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I hope Leica can come up with a unique medium format


Tom001

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For example, you can use 60×60 cmos (like Rollei) and the lens is manual focus (quality is the same as movie lens, and large aperture) and the body can be designed with non-interchangeable lenses, 80 2.8 or 2.0 aperture. If you add a beautiful retro appearance, it will definitely sell very well.

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I don't believe there are any readily available digital sensors that are larger than the Phase One sensors which are a bit smaller than 645. The larger the sensor the greater the failure rate and more of the silicon wafer it uses, so consequently the more expensive it is. While it might be fun to have a 6x6 digital camera, I think the price would be extremely high. Far more than most anyone would be willing to pay for a fixed lens manual focus body...

Other than some very niche products (LargeSense...26000 dollars for a 6.7mp 4x5 sensor), the largest sensors are 645 or 65mm for digital Imax. Both are a lot smaller than 6x6. The biggest sensor I could find from Sony, even in the industrial sensor area was 60x48mm.

Leica has only done one medium format camera, the S. If they do another, it would be a safe bet that it would either be the same 3:2 sensor size like in the previous S (partially so the lenses stay compatible), or perhaps a 4:3 sensor like the Hasselblad and GFX, which would make sense because it is a readily available sensor. Beyond that I don't think you will find them venturing further into medium format.

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Leica HAD a unique medium format camera, then they dropped it.  I know mirrorless will be less expensive to produce than the current S series but I have no interest in a mirrorless S.

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Posted (edited)

Unless Sony or some other company is ready to produce a 6x6, 6x7 or even 6x4.5 sensor, I would dispute that Leica has either the technical capabilities in house nor the favorable business case to produce such a sensor. Besides, the camera would be quite large. The Phase One XF, arguably a Mamiya, as they bought the assets, is a heavy and large camera. And the sensor, as has been pointed out, is smaller than 6x4.5

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Edited by irenedp
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2 hours ago, irenedp said:

Unless Sony or some other company is ready to produce a 6x6, 6x7 or even 6x4.5 sensor, I would dispute that Leica has either the technical capabilities in house nor the favorable business case to produce such a sensor.

They've done it before. Every S, most digital M's, and the SL have used new exclusive sensors. 

However, whatever they choose for the S4, I doubt it will be bigger than the current S3 or Fuji/Hasselblad sensors (which have the same diameter). 

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4 hours ago, irenedp said:

除非索尼或其他公司准备生产 6x6、6x7 甚至 6x4.5 传感器,否则我认为徕卡既不具备内部技术能力,也不具备生产这种传感器的有利商业案例。此外,相机会相当大。Phase One XF(可以说是 Mamiya,因为他们购买了资产)是一款笨重而庞大的相机。而且,正如有人指出的那样,传感器比 6x4.5 要小

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Leica m9p is my favorite Leica camera, I have taken many excellent photos with it

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Leica has been committed to the 2:3 format from the very beginning. Even when they made the leap to "medium format"--I see it more as a super-35--they kept the ratio. I very much doubt they would go square, even if they could pull it off. I like the square format, most often cropping my images to fit. But the downside is that the S 006 cropped square (4992x4992) is actually smaller than my ancient AFi-II 7 when cropped square (5040x5040). Good news the S3 ends up 6530x6530 but still not even in Credo 60 territory, much less the current IQ 150.

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4:5 is not unique at all. The aforementioned Leaf AFi-II 7 is 48x36, but only 33MP. The AFi-II 10 was 56x36 with 56MP, the 12 was 54x40mm and 80MP. All CCD sensors with the ability to rotate from horizontal to vertical without removing the back. None of them is made any more, Leaf was acquired by Phase One in 2009 and shut down last year or so.

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On 6/21/2024 at 11:03 AM, Pieter12 said:

4:5 is not unique at all. 

Instead of shooting me down with your superior knowledge, do a little math and you'll see that 4:5 is unique. For the examples you gave, 48x36 is 4:3, 56x36 is 14:9 (an unusual ratio, but very close to 3:2), and 54x40 is 4:3. I don't think I've ever heard of any sensor with a 4:5 ratio. As I said, that would be unique. The Mamiya 7 cameras produce a 4:5 aspect ratio on film (56 x 70mm negative). Haven't seen it in digital yet. 

 

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1 hour ago, epines said:

Instead of shooting me down with your superior knowledge, do a little math and you'll see that 4:5 is unique. For the examples you gave, 48x36 is 4:3, 56x36 is 14:9 (an unusual ratio, but very close to 3:2), and 54x40 is 4:3. I don't think I've ever heard of any sensor with a 4:5 ratio. As I said, that would be unique. The Mamiya 7 cameras produce a 4:5 aspect ratio on film (56 x 70mm negative). Haven't seen it in digital yet. 

No superior knowledge, just a quick observation of somewhat random ratios. Believe me, the world is not going to rush to Leica because of a 4:5 aspect ratio.

 

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12 hours ago, Pieter12 said:

 

most of my professional work is re-formatted on finish to either panoramic format or 4x5. However, with the sizes that a successor of the S3 would have (100 MP +), I don't see the need that the in camera format becomes 4x5.  I can easily crop in post. Or add sky

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also crop most everything to a 4x5 ratio. It is quite a bit more balanced for verticals in most cases than a 3:2 ratio, which can look too tall. It also tends to fit book/magazine pages better. I would have preferred Leica chose 4x5 or 4x3 as a ratio instead of 3:2, but they have stuck to 3:2 for nearly everything (other than some early digital and the d-lux), so I do not really expect the new S will have it. It would be nice though!

