Leica debuts S-system, 37-megapixel flagship S2 camera

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ishik_tuna, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. yikes...what is this gonna cost...

    S series lens?? I've been thrown under the autobus!!

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/22/leica-debuts-s-system-37-megapixel-flagship-s2-camera/
     
  2. 20,000 Euro for the body.
     
  3. http://www.1854.eu/2008/09/leica_s2_13_photos_of_the_new.html
     
  4. http://www.bjp-online.com/public/showPage.html?page=816234
     
  5. here is another link

    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39029429,49299037,00.htm

    i'm thinking by the time you get a few lens for this thing...it's gonna cost about as much as an entry level Mercedes Benz....literally..
     
  6. here are some more pics

    http://www.optyczne.pl/index.php?news=1290
     
  7. Very exciting news. I thought the 21 summilux was pretty revolutionary, but this is amazing.
    Is it a conventional SLR (aside from the mega megapixels)? Does it have an optical finder?
     
  8. Alastair: yes it does and yes it does.
     
  9. Good for Leica! They nailed their niche I think. I was looking at the Sinar Hy6, but this might be the ticket. What a beautiful design. It looks like a joy to use, just by looking at it. So long as it doesn't need IR filters, I am very interested. Yeah, it's expensive, but I'm not that connected to the new Hasselblads right now. If I just had a couple of cars to sell... hmm.

    Any guesses on the 70mm lens cost? I'm thinking $8-9K USD. They also should have a zoom. Can't wait to see the first pics taken with it. I wonder if it's a model, working model, or beta.
     
  10. Makes the M8.2 price seem affordable, huh? Hello? Juuuust kidding.
     
  11. Awsome! I just hope people will be more happy about all these new camera anouncements, ( S2, 5D MKII ) and less grumpy if a camera
    doesn't have 20 fps or dual card slots. This are great times to live in, with very interesting news so often! And for the Leica fans like
    myself, the S2 (as they claim) is the door to other digital Leica cameras yet to come. Let's all hope the best for Leica and a good future for
    the S2.

    30 x 45 mm. and less bulky than a 1Ds MKIII that was a surprise !
     
  12. No more of that sissy cropped 1950's M stuff. I want one with the 35mm.
     
  13. Wow. I wonder what their amateur offering that they mention will be, and how much it'll cost.
     
  14. More here:
    http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/s_system/
     
  15. I dunno... will the image quality match the H3D-II w P45? Will it be as easy to use as the 1Ds3? Or will it struggle and not really succeed on either front?

    Niche maybe, but at 20,000 E, that's one hell of a niche.
     
  16. I hope they make lots of $$$$$$ on the S2 to help fund a new digital M.
     
  17. does the s stand for anything, like perhaps special?
     
  18. I like it - a real competitor to the Fujiblad cameras, and it is honestly an innovation from Leica, as opposed to the glacial
    pace they've otherwise taken. It's not a huge market, to be sure, but a profitable one, and if it pans out, will help support the
    company in other endeavors.

    And hey, it only took till 2008 for an autofocus Leica:)
     
  19. It's called S2 as a follow-on to their medium format S1 camera, which sold a few hundred units, and is superb. The S1 is pretty much a "copy" camera.

    IR filters? Quite unlikely, with a reflex mirror in there, the lenses should be quite telecentric. No problem with a proper filter on the sensor.

    It shows that they have AF technology under control, both the camera and lens ends. Whatever the "R10" is, it will surely have auto-focus. Probably the electrical interface to the "AF" R lenses will be the same as these S lenses.

    I suppose this means that they would know how to make mini-Four-Thirds lenses, which also have to be autofocus.

    Fascinating display of technical chops to pull this off. Bold move.

    I suppose starting at the "pro" end means that they can leave some of the cost-optimization until later.
     
  20. Congatulations Leica! I'll never be able to buy one, but very exciting news in the world of digital sensor development!
     
  21. Just when people are wailing that Leica might be about to go under. . . .

    --Lannie
     
  22. To me it shows that Leica finally has some leadership. They might succeed or they might fail miserably but they are finally trying with a bold new product!
     
  23. Holy crap! (with thanks to Peter Boyle {aks Frank Barone}, RIP).
     
  24. ...'tis only $29,569.68. Perhaps if one purchases a pair, one might get a discount?
     
  25. They better hope that Nikon's new MX format stays a rumor and never materializes, because if it does it will almost certainly be better in every way but also cheaper.
     
  26. So whats the lens flange to sensor distance? The lens adapter market needs some more toys to sell!
     
  27. damn. that is ridiculous. $29K?? i really want to see one...
    my wife thinks its crazy for cars to cost over a 100K, now I should show her this...
     
  28. Yeah Kelly, the S2 and its lenses are just too tiny. Need to get adapters for some REAL medium format lenses
    like the Zeiss/Hassey stuff, or even those for 6x7 from Bronica/Mamiya/Pentax.
     
  29. With the lens flange to sensor distance shorter than a Hasselbald or a Mamiya, this might be interesting for using all those MF lenses.
     
  30. Will they give away a car with it? They did years ago with a very expensive lens.
     
  31. Typo should say: Hasselblad
     
  32. Credit to Steven Lee
     
  33. Has that price been verified?
     
  34. It doesn't even have a green P mode!
     
  35. Very interesting indeed. I'm a little skeptical of course as it seems to be a camera that even the devoted Leica faithful can't able to afford. It will be curious to see whether this camera has the ability to make Leica relevant once again in the professional field since these are the people Leica will have to entice if they want this platform to help turn the company around financially. I too will be curious to see the verified price.
     
  36. ugh, I need to stop trying to type on 4 hours of sleep lol
     
  37. Truly a landmark camera. Congratulations Leica! Price will be breathtaking, too -- but it will generate a demand from pros who demand an
    edge. It will still require someone to frame an exciting shot though.
     
  38. This probably answers the questions posed by Leica R lens owners....the owners of those lenses can now probably just use them as door stops or paper weights if they want to go digital. The values of R lenses will plummit even further....lovely.
     
  39. Todd K wrote, "Leica had better hope that Nikon's new MX format stays a rumor and never materializes, because if it does it will almost certainly be better in every way but also cheaper."

    Ah yes, but the Nikon medium-format system wouldn't have the "Leica glow" that is visible primarily to Leica owners! :)
     
  40. Steven Moseley wrote, "This probably answers the questions posed by Leica R lens owners....the owners of those lenses can now probably just use them as door stops or paper weights if they want to go digital. Lovely."

    My understanding is that in his presentation of the S2 yesterday, [Leica CEO] Andreas Kaufman alluded to a future (digital) R10. I didn't hear it, so I know nothing more or how specific he was.
     
  41. The product design is a great one, in my view. However, the pricing is bad. Although the camera functions, design, optics, etc are great (or even better than mid-format players, like Hasselblad), the perspective is still not as wide as the mid-format (which is about double the size of 135-format). With its intended pricing, seems like it already regards itself as top of the market, which is obviously not the case. Its more versatile functions and DSLR size can only compensate the 'narrower' perspective, not to 'substitute' the difference of perspective with mid-format.

    Leica should take a more agressive pricing: On one side, challenge the mid-format market. Due to the sharp downturn of economy, professional photographers would be in call for a cheaper alternative with more functions and a perspective yet smaller but larger than 135. Also they may need to work longer hours now, outside and inside of studio, so the smaller and lighter size could be temptative. With aggressive pricing, Leica will be in a great position to challenge this market.

