Leica SL (Typ 601)
There are a lot of things you come to expect from a Leica camera, and obviously their premium branding commands certain expectations. The Leica SL has all of those fundamental Leica-isms. The build quality is extremely high, the styling is exceptional with barely a dial or button out of place, and the components are to the highest standard
Whilst looks aren't going to make great cameras, the Leica SL has plenty on board to prove that beauty is also skin deep. With a full-frame 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor and Maestro II processor providing a 2 GB buffer to maximise image quality from a technical perspective, the SL mount lenses do it from an optical one.The ultra versatile 24-90mm f/2.8-4 is the first in the SL mount line up, with more on the way. Although the SL works with SL mount lenses, it is also compatible with Leica T lenses (activating a 10 Megapixel APS-C crop mode), and through the use of adaptors will work with Leica S, Leica R and the eponymous Leica M mount range of lenses.
EVFs are becoming more commonplace in digital photography, especially since the quality improvements through the years have justified their inclusion as a viable replacement for the standard optical variety. The Electronic Viewfinder on the SL takes that argument up yet another notch by outputting a rather impressive 4.4-Million pixels to the eye of the beholder. The rear LCD still has its place, with the 2.95 inch one on the Leica SL having touch capabilities, and 170 degree tiltability.
Image capture is also bolstered by an autofocus system that at launch was touted as the fastest in a full-frame system camera, as well as 11 frame per second continuous shooting mode. Video capture is also packing some power in the form of 1080p capture at 120fps and 4K at 30fps
Showpiece features are joined by a massive range of great functionality in the addition of integrated Wi-Fi and GPS, ultrasonic sensor cleaning, dual SD card slots, weather sealed body and a whole host of accessories tailor made for this aesthetically delightful camera.
For a more in-depth look at the Leica SL, have a read of our blog where we took it for a short stroll through the streets of London!
Developed specifically for the Leica SL, the electronic viewfinder is the first of its kind to feature Leica EyeRes technology. With an imperceptible latency time, an impressive resolution of 4.4 million pixels and magnification reminiscent of a medium format camera, this electronic viewfinder offers an entirely new visual experience and numerous advantages: the final image is visible in the viewfinder before the shutter release is pressed, which enables optimum control over the final picture in any situation. The EyeRes viewfinder is activated simply by looking through it. In addition, the Leica SL features a 2.95” back panel display with a viewing angle of up to 170°, enabling reliable viewing of pictures and efficient touchscreen menu navigation.Maestro II processor for maximum performance
The high-performance Maestro II Series processor guarantees that photographers will never miss even the fastest-moving subject, and that the camera responds instantaneously to all commands. Combined with the 2GB buffer memory, the processor makes it possible to capture consecutive exposures at rates of up to 11 frames per second at full 24 MP resolution, and 4K video with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Pictures can be saved simultaneously to an SD card in both JPEG and DNG format, in line with the fast UHS II standard. Thanks to this exceptionally fast processor, the Leica SL achieves the best performance currently possible in the professional camera category, and further highlights the innovative nature of the camera.24 MP CMOS sensor for exceptional picture quality in 35 mm full-frame format
The Leica SL’s 24 MP CMOS full-frame sensor guarantees impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness, the highest resolution, and noise-free images in almost all lighting conditions. The shutter provides speeds from 30 minutes to 1/8000 sec. The sensor reveals its full potential in combination with Leica SL lenses, especially in available-light situations, and captivates users with atmospheric exposures in superior quality at ISO settings up to a maximum of 50,000. Furthermore, the Leica SL is optimised for use with Leica M-Lenses and, in addition to supporting all their functionality, delivers the excellent picture quality with which Leica has been synonymous for more than 100 years.The new movie star: professional video in cinematic resolution
The Leica SL is much more than a professional still-picture camera with video recording capability: it fulfils even the most stringent demands of moviemakers as a fully-fledged video camera. Thanks to its 24 MP CMOS sensor and high-performance Maestro II series processor, the Leica SL enables the production of professional videos in 4K resolution. Videos can be recorded in UHD at 30 frames per second or even in Cine4K at 24 frames per second. In full HD, the Leica SL records video at up to 120 frames per second and makes use of the entire sensor area. Here, the logical and intuitive handling of the camera makes a clear distinction between still- and motion-picture recording. As soon as the camera is in video mode, the display shows only the relevant information for video, such as safe area, aspect ratio, zebra function or the recording level of the microphone. An optional audio adapter allows the user to connect an external microphone and the audio recording level can be set without accessing the menu. Videos can be output in 4:2:2 10-bit format in 4K resolution over HDMI 1.4.Aluminium body for robust performance in everyday photography
From the beginning, resilience and durability were a key focus in the development of the Leica SL. Body components machined from solid aluminium, and precisely-engineered seals around the controls and in the lenses, provide optimum protection for the sensitive technology inside against dust, moisture and spray. Furthermore, the integrated ultrasonic sensor cleaning function removes dust and dirt from the sensor, when required. The glass covering the back panel display is extremely scratch-resistant and features an anti-reflex coating. All these properties make the camera an ideal tool for use in the challenging conditions faced by professional photographers on a daily basis.A new generation of lenses for excellent picture quality
The combination of outstanding imaging performance and the fastest autofocus currently available makes working with the Leica SL an entirely new experience, and enables photographers to produce images at a quality level never before seen in 35 mm format. In line with Leica’s high standards of production, the new Leica SL lenses are distinguished by superior optical and mechanical precision. With its wide range of focal lengths and high speed, the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. is the ideal standard zoom lens in the Leica SL-System portfolio, and will be available at launch. Following this comes the fast Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8–4, and the current lens portfolio is rounded off by the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. – the new reference lens for this focal length. Additional Leica SL lenses will follow.
Furthermore, the exceptional compatibility of the Leica SL-System gives photographers access to almost all Leica lenses ever made. For example, all lenses for the Leica T camera can be used without an adapter. In addition, appropriate adapters allow Leica S, M, and R system lenses and lenses from other manufacturers to be mounted on the Leica SL