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Leica S: a medium-format electronics upgrade (pictures)

Leica says it has improved the electronics with the S upgrade to the earlier S2. The German company showed off the camera at Photokina.

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Stephen Shankland

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Leica S debut at Photokina

The Leica S succeeds the externally similar Leica S2 (yes, the S2 came before the S). It improves the camera electronics, the German camera maker said at the Photokina show where the S debuted. And it's got a 37.5-megapixel image sensor and a $21,950 price tag.
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Leica S sensor

The Leica S is a medium-format camera with a 45x30mm sensor -- a notch larger than the 36x24mm size of conventional high-end "full-frame" SLRs from the likes of Nikon and Canon.
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Leica S debut at Photokina

For most people, the Leica S will feel similar to a conventional SLR with a smaller sensor. The camera has new image processing for higher quality photos than the camera's predecessor, the S2. And doubling the memory buffer to 2GB means photographers can shoot up to 32 consecutive photos in 37.5-megapixel raw format.
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Leica S screen

The Leica S camera back features a 3-inch screen that's got better color and resolution than the S2.
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Leica S from the top

Atop the Leica S is a digital display that shows camera settings. The camera features faster autofocus than the earlier S2, Leica said.
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Leica S underside

The underside of the Leica S2 shows its camera compartment, tripod mount, and considerable bulk.
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Leica S System adapter for Hasselblad lenses

With an adapter, the Leica S can take lenses from rival medium-format camera maker Hasselblad. That helps photographers who might already own such lenses or wish to rent them, and it helps Leica sell its camera even though it doesn't have as wide a range of lenses. The company also announced three S System lenses at Photokina: the Leica Super- Elmar-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH. super-wide angle lens, the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. zoom lens, and the Leica TS-APO-Elmar-S 120 mm f/5.6 ASPH. tilt-shift lens
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Leica S right side

The right side of the Leica S features its flash card slot.
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Leica S left side

The left side of the Leica S features its rubberized port covers. Inside is a GPS receiver for geotagging photos with location data.
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Leica S medium-format camera

Viewed up close, the Leica S looks hulking, but it's a bit of an optical illusion: the camera tapers toward the top. Its sensor reaches from ISO 100 to 1,600.

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