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Leica S3 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Leica S3
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.
October 01, 2018
Camera Type
Medium Format
Camera Size
Camera Weight

  • Powerful 64 MP ProFormat CMOS medium-format sensor
  • Wide 100 to 50,000 ISO range
  • Beautiful, large pentaprism optical viewfinder
  • Brilliant ergonomic design and useful top LCD display
  • Pristine, uncropped 4K video quality
  • Very expensive
  • Super-slow 3 fps max burst rate
  • Heavy 2.6 lb (1.2 kg) camera body
  • Videos recorded in older MOV file format
  • 4K video limited to 24-fps frame rate

The Leica S3 receives a score of 70/100 in regard to its general specifications. Launched in 2018, this medium format camera has a hefty price tag of $18,995. With dimensions of 160 x 120 x 80mm and a weight of 1260g (2.78lbs), the Leica S3 is a substantial piece of equipment.

In today’s market, the Leica S3’s specifications are still competitive, offering a solid choice for photographers seeking a high-quality medium format camera. With its score and specifications, the Leica S3 proves to be a strong contender in the world of photography.

Leica S3 Overview and Optics

The Leica S3 receives a score of 73/100 for its optics. With 64 megapixels and a shooting speed of 24, this camera boasts a high-resolution and fast performance. Its CMOS sensor and Maestro II processor work together to produce sharp and detailed images. The DXOMARK score for the sensor is 78, which is competitive in today’s market.

The medium format sensor size allows for larger photosites, leading to improved image quality. The Leica S lens mount offers a range of high-quality lenses, ensuring versatility and adaptability. However, the camera lacks image stabilization, which may cause issues for some photographers. The 3:2 aspect ratio is standard, providing consistency with other cameras.

When considering the optics of the Leica S3, the camera has strong specifications that can compete in the current market. Despite the lack of image stabilization, the camera’s high-resolution sensor, fast shooting speed, and quality lens options make it a solid choice for many photographers.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
64 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.
45 x 30 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.
3600 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/ 1000 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 S3 Video Performance

The Leica S3 has a video score of 56/100. This camera offers a maximum video resolution of 4K, with dimensions of 4096 x 2160 pixels. The highest frame rate attainable is 24fps. However, the camera lacks built-in time-lapse functionality.

In the current market, the Leica S3’s video capabilities are not the most competitive. Many cameras now offer higher frame rates, allowing for smoother video playback and slow-motion effects. Additionally, the absence of time-lapse functionality may be a drawback for some users who seek this popular feature.

While the Leica S3 boasts impressive optics and general specifications, its video capabilities fall short of expectations in today’s market. Potential buyers should consider these factors when evaluating the camera as a whole.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
4096 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
24 p
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.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Leica S3 Features and Benefits

The Leica S3 features score stands at 68/100, reflecting its performance in various aspects. The camera is equipped with a 3-inch screen that has a resolution of 922,000 dots, providing clear and sharp image previews. Additionally, the touchscreen enables easy navigation and control for users.

In terms of connectivity, the Leica S3 offers GPS and WIFI capabilities, allowing photographers to geotag their images and share them seamlessly. However, it lacks Bluetooth connectivity, which may be a disadvantage for some users.

When comparing the Leica S3’s features to other cameras in today’s market, it delivers reliable performance and connectivity options. The absence of a flip screen and Bluetooth might limit its versatility for certain users. Despite these limitations, the Leica S3 remains a robust camera choice for those who prioritize image quality and traditional design.

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.
922,000 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 S3 Storage and Battery

The Leica S3 scores 60/100 in storage and battery. This camera provides two memory card slots that accept SD, SDHC, SDXC, and Compact Flash (Type 1) cards, allowing for ample storage options. However, with a battery life of 500 shots and an SBP PRO battery type, the Leica S3 falls short in terms of battery performance. The camera also lacks USB charging, which may cause inconvenience in certain situations.

In the competitive market, the Leica S3’s storage and battery specifications may not meet the expectations of some users. Despite its decent storage options, the battery life and lack of USB charging could deter potential customers.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Compact Flash (Type 1)
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
User Scores

Leica S3 Alternatives

Do you want to know how the Leica S3 compares to its competitors? Have a look at the most popular comparisons for this camera below:

Leica S3 photographed on a colored background

Leica S3 FAQ

Does the Leica S3 Have Built-in Image Stabilization?

The Leica S3 does not have built-in image stabilization. Users will need to rely on stabilized lenses or external stabilizing equipment for steady shots.

Does the Leica S3 Support 4K Video Recording?

Yes, the Leica S3 supports 4K video recording, allowing users to capture high-quality videos with impressive detail and sharpness.

What Size Sensor Does The Leica S3 Have?

The Leica S3 features a medium format sensor, which is larger than full-frame sensors and offers better image quality, dynamic range, and low-light performance.

Does the Leica S3 Have a Dual Memory Card Slot?

Yes, the Leica S3 is equipped with a dual memory card slot, allowing users to have backup storage or separate storage for different types of files.

Does the Leica S3 Have a Touch Screen?

Yes, the Leica S3 features a touch screen, making it easier for users to navigate through menus and adjust settings quickly and intuitively.

Does the Leica S3 Have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

The Leica S3 has built-in Wi-Fi for wireless image transfer and remote control, but it does not have Bluetooth connectivity.

Does the Leica S3 Have GPS?

Yes, the Leica S3 comes with a built-in GPS, allowing users to geotag their images and track their shooting locations easily.

Is the Leica S3 Weather Sealed?

Yes, the Leica S3 is weather-sealed, providing protection against dust and moisture, making it suitable for use in challenging outdoor environments.

Does the Leica S3 Have a Built-in Flash?

No, the Leica S3 does not have a built-in flash. Users will need to use an external flash or other lighting equipment for low-light shooting situations.

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