    On the other hand, aggressive pricing could help to penetrate (or even lead) top end pro-DSLR market. Imagine if Canon issue the 1Ds Mark 4 with a 30mp senor, it is still not in the same league. Even if Canon issued a 50mp DSLR, sensor resolution no longer will be the bottleneck....but optical qualities (optical resolution, color, distortion, etc) and most importantly perspective!

    Imagine in small enclosed environment like apartments in HK or Japan, etc, (living room less than 100 sq ft), if you want to take photos of family or so, you need quite wide-angle lenses which would have quite disturbing 3D-distortion (perspective distortion). For example, for 135, you may need a 24mm lens, but for S2, you can use 35mm to capture same coverage...and 35mm lens has way less 3D distortion than 24mm!

    If it priced equal to Canon 1Ds Mark 3, I will consider to buy. But $30k.....no way! The pricing strategy should be to tempt those professionals who are in consideration of upgrading their existing digital mid-format to churn to Leica, professionals who want to change to digital, and newly joined professionals, and finally offers DSLR market demands a (price)compatible choice for higher professional qualities in a DSLR-size package. However, the current pricing will kill Leica....don't forget....Leica is a NEW player in non-135 market!!!
     
  42. It seems the price is 10-20k€ (from Leica CEO). The online journal reporting it probably misquoted.
     
  43. Yup! Most likely less than a couple of the new Noctilux 0.95 lenses.

    This is a medium format imaging system. So, there is comparison to C/N cameras.
     
  44. Steven Moseley wrote: " This probably answers the questions posed by Leica R lens owners....the owners of those lenses can now probably just use them as door stops or paper weights if they want to go digital. The values of R lenses will plummit even further....lovely."
    In his blog written from Photokina, David Farkas spoke with the S2 and R system manager Maike Harberts. David writes that the "R10 has already been green-lit, fast-tracked, whatever. Technology from the S2 will find its way into a smaller body with a 24x36mm CCD chip that takes all current R lenses (no adapter). New AF R lenses will be introduced as well. The S2 will launch in Summer 2009, with the R10 coming (most likely early 2010)." Read more: http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/2008/09/leica-vip-launch-event-for-s2.html
    The time to buy R lenses cheap was last week.
     
  45. 'Credit to Steven Lee"

    I guarantee Steven Lee had less than zero to do with this camera.


    As for price ($30K USD for the body) compare that to a Hasselblad HD 3 with a 39mp back and an 80mm lens: $34,000 at B & H.
     
  46. Will the hoped-for R-10 become the lower priced (lower than S2) "Pro-sumer" line? Does this affect the desirability of the M-8/8.2 with all its...well, quirks? Can the hoped-for M-9 be far behind?
     
  47. What the...........<br>It doesn't have an "S" mode as the M8.2 has. No 'snapshot' mode? :)
     
  48. Paul Neuthaler writes, "Maybe this camera should have its own Forum!"

    I think eventually most of the threads about the S2 will end up in the Medium Format forum, not here.

    Since the larger-than-35mm-SLR S2 radically changes the definition of "Leica photography," maybe the name
    of this forum should become just the "Rangefinder forum"?

    Also, worth relinking from the R10 reference above is this detailed account from David Farkas, who was present at
    the rollout last night in
    Koln:

    http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/
     
  49. jtk

    jtk

    At $50K USD it'd still be cheaper than some of the technology used in better US automotive repair shops in most midsized cities. Leica might actually become useful to successful professionals.
     
  50. Thanks Douglas for your news! That's good news for Leica fans. But from business view of point, Leica, such a small company, now offers THREE different systems of cameras and lenses, with not-so-much synergy between them.

    According to what you said, R10 could be full frame of around 25mp...and AF lenses....in 2010...just worry that Canon's or Nikon's 25mp DSLRs would then be only US$1,250...and far more enhanced in terms of picture quality.

    Leica's move into S-system is actually quite consistent with my thinking and previous comments on this forum. Investing in R-system is far more risky...where there is no substantial competitive advantage for Leica. So sidetrack a bit: should the next step of Leica be to adopt Zeiss strategy for R - system?...i.e. produce manual R-lenses for other mounts, and then adopt a new AF mount system (say, cooperate/rebrand top line of Sigma cameras and lenses)?

    If S-system fails, will the company have funds to produce the R10? Even if it succeed, could Leica continue to survive with 3 different systems? In strategic view, S-system seems making more sense if it is to replace R-system (gradually) instead of being a new system on its own, alongside with R-system, since the historical burden of R is much much lower.
     
  51. The new S2 has very clean lines, almost like some 1950's designer tea kettle. I suppose that the photographers
    shooting with one will have to get used to doing arithmetic division in their heads, instead of multiplying focal
    lengths? Poor things.

    Where these beasts sell well will give us a clue to the new world economic order. I predict healthy sales in Russia
    and
    China.
     
  52. Well I think that if you have to take high quality photos for industrial applications in a cramped space (for example looking for damage on the space shuttle), this might be the camera for you. Other then that I think most photographers who need high priced digital medium format are already using a digital back.

    Well that and I expect we'll see Canon and Nikon get into the greater then 35mm arena in the next couple of years.
     
  53. Surprise, surprise, but did they say anything about Live-View .

    For all the dreamers out there keep dreaming, The cost of this camera is gong to be scary !
     
  54. Just another camera. Is anyone here going to buy one and produce something compelling with it that couldn't be done with
    another cam?
     
  55. No, the people who buy these kinds of cameras are busy photographing, not posting on internet chat rooms. They have to be, to pay for the gear.

    Pros who do not have work, use small format digital or medium format film; pros who have work use medium format digital.
     
  56. Thought 1: I waaaaaannnnt it.
    Thought 2: No way I can afford it.
    Thought 3: I am guessing that Leica is not quite dead yet. :)

    Dreaming is inexpensive.
     
  57. The time to buy R lenses cheap was last week. It will be interesting to see if that will be the case. Does that not presuppose there will be sudden great interest in the R system from people who do not own already their cadre of R lenses?
     
  58. If one had the money to pay for this I can't see why it wouldn't be a better idea to buy a Hasselblad H Series Camera. At least then you'd know what you're getting.
     
  59. A good strategy from a business standpoint. Although the market for full frame DSLR is pretty crowded, the market for larger than full frame is probably wide open. (I'm not very up to date with all of the DSLR offerings). It's 37 MP also blows away the Canon 5d.

    I see it has a wi-fi connector as well. If the camera can directly email photos, that could be a big plus. Any one know if other cameras do that? (I'm not into the details of DLSRs).

    I'd like to see it side-by-side with the M8 and Nikon D3 in order to get an idea of the size.
     
  60. I can't afford Leica's current offerings so I'll pass on this one. It's a sweet looking rig though! Jesse
     
  61. You know, I keep seeing people complaining about the price for a camera with no listed price. People we need a firm price first:)

    If they can make it with one lens for under $18K, they will prob. Have a winner. Above that... And things get iffy.
     
  62. There is apparently no announced price for this camera, so we can remain calm for a few more moments.

    Why, they haven't even called me yet for my recommendation. :)
     
  63. This just might be the turning point for Leica.

    We had our first tentative order placed today (contingent on final pricing). An architectual photographer who recently purchased his second Leaf back...says if he had know about this he wouldn't have bought the Leaf.

