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After a year-long wait, it appears that Leica is ready to launch it's ground-breaking S2 digital SLR camera. Some photo buffs are saying, "About time!" Others, though, are shrugging their shoulders. That may have something to do with the price...
It's rumored the S2 will be released at somewhere around $23,000 - $26,000 dollars. And that's for the body only. Which explains the "Cadillac" comment. You can buy a car for about ten grand less than this camera.
Can it possibly be worth all that money? That depends on who you are.
Though it's shaped like a pro DSLR, the S2 is much more. In fact, the 37.5 MP sensor is actually 30 x 45mm - more than 50% larger than a full-frame DSLR's. So you're getting a lot of high-res real estate with this camera.
The S2 also features a dual-shutter system. There's a focal-plane sutter in the camera... and each of the S2's lenses comes with a built in leaf shutter. This system allows for speed (up to 1/4000 sec exposures) as well as a wide range of flash synchs. That's handy for studio pros.
The S2 is waterproof (though not submersible) and dustproof, which makes it great for outdoor use. And since it's not as large or heavy as some pro DSLR's size isn't an issue. (Unless, of course, if you have smallish hands.)
Other than Leica's new MAESTRO processor, there isn't much else innovative about this camera. But squeezing such a big sensor into such a small body seems impressive enough to me.
And, of course, it is a Leica.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|