Leica S2: the fuller full frame

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OreoCookie, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I'm surprised nobody has posted this yet: Leica has announced the S2, a completely new dslr system with a very, very big 37.5 MP sensor, it apparently measures 30x45 mm^2 and has roughly twice the area of a fullframe sensor.

    So Leica finally goes digital: it's the first time, they have an AF (which uses one central cross-type sensor) in one of their slrs, so I'm wondering how good it is? I think it'll be good if it is on par with medium format bodies … :)
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    And it will cost about the GDP of a small country to buy one?
     
  3. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #3
    That's what I was thinking.....

    Sweet camera though.
     
  4. OreoCookie thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    From what I understand, the prices will be in the ballpark of medium format systems. Outch. Not GDP of a country, more like the price of a small- to medium-sized car. ;)
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #5
    Just to put things into perspective:

    (click to enlarge)

    [​IMG]

    :eek:
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    I'd like to know how heavy it is. :D

    At first glance it looks like an impressive camera, though. I wonder if it's a shot across the bow towards Sony and Canon (at the high end - not the 5D Mark II)?
     
  7. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #7
    I think it's attempting to compete with Hasselblad and Leaf, etc. It seems, at least to me, to maybe be halfway between a dSLR and digi medium format. I don't anything to back that up, but it's a feeling.

    Always trust your gut, right?
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    This is a pro camera. Think in terms a capital equipment cost divided by gross income. My Uncle the plumber spends more on his gear than a pro photographer using this new Leica would.

    Think about a pro's budget for just one shoot. What do you pay a model, makup artist, and food stylist and studio rental time. All to get some shot of a happy person eating some new diet food? Camera are cheap.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #9
    "seems"?? Just look at the specs. Take the Hasselblad and a new Nikon/Canon full frame dSLR and add the numbers and divide by two and you have the numbers for the S2. It doesn't just seem like a half way is is dead-on half way.

    I really like the leaf shutter idea. Flash sync at any speed. Something no Nikon/Canon will ever be able to do. Wedding photographers who have to shoot outdoors with fill-in flash will jump on this camera big time. Leaf shutters are great for this. That leaf shutter solves a huge problem.

    The industry did this before. Back when there is just 6x6 format (basically Hasselblad and Rolli) a few camera makers came out with 6x4.5 format camera that handled more like 35mm SLRs. You got the best of both.

    With their larger than full frame sensor Leica has made it impossable for Canon/Nikon/Sony to compete with this. That's smart on Leica's part. None of the Canon/Nikon/Sony lenses could work with a sensor this large so they are not likely to ever release cameras to compete with the S2. This does not compete so much with Nikon/Canon as with Hasselblad and Mamiya

    What this really gives Leica is "market differentiation". Leica has something no one else has or is likely to have. Leica it turns out just got a ton of cash dumped on them by a new owner. What we are seeing is the result of a huge new investment in the company
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    I guess I was wondering if this might be targeted at pros who would like to not compromise so much on higher-pixel-density sensors, but didn't want to deal with the size and bulk of medium format gear.

    I'm not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense or not. :D

    Anyway, it makes the odd rumors about Nikon and its supposed "MX" format more interesting. Nikon and Canon tend to try not to line their cameras up too closely to each other's; something like that would let Nikon go for the higher-end photogs without having to exactly match the 1Ds Mark III.

    Of course, as of now Leica now HAS a camera like that, and Nikon's got bupkis as far as we know. :D
     
  11. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #11
    At least the Canon left the moon behind and came down to Earth. This one seems to be heading the other way. :rolleyes:

    Regarding speculation about a Nikon MX format (see nikonrumors.com), I'm not sure what to make of it...at first we thought Nikon would never go Full Frame...but the market for MX is even smaller than the market for FF.

    If I were running Nikon, I would be allocating resources on revamping the consumer lineup, releasing new and/or updated lenses, and working on the D400, D800, and D4.
     
  12. Naim135 macrumors member

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    #12
    Leica has shown us the Future

    Now that Leica has the S2 this has shown that we no longer need to be tied to a specific size of sensor. After all the image comes out as a Data stream hence the breakaway from 35mm. Nikon has shown with the D3 and D700 megapixels aren't everything there is obviously an optimum pixel size to give the best quality/low light performance. so in order to get more pixels you have no choice but to increase the sensor size.
     
  13. OreoCookie thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #13
    Huh? Leica has a very different niche in mind than Canon.
    That doesn't mean it isn't a viable niche.
    We are talking about Leica, not Nikon here.
     
  14. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Just as Hasselblad doesn't engender much discussion in this forum, neither does Leica for obvious reasons. That very niche you talk about is not present in this forum. We can drool about the technology, but that's all we can do.
     
  15. OreoCookie thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #15
    It may not be present in this forum, but so what? All that matters is whether Leica can make money. It's never been a mainstream company (in the last four decades or so). Ditto for Hasselblad, yet, there is money to be made. If you need more than 20, 25 MP, you don't really have a choice.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    Nikon and Canon are tied to a sensor size. They can't increase the sensor size. All of their lenses can only cover at most a 35mm frame. If they introduced a larger sensor they would also need to introduce at the same time an entire new line of lenses. These lenses would need to have a larger mount diameter and would not fit existing cameras.

    I'm still very surprised that Leica was able to pull this off. Not only did they design this camera body but what? six new lenses all released on the same day. As I wrote above their new owners must have invested a lot of money into the company.
     
  17. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Hence the discussion (or speculation) about a Nikon MX format. The exciting possibility is that someone other than Leica or Hasselblad might introduce a medium format body, but at a down-to-earth price.

