Leica S2

September 25, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | 61 Comments |

Leica S2The Leica S2 is a completely new digital SLR camera system, offering a 37 megapixel, 30x45mm sensor that’s 56% larger than full size 35mm. Designed from scratch in consultation with professional photographers, the Leica S2 does not use a conventional medium format or 35mm platform. The S2’ bespoke Kodak CCD sensor has enabled the Leica designers to produce the smallest camera in its class, sitting between the Canon EOS 5D and 1Ds Mk III DSLRs in size. The Leica “MAESTRO” image processor developed with Fujitsu specifically for the LEICA S2, allows the camera´s lenses, firmware and sensor to function at their optimum, producing market leading processing time and the highest level of picture quality with minimal energy output. Nine new lenses will be developed for the new Leica S-system.

Update 1: We have a gallery of 20 photos of the Leica S2 and assorted lenses, including an exclusive side-by-side comparison of Leica’s new DSLR with a Canon EOS 5D, and we’ve also posted our initial impressions of using the S2.

Update 2: Find out why the S2 is not called the S1, which parts of the S2 have been developed exclusively by Leica, and if the R10 will ever see the light of day - just click the continue link below…

First Impressions (Update 1)

We’ve had the opportunity to try out the Leica S2 digital SLR with the Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 standard lens mounted. We’ve taken 20 photographs of the new S2 for you, including what may well be the world’s first comparison shots with a Canon EOS 5D, so that you can get a more accurate idea of the size of the new Leica. What might not be so readily apparent in these pictures is the incredibly robust build quality of the S2 – it seemed almost indestructible.

In terms of handling, the Leica S2 sits very comfortably in the hand thanks to its large, rubberised grip and ergonomic DSLR-like design. The viewfinder is among the best we’ve ever seen, huge and bright for precise framing and focusing. The auto-focus was pleasingly fast for the dim lighting, while the mirror slap was quite loud, just as you would expect from such a big mirror, and was accompanied by a whining motor sound. The Leica S2 has dual memory card slots for Compact Flash and SD/SDHC.

The user interface of the Leica S2 is radically different to that of most SLRs. The handling relies heavily on “soft menus” instead of a lot of external controls, which will require some getting used to but looks like it could very easily become second nature to anyone using the S2 on a regular basis. Apart from four large, unmarked buttons on the back of the camera, there’s only a command wheel and a conventional shutter speed dial, but after a bit of practice one finds that changing settings on the fly is actually quite straightforward.

There is no clear indication of the price of the Leica S2 or the lenses, but the company’s representative has told us the pricing will be “competitive” for the segment the new system intends to compete in when it’s launched in Summer 2009.

Press Conference Report (Update 2)

At a press conference held on the 24th September 10am CET at Photokina, Leica shed some more light on the new S system they announced the day before. Mr Andreas Kaufmann, CEO of Leica Camera AG, reminded the assembled press that as early as 1996, Leica already had a product called the S1, which was a 40-megapixel scanning camera that „had no equal in resolution, dynamic range and colour depth”. While that model never went into serial production, it can still be considered something of a milestone, and by calling the new system camera the S2, Leica are apparently trying to emphasise the continued tradition of breaking new ground in the top end of the market.

Kaufmann referred to the S2 and the new S system in general as „the best-kept secret Leica ever had”, a project internally codenamed ‘Afrika’, derived from the acronym ‘AFR’ for AutoFocus single lens Reflex’. He was keen on stressing that the new camera and lenses were developed - and will continue to be produced - in Germany, and that the new body was „smaller and lighter than all comparable competitors’ medium format cameras”. And while the sensor is sourced from Kodak and the image processor from Fujitsu Microelectronics, the autofocus system has been developed by Leica themselves, „from the ground up”.

An interesting feature of the new system is that although there is a focal-plane shutter in the camera body, some of the lenses also have an integrated leaf shutter, in order to enable the photographer to achieve flash synchronisation with high shutter speeds. The company has also made the bold claim that the S-lenses are going to be the new reference points „for the whole camera market”, for allegedly providing „maximum contrast, optimal resolution” even when wide open and from their closest focus point to infinity.

