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S4 product recommendation


aksclix
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Should the S system catch up ever? 
- 64MP "mirrorless" 

- larger medium format sensor (53x40) 

- 20% less body size and weight with similar form factor

- newer, lighter line of S optics beginning with 24mm, 70mm, 120mm macro 

- adapter for legacy S lenses

- bundle one camera one lens kits starting from $28K and body for $22K

 

 

Edited by aksclix
Added detail about MF sensor size
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I don't think that Leica needs to compete directly with Fuji and Hasselblad. Those companies have mirrorless medium format systems on the market already. However, they don't have anything that competes directly with the S, so the logic goes both ways.

Granted, there is some overlap in capacity, but the unique selling point of the S are the viewfinder, lenses, battery life, all-weather capacity, and speed. It's a small niche, but unique in the medium format market.

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21 minutes ago, aksclix said:

Should the S system catch up ever? 
- 64MP "mirrorless" 

- 20% less body size and weight with similar form factor

- newer, lighter line of S optics beginning with 24mm, 70mm, 120mm macro 

- adapter for legacy S lenses

- bundle one camera one lens kits starting from $28K and body for $22K

 

 

Approaching the SLx ecosystem? Or put another way, beyond somewhat larger S-sensor: How differentiate the S and SL systems? Just curious... 

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8 minutes ago, helged said:

Approaching the SLx ecosystem? Or put another way, beyond somewhat larger S-sensor: How differentiate the S and SL systems? Just curious... 

Oops I forgot to the most important point. I meant to add a bigger MF sensor like in phase one.. Leica’s naming conventions are always weird but I would name it Leica S-M 

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14 minutes ago, BernardC said:

I don't think that Leica needs to compete directly with Fuji and Hasselblad. Those companies have mirrorless medium format systems on the market already. However, they don't have anything that competes directly with the S, so the logic goes both ways.

Granted, there is some overlap in capacity, but the unique selling point of the S are the viewfinder, lenses, battery life, all-weather capacity, and speed. It's a small niche, but unique in the medium format market.

True but keeping both options open would benefit Leica and I am sure there is enough ROI in a system like this.. it’s not just a “me too” effort but just acknowledging the direction tech is taking us 

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If there is an S4, it will be mirrorless. At least that is what I have heard from people who should know. I am not holding my breath, but we'll see. It will be a difficult equation to solve, as one of the most compelling reasons to use the S is the optical viewfinder, so I am sure that if the next S is mirrorless, it will be polarizing (and I don't mean the viewfinder).

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I always find discussions about what a camera system "should be" interesting.  Even more so when there are systems out there that would meet the requestors requirements now.  If one wants the features of a Hasselblad, Fuji or whatever then realistically they should go that way instead of pushing Leica in a direction that clearly in not what the S system is designed to do.  People also forget the S system was designed from the ground up as digital, optics and and sensor.  It was and remains best in class for a MF camera.  Photographers would be far better off learning how to use their tools (camera) that meets their current needs and get out and create superb photographs rather than lament about the "next generation camera" should be for them.  Frankly, my corporate and private collector clients buy photographs because of rendering, detail and most important; creativity.  Bottom line in my expose':  Enjoy what you have today and go create masterpiece photographs that make the viewer, Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.  r/ Mark 

Edited by LeicaR10
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1 hour ago, LeicaR10 said:

I always find discussions about what a camera system "should be" interesting.  Even more so when there are systems out there that would meet the requestors requirements now.  If one wants the features of a Hasselblad, Fuji or whatever then realistically they should go that way instead of pushing Leica in a direction that clearly in not what the S system is designed to do.  People also forget the S system was designed from the ground up as digital, optics and and sensor.  It was and remains best in class for a MF camera.  Photographers would be far better off learning how to use their tools (camera) that meets their current needs and get out and create superb photographs rather than lament about the "next generation camera" should be for them.  Frankly, my corporate and private collector clients buy photographs because of rendering, detail and most important; creativity.  Bottom line in my expose':  Enjoy what you have today and go create masterpiece photographs that make the viewer, Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.  r/ Mark 

innovation thru tech is the way of life.. there's market for all of these and  they all co-exist until something gets terribly outdated... 

