New Leica S camera on the horizon

Talking with a Leica rep at NAB in Las Vegas, I was told that Leica will be announcing a new Leica S camera with a 40-50 megapixel CMOS sensor at this year’s Photokina expo in Germany. The CMOS sensor is expected, as is the resolution bump, but what really surprised me was that there they were also adding video… 4K video. The switch to CMOS means that implementing live view and video is a technical reality, and it’s nice to see Leica jump straight to 4K and not go all half-assed about it. If you’re a fan of that RED camera shallow depth of field look, just imagine how the video from a 30x45mm sensor will look! Of course, it will be a stills camera doing video, so it will just be an added feature and not that competitive with a true cinema camera, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

It will also be interesting to see how those Summarit-s lenses perform with video, though since the focus isn’t geared for a follow-focus and likewise there’s no aperture control on the the lenses, they’re not that well suited to it. I also wouldn’t expect a $5,000 lens (Summarit-M) to perform on the same level as a $15,000 lens (Summicron-C) or $25,000 lens (Summilux-C).

When I inquired about cine lens availability, I was told that the Summicron-C where in stock and readily available but the Summilux-C, lenses were only available as a set of 8 (for $200,000) and that there was a two year wait for delivery.


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