LEICA S2 Camera Test: Amazing Value For (A Lot Of) Money


FunctionalityThe LEICA S2 camera is surprisingly functional. Leica Camera involved professional photographers in designing the user-friendly camera body, which includes only what you need. That’s refreshing because especially top-class cameras tend to have a lot of bells and whistles that actually are more in your way, instead of adding value.ErgonomicsImportant functions that you will use often, like shutter speed and ISO value, can be reached through just a few (ergonomically smart designed) buttons and control wheels on the S2 camera. Save reading the massive manual for a rainy Sunday, and start shooting pictures! Warning: you’ll be addicted for life in less than 15 minutes…ScreensThe LEICA S2 camera body includes two efficient screens. The top one is an efficient color display that shows you the current settings such as the exposure mode, aperture setting and shutter speed. A major eye-catcher is of course the huge and bright color LCD screen, protected by a strong and scratch-free layer of sapphire glass.

NavigationOne control wheel and 4 buttons are your navigation tools for a menu that is being displayed on the LCD. The wheel is used to scroll through (and select items from) the menu of the S2 camera, while the 4 buttons have flexible functions depending on the current menu mode. Using the various functions becomes a routine over time.SpeedSpeed is another benefit of the LEICA S2 camera. Considering the file size of 37.5 megapixel photos, previewing recorded images is easy as they show up on the screen very fast. The same applies to zooming into pictures to check their quality on a detailed level, thanks to the huge processing power of this DSLR camera.ComfortReal-life testing fulfills professional photographer’s expectations, based on the ergonomic design of the S2 camera. It’s a very comfortable and, with 1.4 kg (including battery) relatively light device. It feels really great in your hands. Personally I have not seen another medium-sized, digital single-lens reflex camera with that same ‘wow’ factor.FlexibilityThe LEICA S2 camera has a weatherproof camera body that makes it possible to shoot under challenging conditions. Really practical is the large eyepiece with its interchangeable focusing screen. The camera’s viewfinder also shows you the most important settings in light green color on the bottom of the image.ResolutionA large image sensor of 45 x 30 mm (3:1 ratio) creates pictures of 7504 x 4984 pixels – that’s a resolution of almost 37.5 megapixels. This should be a perfect format for many high-resolution print purposes and keep the S2 camera up-to-date and widely usable for many years. The average file sizes are between 30 and 50 MB.QualityMore important of course, is the quality of images. An outside photo shoot (using Leica’s SUMMARIT-S 70 mm F/2.5 ASPH lens) unveils the real secret of this magic box: the optical performance. I have never seen such crystal-clear, distortion-free, contrast-rich and colorful images than those taken with a LEICA S2 camera.

EditingThe great thing of this device is that post-processing pictures often isn’t necessary. If you still would like to edit photos, the Adobe-compatible DNG files (the S2 camera doesn’t produce RAW files) include a lot of detailed image data. You can easily adjust things like exposure and saturation of the pictures that you’ve taken.InvestmentIf you buy a LEICA S2 camera, it is an investment. The sales price is not exactly on the low end. However, when you consider its high usability and impressive optical performance, resulting in stunning colors, great focus, amazing sharpness and correct tonality, you have a magic tool in your hands with a LEICA S2 camera.