Upload & Sell: On
| Re: Leica S-System and the future of Medium-Format |
I would respectfully beg to differ with my friend, the learned Carstenw. That Leica sell "all the lenses and cameras it can make" bears no relation to the R&D being already written off, or not. They might be supply-or-production-limited, and have planned to write R&D off over 5 years, or whatever.
Basically, according to their own blurb, they sell only 1200 S systems a year. A laughably low volume for the semi-conductor industry. That leaves Leica with an unpalatable alternative. Either buy whatever standard components there are, and not change them for better stuff before they exhaust an inventory of quite a few years, or face dramatically,and I mean dramatically higher prices for very-small-volume components. Ferrari face the same dilemna, which is why the proud owner of the Italian thoroughbred also owns very Fiat parts, like column stalks, switches, air vents...
This means that MF, Leica S included, is at a huge disadvantage to 35mm just because of the fact that the smaller format warrants state-of-the-art technology and can pay for it, and MF does not and can not.
A very worrisome case in point is Leica's use of the S2 processor in its M 240. It is a Fuji chip that is already quite old in a world where age is death. And Leica's crippled implementation of Liveview in the Type 240 is apparently, so say Leica, to their processor. Leica would never have chosen it for the M unless were it not that they had already used it in the S2. Either they had stock on the shelves, and chips do not age gracefully, or it ws the software development which they could re-use. Either way, not the stuff of which state-of-the-art performance is made.