Leica S2

Leica S2 front
  • 38MP - Medium format Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 1250
  • No Video
  • Leica L Mount
  • 1410g - 160 x 120 x 81mm
  • Announced September 2008
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Leica S2 summary

Leica S2 is Leica's Pro DSLR camera first launched on September of 2008. The camera has a 38MP, CCD Medium format sized sensor and has a full resolution of 7500 x 5000.

The S2 comes in at #13 out of 35 in Pro DSLR cameras and overall #307 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our collection. Please test our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your personalized criteria.

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Here is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Leica S2 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of advantages and drawbacks of the Leica S2 based on factors which are normally regarded as essential in a camera.

above average minimum ISO (80)
delivers RAW files
fantastic megapixels (38 megapixels)
includes HDMI socket
includes Top LCD display
manual focus
screen size is good (3")
sensor has phase detect AF
sensor size is great (Medium format)
switch lenses (Leica L mount)
bad battery life (1,000 CIPA)
can't record video
does not posses selfie friendly display
fixed screen
lack of external mic socket
lack of headphone socket
lack of image stabilization
lack of Time Lapse mode
low maximum ISO (1,250)
no liveview
pixelated screen (460 k dots)
slow frames per second (2.0 frames/s)
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Leica S2 Sensor info

The sensor size on the Leica S2 is 45mm x 30mm (Medium format). The 1,350 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 7500 x 5000 pixels .

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The CCD sensor boasts 38 megapixels and has a native ISO range of 80 to 1250. RAW photos are supported therefore the user has wider margin for error.

The image underneath displays the S2's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The S2 sensor comes with a crop factor of 0.8 and is highlighted in green.

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To get an understanding of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica S2 dimensions

Leica S2 is 3.11 lb (1,410 gr or 49.74 oz) and the measurement of the camera is 160mm x 120mm x 81mm (6.3" x 4.7" x 3.2"). The weight of average Pro DSLR camera is 1,280 gr and the Leica S2 is heavier when compared to various rivals.

Photography Glossary

Here is a image of the Leica S2 besides a soda so you're able to have a sense of its scale.

Leica S2 dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button layout on the S2.

Leica S2 topview buttons dials

Leica S2 Lens info

The S2 fits the Leica L mount and has 52 lenses available to buy. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will work with the S2.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-24mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Leica-L lensSigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM A24mmf/1.4 665g
Sigma-24mm-F3.5-DG-L-Mount lensSigma 24mm F3.5 DG24mmf/3.5 225g
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Sigma-28mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Leica-L lensSigma 28mm F1.4 DG HSM A28mmf/1.40g
Sigma-45mm-F2.8-DG-DN-Contemporary-Leica-SL,-Sony-FE lensSigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary45mmf/2.8215g
Sigma-20mm-F2-DG-DN-C-L-Mount lensSigma 20mm F2 DG DN C20mmf/2.0 370g
Laowa-85mm-f5.6-2x-Ultra-Macro-APO-L-Mount lensLaowa 85mm f5.6 2x Ultra Macro APO85mmf/5.6 289g
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Sigma-24-70-F2.8-DG-DN-Art-Leica-SL lensSigma 24-70 F2.8 DG DN Art24-70mmf/2.8835g
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Leica S2 Connectivity

The S2 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that consist of NFC and Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You will be able to copy photos and in some cases change settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Certain applications even allow a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it can be hooked up to an external screen. The majority of cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack through the USB socket.

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Leica S2 Video info

Leica S2 does not record video. If you are searching for a camera to take only pictures, this is not a concern.

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Leica S2 Weather Sealing

Leica S2 does not include environment sealing so rainy conditions might ruin the camera.

Leica S2 Display and Viewfinder

The Leica S2 has a 3" fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 460k dots.

Unfortunately the display screen is not a touch screen. The S2 also has a builtin Top LCD display so you can instantly checkout camera settings.

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The ViewFinder specifications regarding Leica S2 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 96 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.86x

Viewfinders are rather useful in sunny outdoor conditions which might make the camera display washed out and hard to view.

