Jump to content

SL3 as blueprint for S4? Thoughts


GMB

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

6 hours ago, BernardC said:

I don't think the SL bodies are "technically not a match" for other brands. If I was to describe my ideal 35mm camera, it would look a lot more like an SL than a Z9. The big Japanese brands either sell cameras with every feature, at the expense of usability, or they sell crippled cameras, missing the most basic things (decent EVF optics for example).

On the other hand, SL bodies have great colour, no low-pass filter, better viewfinders, better lens compatibility, and an unbeatable UI. They also have the best native lens choice, outside of 5-figure super telephotos (if I needed those I would get an R3, no hesitation). Is that really less advanced? Cost isn't even an issue at this point. You can spend just as much on a Canon/Nikon/Sony system; I've met many photographers who have.

 

6 hours ago, BernardC said:

I don't think the SL bodies are "technically not a match" for other brands. If I was to describe my ideal 35mm camera, it would look a lot more like an SL than a Z9. The big Japanese brands either sell cameras with every feature, at the expense of usability, or they sell crippled cameras, missing the most basic things (decent EVF optics for example).

On the other hand, SL bodies have great colour, no low-pass filter, better viewfinders, better lens compatibility, and an unbeatable UI. They also have the best native lens choice, outside of 5-figure super telephotos (if I needed those I would get an R3, no hesitation). Is that really less advanced? Cost isn't even an issue at this point. You can spend just as much on a Canon/Nikon/Sony system; I've met many photographers who have.

I do very few events or nature now, but I think I would be better served with a Z9 doing either.. I wouldn’t question that Leica lenses are better than Nikon’s, Canon’s or even Sony’s Zeiss; , but the lenses aren’t the camera. (for instance 5 fps vs 30). I understand that for other uses someone may want an Sl. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

In response to the original question, I hope that the SL3 does not serve as a direct blueprint for the S4, but I suspect it will. I hope that they continue to make the S system a bit distinctive. I would rather they make it closer to the SL or SL2, which were themselves closer to the S cameras (particularly the SL). But I think the new power button would not work easily with the CS lenses, so I hope they retain the old power switch. I also think the four button interface is better, but I doubt we see that. The other thing that quite bothers me on the SL3 compared to the S cameras and SL2 (and SL) is the white text overlay over the live view. Where the SL and S cameras have the shooting info on black bars above and below the live view, the SL3 places the text directly over the image. I believe this is designed to make it more "immersive", but I think this is really bad for professional work as the text is no longer easily readable and consistent. I work in snowy Iceland and the last thing I want is white text over snow. It is baffling to me that they went this route. In the S cameras and SL and SL2 they had text against a black background which was 100% consistent and legible at all times and in all lighting. Information text in a camera should be like street signs -- designed for legibility and clarity, not for a more immersive design. This is not about being pretty, it is about the decisive moment.  Overall I hope it refers more to the SL2 than SL3, but I realize that that is extremely unlikely, as companies seem unlikely to go back in time this way. I feel like whomever made this decision for the SL3 is likely to still have sway and incorporate that (to my mind disastrous) choice to at least the next few Leica cameras of this generation.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

vor 7 Stunden schrieb Stuart Richardson:

....The other thing that quite bothers me on the SL3 compared to the S cameras and SL2 (and SL) is the white text overlay over the live view. Where the SL and S cameras have the shooting info on black bars above and below the live view, the SL3 places the text directly over the image. I believe this is designed to make it more "immersive", but I think this is really bad for professional work as the text is no longer easily readable and consistent. I work in snowy Iceland and the last thing I want is white text over snow. ...

Stuart,

I didnt know that (dont have tested a SL3) but I allways hated a mixture between symbols in the viewfinder and the viewfinder-image. I think it can distruct from the Subject.

I also one of those who prefer the 4 button layout, I never got that convinced by the newer 3 button layout. I even didnt see a need to make the SL3 smaller than the SL2, it was fine for me as it was. But I guess thats what Leica decided to do and I would be surprized if a new S camera, if it appears, would not be designed with such things.

The 4 buttons where easier and faster for me than the mini function buttons all over the camera now (one on the back, 2 on the top, 2 on the front, ISO wheel on left side, click wheel on the right side.

Before I had all I need on the 4 buttons, ISO,WB, EXP comp, and AF (or exp metering). Anyways, its gone at least for the newer SL bodies, so it doesnt help to "cry" ;)

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer S 4 button way but at the same time I don’t think SL2 button or menu system in my way. It is also good. I am not sure about SL3 display change but I believe in term of button and menu, it will be good as SL2 too. This has always be a  Leica strength. For mirrorless with all the feature: display option, IBIS, video, I think SLx type of interface may make more sense. 
 

