Camera - - WHAT’S NEW -


was the head­line news from Le­ica at Pho­tok­ina, it con­tin­ued a busy year with a num­ber of new prod­uct an­nounce­ments, in­clud­ing a sil­ver ver­sion of its CL ‘APS-C’ mir­ror­less cam­era (and al­ready a mem­ber of the L mount fam­ily) and a black ver­sion of the So­fort in­stant cam­era which is based on Fu­ji­film’s In­stax Mini for­mat.

How­ever, the most in­ter­est was cre­ated by the S3, the lat­est ver­sion of Le­ica’s medium for­mat D-SLR. It has a restyled bodyshell (which, in­ci­den­tally, is start­ing to look a lot like the old R8/R9 35mm SLRs), but the big news is on the side where there’s an all-new and ex­clu­sive 64 megapix­els ver­sion of the 30.0x45.0 mm CMOS sen­sor (up from 37.5 MP in the pre­vi­ous Type 007 model). Le­ica is quot­ing a dy­namic range of 15 stops and sen­si­tiv­ity range equiv­a­lent to ISO 100 to 50,000. There isn’t an op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter so all that res­o­lu­tion is avail­able unadul­ter­ated.

The S3 is also faster than its pre­de­ces­sor – thanks to its ‘Mae­stro II’ pro­ces­sor – and has a con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing speed of 3.0 fps (ver­sus 1.5 fps). The buf­fer me­mory has also been in­creased to 2.0 GB so burst lengths are ex­tended de­spite the big­ger file sizes. The S3 can now shoot 4K video (in the DCI res­o­lu­tion of 4096x2160 pix­els) and Full HD footage us­ing the full width of the imag­ing sen­sor (com­pared to the pre­vi­ous model’s crop). It has built-in stereo mi­cro­phones plus both a stereo au­dio in­put and out­put (both 3.5 mm mini­jack con­nec­tions). Au­dio record­ing lev­els can be man­u­ally ad­justed. Video fea­tures in­clude time code, a fo­cus peak­ing dis­play and an 8-bit 4:2:2 colour HDMI out­put.

The mag­ne­sium al­loy bodyshell is fully weather sealed and, of course, there’s a (big) op­ti­cal viewfinder with a mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of 0.87x. The mon­i­tor screen is a fixed 7.62 cm TFT LCD dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 921,600 dots and a tough Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass face­plate. Fea­tures in­clude an in­ter­val­ome­ter, built-in WiFi (but no Blue­tooth), a USB 3.0 high-speed con­nec­tion, dual-de­lay self-timer, and dual me­mory card slots for the SD and CF for­mats.

The Le­ica S3 will be avail­able some­time in the 2019 north­ern hemi­sphere spring and, er, yes it will be quite ex­pen­sive. For more in­for­ma­tion visit https://au.le­ica-cam­era.com

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