Leica officials also talked about their strategic alliance with Phase One, which extends to software, development, marketing, servicing and customer support, effective Summer 2009 (when the market launch of the S system is planned).

On a final note, Kaufmann reassured everyone present at the press conference that more new products were coming, among them a new R system camera, the R10, although no information was given as to its availability, pricing or specifications.

Leica Press Release

Cologne, Germany — September 23, 2008 – Responding to the commercial needs of professional photographers, Leica Camera AG in Solms will introduce the Leica S2 at photokina in Cologne (23rd-28th September 2008), a new digital Leica SLR camera system for professional photographers. A new system concept has been developed, entitled “Made in Solms”. For this camera concept, renowned professional photographers have been involved in all parts of the development process. The outcome is a system designed specifically to deliver the fastest, high end resolution work, requiring the minimum of post production. Excellent news for commercial photographers seeking to exceed demanding client expectations in a working time which allows improved income for their talents.

Designed from scratch the new German made camera is ground breaking, as unlike most other pro digital systems, it does not use a conventional medium format or 35mm platform. The LEICA S2 has a sensor size that exceeds the 35 mm format and incorporates many of the advantages of professional systems. The new 37 mega pixels CCD sensor with a breathtaking image resolution will produce images at the top of the professional game for a number of years. In particular, the lenses set new performance benchmarks enabling the sensor to overdeliver per pixel. The pixels are distributed on a sensor 56% larger than full size 35mm.

The compact design and handy metal body is smaller than those of comparative products from different manufacturers. Ergonomic and a pleasure to use, the camera is set to become a professional photographer´s favourite. The camera´s bespoke sensor has enabled the Leica designers to produce the smallest camera in its class.

It´s super modern new and innovative processing technology is twice as quick. The Leica “MAESTRO” image processor developed with Fujitsu specifically for the LEICA S2, allows the camera´s lenses, firmware and sensor to function at their optimum. It produces market leading processing time and the highest level of picture quality with minimal energy output. It enables picture quality and super quick transfer time with minimal energy output.

In spite of the sensor size, the extremely compact body is fully protected against dust and splashes. For this class of camera, the LEICA S2 has a particularly precise and quick autofocus system that makes focusing easier. The large, bright viewfinder makes picture composition easy. Taking many pictures in quick succession is also possible, and there is a high sensitivity setting to use when lighting is problematic.

New lenses designed specially to suit the demands of this format offer unrivalled imaging quality and set new benchmarks for the camera market as a whole. Thus the LEICA S2 lens system meets the needs of professional photographers. The optic calculation incorporates all the factors and requirements of digital technology, meaning that software to correct image artifacts becomes superfluous.

The constant high image quality is present right into the corners of the images, from close up to infinity. Even at wide apertures, maximal contrast, high resolution and detailed colour reproduction are guaranteed. The between-the-lens shutters in some of the system lenses enable lightning fast synchronisation for the quickest possible exposure time. The quick and precise autofocus of the Leica S lenses can be adjusted manually at any time. Like the camera, the lenses are made from metal and come with a weatherproof seal. The lenses are thus particularly robust and protected from dust and dampness.

The LEICA S2 is particularly easy to handle and choosing the settings is pretty much intuitive. Ergonomically designed, the body sits comfortably in the hand whether in vertical or horizontal position. The bright, high-resolution display with quick zoom-in function enables exposures to be seen perfectly even in daylight. The camera concept can be integrated seamlessly into the professional digital workflow.

With Dr. Andreas Kaufmann as its main shareholder, Leica Camera AG is entering a new era. Following in-depth and successful re-structuring, the business can now concentrate on investing in new products. Leica has made a quantum leap in the field of digital technology, enabling it to combine the advantages of highly developed digital technology with the classic Leica values concerning optics, mechanics and optimal image results. The result of this is uncompromising cutting-edge technology; the LEICA S2 is the first to offer all these things to professional digital photographers. The LEICA S system sets the trend for future Leica products in terms of technology and leads the way for future product ideas from Leica Camera AG.

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Your Comments

61 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Red dot is no longer hot

...The S2’ bespoke ''Kodak CCD'' sensor...

...The Leica “MAESTRO” image processor developed with ''Fujitsu'' specifically for the LEICA S2...