    I think this is going to be way out of most amatuers price range, but the pro commercial/industrial/portrait photographer now using medium format digital and wants something of that quality that is more suited for location work will, I think, ante up if the product turns out as good as it looks.
     
  64. "Just another camera. Is anyone here going to buy one and produce something compelling with it that couldn't be done with another cam?"

    Of course not! In order for that to happen Brad needs one.
     
  65. >>> Of course not! In order for that to happen Brad needs one.

    For street snaps? No thanks....
     
  66. Some comments:

    The 30x45mm sensor is 1.25x larger (linear) than the traditional 24x36mm film/FX format. The S2 37.5MP sensor has the identical pixel pitch as a 24MP FX sensor (24 * 1.25 * 1.25 = 37.5). That is a fairly high pixel density, will be interesting to see what the high ISO performance is like. Lenses will need to be excellent to match the sensor resolution all the way to the corners, although if anyone can do it, Leica can.

    It's pretty brave of Leica to introduce a whole new system - no legacy lenses to draw on, unless adapters for medium format lenses are made.

    I'm not sure the 2:3 aspect ratio is the best choice. Sure it's the same as 35mm film and DSLRs so everyone is familiar with it, but I find this format is often too long and narrow for portraits and flowers, and it does not match most print media so would require cropping. The ideal ratio would be 1:1.414 - sqrt(2). This format perfectly matches the metric paper sizes (A5, A4, A3) and is close to most imperial formats. Getting a square format requires cropping only 40% off the ends, and a similar 40% off the top and bottom for 2:1 panoramas. Wouldn't that be a more versatile format?
     
  67. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If Leica really wants the pro market, they are going to have to do something about their service. The reports here and on other sites are really not very encouraging.

    I have had one day turnaround from Canon and Mamiya, but people have talked about three months and more for small Leica repairs. If they are going to sell a pro camera, it will take more than producing one. And the price is high enough that nobody is likely to buy two because of service turnaround.
     
  68. Leica is not trying to compete against the big guys, Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. but rather in the MF space where only Hasselblad provides any serious competition. The Leica form factor is very similar to that of the the MF Pentax SLR cameras.

    Hasselblad has a 36.7x49.0mm sensor in its H3DII-39 camera and has announced a 50 megapixel 645 digital back. All the film FF lenses work just fine with their "crop" digital MF cameras just as the 35mm film lenses were fine with the APS-C size sensors.

    Leica on day one will have only one lens for their medium format camera while Hasselblad presently has 17 lenses. Leica may succeed against Hasselblad but they have a very difficult job ahead.
     
  69. Bruce Stenman wrote: "The Leica form factor is very similar to that of the the MF Pentax SLR cameras."
    It's the size of a D700.
    "Leica on day one will have only one lens for their medium format camera while Hasselblad presently has 17 lenses."
    Leica has developed 9 lenses for the S2 so far including a 30mm T/S and a 120mm APO-Macro.
     
  70. The Mamiya ZD was a "medium format DSLR" that took the Mamiya 645 lenses. However, the ZD exists now only as a digital back. The S2 reminds me of the Mamyia ZD 22MP. Here some links to the Mamiya ZD:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0409/04092902mamiya_zd.asp

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/mamiya-zd-ist.shtml

    (link)

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/09/mamiya-zd-22-megapixel-dslr-is-here-finally/

    http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/336/C6865/

    Reading the old posts in light of the Leica S2 announcement is interesting. Hopefully, Leica will fair better.
     
  71. I guarantee Steven Lee had less than zero to do with this camera.

    Why? Who IS responsible? With the lead time to production of a couple of years, nine new lenses for the S2, seven new lenses for the M, M8, M8.2, R10. S2. When has Leica introduced so many products in such a short time?
     
  72. Brad - you tell me what a "compelling shot is" and i guarantee to make one for you with whatever camera you nominate! -:)
     
  73. "Who IS responsible?" Maike Harberts is the woman who is the product manager for the S2 - she's on facebook if you want to look her up.

    Head of Leica says they are aiming - very hard - for 10,000-15,000 Euros for the body. Under 15 as an absolute.
     
  74. Who was CEO during the development of all these new products?
     
  75. Maybe when people realize that digital is just a fad and people go back to film, I'll be able to afford this camera??? Afterall, that's how I afforded my M6TTL.
     
  76. It is so good and comforting to read about a dream system that I will never, ever possibly own. If it was still
    expensive, but within any reasonable reach, I would read these revelations with anxiety and lust, or would even start
    thinking about saving or selling my current stuff.

    Whereas with these prices I can stay assured I will never be able to afford it. It makes the reading so much more
    enjoyable.
     
  77. "Who was CEO during the development of all these new products?"

    Andreas Kaufmann, the CEO (and longtime Leica buff) who took control of the company after Steven Lee. WSJ says
    Kaufmann is worth "hundreds of millions of Euros," which will underwrite at least a little R&D, and he has been
    the most prominent public "face of Leica" at photokina this week.

    More background on Kaufmann (and Lee):

    http://www.wsj.com/article/SB122152103387739231.html?mod=article-outset-box

    http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11413199

    There have been numerous photo-forum discussions about the leadership of Leica, here at photo.net and elsewhere.
     
  78. 'Mr. Lee quickly rolled out a new line of lenses called Summarit that didn't match the quality of Leica's traditional optics but -- at a retail price of around €1,000 -- cost less than half as much. Mr. Lee also hired back production and R&D staff that had left during earlier downsizings.'

    'By early 2008, some managers shared their grievances with Mr. Kaufmann. They accused Mr. Lee of having belittled managers, calling them dumb farmers and other names during meetings. In late February, Mr. Kaufmann fired Mr. Lee.'

    So, Mr. Kaufmann headed the company during the development of the S2 and nine S lenses, four M lenses, and a projector only since February, 2008? Quite impressive.
     
  79. Are there any sample photos yet?
     
  80. "So, Mr. Kaufmann headed the company during the development of the S2 and nine S lenses, four M lenses, and a
    projector only since February, 2008? Quite impressive."

    I'm sure those products were under development well before Lee left last winter. If the S2 does well, both Lee
    and Kaufmann will likely take credit for launching that project, but if it fails neither will!

    Jonathan, no sample photos yet that I know of, although in his update Tuesday night 9/23 (where he describes the
    handling,
    viewfinder, battery, etc. of the S2) David Farkas says he saw samples on screen. (http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/ )

    So the S2 being shown at Photokina isn't merely a "cobbled-together non-functioning mockup" as some people feared.
     
  81. A great Blog from David! thanks for the link Ralph.
     
  82. I can't get over how similar in size the S2 is to the D700 - not the D3! - in the side-by-side photos in that
    blog post. Wish the S2 wasn't so expensive...
     
  83. "Leica is not trying to compete against the big guys, Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. but rather in the MF space where only Hasselblad provides any serious competition."

    I don't think that this is entirely true. Anytime a company can come out with an industry-leading product, prospective customers at all levels are compelled to examine its other product lines--and in the case of Leica that could include traditional RF film cameras as well as whatever other products, digital or otherwise, they might release in the future.

    This move establishes--with authority--Leica as a major player in the digital realm. (Its hold on the traditional RF set is secure.)

