Leica's Got a New Medium Format Camera & It Shoots 4K Video
- 37.5MP 45mm x 30mm CMOS Sensor (7500 x 5000)
- No Optical Low-Pass Filter
- 3.0" 921.6k-Dot LCD Monitor
- Pentaprism 0.87x-Mag. Optical Viewfinder
- 4K Super 35mm windowed video at 24 fps (8-bit 4:2:2 MJPEG like the Canon 1D C)
- 1080p at 24, 25, 30fps (8-bit 4:2:2 MJPEG)
- Clean 4:2:2 8-bit HDMI Out (Unclear if 4K is possible)
- ISO 200 to ISO 6400 (ISO 100 pull setting)
- Up to 3.5 fps Shooting
- DNG File Format, 16-Bit Color Depth
- Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS Connectivity
- Availability: Q2 2015
- Price: $25,400 Body Only
OK, so the price is a bit much if you're just getting into 4K video, but this is meant as a solid medium format camera first, and a video camera second. As far as medium format cameras go, price-wise this is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. If you're looking for the medium format video look for a specific job, the Pentax 645Z is much more affordable, and would likely rent for cheaper as well, but the selling point of using this for a specific job is that you've got no downsampling or scaling on the 4K mode, which means it will be as sharp as possible. The 1080p mode is likely a bit softer because it must throw away lots of pixels from the image area of the full sensor.
At 4K, however, it's using a cropped-in window of the full sensor, which means there will be a crop factor for the medium format lenses. Based on my math (assuming this is all correct info), they would be using a 24.58mm width for the 4096 part of the Super 35mm frame, which would mean a 1.83 crop factor from the original medium format frame. For 1080p, it's using the whole sensor, so the field of view will be much wider as compared to full-frame vista-vision 35mm and Super 35mm (something like 0.8 and 0.5 and some change). All of that is a good reason why crop factors are confusing.
Either way, plenty of photographers will find use for the sharp 4K video to complement their stills work, but I think this is an interesting development from a company that hasn't pushed too far into the video world.