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Leica teases new S3 medium-format camera, Fotos app, and more

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Leica tends to be limited in its announcements, but Photokina 2018 has proved to be an exception.

On Tuesday, September 25, Leica made five different announcements that include a new lens mount, a new medium format camera, a new mobile application, a new paint job for its CL camera, and firmware updates for multiple cameras.

Leica L-Mount

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Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma created a shared lens mount as part of what they are calling the “L-Mount Alliance.” We detailed coverage about the new L-Mount Alliance, but the long and short of it is Leica will now have cameras that share a lens mount with certain Panasonic and Sigma cameras, making “for a nearly limitless array of creative options by combining different interchangeable lenses with cameras featuring different sensor formats.”

Leica S3

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On the 10th anniversary of the launch of Leica’s medium-format S2 camera at Photokina back in 2008, Leica announced the upcoming launch of its successor, the S3.

Although details on the camera are scarce, we do know the Leica S3 will feature a 64-megapixel ProFormat sensor, roughly twice the 37.5-megapixel resolution of the S2. Leica says the S3 will feature a “large and bright SLR viewfinder” for composing and reviewing shots.

Leica says the S3 will have three frames per second burst functionality and 4K video capture, although no specifics are given on frame rate and codecs. Leica says the S3 is set to ship in “spring of 2019” for a yet-to-be-determined price.

Leica CL Silver

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If you were eyeing a Leica CL camera, but weren’t feeling the black color scheme, your time has come. Leica announced a new silver version of its APS-C system — a nod to the iconic styling of older Leica cameras. Aside from the new paint job, nothing about the camera has changed. You can pick it up starting this week for $2,750.

Leica Fotos

It’s not just hardware Leica has launched. Leica introduced a new smartphone app for Leica photographers. It’s called Leica Fotos and it’s designed to be paired via Wi-Fi to Leica cameras so you can easily capture, transfer, and edit photos while on the go.

Leica Fotos gives you Live View function and lets you remotely change exposure settings, including aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation.

Leica says the following cameras care currently compatible with the Leica Fotos app: Leica S (Typ 007), Leica SL, Leica M10, Leica M10-P, Leica Q, Leica TL2, Leica TL, Leica T, Leica CL, Leica D-Lux, and Leica V-Lux cameras. Once paired, the app will automatically reconnect with any cameras that you have approved.

You can register for the free beta version of the Leica Fotos app for Android and iOS devices using Leica’s sign-up page.

Firmware updates

Leica wraps up its announcements with a slew of firmware updates for the Leica SL-System, the Leica S (Typ 007), Leica M10, and Leica M10-P cameras.

Firmware version 3.3 for the Leica SL-System adds support for Leica Fotos, a new power saving mode, and updated functionality to speed up capture and review.

Firmware 5.0.0.0 for the Leica S (Typ 007) adds support for Leica Fotos as well as other improvements. Specifically, remote cable release functionality in video mode has been improved, as well as a new 3:1 photomask “that enables easier composing for super wide aspect ratios.” A new two-minute exposure time has been added to the camera and various bugs have been resolved.

Firmware version 2.6.5.0 and 2.6.5.1 for the Leica M10 and Leica M10-P, respectively, add Leica Fotos compatibility, as well as “a number of improvements including a new QR code which enables easy pairing of smartphones and Leica cameras and 1-Click Connection with the FN button.”

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