After the first prototype was announced at Photokina 2014, the Leica S Typ 007 is finally being made available for the general public. It is a successor to the Typ 006 in the true sense, and comes with a host of improvements and new features, mainly video.
Here’s the first video created on the Typ 007:
One of the big changes from Typ 006 is the switch from a CCD to a CMOS sensor, although it still produces 37.5 MP images. The CMOS sensor measures 45 x 30 mm, which makes it 50 percent larger than a 35mm FF camera.
The biggest new feature of the camera is its ability to shoot video in Full HD as well as 4K. In HD the whole 45 mm width of the sensor is used, whereas for 4K, a Super 35mm portion of the sensor is used (a 1.5 x magnification factor). Both are shot on the MOV format with a color sampling rate of 4:2:2. Full HD supports 24, 25 and 30 fps shooting modes while 4K can only be shot in 24 fps.
Full HD can be recorded to an SD or CF card and even supports external recorders, whereas 4K can only be saved to a memory card. This is a great news for videographers, as Leica has always been famous for their trademark “Leica look”, assuming you’re shooting with Leica S lenses. For audio recording, the camera has a 3.5 mm jack for audio-in or audio-out via included Audio-Adapter S and records 16-bit audio along with embedded time code through the in-camera microphone.
Another important feature of the camera is its new ISO sensitivity range. The spec sheet mentions a maximum ISO all the way up to 12,500, which might prove to be a godsend in low light conditions.
Maestro II, the new image processor, claims to be four times faster than its predecessor. This means faster data processing along with the promise of better noise suppression. What actually makes the new processor so special though is the continuous shooting rate of a maximum of 3.5 fps. Leica claims the Typ 007 is the fastest medium format camera in the market. This is made possible by 7,500 DACs in parallel and a 2 GB buffer memory. The Typ 007 also allows tethering via the Leica Image Shuttle 3.0 software bundled with the camera. Up to a 5 metre long Lemo active USB cable possible.
Leica also claims an upgrade to the dynamic range of the camera from Typ 006’s 13 stops to 15 stops. This is made possible with 14 bit recording of DNG RAW files with some interpolation. The Autofocus system has also been renovated, by identifying movement in your subject and calculating how far your subject will have moved at the moment of exposure. Focus corrections are applied in the last fraction of a second. This will prove helpful in situations where conditions are not right for manual focusing. At this time we don’t know if autofocus works for video or not.
Other miscellaneous features are as follows :
- Larger viewfinder
- 2850 mAh battery capacity compared to the 2100 mAh cell used in the 006
- Live View function allowing the sensor to stream directly to the rear screen.
- Better camera ergonomics with a better handgrip and more intuitive controls.
- Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass monitor screen cover.
- Dust and moisture protection.
- Wireless remote control by iPhone or iPad
- Support for geotagging
You can checkout the complete list of specifications here.
The camera ships on August 31 (expected) and will retail for $16,900 (Estimate, body only).
At such a hefty price tag, we are really hoping the Leica S Typ 007 delivers. We’ll only know once the camera starts shipping worldwide.