Leica has announced the development of a new camera system, based on a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and ‘perfectly matched components’.


Front view of the new Leica SL camera with the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90″“280 mm f/2.8″“4 lens. (Source: Leica.)

The new Leica SL camera appears to be an evolution of last year’s Leica T with key imaging components, including the 24-megapixel image sensor, derived from the more recent fixed-lens Leica Q. A key feature of the new camera is its new electronic viewfinder, which is the first to feature Leica EyeRes technology. With a resolution of 4.4 million pixels and a 0.8x magnification similar to that of a medium format camera, this electronic viewfinder boasts a latency time ‘below the threshold of perception’ and can display the final image just before shutter release is pressed, for optimum shooting control. The new camera also has a 2.95-inch, 1,040,000-dot touch-screen monitor with a viewing angle of up to 170 degrees.


Rear view of the Leica SL. (Source: Leica.)

The 24-megapixel CMOS full-frame sensor is paired with a high-performance Maestro II series processor which, together with a 2GB buffer memory makes it possible to capture consecutive exposures at rates of up to 11 frames per second at full resolution.  Pictures can be saved simultaneously to an SD memory card as both JPEG and DNG.RAW files, in line with the fast UHS II standard. The new camera also supports ISO settings up to a maximum of 50,000 and is optimised for use with Leica M-Lenses.

The Leica SL also supports 4K video and can record video in UHD format at 30 frames/second (fps) as well as in Cine4K at 24 fps. With full HD resolution frame rates of up to 120 fps are supported while using the entire sensor area. Once the camera is in video mode, the display shows only relevant information for video recording, such as safe area, aspect ratio, zebra function or the recording level of the microphone. An optional audio adapter allows users 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.

In line with the company’s production standards, the Leica SL’s body components are machined from solid aluminium and precisely sealed against dust, moisture and splashes. Integrated ultrasonic sensor cleaning removes dust and dirt from the sensor. The glass covering the back panel display is extremely scratch-resistant and features an anti-reflection coating.  


The Leica SL, shown with the first three lenses to be developed specifically for the camera. (Source: Leica.)

Leica is developing a new generation of lenses specific to the Leica SL, which combine superior optical and mechanical precision. The first to be released is the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24″“90 mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH., a fast standard zoom lens. It will be followed by the fast Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90″“280 mm f/2.8″“4 and the initial portfolio will be rounded off by the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH., the new reference lens for this focal length. Further Leica SL lenses will follow. 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.

The Leica SL (Type 601) body will be on sale from 16 November 2015 at an RRP of AU$11,000. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24″“90 mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH. zoom lens will be available at the same time for RRP AU$6900. Further Leica SL lenses will follow. The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2,8-4/90-280mm ASPH will be available Q2/2016, and the Leica Summilux-SL 1:1,4/50mm ASPH. will be available Q4/2016. For a list of local stockists, visit http://en.leica-camera.com/Stores-Dealers/Leica-dealer-locator.

Technical Data                                                                     LEICA SL (Typ 601)


Lens Mount:                                                                           Leica L-Mount

Applicable lenses:                                                         Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24″“90 mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH.

Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90″“280 mm f/2.8″“4

Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH.

Lenses from the Leica T Camera System, Leica M-Lenses with Leica M-Adapter T, Leica S-Lenses with

Leica S-Adapter L, Leica R-Lenses with Leica R-Adapter L and Leica Cine lenses with Leica PL-Adapter L.


Type:                                                                                                   24-MP-CMOS-Sensor (24 x 36 mm)

Resolution:                                                                             Full Frame (24 MP): 6000 x 4000 Pixel, APS-C (10 MP): 3936 x 2624 Pixel

Filter:                                                                                                 IR-Filter, no Lowpass Filter

ISO:                                                                                                       ISO 50″“ISO 50000

Sensor Cleaning:                                                             Provided


Type:                                                                                                   Leica Maestro II series

Internal RAM:                                                                                             2 GB: 33 DNGs or 30 JPEGs and DNGs


Image Data Format:                                                   JPEG, DNG

Colour depth:                                                                         14 bit (DNG), 8 bit (JPEG)

JPEG:                                                                                                 Color Space Adobe RGB, ECI RGB, sRGB


File Format:                                                                             MP4, MOV

Resolution:                                                                             4K (4096 x 2160) @ 24 fps; 4K (3840 x 2160) @ 25 and 30 fps; 1080 @ 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 120 fps;

720 @ 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 120 fps

Bitrate:                                                                                             8 bit (recording); 10 bit (HDMI not recording)

Color sampling:                                                                 4:2:2/10 bit (HDMI only); 4:2:0/8 bit (recording on                                                                                                                                               SD card)

Video:                                                                                                                       V-Log L gamma selectable

Audio:                                                                                             Manual/Auto; Stereo microphone, 48 kHz, 16 bit; Wind elimination