Then this is the camera produced for the shake of 9 new S serie lenses.Ok Leica undoubtly the number about Lenses.But they are suley can not stand still without ''the co-operation'' with others.That is why they won't be the number 1 as old days in these news days of photography...

Leica played over the word prestige to make higher profits. They just preserve ''elite'' as long as the elites have money to feed Leica for the toys of money.Cause Leica sprit these below claim shows they lost sprit;

''It is a statement of Leica’s continuing pre-eminence in the world of imaging that goes back nearly 100 years. Perhaps that is why our top executives in Germany have compared the announcement of the Leica S2 to the debut of the first Leica, the legendary model A in 1925. That seminal camera did nothing less than redefine 35mm photography in the 20th century and we believe that the Leica S2 may well do the same for DSLR photography in the 21st.''

About redefining, Leica made photography ''public available'' in 1925.This was the revolution. Now they will just prove with the price tag this DSLR redefines ''elite available''. Red dot prestige doesn't came from Monte Carlo's people. It purely came from the real photographers who came from the public not elites.Keep on producing toys for big boys, stick your lenses untill one surpass.

10:11 am - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#2 CARL HAMILTON

you've got a point there , buddy :)

4:24 pm - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#3 CARL HAMILTON

furthermore , this camera looks rather odd in relation to the R9 . a veritable image capturing apparatus for Darth Vader :)

4:38 pm - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#4 Just 3 lettres

W-O-W

6:09 pm - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#5 A Four Letter Word

C. R. A. P.

6:26 am - Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#6 AA

Sorry can I add here:

Holy Crap!

I don't know whether I like it or detest it.

Sure it's enticingly a Leica - but a Kodak sensor? Why?

Why not develop a decent camera with interchangeable sensor-backing or something so we can have a choice? I'm sure they can do it.

Truly disappointed in Leica to go for the money.

6:30 am - Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#7 jorjun

Apple lead the market with the iPod because they were first in defining the 'palm' computer platform with the Newton (but a went faster than the market). As for components, not developing in-house is damn smart, today. Again, taking the iPod as an example, the design is British, the audio is Scottish, the build is Taiwanese. Using the best-of-class wherever it is located and project managing according to a vision is eminently sensible in today's economic climate. I see a clear leader here. Not just because digital allows a complete break from 35mm format nonsense. This product looks angry, looks like investment rather than expense. It is a Leica and this means Legend.

8:54 pm - Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#8 Gordon Moat

It would be interesting to see this next to the Mamiya ZD. I recall speaking to a Mamiya rep in the past about that, and it was mostly to entice some D-SLR users over to Mamiya, and not as a replacement, nor future direction, for development as a platform.

On the subject of why a Kodak sensor, it is precisely because these are the best made of the two current makers of big sensors (the other company is Dalsa). This particular sensor in the Leica S2 use a 6 µm (micron) pixel size, which is generally considered an optimum size to noise/image quality dimension. While there are smaller pixels in 24x36mm chips, there are (currently) more technical issues to deal with than with larger pixel sizes. Even larger pixel sizes can be more sensitive, though with lower optical capture capability. So the S2 hits a theoretical sweet spot of imaging chips.

Unfortunately, Leica will need lease plans and rental gear availability in order for these to really take off. Without that, there is little incentive to go Leica over Sinar, Leaf, Hasselblad, or PhaseOne. It would be foolish of Leica to expect most of these to go in outright sales to end users.

9:31 pm - Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#9 AA

Jorjun:

Ever heard of the iPhone 3G?

A total failure in Japan. Apple shouldn't even have tried it without adding all the features that other phones already have in Japan. But they couldn't do that, because that would mean programming the iPhone to work with those things, which means people in other countries would want it to work that way, so on and so forth.............

Get my drift?

This is a test run for Leica. That much is obvious. They had to. I understand that.

6:03 am - Thursday, September 25, 2008

#10 James McDermott

So what's the focal length conversion factor for the new S series lenses? Presumably each gives a wider angle of view than its 35mm equivalent?