    Although I will never be able to afford these "ultra-high end" cameras, I am glad that someone will--and get great results from them as well.

    Leica's progress could also serve to keep other manufacturers honest about what is possible and desirable in a camera--and technology does trickle down in terms of affordability sooner or later.

    We are all wealthier for these developments, even if we are not wealthy enough to afford the very best.

    --Lannie
     
  84. Come on, Leica is not a major player in the digital realm, not by far! The M8 is not a great camera.Sure the company has a hold on the digital rangefinder but only because Leica is the only manufacturer of this type of camera at this moment.

    I wonder who the S2 is aimed at. Professionals who can afford an expensive digital camera work either with Nikon or Canon or it they need a bigger format, Hasselblad. I just received a mailing from Hasselblad announcing both a 60mp digital back as well as a significant reduction in the prices of the H-series. Thus making the S2 even less interesting.
     
  85. "I wonder who the S2 is aimed at. Professionals who can afford an expensive digital camera work either with Nikon or Canon or it they need a bigger format, Hasselblad. "
    It's aimed at professionals who use both Nikon/Canon and medium-format digital. The S2 can be used in the studio where medium format image quality is required and on location where weather seals and 35mm-like handling are beneficial (and you get MF image quality too).
     
  86. This move establishes--with authority--Leica as a major player in the digital realm. (Its hold on the traditional RF set is secure.)
    I agree with Frank. Judging from Leica's track record in the "digital realm" I'm hesitant to consider the company a "major player" at anything at this point. Having a "hold" on a market segment when you're the ONLY manufacturer of a product in that segment isn't really hard, is it?
    I wonder who the S2 is aimed at. Professionals who can afford an expensive digital camera work either with Nikon or Canon or it they need a bigger format, Hasselblad. I just received a mailing from Hasselblad announcing both a 60mp digital back as well as a significant reduction in the prices of the H-series. Thus making the S2 even less interesting.
    I think the S2 would have a chance to actually sell if Leica were to release it now or shortly after Photokina. However, as you correctly pointed out, good as the S2 looks (or otherwise) at this point in time, things move along so quickly in the digital world that anything could happen between now and the announced release date of summer 2009.
     
  87. ">>> Of course not! In order for that to happen Brad needs one.

    For street snaps? No thanks...."

    But it doesn't matter which camera you use. Just ask Jeff... :cool:

    (but I'll keep the IIIf)
     
  88. "I just received a mailing from Hasselblad announcing both a 60mp digital back as well as a significant reduction in the prices of the H-series. Thus making the S2 even less interesting." (above)

    "Leica says it'll perform 'twice as fast as Hasselblad H-series cameras,'" (from the link)

    Speed and convenience seem to be major selling points here for a camera that will have the resolution of some MF cameras--but which are comparatively slow and unwieldy.

    C'mon, guys. I shoot the Canon 5D and the 1Ds Mark II--hardly pieces of junk. Even if I had the 5D Mark II and the 1Ds Mark III, I would not be able to do with them what I could do with this camera. This is a major development, even though this will admittedly be one product among many in an increasingly competitive environment.

    The real point is that Leica is acting boldly and decisively to introduce new products in the digital realm. That bodes well, I think, for a company that has been accused of being too staid and complacent. It is also encouraging to all of us who have this dream of shooting with greater and greater resolution with more speed and less trouble. Competition is always good for the marketplace. I could benefit from this even if I never buy another Leica lens--and I only have one. I am hardly known as a cheerleader for Leica, but this development is exciting and encouraging on a number of fronts.

    In this case, I am happy to give a cheer for Leica.

    --Lannie
     
  89. Since the pixel density (as stated in a post above) is about the same as a 24 MP FF sensor, I wonder at what aperture diffraction becomes an issue. I haven't wrapped my head around the science behind this, but I will share this link:

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm
     
  90. I find it fascinating all this fuss suddenly about diffraction as though it is a new issue. It exists with film just the same
    and is no more or less important, the only thing is that it will become more easily detectable as the resolution of
    sensors improve - using a 35mm or a MF film camera the effects of diffraction can be relatively easily seen.
    What is old is suddenly new again. Perhaps it is connected with the fact that people are stopping down more
    because of the low light capabilities of digital cameras, so are habitually shooting at high ISOs?
     
  91. "yikes...what is this gonna cost... " Not to worry. The US Treasury is going to bail out Leica too so you can apply to them for a loan to buy it. No sweat; they'll bankroll anything these days. Even if you can't pay back the loan, you can still get the camera.
     
  92. Who'da thunk? Suddenly Leica has new and interesting products coming out the yin-yang. Reminds me a little of Apple right after Jobs returned. Time will tell if the images look good enough to justify the price tag, though.

    Rough day for Brad and Fang ;)
     
  93. Right. I love the way they bail out the worst scum of humanity, that made their money on the backs of the poor, but all
    those who got foreclosed, oh no, they don't need to be bailed out do they? Man, if Americans ever woke up....there would
    be a revolution in that country.
     
  94. Suddenly Leica has new and interesting products coming out the yin-yang. Reminds me a little of Apple right after Jobs returned.
    Puh-leeze. One only has to compare the two companies' financial reports to see that Leica can in no way, shape or form be compared to Apple. Apple is a small company that has its much larger competitors playing catch-up to its innovative products that are appreciated and purchased by a vast number of consumers. Leica is a small company that since the digital revolution has been trying to catch up to its much larger competitors due to its stubborn refusal to recognize where the market was going (digital), and today very few consumers have even heard of the name Leica. Say the word "M8" to some random Joe on the street and he'll answer "Er... BMW?" On the other hand, say "iPod" and he'll instantly know what you're talking about.
    Yes, Leica and Apple are both small companies. That's about where the similarity ends. Look at the M8.2's baseplate. Steve Jobs would never approve the inclusion of a 5-1/4" floppy drive in his new MacBook Air just because it's "cute" and a "throwback" to the glory days of the Apple II. One company looks forward, the other looks backward. I can't think of two more diametrically opposed corporate philosophies.
    I like how the Leica fanboys are in joyous uproar over the announcement of a prototype that's not even scheduled for release until a year from now, and that's barring any unforeseen problems. A bit premature, dontcha think? Let's see if Hasselblad and others actually stay stationary for the next year. I'm no crystal ball reader but something tells me they won't. Kaufmann would probably cream his pants if Steve Jobs were ever to express interest in Leica's CEO seat. Doubt it's gonna happen, though.
     
  95. Fang clearly hasn't had enough self-humiliation.
     
  96. If you would ever stop categorizing people as fanboys they might actually take an interest in what you have to say. Doubt that's gonna happen either. So the appearance of trolling is perpetuated.
     
  97. Truth hurts, doesn't it? :)
     
  98. I'm expressing my opinions just like everyone else on this forum. Don't like 'em? Fine, don't read 'em. Not everyone likes my style, and variety is the spice of life. No need to take things personally.
     
  99. The comparison to Apple circa 1997 isn't that far off. The company was a mess and had used time and money on a
    lot of failed projects/products. Jobs was reinstalled as CEO and the iMac was released in '98 followed by the
    ipod in 2001.

    Sure, there are lots of differences. But it's also not a bad comparison to make. A lot of the world thought that
    the industry had passed Apple by and that the future of computing was all in Redmond, Wa. But game-changing
    products, a good marketing campaign, and good design turned everything around.

