Leica S2 Review
We were lucky to catch up with Mark Benson, a photographer from NYC who happened to have a Leica S2 in his studio. With his assistance, we took the Leica S2 for a short test drive so we could write this review.
First off, the S2 is not everyone.. heck, it's not even for most professional photographers. At $20,000+, you either need be a millionaire, or just plain addicted to photography to buy one of these for your day to day photography use. And that figure.. $20,000? is just for the body only. You will need to spend an extra $5000 to add on a lens.
The Leica S2 features a full image sensor which puts most image sensors to shame. At 37.5 megapixels and 30X45mm, this is almost 50% larger than a full frame sensor. This is amazing, considering the size of the Leica is pretty much the same as that of other DSLRs in the market.
The S2 features the new Leica S series lenses. You won't see any distortion in these lenses, and they won't give you any focus shift. It's also weather proof as well (at $20,000, it better be, right?)
What makes the Leica S2 special is the new MAESTRO image processor inside it, which is what most of the buzz surrounding this camera was about. The LCD screen is pretty good - it's 3 inches and has 460,000 pixels. But it's the huge, bright, and clear viewfinder that's impressive. We love big viewfinders, and the Leica S2 takes the cake to having the biggest one. Size does matter, guys.
Let's get into the design. It's a pretty compact design for a camera this expensive. The body is in fact smaller than that of other DSLRs like the D3. The build is solid, and extremely durable. We feel confident that if we dropped this drop in 1 story building, it wouldn't suffer any major damage.
We spent a few minutes holding it in various ways, and it just feels comfortable and ergonomic. Wearing it around our neck didn't feel uncomfortable as well.
We played around with the menu system, and it was very simple to learn. There's four control buttons and a dial, which if you push gives you even more control. You'll get used to all the settings in a matter of minutes. If you've had any experience with using any DSLR, you'll feel right at home with the Leica S2.
The performance of the S2 is pretty good. Keep in mind the S2 is a medium digital camera, so it's not meant for shooting fast sports and very fast moving objects. The auto focus is fast - no doubt, but not very fast. This camera is meant to produce the highest quality photos of portraits, landscapes and still objects.
We took a few shots with the Leica S2, and with the advice of our friend Mark, we kept the shutter speed high. This produced really really sharp photos. In fact, we compared the shots when taken with a Pentax EP2, and it was apparent the S2 produced much more accurate colors.
Many in the industry were concerned with how the Leica S2 would perform in high ISO, low light conditions. We think those worries are unwarranted. We shot several shots in rooms where there was very little light, and the photos still turned out rich, sharp, and accurate.
- Outstanding build, very comfortable to use
- Beautiful LCD
- Easy to use controls
- Image quality is the best in good light
- Excellent battery life
- The best viewfinder we've seen
- Extremely accurate colors and depth
- High price tag
- Huge file size
- Not the best for shooting fast moving objects
There's not much else to say about the L2. Of course, this camera is not meant for the casual consumer, just hardcore photographers who want the absolute best photo quality. This is truly the best of the best.
The only drawbacks to this camera (besides the huge price) is that it doesn't shoot fast moving objects as well as you might like. The file sizes are humongous as well - you will surely need a very good computer to handle the files you upload.
If you got the cash and are a serious photographer, or want to attract the ladies (either works), get the Leica S2. It's a fashion statement, that's for sure.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $22995.00
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Prices last updated on: Sat, 25 May 2013 09:35:44 PDT