6:37 am - Thursday, September 25, 2008

#11 Just 3 lettres

The four letter "crap" guy must be a canon engineer =)
Some should learn not to critizise something until results are shown, especially new developments are done.
I guess wow-ing is okay though? I expect good results from it.
Kodak is investing on new sensor technology, so imho it's a good path to follow. Lets wait for the final product results

11:12 pm - Thursday, September 25, 2008

#12 Just 3 lettres

AA: why would you want one of those interchangeable sensor-backing cameras on this one.

This camera is designed to be portable, to go outdoors, as I see it. Those backs are bulky, and are useless outdoors. The expensive (39,990 USD back only) P65+ is limited to iso 50-800, 1fps. The P45+, to 1/2500 shutter speed... etc etc. Those are only good for studio. They just can't do with the varying light conditions of outdoors shots.

imho this camera isn't designed for for studio lights.

my 2¢

11:36 pm - Thursday, September 25, 2008

#13 Million Dollar Question

"a 37 megapixel, 30x45mm sensor that’s 56% larger than full size 35mm"

THAT isn't a studio camera? Then what is?

8:12 am - Friday, September 26, 2008

#14 high resolution != studio camera

Million Dollar, you confuse studio cameras with resolution? You think the 1Ds is a studio camera for its resolution and sensor size?

Studio cameras, at least as I name them, are those cameras designed to be portable enough, not to be limited to be used in a studio.

For ex. the 5D _can_ be used in a studio, but it's not a camera limited to be used in a studio. Its size is portable, and features are really good to be used outdoors.

Phase One cameras in the other hand, suck in features for outdoors. You wouldn't be able to shoot half the shots due to poor lighting.

This Leica camera seems aksi to be portable size, similar to the 5D, and seems to show similar features like other common dslr. That means it's not a camera limited to studio. So why limit this camera by making it 2 times larger due to a silly digital back?
As it is, tt will be good enough for outdoors use even!

6:46 pm - Friday, September 26, 2008

#15 high resolution != studio camera

lol, sorry, I wrote this wrong: "Studio cameras, at least as I name them, are those cameras designed to be portable enough, not to be limited to be used in a studio."

I meant to write the opposite: Studio cameras, at least as I name them, are those cameras designed not to be portable enough and featureless, limited to be used in a studio, not capbable of general outdoor light shooting

6:48 pm - Friday, September 26, 2008

#16 Bill Hunt

Please consider adding 'share' buttons - would love to share with my Leica friends on Facebook...

9:16 pm - Friday, September 26, 2008

#17 MDQ

Er, high resolution:

you've obviously never seen a Panavision up close. Or on a cameraman's shoulder.

Nothing wrong with interchangeable digital backs.

Portable enough for the layman, may be. Yeah they're trying to fit this into the normal DSLR market with a massive Sensor to bounce them - but who's going to be able to afford this camera? Studio Pros, not the general public.

11:16 pm - Friday, September 26, 2008

#18 high resolution

Lol MDQ, I guess you are right in that there's different limits for each person. A 5D size is my limit since I carry all my gear uphill...

Also very true that few will be able to afford this camera, which is a shame. It's the dream of any outdoors photographer.

10:53 am - Saturday, September 27, 2008

#19 jsandjs

If it is a gift from Santa Claus, which one will you guys choose, a full frame or the S2?

3:39 pm - Saturday, September 27, 2008

#20 highres

jsandjs, by full frame, you mean 35mm? It depends on the features of the S2. The 5D MkII looks very interesting, and we don't have much information on the S2 as of yet, to judge it.

Also, does Santa include lenses in his present? because each lens you buy for the S2 is going to cost you a good salary ;)

10:04 pm - Saturday, September 27, 2008

#21 MDQ

high resolution,

Er, yeah. For people who are going to be hogging a camera like this S2, they most likely will not just be walking around with the camera and only a couple of lenses - even then, ever seen them Sports photographers and what they lug around? Come on...... you can't be telling us you're that much of a sissy to not be able to lug a couple of mega-zooms along with this camera and its package? Then why bother? Effort is needed to get the results - capisce?

4:29 am - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#22 Mabuhay

can we use this 37.5MPto the M8/M8.2?

tnx

5:50 am - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#23 high resolution

MDQ, sounds like you are one of those sissies that can't walk more than 1km a day off the studios and thus weight doeszn't matter. Or maybe got a badly paid slave to carry it all for him.