    Nikon, for instance, could create a new line of MX lenses, but still offer compatibility with existing Full Frame lenses in a "crop" mode. However, if I were running Nikon, I wouldn't be diverting resources to this niche at this time.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    I don't think so, Leica's always had an interesting niche, and I don't think they can really go against the general market and wouldn't necessarily want to "wrestle with the pigs." If anything, it's aimed at Hassy, but that's a tough target to get past for what's always generally been considered a non-workhorse camera company.

    I really don't see Leica as a pro workhorse, your margins go down a lot compared to the usual suspects when you start buying backup bodies, lenses, etc. I think they'll get a few avant-guard fashion folks, but also a bit of their usual high-end enthusiast market- but I'm just skeptical that they're going to get much lift, especially since this product doesn't seem to help their shiny PhaseOne alliance.

    I think higher ISO and FP-Sync when you need it are easier and cheaper. Let's face it, it's rare a wedding shooter needs to sync outside the normal range, and eventually we'll be dealing with just reading off the sensor. It's more common to drag the shutter with an indoor event than to try to get a higher sync speed anyway isn't it?

    Hassy's got the leaf option, bringing a higher-end hoity-toity perception to the party doesn't seem like it's going to be successful in any but very limited circles to me.

    Talk about an idiotic name though- they're going to clash with the old Fuji DSLR and Canon P&S in Google for a while.

    The body's announced price point (USD$30,000) is $9,000 more than the current street price for the Hasselblad HD3II-39, which has a 48mmx36mm sensor and leaf shutter lenses too. This is medium format for all intents and purposes- and they're trying to play the "smaller" card- it'll be interesting to see if it works, but my guess is that in a contracting segment there's not going to be a lot of folks replacing Hassys, and few people moving to even larger sensors given the price points and gains we've seen recently- the hubub about the pixel density of the 5DmkII seems to indicate that we're not really going to see a lot more attempts at larger files.

    Given the choice, I think I'd probably opt for the Hassy all things considered.
     
  19. OreoCookie thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Leica has built a reputation of being the workhorse of certain types of photographers (e. g. photojournalists who work in remote countries, their range finders have been the tool of choice when you need a robust, unobtrusive camera you can easily hide).
    Not a pro workhorse? By the same argument, all medium format bodies are not pro workhorses. They cost about the same (think: small or medium-sized car) and they are professional.

    Hasselblad used to be the tool of choice for wedding photographers at least in my hemisphere many moons ago. If the Leica S2 handles more like a Fuji S2 or so in terms of size, then I think this may be a market segment, too.
    High ISO with medium format backs are what, ISO 400 or ISO 800?
    They've finally announced a price?
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    I don't think it's all that ubiquitous of a reputation- that segment is niche freelancers for the most part (I used to work for a multi-billion dollar media empire with over 100 newspapers, and I doubt there was a Leica at any of the papers.) I also don't think it's really a "workhorse" because those types of shooters aren't doing that type of photography.

    No- what I'm saying is that Leica's sweet spot has been the rangefinder niche, wealthy aficionados, and the occasional freelance war correspondent- not the photographer who's doing a wedding every weekend from March through September. Even in the photojournalist niche, these cameras aren't doing 1200 shutter activations each weekend- that's why I chose the word workhorse- I'm not saying Leicas aren't good for professional work, I'm saying that they've traditionally been simple, reliable machines, not day in, day out hundreds to thousands of activations- and to compare a mechanical rangefinder with an electronic SLR isn't necessarily going to give you a good idea of how it'll perform.

    Again, I think it'll be difficult to convince working wedding pros that Leica automatically has what it takes to be a workhorse, since they've simply been putting out thoroughbreds for decades. If the capability were that necessary, folks would be getting the 'Blads left and right and bitching about the size/weight- I don't see that happening- so the capability must be (a) not that important, (b) not that necessary compared to the Canon/Nikon capabilities today or (c) under developed market-wise.

    None of those shots need 39MP- surely any 20x30 or up print is going to be a well-lit formal? Again I just don't see this as a large market, since the 35mm crowd is "good enough." If it were, then the HD3II's would be selling like hotcakes, since they've already got the capabilities outlined and a high-end wedding photographer would ROI the body inside a weekend. Of course, they could purchase about 7 D3s or 1Ds for the same price point- so the compelling differences need to be quite compelling (but not necessarily real.)

    It's not an official announcement, more a leaked MSRP. Seems about right though.

    Edit: Hassy's recent price drops can't be underestimated as a cost of the improvements in small format digital SLRs- the 31MP HD3II is now $18k, as stated before, the 39MP body is now $22k- leaving only the 50MP and when it hits, 60MP bodies up in the high end of the market. Outside of not wanting to show up at a wedding and be shown up by the guests' cameras, I can't imagine that the idea of working with 39M files is all that compelling when culling out non-formals for an album- a 40% drop in camera price can't be good for the margins, and the 5DmkII can't bode a good future in any case for the $4k for a normal lens crowd.
     
  21. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #21
    I'm buying one,

    I'll just pull a stack of $100's out of my dresser drawer, they're taking up too much space anyway :D

    That or I'll use a bag full of the $20's that I've been using as toilet paper for the last few years!

    SLC
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    When is Leica finally going to go out of business? Lets just get it over with....
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #23
    I agree. Even if price were equal I'd prefer the Hasselblad. But to put that high price in perspective (again), I know a plumber who spent more than that amount on a dump truck. As long as the equipment makes money it's worth it.

    I'm kind of thinking I want a 500cm but I'll wait.
     

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