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Will the S3 be DOA?

KurtKamka

Subscriber Member
I know it's a provocative question. But, the realities (technology advancements and economics) of the larger sensor camera marketplace have changed in the past few years. While many here (including me) have used or still use the S-system, there have to be some very hard questions many will ask if/when an S3 finally hits the market.
 

iiiNelson

Active member
I guess it depends on each person’s definition of DOA. I don’t know what Leica’s internal target sales goals are but I imagine that many are taking a wait and see approach if they are already invested in the system. Where there may be some concern is in attracting new users to the system given the issues with failing lens motors, new medium format competition from Hasselblad and Fuji, and yes the perceived value of the economics are a factor for many. Even still, the S presents a unique product in having the dual shutter system while maintaining a decent sized body for all the tech packed in there given that it’s not based on a digital back design.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
A lot will depend on how many improvements are in this new model vs. the previous one for the current users of the system. Only time will tell. But never rule out a Leica success, they've been declared dead a lot of times but keep on chugging in their own niche market(s)
 

Speedgraphic

New member
I think it will certainly sell to brand fanatacists for which money is no object. I have a hard time believing it will move beyond that. Frankly they should probably say this is the final S and either develop a mirrorless or focus on the SL, M and Q line up.

There is a guy on Leica Rumors in the comments swearing up and down that the lenses make the S special, and that even Phase One glass doesn't hold a candle. To that I say here is the bridge I have to sell you. But it's attitudes like that that sell cameras like this. It has next to no value proposition over an H, lower tier Phase One, or X1D. If one wanted to be obtuse they could say that the 1/4 stop lens advantage puts it over and above any Fuji offering, but that's a pretty eye-roll worthy statement.

I'm guessing it will be between 20-30 grand. For that you get single focus point AF, a 63mp sensor, and access (at a significant premium) to some nice glass. Frankly my Hy6 Mod 2 offered that in 2013 or so when the Credo backs came out. Sure CMOS makes things better but Credo did release a CMOS back with the 50mp sensor that was LARGER than the S3s, barely. I'd put my Schneider glass up against basically anything and it would at least compete well IMHO.

So on paper this thing is DOA yeah. But since when do Leica people buy on value props? People who want a Leica will buy this Leica. Editorial and commercial photographers will buy GFX100s. I will shoot Ektachrome in my Hy6 Mod 2. :toocool:
 

JeRuFo

Member
I don't think there is a "MF" manufacturer that hasn't been pronounced dead at least 4 times a year over the last 5 years. Leica especially has been since the first SLR hit the market.
Let the manufacturer worry about sales, judge the camera at face value when it arrives.
If you trust everything the internet tells you, the only MF camera worth considering is a d850.
 

msadat

Member
pricing has a lot to do with it, i think most of the buyers will be the current S owners and that's it. it will be a short run product, i like to have one
 

msadat

Member
when fuji is selling the 100 meg camera for 10k, I hope Leica prices the s3 like the sl2, even lower! even better, provide an upgrade path for the previous owners just like pentax did with the k1 ii.
 

GMB

New member
My information is that the price will be the same as for the S007. At least that’s what a Leica rep who should know said to me few weeks ago. Release end of March and specs as announced. He also said that. But who knows...
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
For most any company EXCEPT Leica the S3 would be DOA . It is a beautiful system ...has terrific lenses and handles like a dream . I have had every S made S2,S006 and S007 . I hope to have an S3 .

As you may gather I am not a “Best Value “ buyer rather I want gear that I enjoy and is capable beyond my abilities (not hard ). IMO optical viewfinders are better for seeing what you are aiming at . They are not good at helping you achieve accurate focus .. I am blessed with unusual eyesight and can see if its in focus . Without excellent eyes ...you would be better with an EVF and all the focus aids it makes possible .

The S3 will be made in very limited quantities and will rely heavily on sunk R&D costs associated with the prior versions of the S . It will be very expensive compared to the Fuji GFX line and not justifiable based on costs verse benefits . This will not slow those that really like the S anymore than those that will be buying the new MONO .

Leica has done well to match its cameras to its buyers and I for one am glad that they will even offer an S3 . I am hopeful that it will perform up to the IQ of the new 64MP sensor and that it will stay below $20K at launch . It will not be a good choice for most entering MF for the first time . It could be perfect for my usage . .

I respect greatly the fine alternatives available today ....the Fuji GFX line is stunning ,the HB X1D 2 elegant and the Sony A7R 4 superb . Each would require a major overhaul of not only my gear but also my complete image chain ..learning Capture One or Focus for example .