    Will this be the start of such a turnaround for Leica? Is the S2 a game-changing product? I'm not particularly optimistic. But then again, I don't
    remember thinking that the iMac was super amazing when it came out either. So who knows. I think only time will tell.
     
  100. Fair enough Josh.
     
  101. I wish I had a company as 'small' as Apple:)
     
  102. There's a difference between expressing your opinions and disrespecting the audience. That's where you go wrong, Fang. A person earns respect by respecting others first, even opinions counter to your own. Until you start showing respect for those who don't agree with you, you'll just be another troll.
     
  103. The Apple analogy is not bad. They made both the hardware and the software.

    Leica is a making the camera + the lenses.

    Now, for the cash, where is the i-Leica for video captures?!

    At least one person here has already expressed some interest.
     
  104. Vivek Iyer wrote: "At least one person here has already expressed some interest."
    And several others on other forums.
     
  105. The price seems to be confirmed from several sources as $23,000 USD.
     
  106. The price seems to be confirmed from several sources ... >>
    Actually confirmed, or are we talking about consensus among those speculating about the price ?
    Just asking.
     
  107. From Ken,

    "A person earns respect by respecting others first, even opinions counter to your own"

    That is true of everyone on this board. It is not just El Fang that this should be directed to.
     
  108. Fair enough.
     
  109. Define small.<P> Lets see now, Apple has over 28,000 employees, revenues of over $24 billion last year, net income of over
    $3.5 billion in 2007 and has $21 billion cash in the bank with no long term debt. Third largest computer manufacturer in the United States,
    behind HP and Dell. Apple is now the largest music retailer in the United States, ahead of Wal-Mart. Not bad for a small company.<br> If
    Mr.
    Jobs wanted to he could buy Leica
    with Apple's pocket change.
     
  110. William, re-read the previous comments. We're not talking about Apple in 2008. That would be a pointless comparison.

    Apple lost $1.045 billion in fiscal year 1997. That is just about the time that the existing CEO was booted, Steve Jobs returned as CEO, and the "turnaround" began.
     
  111. Since we are now all talking about Apple, does anyone admit to owning a Newton? About $3000 in today's terms.

    The unit failed, but it was way, way ahead of its time.

    Time will tell if the S2 will change the future of digital photography. Personally, I think the idea is fantastic.

    Now, where's that Newton of mine?
     
  112. I must have blinked, 'cos evidently I missed the S1. Seriously, what does that numbering tell us about behind-the-scenes development? Did Leica maybe ditch an earlier model because it was not progressive enough?
     
  113. There was an S1, issued in the early 2000's. I wanted to buy it at the time. It was not the cost of the camera that put me off, but the cost of the computer and the memory that I had to buy to use the files! Guess that doesn't apply nowadays.
     
  114. Here is what dpreview.com has to say about the sensor:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08092401kodak_ccd.asp

    What Hasselblad does will be at least as interesting to watch. One wonders if Canon will remain committed to the 24mm x 36mm sensor, or whether it, too, will finally decide to move up to a larger sensor, since pixel density is getting pretty high on both the 1Ds Mark III and the 5D Mark II--but what would be the right sensor for existing lenses?. Hasselblad has already been building on the idea of essentially two full-frame sensors on top of each other. Does that mean that the future of square sensors is almost over, or are we about to see a multiplicity of sensor sizes and shapes and resulting formats?

    Competition at the high end could get interesting--especially in terms of price, as more companies chase a market segment of indeterminate size.

    --Lannie
     
  115. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing this camera succeed. If it performs well against the Hasselblads and Leica can build a support network then why not. It seems to me that right now there is an abundance of competition in the APS-C sector, some competition in 24x36 (one year ago there was none), very little competition in the medium and large formats. To bring the prices of cameras using larger than 24x36 sensors down, we need more companies fighting for the market in this sector.
     
  116. The S1 looked like this.
    The S1's unusual appearance prompted one forumer -- one with a sense of humor -- to refer to it as the "bear trap Leica." Not sure whether that nickname stuck ? :)
     
  117. If the S2 saves you having to do this...
    [​IMG]
    ...it will be worth it.
     
  118. Thank Leica for good news from MF digital makers - Hasselblad has just dropped their prices for their H3D11-39 to
    $22K, Sinar is dropping them , Phase will follow as will Leaf. This makes Medium format cheaper than the M8 a
    four of the new Leica M lenses announced or just the Nocti and an M8. <p> You can already get set in lots
    megapixels in MF for less than teh price of an M8 or CaNikon with a 50.<p> SO lets stop talking 'price' or
    'cost'.<p> By teh time the S2 is launched - CaNikon will have announced their own versions..so Elfango and Other
    CaNikon fanboys can have their versions if they like..<p> hmm maybe people can get back to making pics now?
    hahahahhaha
     
  119. hmm maybe people can get back to making pics now? hahahahhaha
    Peter, Leica perhaps come up with a product once a decade so this isn't the time to get back to making pics. :) So, now is the time (certainly before a working camera comes out in the market and all the nits are picked) talk about a Leica camera.
    Besides, it is only the CaNikon fanboys that have kept this forum alive (just making an observation):)
     
  120. The problem with Leica announcing this S2 almost one year before it can be sold, is that some other brand such as Hasselblad can come in the meantime with something new, with availability immediate, and so capture away many buyers before the S2 is in the street.
     
  121. >>> Besides, it is only the CaNikon fanboys that have kept this forum alive (just making an observation):)

    I don't think there is anyone here on this forum singing the praises of the Nikon and Canon camera companies, as suggested.

    For those that aren't part of the leica herd, and feel that cameras are just tools to be used, I'd say there are some who exhibit a
    healthy degree of skepticism to the dogma put forward. I use sony, canon, and (have used) oly/pentax/ricoh. I could care less about
    what the internal politics and personalities are of these companies. Or how/if they're developing a super high-end "game-changing"
    camera, that due to price and performance, would make little sense for me to buy.
     
  122. jtk

    jtk

    Where's Leica's DSLR Video Thang? Looks like they've given up on photojournalism.

    Nikon produced D90 partially for a huge, young photojournalist market, knowing that all newspapers demand video skills from photo hires and knowing that video skills are more central to journalism educations than still photo skills. D90 is already more than plenty for most TV news, including BBC's, which now makes heavy use of cellphone videos.
     
  123. Forgive what I am about to say:

    Thank God there are photojournalist/action shots. Thank God there are other than photojournalist/action shots.

    Stills that take some time to set up still rule in my book.

    --Lannie
     
  124. I don't think there is any herd going on here. For once this odd company seems to be introducing a genuinely different product. A 37 MP sensor will likely have visibly greater resolution than the current crop of sensors, and like them or not Leica can make a great lens to now go with a presumably first-rate sensor. What I think this will be is a camera that will be analogous to the AF 645 cameras that produce visibly better resolution than 135 film in a hand-held and portable device. Philip Lorca-DeCorcia for one has done beautiful street photography with medium format. I've seen several of his prints and they are gorgeous. If I could figure out a way to justify spending $30K on a camera I would-- I think I could generate some good photography with it, different from what I am currently doing. That's what tools are about, aren't they?
     
  125. >>> If I could figure out a way to justify spending $30K on a camera I would-- I think I could generate some good
    photography with it, different from what I am currently doing. That's what tools are about, aren't they?

