Pairing the tradition of a DSLR with contemporary multimedia capabilities, the Leica S3 is a medium format camera characterized by its flexible feature-set and integration within a well-developed system. Featuring a redeveloped 64MP 30 x 45mm CMOS sensor, the S3 offers high-resolution stills shooting along with a 15-stop dynamic range and a wide sensitivity range from ISO 100-50000 to suit working in a variety of conditions. The sensor's design also omits an optical low-pass filter in order to realize a high degree of sharpness and clarity. In addition to stills, the sensor also enables DCI 4K and Full HD video recording using the entire width of the sensor for a distinct "medium format look." Additionally, benefitting stills is a phase-detection autofocus system that employs a single cross-type central point for fast and accurate focusing performance.
Complementing the imaging capabilities, the S3 maintains the familiar design traits of previous S System cameras, including a large 0.87x-magnification optical pentaprism viewfinder with a high eyepoint for comfortable viewing. Alternatively, a rear 3.0" 921k-dot LCD is available for live view shooting and image review, and a top status LCD can be used to quickly review shooting settings. Another retained distinction is support for the unique dual shutter system, which permits working with either the camera's focal plane shutter or with select lens's Central Shutters for flash sync up to 1/1000 sec. Additionally, the S3 incorporates Wi-Fi connectivity for use in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for remote camera control and wireless image sharing between the camera and a linked mobile device.
Beyond stills shooting, the updated sensor also enables impressive video capabilities, and supports DCI 4K recording at 24 fps and Full HD up to 30 fps, with both formats able to make use of the full width of the sensor. An external microphone can be used via the 3.5mm port and external recording at Full HD is supported via HDMI Type-C with 4:2:2 8-bit color sampling.
- Optical pentaprism viewfinder features a high eye-point and 0.87x magnification for comfortable, bright, and fluid viewing. An illuminated LCD bar is incorporated into the finder's design to provide shooting information and optional exchangeable focusing screens are available to suit various shooting styles.
- Rear 3.0" 921k-dot LCD monitor is available for live view monitoring and image review and is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass for added protection and greater viewing clarity.
- Top monochrome status LCD can be used for quickly reviewing shooting settings.
- Dual shutter system is compatible with both the in-camera focal plane shutter, for exposures between 1/4000 sec and 2 min with flash sync at 1/125 sec, or with select Central Shutter/leaf shutter-type lenses, which offer flash sync speeds up to 1/1000 sec.
- Rugged body design utilizes a magnesium alloy shell with non-slip rubber armoring, a magnesium alloy top plate, aluminum alloy base plate, and stainless steel control elements and lens mount bayonet.
- Dust- and splash-proof sealing enables working in inclement weather conditions.
- Dual card slot design accommodates one SD/SDHC/SDXC card and one CompactFlash card for file-saving flexibility.
- Built-in Wi-Fi, when used in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android, permits sharing imagery directly to a linked mobile device and also enables remote control over the S3 and remote shooting via a live view image.
- Tethering is supported via the Lemo USB 3.0 port for an efficient studio-based workflow.
- Integrated GPS module can be used for geotagging shots as well as acquiring automatic date and time settings.