Hasselblad raise the bar quite high for X2D IMHO in term of hardware design. Add a focal plane shutter, I could have been their customer. If S4 can do similar job and charge less than 20% above X2D, it will be a win win for both Leica and their customers. Any thing less on quality or more on price won’t be an ideal case. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

While I doubt they will use Phase One’s 645 size sensor due to they want to fit SL lenses as well. I just hope S4 use IMX661 127MP Global shutter sensor to eliminate leaf shutter and gain advantage over X2D if you don’t mind the IMAX 1.40:1 ratio sensor. More importantly the S4 need powerful CPU and SSD to have some features such as focus staking, multi-shot, touchscreen top LED, built in flash trigger (like Phase One XF) to stay competitive among GFX and X2D. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JohnathanLovm said:

While I doubt they will use Phase One’s 645 size sensor due to they want to fit SL lenses as well. I just hope S4 use IMX661 127MP Global shutter sensor to eliminate leaf shutter and gain advantage over X2D if you don’t mind the IMAX 1.40:1 ratio sensor. More importantly the S4 need powerful CPU and SSD to have some features such as focus staking, multi-shot, touchscreen top LED, built in flash trigger (like Phase One XF) to stay competitive among GFX and X2D. 

the XF camera and the IQ4 processor have quite a number of innovative things. I use it with Godox equipment so I don't use the internal flash, but focus stacking is convenient. I miss it when I use the back in the Cambo. Most of it, though, is in the IQ back processing capacity (for instance, frame averaging or double exposure).

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
8 hours ago, hamey said:

Please correct me if I'am wrong, is it right that the S system has been discontinued, This was mentioned on the Red Dot Forum as well as my Leica store in Melbourne.

The S3 is now out of production, although it may still be available from Leica. Several Leica spokespeople have said that there will be a mirrorless "S4" in the next two years that will be compatible with S lenses, via an adapter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect a mirrorless S would be commercial pointless. It will cost twice as much as the equivalent from Hasselblad and four times as much as the Fuji and its only point of differentiation will be its 3:2 aspect ratio, which is actually more of a negative than a positive for many commercial/editorial photographers. The optical view finder is still a solid reason to opt for the S over those other option. If you do away with that then what is there to differentiate it?

The form factor of the S is perfect now as it is; yes you could make it smaller but smaller doesn't mean better, or rather larger doesn't mean worse. The way the S sits in your hand, the way it balances and the user experience if fabulous. Only the trite and pointless need to constantly and pointlessly upgrade necessitates the evolution of that form factor.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, geetee1972 said:

I suspect a mirrorless S would be commercial pointless. It will cost twice as much as the equivalent from Hasselblad and four times as much as the Fuji and its only point of differentiation will be its 3:2 aspect ratio, which is actually more of a negative than a positive for many commercial/editorial photographers.

The S4, or whatever it is called, will be born into a much different market than the original S2. That camera was designed as an alternative to film-era medium format cameras with adapted digital backs. It was cheaper, faster, tougher than the competition, and it featured un-compromised lenses.

I really doubt that the next medium format camera from Leica will cost as much. For one thing, it will cost a lot less to build, being based on an SL3 architecture with no complex moving parts. The sensor may be 4:3 or 3:2, depending on what they can procure. Sony's medium format sensor has the same diameter as the S2/S-007/S3, within a millimeter, so the choice won't affect lens design.

I am optimistic about the S4. I think it will be priced above the SL3, but not by a huge margin. It could be around the same price as a new M. Sure, I'll miss the SLR form factor, but I won't miss it too much because I still use my S-006, and it has a new sensor so it should be good for the foreseeable future.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, BernardC said:

The S4, or whatever it is called, will be born into a much different market than the original S2. That camera was designed as an alternative to film-era medium format cameras with adapted digital backs. It was cheaper, faster, tougher than the competition, and it featured un-compromised lenses.

 


And back then, Pentax, Hasselblad and Fuji hadn’t yet brought their MF digital bodies to market at dramatically lower price points than the S2.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, BernardC said:

The S4, or whatever it is called, will be born into a much different market than the original S2. That camera was designed as an alternative to film-era medium format cameras with adapted digital backs. It was cheaper, faster, tougher than the competition, and it featured un-compromised lenses.

I really doubt that the next medium format camera from Leica will cost as much. For one thing, it will cost a lot less to build, being based on an SL3 architecture with no complex moving parts. The sensor may be 4:3 or 3:2, depending on what they can procure. Sony's medium format sensor has the same diameter as the S2/S-007/S3, within a millimeter, so the choice won't affect lens design.

I am optimistic about the S4. I think it will be priced above the SL3, but not by a huge margin. It could be around the same price as a new M. Sure, I'll miss the SLR form factor, but I won't miss it too much because I still use my S-006, and it has a new sensor so it should be good for the foreseeable future.

It'll cost £16,000/$18,000 and no one will buy it except those lucky enough to get a 50% discount or daft enough to spend that much money on a MF camera that will be exactly no different to one costs half that much and has a more aesthetically regarded aspect ratio. Leica cannot possibly afford to bring a MF camera to market that costs less than their M range; it would massively canablise sales of the M11 and it would completely kill the SL3. There is only one price point they could off an S4 at and unfortunately there is just no market demand there anymore without there being something radically different about it to justify the price point. Hasselblad don't even make their H fit range anymore and I'm not sure how many pro togs are buying Phase One these days. Maybe, just maybe the very top earning product and fashion photographers are buying them but they can't be selling anything like the volume they were ten years ago.