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On 6/19/2024 at 9:48 AM, Tom001 said:

For example, you can use 60×60 cmos (like Rollei) and the lens is manual focus (quality is the same as movie lens, and large aperture) and the body can be designed with non-interchangeable lenses, 80 2.8 or 2.0 aperture. If you add a beautiful retro appearance, it will definitely sell very well.

You mean unique because it has 6x6 sensor and fixed prime lens?

A jumbo prime P&S? For amateurs I assume?

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I don't think a unique format is likely or necessary. If Leica want to charge anywhere close to the S3 level prices for the S4 in today's environment (with the latest Fuji and Hasselblad cameras selling at significantly less) they will, in my view, rather need to offer some unique selling points, such as:

  • class leading AF in the MFD space (unlikely, given Leica's history, but would be nice)
  • weather and dust sealed body and lenses (like the S3)
  • long lasting battery (like the S3)
  • best of class EVF (like the SL/SL2/SL3) cameras
  • leaf shutter lenses plus focal plane shutter in the body (like the S3)
  • full integration of S lenses via an intelligent adapter - including leaf shutter functionality, AF, full exif data, profiles in C1 etc.
  • new native lenses with unified rendering "look" and filter size (like the SL apo Summicrons)
  • extended warranty (to their credit, Leica have replaced the faulty AF motors in all my S lenses for free, long after the expiry of even the 5 year "special warranty" - this would be a strong argument for me to consider the S4)
  • a fair upgrade path for S3 users (take the S3 bodies in parts exchange at a reasonable trade-in price, just like they did with the S007 when the S3 was launched)

Critically, the system will have to be properly beta tested by working photographers with "heavy duty" requirements (like wedding photographers and studio shooters), not just by the usual "retired gentlemen" and "fashion shooters who only use M lenses". There must be no faulty AF motors, corroded sensors, freezing cameras or lost images, no "you should only use XYZ brand cards" nonsense, no problems with tethering or flash sync using the dedicated Profoto trigger. From day one; no waiting for firmware updates. The most important focal length lenses and S lens adapters should also be available from day one - no "road maps" that end up not delivered on. Service support should be swift (10-day turnaround used to be standard in the past, for the S system).

As for the sensor, keep it 3:2 at around 100MP by all means - I don't really care, even though I usually crop to 4:3 or 4:5 (there is enough MP to crop from). Different crop formats should be possible to set in the menu, just like with the SL cameras or the X1D/X2D.

With the above boxes checked, I could see the body positioned at Eur12-15k and the lenses around Eur7-8k each.  That is of course just my 2 cents.

 

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Higher MP sensors have several problems. One is the ability of the camera to autofocus, or the photographer's to focus manually. The second is to stabilise the image -or alternatively shoot at higher speeds-. A third one, and not unimportant, is the quality of the lenses. When Fuji moved from the GFX 50 to the 100 in 2019, some of the former lenses became wanting. That was particularly acute with the 100-200 zoom, but not only. The 32-64, which was the kit lens and offered fantastic performance on the GFX 50s, suffered a bit too. The only lens that went relatively unscathed was the 110. Fuji has, I hear, produced new lenses that are good for the 100 MP mark, but definitely they weren't ready at the beginning.

Working with a Phase One camera with the IQ4 sensor (or in any technical camera, like an Alpa or a Cambo) requires to focus manually at 500% to nail it, and of course, as the camera is not stabilised, shoot on a tripod. The XF camera has a seismograph to ensure that there is no movement when you shoot, (I see a difference in sharpness when I shoot with the Cambo, but that might be attributed to the analogical lens too). Phase had to launch a new generation of blue ring Schneider lenses when they launched their IQ4 back because the older ones didn't offer the same (adequate) sharpness. 

With the former, I'm not saying that there is a "hard limit" in the size of a sensor, but we might be reaching some kind of a technical barrier where sensor technology may not be the only hazard to overcome... Where does that lay? I don't know if Sony's new rumoured 200 MP sensor may not be the limit where you can push pixel size, evfs, stabilisers...

And said that, at which price lenses with the capability to resolve may be produced at an accessible cost for those photographers who now use the Fuji and the Hassel. That's possibly why some are offering out the "pixel-shift" gimmick... which essentially is delivering through software what you can't (economically) do through hardware.

I sincerely wonder that there are many photographers out there who print at very large sizes (the underlying reason for high MP count). I do, for exhibitions, but not everyone does. Maybe the Megapixel race does not make that much sense beyond a limit.

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The limitation of larger sensor is the semiconductor manufacturing technology.

Today the largest logic chip is limited to ~800mm^2, for economic reason, roughly a FF sensor size. Larger than that takes special care.

There is AI startup making the while wafer as one product, but is unusual. It would not be surprising if they turn to multiple smaller chips with 3D packaging. It will be cheaper and faster due to the shorten distance in 3D topology. I bet they have to.  But this has nothing to do with sensor. A sensor has to be in 2D.



 

 

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