Leica S3: price, specs, release date revealed

Leica S3
News

Leica Camera has announced the latest addition to its ultra-high-resolution S-System range. The new Leica S3 is firmly aimed at professional photographers and as with the rest of the Leica S range has a price tag to match.

All features have been upgraded with the Leica S3 taking a leap from 37.5mp to 64mp compared with the previous generation. With an ever-increasing demand for high-quality video potential from still cameras, the Leica S3 is capable of shooting Cine 4k across the entire sensor. 

Leica S3: The Highest Resolution for the Maximum Leica Look

The new Leica S3 not only increases in resolution and video potential but also takes a step-up in the design of the professional workflow. 

Designed for use with Leica’s S-Lenses the new high resolution sensor has been designed to maximise the aesthetic qualities of Leica’s world renowned glass. 

Not only does the new sensor deliver a 71% increase in resolution over its predessor but also offers an incredible 15 stops of dynamic range and maximum ISO of 50000 ensuring outstanding images even in low light conditions. 

The new Leica S3 ProFormat sensor measure in at 30x45mm and matches the conventional 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm film.

Cine-4K is a new feature and a first for the Leica S3 enabling photographers to shoot cinematic footage with the medium format style. As well as Cine-4k the camera will also be able to shoot 1080p at high and low frame rates for greater creativity. 

As you’d expect there’s the ability to connect external recorders and microphones into the Leica S3 transforming it into a full professional cinema camera. 

The Leica S3 may be a professional medium format style camera but Leica has also icorporated features that are more common to DSLRs to help with the digital workflow. 

The large sensor is kept cool by not requiring an always on livefeed and in turn this helps to reduce noise. The Leica S3 battery is also optimised to enable a life of over 1000 shots per charge. 

Powering the power and resolution increase is the Leica Maestro II processor and 3GB of buffer memory, all helping to ensure the smooth transfer of data.

As most Leica S3’s will live in the studio tethered shooting is an important factor. The standalone Leica Image Shuttle app or the Adobe Lightroom Classic plug-in will help photographers with their workflow, before, during adn after the shoot. 

In addition a mobile workflow solution is available with the S3’s native WLAN connectivity to sync up with the Leica FOTOS 2.0 app on iOS, iPadOS and Android. 

If you’re wanting to use the Leica S3 out on location then the built-in GPS is a welcome addition feature. 

The S-System central shutter feature is available as an option for six of the S-System lenses. The central shutter feature enables high-speed flash synchronisation enabling greater flexibility for creative photography when working with studio flash systems or mixing both bright ambient light with smaller remote strobe.

Leica S3 Price & Release Date

The Leica S3 price tag is £16,500 / $18,995, and it is available for shipping frome today. You can purchase the S3 at Leica stores, Boutiques, and Dealers.

Pick-up your Leica S3 now from the Leica Manchester store.