    For sure. For what I do (sp), I can't see it improving anything. Sure, the images might be a little sharper at very large print
    sizes, but that's not something I strive for. Higher ISO/noise is important. Ergonomics and small size is important for me as
    well. That's why I "downgraded" to a rebel. That has made a big difference.

    Now, for Pete, who is into large stitched panoramics, that cam would no doubt yield a huge imporvement.

    That's why I asked earlier what people here are going to do with the cam.
     
  126. jtk

    jtk

    Collectors will love it. Wish I still had my Exakta 66.

    645 died because it was for practical purposs usually inferior to 6mp dslrs.

    Konica-Minolta blows 37mp away: http://museumofbeauty.biz/
     
  127. John, usually you make sense but on this don't be daft. A well-scanned 645 negative will make a crisper--- well, perceptibly nicer print than a 6MP DSLR. 645 faded away because it was a specialized, usually expensive camera that didn't really fill any niche that a Hasselblad or Mamiya 6x6 couldn't, and 120 and 220 film is expensive, anachronistically packaged, and never really penetrated the amateur market after 135 format SLR's became ubiquitous. Even today a nice Contax 645 with lens will run over $1500 on the used market. It's not all nostalgia.
     
  128. Brad, yes what I'm saying is today's crop of DSLR's generally make the same quality image. Assuming whoever shot images generally knew how to expose and focus, once it's printed up I strongly doubt anyone could truly, consistently pick out whether an image was made with a mid or high-end Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony or Pentax. (I haven't seen the new 24MP Sony). Whether you spend $800 or $5,000 for the low end or the pro end, the IQ doesn't really change, you just get more handling and exposure gadgets and a hardier shutter. I've seen printed results from 39MP digital backs, which look perceptibly different. The S2 will likely have that look but in a portable package. Assuming they don't screw it up, it should produce fantastic-looking images.<p>I made reference to Phillip Lorca-DiCorcia above. His work depends on resolution coupled with well-controlled artificial lighting. His prints look different from say Alex Webb's, who uses 135 film, even though superficially both shoot, loosely speaking, street photography. I would like to have the resolution thAT 37 mp offers even for street shooting.
     
  129. jtk

    jtk

    Andy, 645 "faded away" (stopped making practical sense) because of the business practicality of mere 6mp DSLRs to professionals, and amateurs realized they could buy better 6X6 than 645 for the same money while all 120 became fodder for 'bay and KEH.

    645 was primarily a wedding photographer's format, popular a generation ago. The wedding labs mostly wanted 120 because their package printers were designed around it. 6X6 frames wasted image area vs 645, but they did make vertical vs horizontal decisions less pressing when shooting. Retouching was feasible on 120 negs... 35mm was unattractive for people who photographed a lot of teens. 645 was economical.

    Yes there's nostalgia for 645 but no, it's not coming back.
     
  130. "I would like to have the resolution thAT 37 mp offers even for street shooting"

    Why? I would have thought it is about what is in the image rather than how many pixels it contains.

    Don't tell me,let me guess....sharpness,tonal quality,and best of all you can make prints larger than a brick s....
    house. I just wonder how those old masters got on with their little cams and grainy slow film....cause we are all going
    to better than them now with our 38 million pixels and beyond.......

    Our super quality photos will glow so bright that who cares a monkeys what the pix is about...pass me my
    sunglasses and monocle so i can check that all the pixels are present and proper and are glowing in a sanctified
    way.
     
  131. Hey, I've got a great idea for a new thread:

    Let's have pointless arguments about digital vs film and which is better. Then we can insult those who don't feel
    the same way with snide comments that accomplish nothing.

    That should kill some time. After all, you gotta do something 'til dinner.
     
  132. Once again Leica is catering for the designer label crowd when they had the opportunity to produce a camera for photographers at a sensible price.
     
  133. Josh, i have taken your advice and i'm now using those" squibly things.

    ;)
     
  134. It all depends on what you intend to do with the file. As Brad has correctly pointed out regaridn my use of lotsa
    megapixels - I need them to do two things<p>1. make stitched panoramics of very large scale and resolution <p>2.
    Use on technical cameras with movements in still life <p> Having lots of megapixels doesnt mean anything except
    digtal overload on your computer and storage systems - UNLESS you need the data sizes to deliver the printed
    image you are after. There are some side benefits like broader dynamic range and more latitude to do post
    processing with files.<p> The S2 will be a superior alternative for those photographers who shot MF DSLR style in
    studio as well - because - well it is smaller and easier to handhold whilst strobes are going pop pop pop - ie
    ergonomics.<p> I have no doubt that CaNikon will come out with similar machinery in due course - where Leica
    excells is the glass they make - that is a fact. <p>However -as always horses for courses - my Alpa with a couple
    of Schneiders for landscape kills anything I can buy from Leica or any other manufacturer for that puprose.<p>
    btw - you wont be paying $30K for an S2. - You will probably be asked to pay arond $20K for a body and couple of
    lenses.<p> Cheers Pete
     
  135. The S2 makes sense for Leica. I will buy two for our studio because it is faster than the H3DII regardless of the futher mega-pixels. I
    can take it on location easily. Yet we will have the quality upgrade that the advertisers want, even when they many times don't need it. I
    will pay off this new system in 2 months. I do not worry when Canon or Nikon will match it, I only worry about when my competitive studios
    will have it. You guys have no idea of what art directors demand in the latest equipment. It is the art directors who will make this system a
    success. On a rental basis, it will cost an extra $400 a day...no big deal. Sorry for anyone who isn't shooting enough to justify the cost,
    but the competition from Leica's announcement has already driven down the cost of a Hassy, and that you can buy used.

    The key to this making sense is not price related, it is service related. Leica's move on service for the S2 is a smart move. Now I must
    get back to shooting as I am not paid to read this forum. By the way, if you want to understand the quality difference of a larger formal
    go to this link: http://www.photoprotips.com/20071024/5d-vs-h3dii/
    Juan
     
  136. Honestly, if this camera and a few lenses could replace every piece of camera equipment I own, I'd buy it.

    By the time I sold all my 35mm film, medium format film, and digital equipment I would be pretty close.

    Maybe a Canon G10 for back-up and travel. Wouldn't that be nice? All your gear (minus lighting) in one bag.

    Look out Ebay!
     
  137. The important point Jack's comment makes is that Leica has to offer pro-quality support. They do NOT do that today with either M or R systems -- the horror stories I've read are legion. This presumably is why the partnership with Phase One is important -- they will beat Leica about the head, and probably will have their own repair depots. I suspect no self-respecting pro would trust Leica's service without Phase One involved.

    Nikon's success in the 1960's came from EPOI's superb pro support. Support will make or break the Leica S2.
     
  138. What an exciting new camera for the working pro! I notice there is no lens that is exactly equivalent to a 50mm on
    the 135 format; and then again, no lens that is exactly "normal." A "normal" lens for this 30 x 45mm format would be
    equal to the 54mm sensor diagonal; while a 50mm equivalent would be 62.5mm. But I'm sure Leica had the needs of
    its pro customers in mind when they settled on the 70mm standard lens, with its 56mm equivalent.

    Here's wishing Leica every success with this unique camera, as well as with their other new products. The R10 and
    the D-Lux4 both interest me!
     