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Interesting comment...but many a critic deemed the M camera dead long ago...yet, Leica still makes superb film and of course digital M cameras and sells tens of thousands of units over time. The S camera is in a league of its own.  No other MF camera comes close to its color, optical performance for a camera that does no optical manipulation, best in class for its optical view finder and ergonomics.  It was designed for professional photographers who need the capabilities for fashion, portrait and landscape photography.  I tried the other makes, my clients wouldn't bite and I quickly went back to the S system.  Last,  the S is not and will never be a SL.  For amateurs and pros who want the SL system, it is available to them for what it is designed to do.  Photographers who need a S system for their work or pleasure, that too is available.  In the meantime, the real innovation is creating superb photographs that as I write again, make the viewer, Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.  r/ Mark 

Edited by LeicaR10
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4 hours ago, LeicaR10 said:

Interesting comment...but many a critic deemed the M camera dead long ago...yet, Leica still makes superb film and of course digital M cameras and sells tens of thousands of units over time. The S camera is in a league of its own.  No other MF camera comes close to its color, optical performance for a camera that does no optical manipulation, best in class for its optical view finder and ergonomics.  It was designed for professional photographers who need the capabilities for fashion, portrait and landscape photography.  I tried the other makes, my clients wouldn't bite and I quickly went back to the S system.  Last,  the S is not and will never be a SL.  For amateurs and pros who want the SL system, it is available to them for what it is designed to do.  Photographers who need a S system for their work or pleasure, that too is available.  In the meantime, the real innovation is creating superb photographs that as I write again, make the viewer, Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.  r/ Mark 

But why can’t a new gen S system can be even more awesome? If the best is already out there and there is no scope for improvement then that scares me.. anyway, time will tell.. I can only be happier whenever newer engineering marvels roll out.. 

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5 hours ago, LeicaR10 said:

Interesting comment...but many a critic deemed the M camera dead long ago...yet, Leica still makes superb film and of course digital M cameras and sells tens of thousands of units over time. The S camera is in a league of its own.  No other MF camera comes close to its color, optical performance for a camera that does no optical manipulation, best in class for its optical view finder and ergonomics.  It was designed for professional photographers who need the capabilities for fashion, portrait and landscape photography.  I tried the other makes, my clients wouldn't bite and I quickly went back to the S system.  Last,  the S is not and will never be a SL.  For amateurs and pros who want the SL system, it is available to them for what it is designed to do.  Photographers who need a S system for their work or pleasure, that too is available.  In the meantime, the real innovation is creating superb photographs that as I write again, make the viewer, Stop, Look, Think and Feel something about that moment in time.  r/ Mark 

I guess what the op is getting at is that you could in theory have everything the S system is now in a much more compact and lighter package if you are willing to forgoe the OVF.  That’s the million dollar question...  Heck you could provide some manual focus MF lenses too...

Edited by paulsydaus
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5 hours ago, paulsydaus said:

you could in theory have everything the S system is now in a much more compact and lighter package if you are willing to forgoe the OVF.

In theory, yes. In practice, it would be a system that is only slightly better than the SL (in its high-res variant), and much more expensive to get into than Fuji or Hasselblad (late to this market, low volume, all new lenses). In short, it could be a system that abandons the S niche audience, and doesn't sell to the medium-format-mirrorless crowd either.

How much more compact would it be? My S system fits in a reasonably small bag: one body, 3 lenses, SF-40 flash, spare battery and cards. My SL "wedding" kit fits in a similar-sized bag. The difference is that the SL kit has more spare batteries, and a 4th lens (either shorter or longer, depending on the venue). A mirrorless S would probably go in the same size bag... Is it worth it to lose a few grams, and also lose reliable manual focus and a great viewfinder? I certainly wouldn't spend tens of thousands for that.

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The answer lies in how many photogs have moved (and will continue to move away) from the S system to other lighter or inexpensive or a more versatile system over the past few years.. 

So long as there’s enough ROI Leica will continue to retain the system. In the end, it is business after all... 