So please refrain from insulting people. When your back already holds 20-30kg luggage, you are walking up a 2500m mountain and appart from that you need to carry gear, it's not fun. 500g camera will always be better than a 2kg one.

And no, I dont' wear megazooms. It's always approaching close and taking a good shot than using a stupid megazoon that will only cause trouble.

Also, I am one of those that believes that my results don't depend on gear only. But hey, you must be one of those people that cannot get decent photos without "best" cameras, I see.

Btw, your Italian sucks. Capisci?

sigh @ clueless people

5:37 pm - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#24 MDQ

Aaaaaaaaahahahahahaha only sissies get insulted by such a friendly banter! Can't take a joke? You woman! Oh, you're so sensitive......... hahahahaha!

No, I meant CAPISCE, because you are an IT, not a person, since I've never seen the person. You're just an it on the other end of the internet. Understand? Oh yeah now, that is a slight! How do you feel, slighted?

No, I wasn't being offensive, and I feel sorry for you that you have to take it that way. Typical result of the web since none of us can hear each other's tone.

Also - there is nothing wrong with wanting the best of the best equipment. After all, they make the best, well - I'd like to at least try the best.

As for long zooms - when you can't get in close, what do you do? There is a reason why we make big zooms - because we can't get close like that - especially in capturing the action in sports. Telling me you can run onto the field of play to get the shots? Don't be daft. I'll lug whatever equipment I need to get the shot I want, the way I feel it needs to be captured. Close, medium, wide, macro - whatever - I'll use what's available to get it the way I see fit.

5:50 pm - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#25 Bill Hunt

why do these forums always seem to end up as handbags at dawn. Tsk. 'creative types' ;)

8:18 pm - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#26 high resolution

"Can't take a joke? You woman! Oh, you're so sensitive......... hahahahaha!"

That's idiotic, and Chauvinist

"No, I meant CAPISCE, because you are an IT, not a person, since I've never seen the person."
You're using a 3rd person form, as in he/she and yet using the second person form in english? yeah, sure.

" As for long zooms - when you can't get in close, what do you do?"

You answered that in a previous comment. It takes an effort taking good shots. What's better, 50mm from 2m distance, or 500mm from 100m?

Now, I suggest you go to some social skills school. This will be my last post. I don't like stupid useless conversations.

8:26 pm - Sunday, September 28, 2008

#27 MDQ

" What's better, 50mm from 2m distance, or 500mm from 100m?"

You answered your own question, by asking that question, DUH.

They're both just as good - for different reasons, for different uses and purposes!!!!

You can't get close to a soccer match with a 50mm and get in there when they head the ball to the goal, can you, if you're on the sideline, can you? No.
You can't get the shot you want if you happen to find yourself positioned on the other side of the court in tennis when the player makes a cool diving shot, can you? No.
You need a zoom for that to get close to the action.

On the other hand, if you're shooting a cool portrait of someone at an interview or something and you can sit the person down and get close - I could use the 50mm.

1:32 am - Monday, September 29, 2008

#28 Daniel Rose

I dont know why anyone would buy a digital Leica at all. Its simply not worth the money in my opinion.

I love the Leica brand and its history, but in the digital age their camera's become obsolete so quickly.

Gone are the days of buying something like a Leica M7 (released in 2002) and expecting to get ten years of use out of it before selling it for a good price....

6:32 pm - Monday, September 29, 2008

#29 GJ

I want it. With that resolution and portability I would be able to use just one system for all my work- studio, weddings, commercial, events, etc.

Expensive? Yes, but so is keeping 3 or 4 different systems with all the lenses, etc. I have 35mm film, Digital SLR, Medium ofrmat, and large format cameras. Each serves its purpose. The S2 could replace all those systems.

4:46 pm - Saturday, October 18, 2008

#30 steve kennedy

They've done it again !
As ever the timing is faultless. Introduce a 20,000 euro machine during a recession and hope for the best.
I'll stick with my Eos 1DS mk3. I bet I could'nt tell the difference in image quality.
steve

6:54 pm - Friday, October 31, 2008

#31 GJ

Good equipment is expensive. More resolution, better lenses, bigger sensor = means more money. It's very simple. There are more choices now for digital cameras than ever before. You can get a good comsumer camera for under $1000, or a great professional camera for $30,000, and everything in between.