Leica S3 specifications

  • Sensor dimensions 30 x 45 (Leica ProFormat)
  • Aspect ration 2:3
  • Resolution 64 million pixels
  • Dynamic range 15 f-stops
  • White Balance: Daylight, cloudy, shade, incandescent, fluorescent, HMI, halogen warm, halogen cool, flash, tungsten, grey card, grey card Live View, automatic, colour temperature
  •  ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500, ISO 25000, ISO 50000, auto ISO
  • Focusing Type: Predictive TTL autofocus with central cross sensor and phase detection
  • AF modes:  AFs (single) = focus priority, AFc (continuous) = predictive focus tracking, manual override of AF settings is possible at any time
  • AF lock
  •  Shutter release or five-way joystick
  • MF Via lens with electronic focusing aid
  • Exposure settings: Exposure metering,  Exposure metering through the lens (TTL)
  • Metering modes: Multi-segment (five fields), centre-weighted, selective/spot metering (3.5% of image frame)
  • Exposure control:  Programme AE (with manual shift) (P), shutter speed priority (T), aperture priority AE (A), manual exposure control (M) (M) Exposure compensation
  •  +/- 3 EV (in half-stop increments)
  • Exposure bracketing:  3 or 5 exposures; 1/2, 1, 2, 3 stop(s)
  • Shutter: Focal plane shutter, central shutter with Leica CS lenses
  • Drive modes: Single, continuous, interval, self-timer, 2 s /12 s (with mirror pre-release)
  • Shutter speeds: 2 minutes (depending on ISO setting) to 1/4000 s, in half-stop increments
  • Burst rate: Up to 3 fps
  • Self-timer: 2 s or 12 s, with mirror pre-release
  • Mirror pre-release: Yes
  • Video: 4K cinema and full-HD in Leica ProFormat (large format video)
  • Resolution: Full-HD: 1920 x 1080 p, 4K cinema: 4096 x 2160 p
  • Frame rate: Full-HD: 24, 25, 30 fps, 4K cinema: 24 fps
  • File format: MOV (motion JPEG)
  • Colour subsampling: 4:2:2
  • Exposure control: Manual and automatic
  • Audio level: Manual and automatic
  • Audio (onboard): Integrated stereo microphone. 48 kHz, 16 Bit
  • Audio (external): Audio-in (3.5 mm stereo jack), Audio-out (3.5 mm stereo jack), with Leica Audio-Adapter-S
  • Time code: Internal
  • Miscellaneous: Focus peaking, clean uncompressed full-HD (1080p) 8-Bit, 4:2:2, HDMI video stream for recording on off-camera HDMI recorders
  • Live View Refresh rate: Up to 60 fps
  • Focusing: Manual, AF metering field shift to any part of the viewfinder image
  • Exposure control: Multi-segment (five fields), centre-weighted, selective/spot (linked to AF metering field)
  • Exposure simulation: Yes
  • Miscellaneous: Histogram with clipping, focus peaking, levelling aid (horizon), exposure information
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism viewfinder with high-eyepoint eyepiece, illuminated LCD bar
  • Magnification: 0.87x (with 70 mm lens at infinity, 0 dpt.)
  • Viewfinder coverage: Approx. 98%
  • Dioptre compensation: –3 to +1 dioptres
  • Focusing screens: Exchangeable: standard focusing screen with AF cross hairs and spot marking (supplied with the camera), focusing screen with engraved grid, microprism focusing screen
  • Viewfinder information: Levelling aid (horizon), shutter speed, exposure control mode, aperture, flash status, exposure compensation scale, flash sync display, focus indicator, exposure compensation, remaining exposures (on storage medium), buffer memory, error messages, ISO settings display
  • Display panels:  3-inch TFT LCD display, 921,600 pixels, Colour space  sRGB, 16 million colours
  • Oblique viewing angle: 170°
  • Display cover glass: Corning®Gorilla®Glass
  • Top-deck display panel: Monochrome LCD display
  • Flash Connections: Lemo® flash sync socket, hot shoe with centre and control contacts
  • Flash synchronisation with focal plane shutter: 1/125 s
  • Flash synchronisation with central shutter (leaf shutter): Up to 1/1000 s
  • High-speed sync: HSS function up to 1/4000 s (with compatible external flash units)
  • Flash triggering point: Sync on first or second curtain (FPS)
  • Shooting: Drive modes Single, continuous, interval, self-timer 2 s with mirror pre-release, self-timer 12 s with mirror pre-release
  • Data recording: Image data formats Lossless compressed DNG, DNG + JPEG
  • Buffer memory capacity: 2 GB buffer memory, up to six lossless compressed DNG image files, JPEG no limit (dependent on memory card type, shutter speed and ISO setting)
  • Storage media: SD card (SDXC), CF card (UDMA7), external (PC)
  • Playback mode: Full image, histogram with clipping, focus peaking, exposure information
  • GPS: Yes
  • WLAN: Integrated in camera body (remote camera control and image assessment by smartphone app), IEEE802.11n
  • Date/time:  Manual or automatic date/time setting with GPS module
  • Levelling aid (horizon): Display sensitivity < 1° (at ambient temperatures from 0–40°C)
  • Interfaces: USB

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