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Thread: Will the S3 be DOA?

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Will the S3 be DOA?

    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.

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    I guess it depends on each personís definition of DOA. I donít know what Leicaís 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 itís not based on a digital back design.
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    DOA for leica or for the users ?

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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)

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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.

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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.
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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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

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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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.

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    My information is that the price will be the same as for the S007. At least thatís 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...
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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 .
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    My information is that the price will be the same as for the S007. At least thatís 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 ?

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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Can you tell me anything about the AF system ..is it expected to be the same as the S 007 ?
    the AF improved from S2->S006->S007, so we can assume better AF on the new S
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by msadat View Post
    the AF improved from S2->S006->S007, so we can assume better AF on the new S
    Wish that was true but its not .

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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Wish that was true but its not .
    I have noticed improvements over the range, maybe you haven't
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by msadat View Post
    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 ď 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 .

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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    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 ď 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.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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.
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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    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


    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    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.

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by msadat View Post
    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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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Hi, Jorgen,

    It is always refreshing to read your posts.

    Having been given the opportunity to use a Leica S 006 for a number of months and enjoying the experience very much, I can honestly say that the S was a great idea and the results have been on a level higher than the D850. The D850 was the first to go when our medical bills escalated last year. The D850 is an amazing camera! A Swiss Army knife for sure... and at a great price point.

    Perhaps, I could have simply bought a complete D850 system and been perfectly happy three years ago. It is impossible to say. My results with the S were consistently better files and final images for the work I do. It always put a smile on my face. I have never tried a S007, and I certainly will never afford an S3. But then, I don't need either one. Nor do I need 100+mpg by any brand. Nor EVF. Nor another system . I am simply tired of the rat race being run by today's jaded camera users and those professionals who actually need those tools, I am delighted their needs are met.

    I will be traveling a different path this year.

    Think of a 1982 Mercedes 240D with manual transmission being chosen over a new Tesla. And that will be me. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile!

    I will edit to say that I do not expect the S3 to be DOA. Nothing remains the same for very long these days though and I suspect there will be radically different systems in 2025 when the current generation cameras wind up on eBay at basement prices. Good for the masses I suppose so that will be a good thing. An example is the excellent X1D that just sold on the Buy/Sell forum for some price south of $2900, a fraction of the cost of the camera when new just a few years ago? A new S3 should sell quite well because it has a quality of experience that separates itself from other systems. Just my two cents worth...
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?



    S2 70S

    I was an early adopter of the S series - great ergonomics/ great camera / great files / great lenses - when the autofocus wasn't blowing up because of a 50cent part in the lenses...that scared me off big time ....I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used nice mint example if it wasn't for the steep price of the lenses- as in eye wateringly expensive down here....

    I'll just have to be happy with the "el cheapo" SL2 and SL lenses with the occasional sneaky M lens thrown in.

    I dont know what to say about who Leica's target market is for the latest iteration of the camera- so many choices these days.
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    Senior Member bab's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Sounds like you have all nailed it the S3 is the camera for the person who only needs the S3 for the rest of their life to be solely contented.
    Itís the last S someone said the last camera you ever need. With all the used S glass available for cheap money one could assemble a nice system for a fraction of the new costs.
    Marketing wise you could sell the Copy machine (S3 body) cheap and make money with the ink (S lenses) but that would assume you could produce the lenses and make money doing so. That would also require Leica to change a 100 year policy of being the most limited and expensive camera brand so no I donít think for one second the S3 will be released at a reasonable price.
    Also I donít think it will be released with competitive bells and whistles as all Leica buyers have a different goal when purchasing equipment. Prioritization falls on quality before performance or latest and greatest.

    As usual I hope they prove me wrong, and I hope I win the lottery, or a very rich uncle I never heard of dies and leaves me millions or my biggest wish is one day I wake up and I can sing like Frank!

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?


    The S3, if and when it appears, will appeal to those who appreciate its strengths, can live without its absent features, and can afford it.

    Every time I pick up the 007, which is, I admit, rarely, I get real pleasure from the handling, and extreme pleasure from the result - if it is in focus. In some situations, focus is easy. In others, it is not. I know which is which, and I expect luck to play a role in the latter instances. Can I live with that? I'm not sure. Can I justify the price? I'm not sure.

    We'll see.

    Matt
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Too bad he S cannot currently use Capture One.

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    i dont't have Capture One (anymore) but I think C1 opens any DNG. You just don't have any C1 profiles for the S out of the box. Maybe someone can comment on this who has access to both.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon42 View Post
    i dont't have Capture One (anymore) but I think C1 opens any DNG. You just don't have any C1 profiles for the S out of the box. Maybe someone can comment on this who has access to both.
    C1 will not open the Leica S produced DNG . It is possible to work around this by Pre Processing the files to strip the Leica information creating a generic DNG . Without the C1 profile you lose much (not all ) of the C1 advantage . It can be done but most find it impractical .

    This seems like an outdated policy for Capture One as fewer and fewer buyers are debating Leica,HB,Fuji,Phase One ...each has carved out small part of the medium format market .Fuji (the largest and fastest growing ) of course made a deal with Capture One .

    Has anyone seen current market share info on MF gear ?
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Has anyone seen current market share info on MF gear ?
    No - it was too tiny ...

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    Senior Member msadat's Avatar
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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    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.
    Yes, Leica for sure look for long term relation with their customers, that's why started charging for failed AF motors on the S lenses. They don't want anybody to forget they can screw up and ask you to pay for it.

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    Re: Will the S3 be DOA?

    I'd be happy to pay for fixing things if it meant that I could still use a system I wanted to use. A lot of other companies haven't even provided their clients with that opportunity and just cloesed shop or discontinued product lines and stoped all support....

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