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12 minutes ago, aksclix said:

The answer lies in how many photogs have moved (and will continue to move away) from the S system to other lighter or inexpensive or a more versatile system over the past few years.. 

My dealer tells me that the Fuji and Hasselblad have mostly sold to photographers who were frustrated with the high-megapixel version of the Sony A7. That makes sense to me because the user interface is similar, but it's much easier to get a decent "hi-res" image from medium format. The Sony bodies are cheaper, but they need the most expensive glass to reach their potential.

The S, on the other hand, always sold to professionals, with a few ending-up in the hands of advanced amateurs. I won't pretend that I am in the first category. I do some professional work, but not the kind of work that justifies paying full price for an S system. I got mine new, but heavily discounted because it was a run-out S-E. The S-007 was already available by then.

As you say, it's up to Leica to run the numbers and see if makes sense to compete with the two excellent mirrorless medium format systems already on the market. Maybe there is a niche above the GFX, which itself is in a niche above the A7r*, and below Alpa. I personally hope that this new product line wouldn't keep them from offering incremental improvements to the S line. All it needs is a new sensor every generation, and a better card interface.

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12 minutes ago, BernardC said:

My dealer tells me that the Fuji and Hasselblad have mostly sold to photographers who were frustrated with the high-megapixel version of the Sony A7. That makes sense to me because the user interface is similar, but it's much easier to get a decent "hi-res" image from medium format. The Sony bodies are cheaper, but they need the most expensive glass to reach their potential.

The S, on the other hand, always sold to professionals, with a few ending-up in the hands of advanced amateurs. I won't pretend that I am in the first category. I do some professional work, but not the kind of work that justifies paying full price for an S system. I got mine new, but heavily discounted because it was a run-out S-E. The S-007 was already available by then.

As you say, it's up to Leica to run the numbers and see if makes sense to compete with the two excellent mirrorless medium format systems already on the market. Maybe there is a niche above the GFX, which itself is in a niche above the A7r*, and below Alpa. I personally hope that this new product line wouldn't keep them from offering incremental improvements to the S line. All it needs is a new sensor every generation, and a better card interface.

Agree.. If they could keep the same form factor of the S and increase the sensor size to 53x40 that will be something to beat!!  it’s something the other brands don’t offer today! That day will come... Fuji had some modular MF system concept rumored.. Hasselblad already has one in the form of 907x so that may be a new direction this decade 

 

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1 hour ago, aksclix said:

Agree.. If they could keep the same form factor of the S and increase the sensor size to 53x40 that will be something to beat!!  it’s something the other brands don’t offer today! That day will come... Fuji had some modular MF system concept rumored.. Hasselblad already has one in the form of 907x so that may be a new direction this decade 

 

Larger sensor implies reconstructed lenses (with the exception for the lenses with a  l a r g e  image circle); so an entirely new system. I doubt we will see this from Leica.

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7 minutes ago, helged said:

Larger sensor implies reconstructed lenses (with the exception for the lenses with a  l a r g e  image circle); so an entirely new system. I doubt we will see this from Leica.

Right.. just wishful thinking.. wonder what S users would like to see in the future 

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On 1/27/2021 at 5:47 PM, aksclix said:

Should the S system catch up ever? 
- 64MP "mirrorless" 

- larger medium format sensor (53x40) 

- 20% less body size and weight with similar form factor

- newer, lighter line of S optics beginning with 24mm, 70mm, 120mm macro 

- adapter for legacy S lenses

- bundle one camera one lens kits starting from $28K and body for $22K

 

 

Catch up ever? Only in the misguided world of marketing perhaps. The S3 only just came out and is a brilliant camera.

- Mirrorless, maybe. That's something they've said is a possibility but a big investment. I don't think it absolutely needs to be mirrorless. I like the OVF.
- Leica use 4:3 sensor ratios only as part of the heritage of leica, the 35mm format they invented. It would need new lenses too, a massive investment.
- The body size is nice I think. It balances well with the lenses. I would rather IBIS than a smaller body
- New lenses are feasible but the existing ones are excellent.

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