This camera is clearly aimed at the working pro.

I get sick of hearing people complain about the price of top-end goods.

7:54 pm - Friday, October 31, 2008

#32 steve kennedy

And whom exactly do you think the Eos 1ds mk 3 is aimed at. Believe me, if you buy the S2 you are a mug who likes to pay for a name around your neck. I have Leica M camera's and I love them but I will not be duped by a company in trouble trying to profiteer from a model they could easily have sold for half tha price.
regards

9:35 am - Saturday, November 1, 2008

#33 GJ

Both Canon and Nkon's top end models are aimed at professionals. Some professionals need or want more resolution and dynamic range than Canon or Nikon can deliver. There is obviously a market there. Look at all the medium format digital backs out there. The Leica system is a more compact system than something like an H3 or a typical 645 system and all its lenses.

Medium format quality in a package about the same size as your Mk 3? Sounds good to me.

I think it fits perfectly into their line of compact, yet high quility cameras and lenses.

Yes, it is expensive. Why shouldn't it be? It is of the highest quality, and a completely new system with all its R&D;costs.

3:16 pm - Sunday, November 2, 2008

#34 steve kennedy

You make very valid points and they are well taken. However, it is the glossy publication editors that will decide the matter in that the dynamic range differences between the Leica and the other two may well be so imperceptable and marginal in respect of their reproduction in an A4 size magazine.
regards
steve

3:27 pm - Sunday, November 2, 2008

#35 Demetri Demetriou

So much hot air and abusive comments (more like a Flog than a Blog) from people who haven't even seen the Leica S2, let alone used it and seen the results.
Leica has always stood for quality and we will know soon enough if the S2 signals a new era for Lecia or the beginning of the end.
But there is one very important point, in my view, that sets Lecia apart and that is the quality of their lenses. As brands like Canon and Nikon release ever more powerful processors, their lenses in contrast have reached the limits of their capabilities, with noise and distortion becoming an issue. I believe that some of these brands have asked Leica to help with their lenses and it is for this reason that the Panasonic Lumix uses Leica lenses. It is, after all, the quality of the Leica lenses that has always set Leica apart?
I am an avid fan of both Canon and Leica and struggling with my decison as to whether or not to buy the 5D mark II or wait for the S2, but given my experience, I am in little doubt the S2 will be a stunning piece of equipment.
Happy to read intelligent,non abusive and constructive comments.
Regards Demetri

12:55 pm - Monday, November 17, 2008

#36 Brian shoots Bikes

I look forward to seeing this camera. The possibilities of flash fill at a shutter speed higher than 1/250th in a smaller more responsive package than the H3D. The glass promises to be better than the H3D, lets hope it's delivered. I only fear, still owning the Contax 645 with all lenses, the staying power of Leitz.

7:33 am - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

#37 Les Coote

Does it matter? Some people will buy because it is expensive despite whether it is the best or just average.
Others will await test reports, maybe hire one and then make the decision.
Undoubtedly, It is a Leica, so build quality will be superb and the new lenses state of the art.

I find some of the comments above bemusing; calling people cissies and women. What is wrong with women? There are many supremely talented female photographers; why use that gender as an insult even if only in fun?

Read your comments before you post them.Some of the spelling is quaint and the syntax bemusing. Photography should be fun but peoples opinions I hope are intended to be a contribution to a debate that should be taken seriously.

No I am not a female. Just an old man who has been taking photographs for years with cheap and expensive kit. Many disasters; some reasonable results and the odd triumph.

11:05 am - Thursday, November 20, 2008

#38 Nobody Special

Just how many comments are from people that either use, have used, intend to use, or have had an S2 in their hands?
This camera will no doubt produce better images than any of the Nikon or Canon full frame digital products.

The S2 IS NOT A 35mm DIGITAL CAMERA - so get over it, naysayers and non Leica users. The only disappointment I can imagine at this time would be if the S2 was not a good, practical 'field camera', but to draw negativity about a yet unreleased product is ridiculous at best.

