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Alternative Systems to the Leica S2

An immediate issue is aspect ratio. The Leica S2 has a 3:2 aspect ratio, just like a 35mm DSLR. Most medium format cameras offer a 4:3 aspect ratio, so this might be unacceptable to some pros, but it will feel right at home to 35mm DSLR users.

Target market for the S2

The S2 is in a “squeeze” situation: below it in price are the Nikon and Canon pro DSLRs, soon to nudge up against the 37.5 megapixels of the S2, perhaps with 30 megapixels, or even a bit more. And perhaps for the first time, without an AA filter.

A Nikon D4x at 32 megapixels without an anti-aliasing (blur) filter would make the S2 proposition start to look quite shaky; a 50% sensor size advantage is just not that important, and Nikon has years of experience with noise control at high ISO, where the S2 just can’t compete beyond the low ISOs. Already, the Nikon D3x and D3s demonstrate outstanding image quality in most regards, and the depth and breadth of the system is astonishing. Take it one step further, and .... game over. And maybe not just for Leica, leaving only the high-high end market for the medium format vendors.

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