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Leica S Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Leica S
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
September 17, 2012
Camera Type
Medium Format
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Leica S medium format camera receives a score of 54 out of 100. Launched in 2012 with a price tag of $21,950, this camera has dimensions of 160 x 120 x 80mm and weighs 2.78 lbs. Despite being a few years old, the Leica S still holds its own in today’s market with its robust build and quality performance. As the market continues to evolve, this camera remains a reliable choice for medium format photography enthusiasts.

Leica S Overview and Optics

The Leica S receives a score of 65/100 for its optics. This camera features a 37.5-megapixel CCD sensor, which is paired with the Maestro II processor. With a shooting speed of 3.5 frames per second, the Leica S offers decent performance. The medium format sensor size and Leica S lens mount contribute to the quality of the images captured.

In the current market, the Leica S faces strong competition from other cameras with higher DXOMARK scores. Its sensor score of 76 is not as impressive as some of its rivals. Additionally, the absence of image stabilization may be a drawback for some users. The 3:2 aspect ratio is standard and does not offer any unique advantages.

The Leica S provides satisfactory optics, but it may not be the top choice for those seeking the best performance in this category. The combination of its features results in a decent camera, but it might not stand out amongst other options available in today’s market.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
37.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
7500 x 5000 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
30 x 45 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Medium Format
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
3.5 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Leica S
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Maestro II
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
125 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)

Leica S Video Performance

The Leica S does not have video functionality. This camera focuses solely on photography.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Leica S Features and Benefits

The Leica S features score is 28 out of 100. This score reflects its capabilities in terms of screen size, resolution, and connectivity options. The camera has a screen size of 3 inches, with a resolution of 921,600 dots. Although the screen is not a touchscreen, it provides clear and sharp image previews.

However, the Leica S lacks some modern features, such as a flip screen, GPS, and Bluetooth. The camera does have WIFI capabilities, which allows for easy sharing of photos and remote control of the camera.

Comparing the Leica S to other cameras in today’s market, it falls short in terms of advanced features. While the camera performs well in optics and video, it may not be the best choice for those seeking a more versatile, feature-rich camera.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,600 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Leica S Storage and Battery

The Leica S storage and battery section scores 60/100. With two memory card slots, the camera accepts SD, SDHC, SDXC, and Compact Flash (Type I) cards, providing flexibility for users. However, the battery life of 500 shots using the SBP PRO 1 battery may be less than ideal for some photographers, especially when compared to other cameras with longer-lasting batteries.

Furthermore, the lack of USB charging limits the convenience of recharging the battery on-the-go. Despite these shortcomings, the Leica S remains a reliable camera choice for various photography needs. However, potential buyers should consider the storage and battery aspects when comparing it to other models in today’s market.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Compact Flash (Type I)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
500 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.9 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
12.2 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
User Scores
B&H photo video

Leica S Alternatives

Do you want to know how the Leica S compares to its competitors? Have a look at the most popular comparisons for this camera below:

Leica S photographed on a colored background

Leica S FAQ

Does the Leica S Have Built-in Image Stabilization?

The Leica S does not have built-in image stabilization. Users will need to rely on lenses with optical stabilization or use a tripod for steady shots.

Does the Leica S Support 4K Video Recording?

The Leica S does not support 4K video recording as it does not have video functionality. It is primarily designed for high-quality still photography.

What Size Sensor Does The Leica S Have?

The Leica S features a medium format sensor, which is larger than full-frame sensors and provides exceptional image quality, detail, and dynamic range.

Does the Leica S Have a Dual Memory Card Slot?

Yes, the Leica S has a dual memory card slot, allowing users to store images on two separate cards for better file management and backup options.

Does the Leica S Have a Touch Screen?

No, the Leica S does not have a touch screen. Users will need to navigate the camera’s menu and settings using physical buttons and dials.

Does the Leica S Have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

The Leica S is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless image transfer and remote control, but it does not have Bluetooth capabilities.

Does the Leica S Have GPS?

No, the Leica S does not have built-in GPS functionality for geotagging images or tracking shooting locations.

Is the Leica S Weather Sealed?

No, the Leica S is not weather sealed. Users should take precautions to protect the camera from moisture, dust, and extreme temperatures.

Does the Leica S Have a Built-in Flash?

No, the Leica S does not have a built-in flash. Users will need to use an external flash or other lighting sources for low-light photography.

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