, the resolution is fine, but I’d really like live view and higher ISO.” As for myself, I’ve been shooting with the S2 and then S 006 since before the S2 was even in production. I have made eye-poppingly good 30x40 inch prints myself and have seen beautiful fine art prints 5 x 7 feet printed from single S2 files hanging in our gallery at Leica Store Miami from photographer EJ Camp.Stephan’s take on the matter was that he doesn’t think that users’ real issue is about actually needing more pixels. The difference between 40 and 50 MP is roughly a 10-15% increase in linear resolution, hardly earth shattering. He feels strongly that for there to be a noticeable increase in image quality, the jump would have to be more significant, say from 40 to 60 or possibly even to 70 MP. He believes the underlying concern is that users of a system want to feel theirs is the most advanced, the most future-proof. By staying at 37.5 MP while the competition is all going to 50 MP, Stephan thinks that the concern of some Leica S users is that somehow their camera is outclassed, or worse, outdated. I thought for a moment about this then ran a quick list of features in my head, innovations and advantages of the S 007 vs. the competition.I thought in general about all S camera bodies, including the current S 006:
- Smallest, lightest, most ergonomic body
- Completely weather and dust sealed on body and lenses
- Brightest, most color neutral viewfinder
- Virtual horizon display in viewfinder
- Dual shutter system (even with Hasselblad HC/HCD lenses)
- Least mirror vibration
- Best lenses (no one seems to argue this one)
- Longest battery life with shot counts measured in thousands
- Optional grip to double battery life
- Fastest AF system (with latest firmware)
- Best focus tracking for moving subjects (with latest firmware)
- Only system with built-in GPS for geotagging and auto time/date/time zone setting
- Most integrated system with such features as aperture shift compensation in AF
- Only system designed 100% from the ground-up as a complete digital imaging chain
- Ability to use Hasselblad HC/HCD lenses with full AF, aperture and shutter control via adapter
- Ability to use Contax lenses with full AF and aperture control via adapter
- Manual adapters for Mamiya 645, Hasselblad V and Pentax 67
- Fastest frame rate / fastest sustained frame rate (3.5 fps)
- Fastest shot-to-shot time
- What promises to be best high ISO performance in MFD
- Most advanced sensor design (I’ll get to this one in a minute)
- Magnified live view anywhere in image
- Focus peaking on screen
- Only system with live view contrast detect AF anywhere in the image
- Only system with spot metering anywhere in image during live view
- 60 fps refresh rate on live view for seamless output
- Full Wi-Fi control from iPad with 60 fps streaming live view, capture and image review
- Backup mode for dual card recording and recording to card while tethered
- Live readout for DOF range
- Only MFD system with 4K video
- Only MFD system with built-in timecode generator and ability to receive external timecode via adapter
- Full sensor width HD recording
- Clean FullHD HDMI out with simultaneous recording to card
- 4:2:2 video encoding
Good article David,the 007 is a very nice camera and I’m planning to buy one, However I would like to see a Phase/Blad style solution of offering different sensors with a very high MP sensor option of around 70-80mp,
Raising Resolution is not just bragging rights,it produces better files in the right environment,less aliasing /Moire on finer…[Read more]
Josh,we now have two S bodies in the product line,perhaps adding a high res option at some point would be a good idea,the 6um pixel has its benefits in speed and low light and the S files are nice but I also like the look of the files from the D810 and IQ280 (I have access to both) and they’re both using smaller pixel pitches of 4.88um and 5.2um…[Read more]
Good article David,while I’m a little disappointed in the resolution and am unsure of the file quality I still think that the camera is very interesting.
Do you think that they can extend the max shutter speed via firmware…125seconds from CMOS is too short,the H5D-50C can do around 30mins with no Dark frame subtraction..
I installed this and the cam is telling me that there are Lens updates available when I switch it on,but the lens firmware on the owners area is not new..
120cs is LEICA APO-MACRO-SUMMARIT-S 1:2.5/120 CS 18.104.22.168
I have this installed and still its telling me to update ..
Looks good in many ways but lack of long exposure and zero jump in Resolution is disappointing,I will buy the new Summicron instead and Keep my 006,Still its nice to see USB 3 and wifi.
Looking forward to seeing how these files compare to the CCD file..
On the subject of S glass,If there is another accessory I would like to see its a 2nd S rolling case that could take the S24mm,the Zoom and the new 100mm and extra batteries and CF cards…
i have the current case and its great but only holds 5 lenses and even if you wanted to leave a couple behind you still couldnt fit the Zoom or 24mm in..
peterv;8506 wrote: Impressive test results, Rob! I would not have expected the difference between these two lenses to be that obvious.
Peter I have a few HC lenses,I will probably sell them,the S lenses are a step up,no doubt about that.. The blad lenses work pretty well when stepped down to be fair,but DAC is more important for HC IQ…[Read more]
This is a great addition to the line up,hopefully it has fast focusing,at least as fast as the 70 and 180,there would certainly be a CS version i the works..
Only glass missing now is a wide TS and something longer than 180..
Arif;8487 wrote: I agree, if it is significantly more expensive, then a no-go for me. Am very happy with the S2 and the 30-90 but was hoping for a clean 3200 ISO to make the move.
Arif,If the M240 sensor is a reference for the new sensor then I think ISO is going to be pretty good,I don’t own an M but of the files I have seen it has…[Read more]
PebblePlace;8485 wrote: Well, that stinks. With Ricoh putting the 645Z on the street for $8495, it’s kind of difficult to believe that the new CMOS S is costing more to make than the Type 006. I realize that Leica may be opting for a CMOSIS sensor (or someone else’s) instead of Sony. But geesh…
I was also hoping the price would remain…[Read more]
peterv;8431 wrote: Thanks for that link Rob, interesting stuff. I passed it along to a friend of mine who’s going to shoot his new film in 3D, next month. He’ll be shooting on Reds, I guess IMAX 3D is going to be big budget Hollywood movies only.
Anyway, on a new Leica S, it’s interesting that there are absolutely no rumours yet. With…
peterv;5826 wrote: Exactly, there seems to be a trend towards larger sensors in video/digital cinema:
… Panavision unveiled a prototype for a digital camera that will have a sensor equivalent to 70mm…
The diagonal of ‘regular’ 65 mm…
Some of you guys might find this interesting,it’s a review of the 30-90 by Niel Morley ..
Jack MacD;6180 wrote: David or Roger,
Any update on this retina issue? We are now over a year since the last post.
I am about to update my computer ( 3 years old ) and was
leaning toward a rMBP to drive a 4K display.
Seems smarter than a Mac Pro which for photos seems like overkill.
Thoughts from others are welcome.
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