New Leica S is First Medium Format Camera that Shoots 4K Video

Leica just announced the new Leica S (Typ 007) that is worlds first medium format camera that can shoot 4K video in 24p.

leica_s_007This is the first day at Photokina 2014 in Cologne Germany and Leica just announced a few new cameras updating their range from compact mirrorless up to their flagship Leica S medium format cameras.

leica_s_007_bThis is very intriguing news (with a downside) as the only camera that has been able to record video on a sensor this large was the Pentax 645Z that left a lot to be desired in terms of the video functionality.

The sensor is a 37.5MP 30mm x 45mm CMOS sensor providing a very unique look. Medium Format cameras are often used in high-end photography like billboard shots.
Seeing the new products in photography at Photokina we can make out that more and more manufacturers are going into the video market.

This is a very interesting development creating more competition and bringing more intriguing technologies into the video- and cinematography field in the near future.

Video Features of the Leica S (007)

  • As mentioned the full sensor size is  30mm x 45mm CMOS.
  • The camera can record 4K video, but uses a super35mm sized portion of the sensor for that. Pixel to pixel readout without downsampling for high quality 4K video.
  • HD video 1080p uses the full sensor size (down sampled) and can record framerates of 24,25 and 30p.
  • Unfortunately only MJPEG as an internal codec (same as Canon 1D C).
  • Uncompressed, clean 4:2:2 8bit output via hdmi.
  • Focus and exposure precision, focus peaking and a histogram with exposure clipping display.

Note that there is false information circling the web that the camera can do 60p at 4K. We have spoken directly to the product managers from Leica here at Photokina, so our information comes from the source.

The major downside if you consider working with this camera is the pricepoint of $25k and the expensive medium format lenses required to shoot with it. If however the look is something you are after as a cinematographer this camera might be an interesting and unique tool for your work.

Certainly photographers who already invested in this technology will benefit from the unique video features and we’re looking forward to be testing this camera as soon as we get the first sample at cinema5D. Stay tuned for much more coverage from Photokina 2014.

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