Audio external via Audio-Adapter:   Audio-In (3.5 mm phone jack), Audio-Out (3.5 mm phone jack)

Movie Length:                                                                     Max. duration: 29 min, Max. size: 4 GB


Resolution:                                                                               SXAG, 4.4 MP

Size:                                                                                                     0.66″

Eye Point:                                                                                   20 mm

Field of View:                                                                                             37 °

Magnification:                                                                     x 0.80 (With 50 mm lens at infinity, −1 dpt)

Frame coverage:                                                               100 %

Diopter correction:                                                       − 4 to +2

Eye Sensor:                                                                             Yes

Live View:                                                                             Operating Modes: Video- and Photo-Live-View separated; Frame rate: up to 60 fps; Exposure simulation available,

Optional information: Focus Peaking, Histogram, Clipping/Zebra, Level, Grid Overlay (3 x 3, 6 x 4), Aspect Ratio (1.33:1; 1.66:1; 1.78:1; 1.85:1; 2.35:1; 2.4:1), Safe Area (80 %; 90 %; 92.5 %; 95 %)

Storage:                                                                                     SD 1 slot (UHS II) with maximum writing speed 100 MB/s, SD 2 slot (UHS I) with maximum writing speed 30 MB/s


Type:                                                                                                   Contrast AF

Focus Modes:                                                                     AF-S (focus priority), AF-C (shutter priority), MF, Touch-AF

AF Modes:                                                                                 Static, Dynamic (tracking), Auto (face detection)

AF Size:                                                                                         Point, Field, Zone (9 Fields)

AF Steps:                                                                                     37 or 49 Fields

AF Assist Lamp:                                                             Built in


Exposure Modes:                                                             Program Mode (P), Shutter speed priority mode (T),

Aperture priority mode (A) and manual mode (M)

Exposure Metering Modes:                             Center weighted, Multi zone, Spot

Exposure Compensation:                                   ±3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV-steps

Exposure Bracketing:                                             3/5/7 images in 1/2/3 aperture steps; additional direct JPEG-HDR

White Balance:                                                               Preset Auto, Daylight 5200 K, Cloudy 6000 K, Shade 7000 K, Tungsten 3200 K, HMI 5600 K, Fluorescent warm 4000 K, Fluorescent cool 4500 K, Flash 5400 K, Greycard, Manual color temperature 2000 K to 11500 K


Type:                                                                                                   Focal plane shutter

Drive Modes:                                                                       Single, Continuous slow S (4 fps), Continuous medium M (7 fps), Continuous fast F (11 fps), Self timer 2 s, Self timer 12 s, Interval, Exposure Bracketing, Time exposures up to 30 min

Shutter speed:                                                                     1/8000 s to 60 s, time exposures up to 30 min, Max. frame rate 11 fps,

Warranty:                                                                                   2 years or 200,000 releases


Interface:                                                                                   Standard X-jack, Hot shoe with Sync. and TTL-Mode contacts

X-Synchronisation:                                                     1/250 s

Wi-Fi:                                                                                               Built in, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.5 GHz)

GPS:                                                                                                   Built in, Automatic time and date, Sensitivity < 1 °

Power supply:                                                                   Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, Nominal voltage 8.4 V, Capacity at least 1860 mAh; Lifetime per charge (CIPA): approx. 400 shots; Charging time: approx. 180 min; Charger: 100″“240 V 50/60 Hz 0.25 A with adapters

Touch Screen:                                                                   2.95-inch Touch Back light LED with Anti-fingerprint and Anti-scratch coating; 1.04 Mio. pixels; Format 3:2; View angle: 170 °; Colors: 16 Million; Frame coverage: 100 %

Top Display:                                                                         1.28-inch highly reflective monochrome LCD; 128 x 128 dots; View angle 120 °; Anti-fingerprint coating


Material:                                                                                       Milled Aluminium

Dust/Spray water sealing:                                 Provided

Interfaces:                                                                                 USB 3.0 Micro Type B; HDMI Type A; Multi connector adapter for Audio-Out 3.5 mm/Audio-In 3.5 mm; Multi

Connector cable release; ISO accessory shoe with center and control contacts for flash units; Standard X-jack;

Multifunctional interface in baseplate for optional handgrip

Tripod threat:                                                                       A 1/4 DIN 4503 (1/4″) with anti-twist locking pin

Dimensions/Weight:                                                 147 x 104 x 39 mm (W x H x D)/

approx. 771/847 g (with/without battery)

Working conditions:                                                 Approx. 0 °”“ 40 °C, max. 85 % humidity

Scope of delivery:                                                       Camera body, Camera strap, Lens mount cap, Battery, Battery Charger with international adapter, USB 3.0-cable, Manual, Warranty Card, Leica Lens cleaning tissue

Software:                                                                                 Remote Control (USB): Leica Image Shuttle SL; Remote Control (Wi-Fi): Leica SL app (Android/iOS)