Leica S2 DSLR Unboxing Video

Leica S2 DSLR - the best handheld digital camera available

Leica S2 Digital SLR - the Best 35mm Camera AvailableLeica S2 Digital Camera

The Leica S2 DSLR is widely considered to be the best handheld digital camera currently available, and at around $30,000 it should be. Check out Steve Huff's video on unboxing his Leica S2.

Keen photographers are always on the look out for high quality cameras. If you are looking for the best 35mm digital camera currently available then you may be tempted by the Nikon D3X. Nikon and Canon are the quality camera brands that are most well-known by the general public, but the brand that was always considered to be the Rolls-Royce of 35mm cameras was Leica. The Leica name is not as well-known as other brands but professional photographers know that their reputation is second to none.

Legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson used a Leica 35mm and the Queen of England is also said to favour Leica cameras.

Last year Leica announced that they were to launch the S2 and since then people have been waiting impatiently for it to become available. Well finally that wait is over, Leica have just announced that the Leica S2 will be available from October 2009.

Leica describes the S2 as a "remarkable new camera from Germany that redefines the professional DSLR class with a custom 37.5-megapixel, 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body".

According to the Leica press release in September 2008 the Leica S2 was designed from scratch, and unlike other professional digital systems, it uses neither a conventional medium format nor a 35mm platform.

It has a sensor size larger than the 35 mm format and will produce images that will be the very best feasible with a 35mm camera. The lenses have also been designed to set new performance benchmarks thus ensuring that the sensor will actually deliver to its absolute maximum.

The compact design and metal body is smaller than those of comparable cameras. The Leica S2 is ergonomic and will undoubtedly become a professional photographer´s favorite. The large sensor has in fact allowed Leica to produce the smallest camera in its class.

The Leica “MAESTRO” image processor has been developed in collaboration with Fujitsu specifically for the S2. It produces the highest level of picture quality possible with a minimum energy output.

The compact body is also fully protected and weatherproof against dust and splashes. The autofocus system is particularly precise and quick thus making focussing easier and the large viewfinder makes picture composition much easier than with competitor cameras.

The high image quality is assured into the very corners of the images, whether taking close ups or wide-angle landscape shots. Maximum contrast, high resolution and pure colour reproduction are guaranteed even at wide apertures. The between-the-lens shutters fitted in a number of the system lenses guarantee extremely fast synchronisation thus ensuring the shortest possible exposure time. The precise autofocus available using the Leica S lenses is fully manually adjustable. The lenses are made from metal and, in the same way as the camera body itself, are totally weatherproof, robust and protected against dust and damp.

This new digital camera will be a significant event in the world of digital photography and it will force other brands - Nikon and Canon in particular to raise their game. At this moment in time most good quality cameras offer a quality of around 12 megapixels, the Nikon DX3 has pushed this up to 24 megapixels. Leica however clearly considered that this was not enough, particularly if it was to compete with medium-format cameras.

The Leica S2 will therefore offer a 37.5 megapixel 30 x 45 mm sensor that is 56% larger than other full frame 35mm cameras and the quality will be far in excess of that achievable by conventional pro-caliber digital SLRs.

The aim is that the S2 shall provide the performance of a medium-format digital camera such as a Hasselblad with the ease of use of a 35mm SLR.

Back in the days of film cameras (remember those?) Leica launched its legendary model A in 1925. The model A took 35mm photography onto a whole new level in the 20th century and Leica believe that the S2 will do the same for digital photography in the 21st century.

The S2 is fully weather-sealed, so in addition to being able to be used in the studio it can also be used outdoors providing the superior image quality of a medium-format camera with the portability of a 35mm camera. Medium-format cameras are very heavy and cumbersome and therefore difficult to carry about in the countryside or in urban landscapes - this is not the case with the S2.

The Leica S2 is aimed at professionals and the pro-am market and Leica say it is a “tool, not a toy,” as such it has been designed to avoid clutter and includes only those buttons used by professional photographers.

Lottery winners and the very rich will however not care too much whether the Leica is a tool or a toy they will just be pleased that they are able to afford the best 35mm camera money can buy and you've got to say, "who can blame them?". If I had the money I would get myself at least two to mess around with. I've always found the current fashion for tiny cameras that are totally impractical rather annoying and have always preferred to have a more substantial beast to take my pictures with. Well the Leica S2 is nothing if not substantial !

At the same time as they announced the launch date of October 2009, Leica have also announced the price of the S2. If you think you might fancy one, given that it will be the best quality 35mm camera available, the body alone will cost $22,995 (£15,996 in the UK). Lenses cost extra. The APO-TELE-ELMAR-S 1:3.5/180 for example will cost $6,495 (£4,541). The medium-format Hasselblad H3DII-39 megapixel with an 80mm lens sells for a mere $22,000 in comparison.


- 37.5 million pixels
- 30x45mm CCD sensor
- 56% larger than a typical 35mm sensor
- new dual shutter system with in-body focal-plane allows faster lenses
- twice the speed of similar medium-format backs
- one-point autofocus, which can be overridden
- raw, JPEG and DNG
- Weather-proof
- Release in October 2009
- Three-inch high-quality LCD screen
- Range of 9 lenses, including a 120mm macro, tilt-and-shift 30mm, 70mm f/2.5 standard lens and 24mm ultrawide-angle

In another surprising move, especially in this Internet age, Leica is to open its own store in Mayfair, London in September.

The facility will consist of a ground floor retail store selling all the Leica products, first floor offices, a Leica Academy training centre and a Leica S-System studio.