Leica S2 Shutter info

Leica S2 has the capability to shoot continuously at 2.0 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Leica S2 Flash and Hot shoe info

Leica S2 boasts external flash support but is lacking built in flash.

Leica S2 Autofocusing info

Leica S2 boasts both Phase Detect Auto Focus and Contrast Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is more quicker and accurate when compared to Contrast Detect focusing.

Leica S2 can use manual focus in case it is required in low light situations or you want more exact control on focus.

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Leica S2 Battery life

The battery life on the Leica S2 is built to last for 1000 pictures as per the CIPA requirements making it less when compared to its rivals. The average Pro DSLR camera battery life is 2438. Nikon D3X has got the best (4400) battery life in this type of cameras.

Below is a listing of Pro DSLR cameras that have the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D3X front thumbnailNikon D3X
S2 vs D3X
4400 yesnono
Nikon-D3 front thumbnailNikon D3
S2 vs D3
4300 yesnono
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Nikon-D3S front thumbnailNikon D3S
S2 vs D3S
4200 yesnono
Nikon-D5 front thumbnailNikon D5
S2 vs D5
3780 yesnono
Nikon-D6 front thumbnailNikon D6
S2 vs D6
3580 yesnoyes

Leica S2 for varying forms of photography

The following bar chart displays a rundown of the Leica S2 for varying forms of photography. To learn more, visit the specific paragraph underneath.

Leica S2 Portrait photography details

The Leica S2 gets a score of 76 which is excellent, and means the camera is a outstanding choice for portraits. Shooting portraits favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support together with the capability to use off-camera lighting.

Photography Glossary
manual focus
great megapixels (38 megapixels)
great sensor size (Medium format)
supports RAW files
no liveview

Street photography with Leica S2

With a reasonable points total of 51, the Leica S2 is somewhat adequate for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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big sensor size (Medium format)
exports RAW files
no moving screen
does not have image stabilization
low max ISO (1,250)

Leica S2 Sports photography info

A reasonable sports photography points total of 58 means the Leica S2 is reasonably appropriate for shooting sports. A camera should have very good autofocus and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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fantastic resolution (38MP)
sensor size is big (Medium format)
supports phase detect AF
doesn't have liveview
slow continuous shooting (2.0 frames/s)
does not have image stabilization
not so great battery power (1,000 CIPA)

Leica S2 as a Travel photography camera

Size is really crucial in picking a camera for travel. In general, the Leica S2 gets a subpar 45 for a travelling camera which makes it not good to take on your travels.

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megapixel count great (38MP)
no Timelapse mode
bad battery pack (1,000 CIPA)
does not have a selfie friendly display

Leica S2 Landscape photography info

For anyone planning to buy a digital camera for landscape photos, the most vital factor will no doubt be image quality. The Leica S2 at it's above average score of 62 as a landscape camera is a fine pick within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
change lenses (Leica L mount)
nice screen size (3 inch)
excellent megapixels (38MP)
sensor size is large (Medium format)
exports RAW files
no liveview feature
lack of image stabilization
maximum ISO low (1,250)
terrible battery power (1,000 CIPA)
no Time Lapse mode

Leica S2 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera ought to posses a articulating screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Considering all things, the Leica S2 is not good for vlogging as it delivers a subpar score of 9.

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no video

Leica S2 Alternatives

If you are in the market for alternatives to the S2, below is a list of the highest ranked cameras that fall within the category of Pro DSLR.

The diagram listed below shows you a bird's eye view of the S2 versus it's top scoring rivals suggested above.

Following are additional cameras you may look into as alternatives. To read through a thorough comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Leica S2
Physical type
Large SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Medium format
Sensor dimensions
45 x 30mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Max resolution
7500 x 5000
RAW images
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focus
Touch focus
Continuous AF
AF single
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Lens mounting type
Leica L
Number of lenses
Crop factor
Type of display
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
Display resolution
460k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
96 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
Fastest shutter speed
Continuous shutter rate
2.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash modes
no built-in flash
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Max video resolution
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
1410 grams (3.11 lbs)
160 x 120 x 81mm (6.3" x 4.7" x 3.2")
Battery life
1000 photos
Battery type
Battery Pack
Time lapse shooting
Card slots
Cost at release