My prediction is that S gear will become almost impossible to acquire ..Leica will make a batch and then you will have to wait months for the next ones . It will not be a fire sale like Panasonic and Nikon had when they released their latest mirrorless product lines . Eventually the existing S line will be discontinued and maybe then they will have a super new product to utilize the S lenses .
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
My information is that the price will be the same as for the S007. At least that’s what a Leica rep who should know said to me few weeks ago. Release end of March and specs as announced. He also said that. But who knows...
Can you tell me anything about the AF system ..is it expected to be the same as the S 007 ?
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
I have noticed improvements over the range, maybe you haven't
Sorry I was speaking to the assumption that the S3 will be further improved . The initial prototypes of the S3 were S007 s with a 64MP sensor . Unless Leica replaces the maestro processor with a higher performance unit or modifies the sensor to be some form of PDAF it may not be possible to further improve the AF capability .

This is why I have been so interested in the "Rumor “ of PDAF or some hybrid solution .

You can see in the new M10 MONO that they utilized a new 40MP sensor BUT did not upgrade the maestro processor ..this has shown to degrade a small amount the performance of the system (due to writing larger files to your Sd card ).

I sure you can see how a new larger sensor.... could affect the ability of the camera to work with more complex focusing algorithms .
 

msadat

Member
if the processor is not updated, i imagine, it will be slower than s 007 since there is a lot more data to deal with
 

SrMphoto

Member
Sorry I was speaking to the assumption that the S3 will be further improved . The initial prototypes of the S3 were S007 s with a 64MP sensor . Unless Leica replaces the maestro processor with a higher performance unit or modifies the sensor to be some form of PDAF it may not be possible to further improve the AF capability .

This is why I have been so interested in the "Rumor “ of PDAF or some hybrid solution .

You can see in the new M10 MONO that they utilized a new 40MP sensor BUT did not upgrade the maestro processor ..this has shown to degrade a small amount the performance of the system (due to writing larger files to your Sd card ).

I sure you can see how a new larger sensor.... could affect the ability of the camera to work with more complex focusing algorithms .
Jono's M10M review included notes on performance issues with M10M, but I do notice any difference between M10 and M10M, nor has it been reported on LUF as an issue.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
If the S3 sells according to Leica's expectations, it will be because of what it is, not in spite of it. It will be because it is an SLR camera with an optical viewfinder, still able to capture fantastic photos. Look at the very positive initial reviews of the Nikon D780.

Cameras like the GFX 100 and the X1D can do so many things that the question arises what the aims with the cameras are, what the aims of photography are. I don't take better photography because the camera is smaller, although that can be convenient sometimes, and I don't take better photos if the camera can also do 6K video and has a built-in can opener. After 10 years with electronic viewfinders, I still prefer the optical ones.

The S3 won't be a GFX 100, and it doesn't need to be. It needs to be better than the S2, enough better to be a tempting upgrade for those who use that camera as a tool. It needs to be a dagger for those who don't wan't a Swiss Army Knife.
 

msadat

Member
better than S2 was rolled out twice. thats not good enough. it needs to be competitive, especially after the fiasco with the S AF lenses. leica at the end is a business and needs to make money, so a few S3 ain't worth it


If the S3 sells according to Leica's expectations, it will be because of what it is, not in spite of it. It will be because it is an SLR camera with an optical viewfinder, still able to capture fantastic photos. Look at the very positive initial reviews of the Nikon D780.

Cameras like the GFX 100 and the X1D can do so many things that the question arises what the aims with the cameras are, what the aims of photography are. I don't take better photography because the camera is smaller, although that can be convenient sometimes, and I don't take better photos if the camera can also do 6K video and has a built-in can opener. After 10 years with electronic viewfinders, I still prefer the optical ones.

The S3 won't be a GFX 100, and it doesn't need to be. It needs to be better than the S2, enough better to be a tempting upgrade for those who use that camera as a tool. It needs to be a dagger for those who don't wan't a Swiss Army Knife.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
better than S2 was rolled out twice. thats not good enough. it needs to be competitive, especially after the fiasco with the S AF lenses. leica at the end is a business and needs to make money, so a few S3 ain't worth it
I don't know how many S-cameras Leica has made and how much money they have made from them. What sets Leica apart from most of the newcomers in the camera business is that they think long term customer relations. The user base is apparently large enough for Leica to feel responsible for their ability to upgrade their tools. This is a very different attitude from companies like Sony and to a certain degree Panasonic that discontinue a product line if it doesn't reach satisfying sales figures, and once they have a product that will make a higher profit (Sony A-mount and Panasonic 4/3 mount).

The alternative to a modest upgrade like the S3 is to discontinue. Not only would that send the customers to other supliers, but it would also potentially hurt sales of other Leica products, particularly L-mount cameras. Maybe it was a mistake to develop the S2 to start with, but once it was launched, Leica has had no alternative other than staying with the product line for a while.
 
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