Overall Rating:

4

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

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£12,900.00 (Body only)

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

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.

  • Sensor: 37.5MP CMOS (30x45mm)
  • Output size: 7,488x4,960 pixels
  • Focal length mag: 0.8x
  • Lens mount: Leica S
  • Shutter speeds: 60secs-1/4000sec
  • ISO: 100-12,500
  • Exposure modes: PASMs
  • Metering: Multi, centreweighted, spot
  • Exposure comp: ±3EV in 1/2 steps
  • Drive: 3.5fps
  • Movie: Cine 4K (4,091x2,160) at 24fps, Full HD (1,920x1,080) at 60fps
  • LCD: 3in, 921,600-dot touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism, 0,87x magnification, 100% coverage
  • Stabilisation: None
  • AF points: 1-point phase-detection
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, CF
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-ion
  • Dimensions: 160x120x80mm
  • Weight: 1,260g (without battery)

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