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September 22, 2008

New Leica S2 DSLR offers 37-megapixels and lots more

We saved the best for last! Thanks to everyone who sent us emails about this! After finishing up the initial write-ups of all the new Monday announcements, it is time to focus on the big big big news of the day, Leica going wild with a new 37-megapixel DSLR. Apparently Leica was playing possum all this time, while they were deviously planning this mega-DSLR to shock-and-awe the market!

A picture of the new S2 can be seen at Engadget. The leaked magazine scan is still available on flickr.

Leica Press Release
The Leica Germany press release is now out! Check it out at the Imaging Insider. There we learn some new things about the camera:

  • MAESTRO image processor developed by Fujitsu for the S2
  • did we mention the A-word??? (yes, it has Autofocus!)
  • made in Germany
  • other non-quantified features and specs

And another note of interest, Leica and Phase One have formed an alliance.

13 photos of the new S-system at British Journal of Photography
Check them out at the British Journal of Photography!. Lots of views of the camera from all sides, along with some of the lenses!

Now at the Professional Photographer UK website
This is now posted on the Professional Photographer UK website.

Key Leica S2 DSLR specs

  • 37-megapixels
  • 30x45mm sensor (larger than 35mm full frame DSLR sensors which are 24x36mm)
  • weatherproof seals
  • dual shutter (leaf or focal plane)
  • 3" LCD
  • cutesy rectangular status display at the top
  • body size in-between Canon single-digit DSLRs
  • nine new lenses, including
    • 30mm tilt and shift
    • 120mm f2.5 macro
    • 70mm f2.5 "standard"
    • 180mm
    • 35mm
    • 24mm

The Leica reps claim at least twice as fast auto-focusing as Hassy's H-series, and better ISO performance as well.

The article mentions that the "R-series is far from dead", and promise that "trickle down technonomics". Hopefully they are better than "trickle down economics" ;-)

For more on sensor sizes, check this dpreview page.

And for those who are greedy and want more, why S2 and not S1? Should we be waiting for an S1 as well? :-) The S1 already exists, it came out in the late 90s, here is some info at the Rangefinder forum.

Obviously there are many unanswered questions yet, for example, who makes the sensor, ISO range, file sizes, performance and measureables, battery, PRICE, compatibility with existing lenses, and such.

Reactions to the Leak
Initial reactions to the leak at Get DPI.

A recap of the action at Camera Rumors and at Leica Rumors.

Half a dozen disembodied and astonished discussions in the dpreview News forum.

More discussion at Photo.Net. This is one of the easiest to read forum discussion templates!

A 40+ post thread in the Leica dpreview forum.

We continue with worried R-series users, would you keep your R-series gear if the S-series kills it off?

Early thoughts on this at the Eolake Stobblehouse blog.

I don't know if it's the network connection, or side-effects of the big news, but can't connect to the L-Camera forums.

An on-going discussion at the Luminous forums is rekindled today!

This was out yesterday, but it has added significance today: Leica and Phase One form strategic alliance.

More on the R2 at the Online Photographer.

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