Leica lovers will be thrilled to know that the company’s long-awaited S3 medium-format DSLR camera is finally here. After showing a pre-production model in 2018, photo enthusiasts had a long wait, but now the Leica S3 is on the market. At 64 megapixels, it brings the flagship system to new heights and is set to revolutionize high-end photography and videography.
By taking a massive leap from 37.5 megapixels to 64 megapixels, the S3 unlocks the true potential of Leica’s S-lenses, which are already considered the top lens in the medium-format world. Additionally, the ProFormat 30 x 45 mm sensor offers a 71 percent increase in resolution over the previous model and matches the 3:2 aspect ratio of 35 mm full-frame format. At the same time, the larger sensor area still allows for large-scale printings and cropping while retaining crystal clear detail.
For greater flexibility to work in any lighting conditions, the Leica S3 has a dynamic range of 15 f-stops as well as a maximum ISO sensitivity of 50,000. It also has a three frames per second burst rate and 2 GB memory buffer to ensure a smooth workflow.
Additionally, in an exciting development for videographers, the S3 brings Leica’s signature look to video with its 4K video recording capabilities. With the option to connect to external recorders and microphones, it can double as a true, professional cinema camera. With an exceptionally long battery life (over 1,000 shots on a single charge), tethered shooting via the Leica Image Shuttle app or the Adobe Lightroom Classic plug-in, and mobile workflow solutions, everything about the Leica S3 was designed with the professional photographer in mind.
That being said, this flagship camera comes at a cost. Retailing for $18,995, this medium-format camera is a huge investment and clearly aimed at the high-end working professional. The pricing is a bold move, particularly when, as f-Stoppers points out, the Fujifilm GFX 100 also has some incredible specs for about half the price. Still, if one thing is for certain, devotees to Leica’s specific look and superior quality won’t hesitate to invest in what they consider the best.