  139. I agree with John Shriver-service for the pros. Not so sure anyone needs more than today's best full-frame DSLRs, but why not. Would like to see
    one in person-looks slippery to hold.
     
  140. "The key to this making sense is not price related, it is service related"

    Wise words : this is what most Leica "users" or Leica flamers overlook. If you only thinkabout using your Leica gear to photograph your kids and your dog therefore you might logic ally think Leica is doomed to failure as A) it's a concept of the past in the digital age B) it's way overpriced and it won't survive long.

    On the other hand if you use your Leica gear professionally (600 rolls a year or more) you think Leica is a gift from God (no matter what the price is) and you marvel at the news technical prowesses they've been able to achieve
    (50mm 1.4 ASPH, 21mm 1.4, **improved** Noctilux etc etc)e

    Plus you'll be able to look at the digi-guys with a smile on your face ;-))
     
  141. I truly hope that Leica AG will offer this later as an upgrade kit -DMR2- to be used together with R9. This would be worth
    while not only to the company but to those who have bought and used Leica R9/DMR back and contributed to the product
    development and would make them feel appreciated (special price of course in exchange:)). Leica would be still be the only
    company with the truly sensible idea of detachable back(s) to SLR cameras and together with top class upgrade this would
    boost the sales of R serie lenses too..
     
  142. "I truly hope that Leica AG will offer this later as an upgrade kit -DMR2- to be used together with R9."
    I do not think that would be technically possible. But then again, I'm not a Leica engineer.
     
  143. This is wishful thinking of course. But you do not have to be an engineer to think to use 30x45mm sensor instead of the the previous one.
    Of course, there is work to be done (if not done yet for experimentation). Still, S2 as a system is good advertisement and meant to a
    limited number of people. Then again DMR2 would at least make R9 and the series with this modification "a volume product":) not to
    mention the cheering DMR owners who would be best advertisement for the company.
     
  144. There won't be a DMR2 because it wouldn't autofocus. They knew that they had to have autofocus, which the R10 will presumably have. Maybe not the best "sports and action" autofocus, but good enough for their target market.

    Plus, any DMR back has to be crop sensor, since the margin of the sensor has to fit through the film gate. (The front cover of the sensor extends a good way up past the focal plane, and is larger than the sensor aperture.)
     
  145. Well, Nikon D3 has FX sensor - so there is no reason to presume that it DMR2 would not be possible?. If you have reference information-
    that is then a different story ? Leica AG and any other camera company for that matter is capable of manufacturing complete removable
    back/s for their SLRs. It is not just commercially interesting- and never will be.
    However, completing a project as R9/DMR, which has already number of users with better sensor (Phase One/Leica can negotiate with
    Kodak or Dalsa and they provide a suitable one- so no problems there -does not have to exactly 37Mb- they can choose..) will be good for
    the company product line. S2 can be a spinoff for that.. What comes to R10 is an other story. Surely, there is a possibility that it will be
    also provided with AF and other goodies..who knows..maybe there is a reference for this as well..;)
     
  146. There's also the question of limited and finite resources. The S2, considering its cost (and assuming it's ever released), is irrelevant to 99.999% of current Leica photographers who own 35mm format lenses and are waiting for a viable digital body with which to use those lenses. With all the time, effort and money Leica sank into developing the S2 prototype, I can't help but wonder if they'd have a working full frame M9 or R10 by now if they were paying attention to what their customers actually wanted instead of working on stuff nobody asked for.
     
  147. 99.999% eh? Just another El Fandango confirmed and indisputable factoid... He sees into the future too! Gotta love it!
     
  148. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "I wonder who the S2 is aimed at."

    A few wealthy fine art photographers perhaps. But mostly the sales will be aimed at rental houses for
    their advertising
    photographers. Will many buy them given that they are already
    kitted up with proven gear that the profession is used to? My rental house said "are you kidding?" and
    gave me the
    googly eyes.

    "If they are going to sell a pro camera, it will take more than producing one. And the price is high
    enough that nobody is likely to buy two because of service turnaround."

    Bingo. Leica, in the professional market, has shot themselves in both feet with the only two digi cam's
    they've put out, the DMR and the M8. I have no idea who Leica feels is their target audience with this
    S2. Now there's the rumored MK IV next spring at 39 meg.
     
  149. I've been thinking about what the "S" system can bring to the photographers and what are its chances to succeed commercially.

    For me, the S system is conceptually (provided it keeps its promise in practice) a first step toward a truly universal photographic system many people have been looking for since the beginning of photography. In opposition to the many polyvalent systems which emerged during the four last decades of the 20th century and which are epitomized by the 35mm SLR.

    Polyvalence is a quite different notion from universality. It means your camera can be used in a lot of situation and gives you an "acceptable" result, universality means you can cover (almost) all situations but also equal the best specialized tools designed for each of them...

    In theory digital photography is able to offer the photographer such a universal camera (of course by using proper accessories) the only remaining question being when will it be a reality...

    Conceptually the S2 seems to be a first step toward this kind of camera : it offers the MF quality with the compactness of the small format camera. It has the ergonomy and, hopefully, the speed and ease of use of the latter, while keeping the uncompromised IQ of the latter.

    If Leica produces some lenses authorizing the same kind of movements (tilt and shift) a view camera has and the camera can be tethered or Wi-Fi linked to a computer on which screen the image can be magnified to control focus and movements, then - again conceptually - you've got the universal system.

    On the other hand, there are still lingering doubts concerning the possibility to cram all these pixels (even with a larger than 24x36 sensor) without loosing the benefits of high ISO performance for press and street photography. There are still no report on the model limitations.

    Now, there are also many questions related to the economics of this camera...

    Everybody seems to agree it will be beyond the reach of most customers (even professional ones, sorry Ilkka), but it might be less a handicap for Leica than for the M8, considering the targeted customer's panel which is deliberately limited in number by the the very essence of the product.

    As a number of participants already mentionned, the question of a proper professional grade service is of pime importance to the commercial success of this system, although it might be easier for Leica to properly handle the demands of the comparatively small number of owners of such a system than to handle - as limited as it is - of the many times more numerous M8 customer ones. Hopefully the S2 will also be more reliable and better individually controlled before being sent to the retailers.

    However, at the present time there are still a lot of practical questions which are still remaining unanswered. The camera is still at a prototype or pre-production stage and its actual performances remain unkown.

    To what extense will it actually perform as advertised... Leica is not a non-profit organization and like any other manufacturer will tend to present its products as the best even if they know about some shortcomings or limitations. Moreover when you consider the way they treat their customers since some years...

    How many of the potential customers will accept to pay not only an expensive body, but also a new set of no less expensive lenses, in a time most MF format market actors are deliberatly renouncing to a proprietary approach regarding lenses and backs compatibility and are issuing more and more ergonomically designed and automated bodies compatible with most existing MF lens range (even "old" manual ones) which are generally already owned by the S2 potential customers?

