Leica Interview: S3 and More (Photokina 2018)

During Photokina 2018 we had the privilege to interview Mr. Stephan Daniel, one of the top executives at Leica for an extensive talk about the company’s new products including the S3, the M10P and more as well as a new app that now works with all WIFI equipped Leica cameras in a very streamlined way.

Besides the software and hardware, we wanted to know how the partnership with Panasonic and Sigma on the new full-frame mirrorless system started and what is its meaning for a company like Leica as well as how the L-mount was chosen to be the mount for all the cameras in this partnership.

Stephan Daniel demonstrated to us the new Fotos mobile app and how easily you can connect a camera to it – it feels that this is the way all manufacturers should implement their wireless connections and app integration – so simple and elegant.

Stephan Daniel from Leica with all the new cameras and lenses

The new S3 feels practically identical to the Leica S2 but with the new super high resolution (64-megapixel) it becomes one of the higher resolution cameras on the market. One interesting note – the S3 has a bunch of LEMO connectors – these are more common in high-end video and lighting gear and far less in a photo camera and the cables are less common and more expensive but the whole thing is MUCH more durable. Just like it’s predecessor it will be able to shoot 4K videos with full sensor readout (30p max though) and you will be looking at a price tag north of $20k – making it a very high-end tool for a small group of professionals who needs and can justify what this camera can deliver.

Stephan Daniel confirmed that they started talking with Panasonic about 2.5 years ago before Sigma joined the partnership (called the L-mount alliance – a name which we are hoping will change in the future), from our talk with Mr. Kazuto Yamaki, the CEO of Sigma it seems that Panasonic was in contact with both Leica and Sigma separately before the actual alliance was formed and each company didn’t know about the other until a later stage.

In the interview, Stephan Daniel also showed us the new upgraded M10 called M10P (which has a silent shutter and a touchscreen) as well as two new lenses for the SL system (and will soon be available for the Panasonic/Sigma cameras as well) – the first is a very high-quality APO Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 and also a be 50mm f2 APO Summicron-SL. both are not particularly small and it will be interesting to see some more compact lenses for this mount (maybe from Panasonic or Sigma).

A little behind the scenes look from our interview with  Stephan Daniel at Photokina 2018

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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