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This update is a long-time coming – the Leica S2 debuted way back in 2008 – and the new Leica S3 is looking to be a powerhouse of a camera.
But what does this new high-end DSLR include?
First, you get rugged build-quality and weather sealing, all packed into a DSLR-type form factor. If you’re never used a Leica camera before, you’ll be impressed by how sleek the S3 appears; rather than the usual “brick” you get from Canon and Nikon DSLRs, the S3 is a combination of stylish curves and lines.
You also get a Leica Pro Format sensor, sporting 64 megapixels (up from a 37.5-megapixel sensor in the S2). Of course, 64 megapixels is an exciting specification on its own, offering a resolution beyond anything currently available in the 35mm DSLR world. But when combined with Leica’s 30x45mm Pro Format sensor, the S3 is bound to offer sumptuous image quality, even in low light and at high ISOs.
Leica offers an excellent lens selection. This includes 16 native Leica lenses, as well as a number of adaptable lenses from the likes of Hasselblad and more.
And let’s not forget about the Cinema 4K at 24 fps, in case you’re looking to bring that incredible image quality over to the video arena.
The main drawbacks to a medium format camera like the S3 are image size and shooting speed. As expected, the Leica S3 struggles in both of these areas; the 64 MP images produced are going to be huge, and will limit burst shooting to just 3 frames per second.
You also have to contend with a ridiculously high price, one that’s far out of the average photographer’s (and the average professional’s) price range. In this case, it’s just under $19,000 USD, and that’s for the body only. If you want a compatible lens, you’ll need to shell out another $5000+ USD.
For those who can afford it, the Leica S3 will likely come available in late March.
What do you think of the Leica S3? Do you wish you could use it? Or are you content with the 35mm camera market? Let me know in the comments!