Medium-format cameras are turning to the CMOS sensor for its flexibility, and Leica has followed suit with the S (Typ 007). Damien Demolder puts it to the test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Leica S (Typ 007)

Features:7/10
Build/Handling:7/10
Metering:8/10
Autofocus:7/10
AWB Colour:9/10
Dynamic Range:9/10
Image quality:9/10
LCD viewfinder:9/10

Pros:

  • - Exceptional image quality up to ISO 6,400
  • - Well-designed body for handheld shooting
  • - Huge, bright viewfinder is a joy to use

Cons:

  • - Autofocus system only has a single point
  • - Lower resolution than medium-format peers
  • - Unconventional four-button control layout

Product:

Leica S (Typ 007) review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£12,900.00 (Body only)

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Leica S (Typ 007) review – Introduction

At a glance:

  • 37.5MP Leica ProFormat CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-12,500
  • 3.5fps continuous shooting
  • 0.87x viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • 3in,921,600-dot LCD
  • Cine 4K video recording

With no background in medium-format film cameras, Leica was able to start with a clean slate when it decided the time was right to begin offering its users a larger sensor. Although the S1 was the first of its S-series models, it was a scanning camera and not closely related to the S models that followed. The S2 was the beginning of the current format, which was announced in 2008 and released for sale in 2009. Leica wanted to make a medium-format handheld camera that was small and easy to use, so it steered away from the Hasselblad/Bronica/Pentax 645 format of long-nosed SLRs and went with a shape more like the Pentax 67 SLR or Mamiya 7 rangefinder, and actually not that dissimilar to its own lovely R system of 35mm film SLRs.

Confusingly, Leica’s naming structure has altered since the introduction of the S2, so we had the S (Typ 006) instead of an S3, and now we have an S (Typ 007), representing the fourth generation of the series. This new model introduces some important changes for the system and brings with it features and functions that make it a thoroughly modern medium-format camera in a world in which the main players are only just moving away from bodies designed and created in the last century. It stands out too as the only digital medium-format camera built in the likeness of a 35mm-style DSLR. It also uses its own unique sensor size with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and is ploughing its own furrow when it comes to the sensor manufacturer.

  1. 1. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Introduction
  2. 2. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Features
  3. 3. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Leica S app
  4. 4. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Handling
  5. 5. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Performance
  6. 6. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Dynamic range, resolution and noise
  7. 7. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Our verdict
  8. 8. Leica S (Typ 007) review - Full specification
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