Leica has struggled for quite a few years with questionable market decisions and less than adequate ownership direction, yet they are still alive, with a new, very smart owner with the capital to get the company back to what it is - a producer of extremely high quality, practically designed imaging tools. Canon is a descent company that produces lots of quickly obsolete products. Nikon is to me a much worthier company trying to hold on to an increasingly tight market share.

Leica because of it's stumbles, can pick it's own territory because it is not in the same market. It can afford to be 'adventurous', applaud new innovation - it's good for imaging generally - and that's not a bad thing.

5:50 am - Sunday, November 23, 2008

#39 chris

I think Leica is one smart cookie. Remember their interest was always on the 3 x 2 format, and it was coincidental that they chose 35mm because that was the only Kodak film size available then ( for Cine use )a few hundred years ago. With digital, no one needs to depend on 35mm film format any longer. They also do not have a very large number of "R" lenses users as compared to Nikon who must keep all their loyal customers happy ( me included ). Therefore, no real hassle to come up with a new "S" system. For me, wish they would fit a Foveon APC - C sized sensor into their Leica M. That would really make a real "Minature" camera.

9:31 am - Monday, December 1, 2008

#40 Ken Davies

Rather expensive. It's like the B2 "Spirit" bomber, which pilots try to avoid actually flying becuase it costs USD 2 billion to replace if it crashes. On the other hand, if you don't dare take it outside the studio, what is the point of paying for a weatherproof camera?

6:06 pm - Thursday, December 11, 2008

#41 GJ

The point is a camera that expensive should be sealed from the weather. This is not the camera for someone who is going to let it sit on a shelf and be admired from afar, or a camera that one should be afraid to take out of the studio. It is designed for the working pro and all the conditions they subject equipment to by nature of their job. One day in the studio, next day at a factory, next day at the beach, next day at a ski resort. It looks like the perfect combinaton of size and picture quality. Easy to hold, transport, great sensor, great optics. That's what it was designed for. I think they got it right. When you watch shows on T.V. that show a pro photographer working, you almost always see them using a Hasselblad H system. A fine system, but a bit big and cumbersome. I'll bet many of those photographers will be drawn to the S2.

8:40 pm - Friday, December 19, 2008

#42 Brett

S2 Looks AMAZING!! As a photojournalist I have been waiting nearly a decade after switching to digital for Leica to bring me something that I can use. Summer 2009 I will hopefully be going back to Leica full time for work!

12:15 pm - Monday, December 29, 2008

#43 Michael

I don't understand why Leica stuck with the antiquated 3:2 (like 35mm)format rather than the much more convenient 5:4 proportion. Even Nikon has added the convenience of switching to 5:4 in their D3. A sensor of the dimensions of 41x33 would have about the same area as the S2 45x30 with a more usable image area. I hope that in the final release there is a choice of formats.

8:25 am - Saturday, January 10, 2009

#44 ronald mathis

Thank you Lecia,

The next 6 months will be long,
Can I get a manual on the camera
and lenses, so I can at least familiarize
myself with Lecia's new S2 system.

Thank You,

Ronald O Mathis
3541 Johnson Court
Fremont, Ca 94555
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

3:49 am - Saturday, January 17, 2009

#45 peter chambers

i want one and i have used everything over the last twenty five years i know that some of it is just functional some of it is just practical but leica can never be just those things its always magical oh and by the way i am a full time professional shooting top advertising so i know all about quality digital. I cant wait to get some of that german glass in front of that mother of a chip.

10:04 pm - Sunday, March 1, 2009

#46 Rupert Kaldor

It's such a shame that Leica have decided to run with a 3:2 format.
I think the optimum format (at least for fashion / magazine photography) would have to be 4:3 (same format as the Phase 1 backs). PLEASE Leica, reconsider the format. I can assure you the 4:3 format will sway a LOT more customers into buying one.