    The high ISO performance is also a somewhat limiting factors... In the studio or in controlled exterior conditions, where the studio flashes reign, the theoretical advantage of a speedier, better ergonomy comparable to the one of a small format camera is minimized. This advantage only makes its full sense when the availble light (even with some reflectors) is used. In such situations, better to be able to exploit the potential of higher ISO settings and - why not - the newly open "available darkness" potential of some small (but full) format DSLR's. So, to fully justify the switch from an existing MF system able to be gradually improved simply by exchanging the digital back as the performance of the sensors grows and to replace existing expensive high quality lenses by an entirely new and proprietary system, you need to have something really different and able to perform not only like an MF but just like the cream of the best small format DSLR's where those shine. With the pixel density of the S2, unless Leica has made with its partner a remarkable breakthrough in digital technology, I doubt the high ISO performance will even approach the ones of these DSLR's. Which leads to this fundamental question : is not such a concept too much in advance considering the present state of the art ?

    Regarding Leica place on the market, is the choice of this camera the best way to :

    1 - Regain a place in the professional world ?

    2 - Solve the financial difficulties of the company to prepare for a brighter future ?

    The first problem depends both on the actual performance of the camera versus the competition and the ability of Leica to offer the users a top class professional service.

    The second is more complex to answer... Most camera manufacturers have a flagship camera which serves more as an advertisment for the rest of their range than anything else. But Leica has no comparable product to offer to a broader panel of customers and the M8 as the digital continuator of the M series which used to be the brand flagship is neither an affordable camera nor particularly successful technically (even if some people use it with satisfaction) and fails below the expectations of many M film camera users (lack of full format, lack of high ISO performance, lack of reliability in demanding conditions, lack of proper QC when leaving the factory, lack of proper service...) ... So it appears to me legitimate to have doubts regarding the usefulness of this remarkably advanced concept as a leverage to re-instate Leica as a major competitor on the digital market. Experience with other manufacturer's flagships showed time and again these flagships to cost more than they actually bring in cash and their value usually lay more in the image they bring to the brand than anything else...

    A lot of people here in this forum have said time and again Leica is a small entity and as such cannot directly compete with the major brands to justify the price of Leica products and - to a certain extent - their lack of advanced features and shortcomings. With the S2, Leica, once again, seems to want to tackle a niche market, hopefully this time with valuable technical arguments. But they are also entering an unknown territory for them : the MF market.

    I do appreciate this attempt and its boldness. But I'm not convinced this is the "right" bold movement. They cannot rely on Leica legend and history to promote it. The funds invested in the R&D of this camera and the accompaining lenses might well have been better employed creating a full format (24x36) "M9" solving all the problems of the M8 regarding its use in press and street photography, loaded with the relevant features already present in available DSLR's and fully compatible with existing M and LTM (with a conversion ring) lenses (except perhaps those with goggles and those of the collapsing variety)... Even if this camera had a high retail price, at least people already having Leica (and other M-LTM compatible) lenses in their bag should have accepted to pay the price for this body, knowing they won't have to spend anything more to cover the FOV range in term of new lenses. Let's imagine someone buying a Nikon D3 or a D700 and having to buy lenses to go with it while having already a bunch of Leica glass and compare the total cost of this Nikon with appropriate glass and the cost of the imaginary M9 body alone... I don't think the total budget to invest would have been so different. Moreover, this total budget would have been far more accessible than buying the S2 system so the customer's panel would have been far larger. And as for the image of the company, the legend would have been easy and fair to use again as a selling argument. Yet, the market would not have been large enough to overflow the brand production capabilities. What Leica has done with Phase I, they could have done with any reliable partner and with such a partner, may be, it would have become possible to lower the price to an even more acceptable level...

    Time only will tell if Leica has made the right choice to recover its place as premium image making tool manufacturer.

    FPW
     
  150. François, your well-considered contribution is appreciated, as usual (here, and in the Nikon forum)!

    "For me, the S system is conceptually (provided it keeps its promise in practice) a first step toward a truly universal photographic system many people have been looking for since the beginning of photography." ...It crossed my mind too.

    I do hope that the R10 accepts not only the old, but also the S2 lenses (a double bayonet should be the answer), to bridge the gap between the systems.
     
  151. 99.999% eh? Just another El Fandango confirmed and indisputable factoid...
    Even figurative speech is lost on you. How many current Leica photographers do you know are willing to sink $20,000 or more into an S2 system? The few people I know who even shoot Leica can barely afford them as it is. I'm sure that Leica will sell a few dozen or so to high-end studios and rental houses (again, making the bold assumptions that it's ever actually released and that the other manufacturers like Hasselblad stay at a standstill for the next year), and maybe a unit to a dilettante here and there, but how is that relevant to the other tens of thousands of their customers who are still waiting for a viable digital solution to their existing (and in many cases, extensive) 35mm lens investments?
    How many current Leica photographers do you know currently own $$$$ in lenses and would like a full frame digital body on which to shoot them so that their precious 35/1.4-ASPH stays a 35? *All* of the few people I know who even shoot Leica want this. If you are one of the few who for some retarded reason love having their $4,000 28/2-ASPH turned into a $2,800 35/2, then I guess my comments don't pertain to you.
    Nobody asked for the S2. However, a lot of people have been anticipating a full frame digital body ever since the Canon 5D demonstrated that it could be done for a relatively reasonable price, and yet have been disappointed by Leica time and time again, with last week's Photokina simply being the latest insult.
    He sees into the future too! Gotta love it!
    Actually, those who are familiar with my posting history will see that I am uncannily accurate at seeing the future. I saw what was coming with digital even as Leica and their fanboys denied it, and I see where Leica is headed if they stay on their present course. Not that it was hard to figure out - plenty of other people did, because I'm not the only one in the world with more than half a brain cell. To the rest, I can see how simple common sense can appear to be clairvoyance.
     
  152. I can't afford 20k cameras but it sure is nice to see all the old 'names' here. Pete, Eric, Brad, Fangster, Mr Herbert, Doug Herr et al.

    Just like the old days. Made my bi-monthly check for any life on the LF worthwhile this time.
     
  153. Fang, you claimed the only reason someone would want an M8 is so they could own an expensive camera. Yet most of
    the street photographers I know either use a Leica M8 or wouldn't mind at all having one. You make statements you can't back up by fact;
    they're just your opinion.

    As I said before, but you chose not to hear~ Some of us want a sports car and your answer is that we should buy a truck.
    No thank you to that logic, but rant all you want if it makes you feel better.

    I'll take the opinions of photographers with respectable or great work I can see over your pictureless opinions. Talk is
    cheap.

    There are excellent photographers using dslr's too. But I have news for you. It isn't everybody.
     
  154. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Cheers, Trevor.
     
  155. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Yet most of the street photographers I know either use a Leica M8 or wouldn't mind at all having one.
    The odd thing is that I'm on the street every single day in a major city and have never seen the M8. That includes just walking around and also working street events, political rallies, etc. Never seen a single one...
     
  156. Same experience as Jeff. I've yet to see an M8 on the street. Plenty of other cams - film and digi...

    And personally, can't see wanting one cuz of the ergonomics.
     
  157. So, yeah, then nobody uses them. That proves it.
     
  158. How is it then that you've spent so much time on the forum that is supposedly dedicated to the cameras that have the same
    ergonomics?
     
  159. >>> So, yeah, then nobody uses them. That proves it.

    Somebody here said that?
     
  160. >>> How is it then that you've spent so much time on the forum that is supposedly dedicated to the cameras that have the
    same ergonomics?

    My choice, some friends here, w/nw photos, interesting photographic microcosm, tech discussions, yada y yada... Is there a
    reason you care so about my choices - in forums and cameras?
     
  161. You're here for yada y yada? That explains it.
     

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