The new Leica S3 Takes Medium Format DSLRs to the Next Level
Ten years after the official release of the Leica S2, the German camera maker has finally launched its latest flagship, the Leica S3, a 64 MP Medium Format DSLR camera offering full width 4K video, with 15 stops of dynamic range. The S3 was actually previewed at Photokina 2018 and even though it was supposed to be released last spring, fine tuning this professional-focused camera took a year longer.
From the outside, the S3 looks pretty similar to its predecessor, but this camera comes with a completely new, medium format, 30 x 45-mm 64MP CMOS sensor and a state-of-the-art imaging processor called Leica Maestro II that’s supposedly going to provide an all new medium format experience.
The camera’s ProFormat sensor works for light sensitivity between ISO 100 and 50,000, shooting at up to three frames per second, with phase-detection AF and a 2GB memory buffer.
Leica says this is “The One” camera you might need for video, recording un-cropped Cine 4K (4,096 x 2,160) 8 bit video, with brilliant 4:2:2 color sampling at 24 fps, or Full HD at 30 fps. The S3 also comes with an integrated stereo microphone that’s capable of recording crisp audio at 16-bit / 48 kHz but obviously there’s also an audio jack if you’d like to use an external mic.
The viewfinder is also brand new, a 0.87x optical viewfinder that covers about 98 percent of the frame, with horizon leveling, and it’s complemented on the back by a colorful 3-inch LCD monitor that’s unfortunately non touch. The camera body is weather sealed and comes with 802.1n Wi-Fi built in, allowing you to sync the camera with Leica’s Fotos App, that’s available for both iOS and Android.
Up top, you’ll find a monochrome settings panel from where you can quickly check the camera settings. And now the sad part: the Leica S3 is already available for pre-order, but you’ll need to splash out $18,995 to get one.