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peterv

S007 Now or S3 later

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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

I have the opportunity to go from an S2-P to an S007 now, or wait another year or so and go for an S3. My question is not about what would be the wisest investment or whether these cameras are worth their money. I would just like to know what fellow S-users expect the difference in image quality will be between the two CMOS S cameras.
 
I just read this interview with Toni Felsner, and the following text caught my eye:
 

Conventional wisdom says that as resolution increases and pixel size decreases, dynamic range and high ISO performance suffer. Is this the case with the new sensor in the S3?

Absolutely not. We stayed at 37.5 megapixels for as long as we did in order to focus on delivering maximum image quality. Top DR. Excellent high ISO. But, sensor technology has evolved and we are now able to achieve both an increase in resolution and, at the same time a two stop improvement in noise performance, and even greater dynamic range than the S007.

 

Wait. Better dynamic range than the S007? With over 15 stops of range, the S007 is incredible. It’s changed the way I approach landscape shooting.

Yes, we are going to be able to offer even more. Wait until you see it.

 

That’s incredible. Any other cool tech on the sensor side?

So the sensor features a dual gain structure, which allows us to maximize higher ISO performance. In our test shooting, ISO 6400 looks super clean. Almost no noise whatsoever. And, the noise profile on the files at even higher settings looks less like noise, and more like grain.

Also, we implemented a new color filter array, which is going to offer really amazing color. We will tune the output for skin tone, but it will work extremely well for a wide variety of applications like landscape, architecture, fine art, etc. You’ll especially see an improvement in the red channel, which has always been challenging for digital photographers when photographing bright reds, like automotive paint, or flowers in the sun.

 
This sounds pretty confident that the S3 is going to be a nice, meaningful upgrade as far as image quality is concerned.
 
What do you guys expect from the IQ improvement in the new S3?
Edited by peterv
typo

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I would wait for the S3 for another reason...

When it debuts, the price of the 007 will drop even more. 

The advantage of the S3 as I understand it is predominantly in the higher ISO.. Some say 6400 is achievable with minimal or no noise whereas the 007 maxes out in my hands at 1600... 

The question to pose is: DO you need the extra ISO for your work?

Albert 😏

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Posted (edited)

I think nobody will have any other expectation than what Tony Felsner said in the interview above - I think this is the only statement they have ever made; also that the sensor will be meaningfully better performing than the current (rather old but still good) 50MP sensors in the Fuji, Hasselblad and Pentax MF cameras. In the end, the key comparison will be against the upcoming Fuji GFX 100MP camera which is expected to hit shops at around the same time as the S3, if not earlier. That will come with a backlit CMOS display, basically a crop of the same sensor that is in the Phase One IQ4 150MP back (but of course with different processing etc.). As to what you should do, difficult to answer. You can get an S007 for around Eur8k I believe, and then trade it back when the S3 is out (you will lose some money but the loss may not be so significant for you in absolute terms). 

I am really looking forward to the promised colour improvements in the S3, presumably improved profiles for Adobe RAW. I would love to see the S3 supported in Capture One though, as that has now become an integral initial part of my workflow with all my other cameras. 

Edited by albireo_double

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Wait for S3. 

S007 will offer following advantages:

High ISO about 2 stop better

LV with CDAF for critical focus 

better damped shutter with less lag

Do you need those?

i prefer S2/S006’s color, I prefer real shutter speed dial and prefer slower focusing system. 

Like other said, even you want S007, you better just wait for a little bit until S3 hit the market. 

As much as I complain a few things with Leica S because of reliability and slow progress, I have zero interests in other MF system myself. There is none suit me better than S. 

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53 minutes ago, albertknappmd said:

I would wait for the S3 for another reason...

When it debuts, the price of the 007 will drop even more. 

The advantage of the S3 as I understand it is predominantly in the higher ISO.. Some say 6400 is achievable with minimal or no noise whereas the 007 maxes out in my hands at 1600... 

The question to pose is: DO you need the extra ISO for your work?

Albert 😏

It could actually be that the higher res S3 sensor requires higher shutter speeds to maximise the image potential (reducing motion/hand-hold blur) - cancelling some of the benefit of the claimed higher ISO. Compared to my S006, the S3 should be in a totally different leage, ISO-wise. Which is a BIG plus in my book; I hardly use the S006 with ISO above 400... 

Whether S3 matches/improves on the pleasant S006 colours, remains to be seen.

In my case, I guess I either will stick to the S006 or I will get the S3. I dont feel the S007 too tempting, particularly not compared to the forthcoming FF S1R, SL2 and eventually the Sigma Foveon body. At the end, the cost of the S3 will be a non-negligible factor in the decision... 

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I think this is quite hard to answer without knowing the price of the S3. It remains to be seen whether Leica will continue pricing it north of 20,000 dollars, or whether they will cede to some of the pressure from Fuji and Hasselblad and push the price down a bit. I would not expect it, but it might not be a bad move for them to be aggressive with pricing...perhaps it will make it a more viable alternative. Unfortunately, if I had to guess I would assume they will keep the pricing pretty close to what it was, and focus on selling only to people who are already locked in to the system. 

Personally, I am not very tempted by the 007...to me it is a side-grade from the 006. It has the same resolution, but a difference in color that many seem not to prefer, it got rid of a real shutter dial with visible speeds, cut the long exposure time. In return you get a few stops of extra high ISO, live view, and a somewhat crippled video functionality (cannot output 4k to an external recorder, 4k is only on quite small crop of the whole sensor etc). The focusing speed and buffer are better too, I guess, but that is not something I ever really run up against. In my experience, the per pixel sharpness appears more natural and better on the 006 as well, and that along with the color was the nail in the coffin for me regarding the S007.

