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Leica S2 review

Medium format quality in a DSLR body - too good to be true?

All in all, there is much to like about the Leica S2. The image quality it delivers is spectacular,and quite addictive; after a few days shooting with the camera, images from even the best full-frame DSLRs seem to be lacking in a certain something.

We are really looking forward to seeing what else comes out of the the Leica S-system project, be it new lenses or new bodies.

Rival products are already at much sensor higher resolutions than the S2, and while this doesn't automatically equate to increased picture quality, it's important Leica doesn't get left behind.

We liked

Great image quality from a camera that is quick and easy to use thanks to some elegant approaches to design and ergonomics. Efficient workflow with plenty of software options.

We disliked

Some aspects of the S2's design are too minimalist, and we'd like to see some improvements to the camera's connectivity, using either USB3 or Fire Wire interfaces. We hope some gaps in the current lens range (medium wideangle, zoom, etc) are being addressed by Leica.

Verdict

Does this warrant paying the price of a (very good) family car for a body and standard lens? Well, it depends who you are.

As we've seen it doesn't replace the faster more sensitive DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, et al, but it does make medium format photography a far more friendly prospect.

If commercial, advertising and fashion photography is your game and you shoot regularly on location then this could well be the ultimate camera for you.

For the rest of us, £20,000 is hard to justify. Our advice: keep on playing the lottery.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Effective Camera Resolution37.5 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
Memory Card SupportedCompactFlash (CF) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationNo
ColourBlack
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameLeica
DurabilityWater Proof, Dust Proof
FeaturesExternal Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)1.41 kg
Image Sensor Size45 mm x 30 mm
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height120 mm
Width160 mm
Depth80 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerLeica Microsystems GmbH
Product ModelS2
Product NameS2 Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part Number10801
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.leica-camera.com
Marketing Information

Leica has once again revolutionised the world of photography with a digital S-System that's perfect for professional use.