6:09 am - Friday, April 3, 2009

#47 Al

It will be obsolte and overpriced by the time it is finally released.
There is already a Phase 1 P40+ that will kick it's ass on price, flexibility resolution and image quality. I can say ass can't I?
Yes, the market is crying out for something that is better than the best 35mm platform. 35mm is flawed as it's too limiting and lenses have to be too high in resolution to handle the tiny pixel pitch.
35mm is dead for high-end pro work, but is this a replacement for portable high-res pro level photography? In some respects yes, but it's too inflexible surely?

2:19 pm - Saturday, May 16, 2009

#48 Edward Janelli

If some of these comments were posted by people who are even marginally literate I'd give them more value. As far as complaining about using a sensor made by Kodak, that makes about as much sense as complaining that Leica doesn't make the film for its film cameras. These sound like a bunch of can't-afford-its whining because Leica designed a camera for the "elite". How about Hasselblad which makes cameras that cost $40,000+ US? No, I can't afford either the S2 or a Hasselblad, but that doesn't make them bad cameras. Grow up!!!

4:30 pm - Saturday, July 18, 2009

#49 John Little

AH,,,,, at last the Digital Uber Camera the world has been waiting for !!!

Of course it is to expensive !

Of course you resent it's Uberness !!

It is indeed Todays finest Example of what is possible when keen minds world wide come together with German Glass and Craftmanship !

I lust for it ! I hate it ! I want it !

11:18 pm - Thursday, July 30, 2009

#50 Zoltan Arva-Toth

The price of the Leica S2 has been unveiled:
http://www.photographyblog.com/news/leica_s2_price_unveiled/

8:55 am - Friday, July 31, 2009

#51 Arnie

In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, "that is one ugly motherfcuker".

3:03 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#52 Michael Steiner

A better design would have made it accessible to more people. As we all know, the cost will decline and the quality will improve.

6:23 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#53 Brad

I think it is a bold and smart move that could pay off for a company like Leica to build a professional camera thats in between a Medium Format and a 35mm format. The Main reason the company went with the 3:2 format instead of a 5:4 format is so they can use the technology to bridge there current products. Just think of a new Rangefinder m or the R system with a 35mm version of the Kodak sensor. That would translate into a 24 mega pixel camera. Combined with the already huge arsenal of lenses of the m and r system and a new set of auto focus lenses for the r system and you have a competitive system that could compete with the Canons and Nikons of the world. That could be a huge step forward for Leica and a possible new competitor in the digital SLR market.

6:09 am - Friday, August 28, 2009

#54 chris

This Leica is far beyond that what I can afford. I think the 13 x 17 mm sensor area in the FourThirds system is great enough for my needs. And what about image stabilization in the so called medium format world? And why is the S2 based on CCD and not CMOS technology?

5:30 pm - Saturday, August 29, 2009

#55 Brad

Good question Chris. I just think that Kodak is only one of two companies who make medium format processors and I believe that Kodak only uses CCD technology. The question with image stabilization is something that would help but only in telephoto and supper telephoto lenses and particularly with action photography. I think with Leica they usually pump more money in there glass and optics for sharper images.

4:23 am - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#56 usb kabel

It looks a good one but the cost is killing me. I am looking to get the junior version of it.

2:09 pm - Thursday, October 22, 2009

#57 Dave

I got the chance to handle a pre-production model today and found myself going back and back and back to the Leica booth. This is one sweet camera. Outstanding design and smaller than a D3. Very comfortable to hold, very natural. It is now on my must have list.

4:19 am - Sunday, October 25, 2009

#58 Paul David Robinson

i have been using 35mm film for over thirty three years. Well done Leica S2 hope you bring a coulpe of zoom lenes i still shoot film for weddings however looking at somre of the photos by this camera has changed my mind about digital

Good on you Leica a breath of fresh air i would love to purchase this new system / format

7:46 am - Friday, January 29, 2010

#59 chris

The X1 would have been more practical for me, if only they had used the Leica M mount instead of a fixed lens. They just can't get it right.

3:58 pm - Sunday, February 21, 2010

#60 Torquinian

I suppose you can't use any existing Leica lenses on it or they would have said so.

1:08 pm - Sunday, April 3, 2011

#61 Andoni

Really nice post and cameras! :) Will keep in mind for our amateur jobs.

Regards from Photographer in Mallorca

10:55 am - Monday, June 23, 2014