The S3 on the other hand nearly doubles the linear resolution and is a later generation sensor which should have better characteristics than the 007. Then you have all the other advantages that the S007 provided, plus even better ISO, resolution, and presumably better video and live view. I think it is hard to doubt that the S3 will be the better camera. Personally, I think the question is S3 or S006 and a different system. If the S3 is priced very expensively, I will probably just stick with the S006 until it is no longer useful to me, or at least until the S3 is under 15,000 dollars. The 007 always rubbed me the wrong way, as I was quite upset with the way Leica went with it, so for me I don't think I would ever consider it. 

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Let me be a bit contrarian here, at least ask some questions:

- What do you shoot ? Landscape, studio, street (do you need high ISO?)

- Do you print? How large? (Will you see a significant difference?)

- Do you have a special offer for the S007 now, or just shop in the used market?

Personally I am very happy with the S007, it is a great leap up from the S2. The S3 will be another leap, also in price. If you are prepared to pay, there will be nothing better!

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My understanding is that the 007 will receive a significant trade in value towards the S3. Its not set in stone, this is the expectation of my local Leica dealer. He thinks the trade in may be north of $10k and as much as $12k. If thats true, moving to a 007 might not cost you much or anything if your plans are to move to an S3, assuming you’re able during the trade in window.

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1 hour ago, 349A said:

My understanding is that the 007 will receive a significant trade in value towards the S3. Its not set in stone, this is the expectation of my local Leica dealer. He thinks the trade in may be north of $10k and as much as $12k. If thats true, moving to a 007 might not cost you much or anything if your plans are to move to an S3, assuming you’re able during the trade in window.

This is one of best news I heard for S system in years :D

i hope it is true. 

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1 hour ago, ZHNL said:

This is one of best news I heard for S system in years :D

i hope it is true. 

Me too!!

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5 hours ago, 349A said:

My understanding is that the 007 will receive a significant trade in value towards the S3. Its not set in stone, this is the expectation of my local Leica dealer. He thinks the trade in may be north of $10k and as much as $12k. If thats true, moving to a 007 might not cost you much or anything if your plans are to move to an S3, assuming you’re able during the trade in window.

I wouldn't count on this to be true. It would be a total change of policy for Leica. On the other hand, this is the reason Phase One is able to keep its crazy high prices. Favours a loyal base, hard to get in as a new user.

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14 hours ago, albertknappmd said:

The question to pose is: DO you need the extra ISO for your work?

Yes, extra ISO will greatly improve my shooting envelope

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13 hours ago, helged said:

It could actually be that the higher res S3 sensor requires higher shutter speeds to maximise the image potential (reducing motion/hand-hold blur) - cancelling some of the benefit of the claimed higher ISO

Agreed, the God of photography giveth and taketh away: https://phaseoneiq4.com/yes-you-can-hand-hold-150-megapixels/

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14 hours ago, albireo_double said:

You can get an S007 for around Eur8k I believe

My dealer offered an S007 for €10.000 minus €2.000 for my S2-P

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14 hours ago, ZHNL said:

S007 will offer following advantages:

High ISO about 2 stop better

LV with CDAF for critical focus 

better damped shutter with less lag

Do you need those?

I would gladly be able to use these advantages, yes. I've had the S007 on loan and a tend to agree about the CCD vs CMOS colours.

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Posted (edited)

My personal Comparison between S2-P / S007 / S3

S2-P vs S007

Much better dynamic range 
 
2-3 stops ISO sensitivity improvement 
 
Sensor design 2008 vs 2012
 
Live view, App functionality, Focus anywhere with PDAF, 
 
Resolution equals S2-P, a little bit faster AF does not interest me, I need accuracy, CCD colours vs CMOS (if you’re a believer)
 
S2-P vs S3
 
Even better (than S007) dynamic range

4-5 stops ISO sensitivity improvement 

Sensor design 2008 vs 2018

Live view, App functionality, Focus anywhere with PDAF, 

Resolution big step up from S2-P, a little bit faster AF does not interest me, I need accuracy, CCD colours vs CMOS (if you’re a believer)
 
S007 vs S3
 
Better dynamic range 
 
2 stops ISO sensitivity improvement 
 
Sensor design 2012 vs 2018
 
Functionality about the same
 
Resolution is a really nice step up from S007
Edited by peterv

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11 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

to me it is a side-grade from the 006

Agreed, for my that is the crux of the matter, I want/need more resolution.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, erlingmm said:

- What do you shoot ? Landscape, studio, street (do you need high ISO?)

- Do you print? How large? (Will you see a significant difference?)

- Do you have a special offer for the S007 now, or just shop in the used market?

 

- Landscape and reportage, don't like to do portrait work anymore

- I like to print as large as I can, or at least keep my options open to print big 

My dealer offered an S007 for €10.000 minus €2.000 for my S2-P

Edited by peterv
typo

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, peterv said:

My dealer offered an S007 for €10.000 minus €2.000 for my S2-P

I've seen used S007's go for USD 6500 or less. At that price I would trade the S2 in. I effectively did this several times, having "downgraded" back to the S2 before realizing it didn't make sense given the realistic resale value of the 007. The high iso advantage of the 007 over the S2 is significant.

But at your dealer's price (which I assume is for a new body) I would wait.

Edited by alan.y

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, 349A said:

My understanding is that the 007 will receive a significant trade in value towards the S3. Its not set in stone, this is the expectation of my local Leica dealer. He thinks the trade in may be north of $10k and as much as $12k. If thats true, moving to a 007 might not cost you much or anything if your plans are to move to an S3, assuming you’re able during the trade in window.

Is your dealer also trying to sell you an S 007?

I certainly hope your info turns out to be accurate, but I would be very surprised if so!

Or perhaps it means Leica is going to price the S3 at $25k!

Edited by alan.y

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