That said, Leica don't care about market share or price competitiveness because they've always relied on their brand to command the price premium. They will only bring to market products they can command a huge premium/profit margin on so either it will be priced at £16k or they won't bring it to market at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, geetee1972 said:

It'll cost £16,000/$18,000 and no one will buy it except those lucky enough to get a 50% discount or daft enough to spend that much money on a MF camera that will be exactly no different to one costs half that much and has a more aesthetically regarded aspect ratio. Leica cannot possibly afford to bring a MF camera to market that costs less than their M range; it would massively canablise sales of the M11 and it would completely kill the SL3. There is only one price point they could off an S4 at and unfortunately there is just no market demand there anymore without there being something radically different about it to justify the price point. Hasselblad don't even make their H fit range anymore and I'm not sure how many pro togs are buying Phase One these days. Maybe, just maybe the very top earning product and fashion photographers are buying them but they can't be selling anything like the volume they were ten years ago.

That said, Leica don't care about market share or price competitiveness because they've always relied on their brand to command the price premium. They will only bring to market products they can command a huge premium/profit margin on so either it will be priced at £16k or they won't bring it to market at all.

Except when the M5 nearly did them in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

it is really difficult to find a niche in the MF segment given that Fuji is so cheap. The Phase is in a completely different realm compared to the S3 or the Fuji, but as mentioned above, it is tremendously expensive. Now, if someone can try to challenge Phase it may be Leica, because their lenses are superb -almost as good as the Schneiders or Rodenstocks. Competing against a 60k camera allows for a good margin at lower prices. But I believe that they will go expensive and with a product based on the SL3, and will sell very little. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

There is a lot of air between the 7000 dollar SL3 and the 18,000 dollars quoted above. I do not think that Leica needs to price that high. I certainly would not put it past them, but I think they seemingly sold so few of the S slrs at that price (or more) that I would expect them to price it slightly more aggressively. The Hasselblad is 8200 and the GFX100II is 7500 (obviously the GFX100Sii is cheaper, but Leica will be comparing the flagship). I agree that it will cost more than the M cameras, but I also think it is very different, and it will be by necessity larger than the SL3 as well, so I think that puts enough space between it and the M that it will not cannibalize as many sales. It is also fundamentally different than the GFX or X Series cameras because it has the potential to be even more versatile. Since it is likely to come with an L mount or a mount that can accept L mount lenses, it will have all the medium format possibilities, but also native support of the entire L mount. I imagine that it will share many, if not all, of the features of the 35mm SL bodies, and in that way it offers something that not even Fuji fully supports. I would guess more like 12-15000, rather than 18+. Obviously people looking for a cheaper alternative will find one, but I think there is a niche for a "one camera to rule them all" in the Leica lineup, that natively shoots everything they sell all the way from APS to medium format. They already have 80% of the work done (assuming it is an SL on steroids), they just need to drop in a larger sensor and offer 1-3 new MF native lenses to start. I think all three camera lineups have sufficiently different niches that they can all coexist.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets see. I don't think 18k will be realistic, at least if it would offer anything super special new (what I don't expect).

I also expect a price around 9-12k. But its all speculation.

More important for me...how will it work with the old S-lenses? Which interesting new lenses will be offered? How much offers it over a SL3 in regards of color, DR, rendering?

And how fast can one buy lenses and camera? I am 55 years old now and I don't want to buy into a system which will be complete 8 years later and be given up 12 years later.

However, if my (old) S-lenses work very well on a new body and if we can expect a real benefit in regards of IQ compared to 35mm digital it could be quite interesting.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I am very cynical about an S4, if a mirrorless large sensor Leica is introduced I would be delighted. A side effect of a mirrorless camera should be more compact and I would hope less complex--and possibly cheaper--lenses. S lens prices would take a dive, thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you think? They have fallen so far that, if anything, I think they might rebound because there would finally be another MF body they could be used on…and surely at the rock bottom prices they are at now they will be a bargain compared to whatever new versions Leica might offer. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Do you think? They have fallen so far that, if anything, I think they might rebound because there would finally be another MF body they could be used on…and surely at the rock bottom prices they are at now they will be a bargain compared to whatever new versions Leica might offer. 

+1

But I don’t bet on the market.

Jeff

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Do you think? They have fallen so far that, if anything, I think they might rebound because there would finally be another MF body they could be used on…and surely at the rock bottom prices they are at now they will be a bargain compared to whatever new versions Leica might offer. 

Someone shelling out the expected big bucks for a new Leica will most probably go for new lenses, too. Maybe those who already have an S might not, but at that point they could possibly just jump in whole-heartedly and dump the old in favor of the new. After all those AF motors could die at any moment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...