Despite its downsides (see full review), the Leica SL is very solidly built and the image quality we obtained from the review camera is truly excellent. The touch-screen monitor works well and the EVF is the largest, brightest and sharpest we’ve encountered and a real joy to use. Its refresh rate is so fast you would think it was an optical finder; yet it has all the advantages of an EVF.
This camera makes a clear statement that mirrorless is the way of the future for Leica.
Announced on 20 October, 2015 the Leica SL (Typ 601) is the company’s first full-frame mirrorless camera with autofocus. It’s interesting because its lens mount accepts both SL and TL (cropped-frame) lenses, which means the camera offers both full-frame and APS-C recording modes. Internally, it has the same 24 megapixel CMOS sensor and Maestro II processor and the same 49-point contrast detection AF system as the Leica Q, which we reviewed in June 2015.
Angled view of the Leica SL camera, as reviewed, with the 24-90mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH. lens. (Source: Leica Camera.)
The SL is a big step up from Leica’s first mirrorless system camera, the Leica T (now renamed TL), which has an APS-C sized sensor and optional viewfinder. And it’s the most versatile and highest performing system Leica has made to date. With 4,400,000 dots, its 0.66-inch type, SXAG ‘EyeRes’ EVF boasts the highest resolution of any EVF in a ‘full frame’ camera and its high resolution and fast refresh rate make it a decent replacement for an optical viewfinder.
The camera was supplied with the Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. lens, the nearest thing to a ‘kit’ lens Leica offers.
Who’s it For?
The price of Leica equipment puts it out of the reach of many keen photographers, which is a pity because it’s usually very nice gear. The same high prices mean many Leica cameras and lenses will be bought for their investment value only and never fire a shot. Again, a great pity.
Still, if you can afford it, you’re likely to find the SL with the 24-90mm lens an inspiring combination to use once you’ve got the hang of the quirky controls. Like the Leica Q, gear like this motivates you to go out and take pictures and the end results encourage you to make prints.
Mirrorless cameras have significant advantages over SLRs. Without a reflex mirror, there is no viewfinder blackout and no vibration from mirror-slap when the shutter is triggered so in-focus shots are really sharp.
The EVF image accurately replicates the scene you will record before you trigger the shutter. This means you can frame movie shots in the viewfinder and see exactly what you’re shooting. Even lenses that don’t cover the entire image circle will produce a full-sized image in the EVF.
However, while most mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter than their DSLR equivalents, the SL and 24-90mm lens are not. They’re the largest and heaviest mirrorless partnership around. But then, you get gear that’s built to last and extensively weatherproofed which is not to be discounted.
Build and Ergonomics
As mentioned, the Leica SL is both large and heavy for a mirrorless camera. Machined from a solid block of aluminium, it boasts a new Leica L bayonet mount, which is designed to work with the dedicated SL-series of lenses and the older T/TL-series lenses, with which an APS-C crop is applied. The camera body has extensive weatherproof sealing, shown in the illustration below.
The diagram above shows the weatherproof seals in the Leica SL body and 24-90mm lens. (Source: Leica Camera.)
Most of the controls are unlabelled, which means first-time users face a steep learning curve. The front panel is relatively unencumbered, with a silver lens release button low down between the left side of the lens mount and the grip moulding.
Front view of the Leica SL with no lens fitted. (Source: Leica Camera.)
Above it lies a black, lozenge-shaped button with a default setting for depth-of-field preview, which is also programmable to handle other functions. In the top right hand corner of the front panel are the self-timer LED and the white balance sensor.
An important feature on the top panel is the 1.28-inch monochrome LCD data panel, which displays the camera’s status and settings. It’s located just right of the EVF housing, as shown in the illustration below.
The top panel of the Leica SL with the 24-90mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH. lens fitted. (Source: Leica Camera.)
A large GPS antenna is located to the left of the EVF housing on the top panel. If it can receive signals from at least three of the 24 communications satellites that orbit Earth it will embed the camera’s latitude and longitude in the EXIF metadata of each image shot. It can be turned on and off in the camera’s setup menu, which is useful since it draws power from the battery.
To the right of the LCD data panel is a large top dial, which is used with the click wheel on the rear panel to change camera settings. The silver shutter button sits well forward on the grip and controls a mechanical shutter that is rated for 2 years or 200,000 releases.
There’s also an electronic shutter with speeds between 1/12500 second and 1/16000 second and Bulb exposures can extend to 30 minutes. When you half-press the shutter button, the data LCD shows the distance to the focus point and also the back and front focus points.
Behind the top dial are two small buttons; on the left for accessing exposure compensation and on the right (with a central red dot), the video release button. By default, the camera is set up to switch automatically between the EVF and monitor, based on signals from the proximity sensor in the viewfinder eyepiece. The sensitivity of the sensor can be changed in the setup menu and the display preferences can be set by pressing the button.
Rear view of the Leica SL with the main menu page displayed. (Source: Leica Camera.)
The SL’s rear panel is dominated by the viewfinder and monitor. The EVF is a 0.66-inch 4,400,000-dot LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) panel with 100% frame coverage. It provides a magnification ratio of 0.80x, a refresh rate of 60fps and a 22mm eyepoint.
The circular eyepiece is surrounded by soft rubber padding that makes it usable by people who wear glasses, although you may need to set the sensitivity of the eye sensor to high to trigger auto switching. A large rotating ring behind it provides -4 to +2 of dioptre correction, while the eye sensor is located just above the entry pupil.
The monitor screen falls just short of the standard 3-inch diagonal measurement and has a 3:2 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. Its surface is coated to resist scratches and fingerprints and it has the same touch-screen capabilities as the monitor on the Leica Q.
Two rectangular menu control/function buttons line up on each side of the monitor screen. Unfortunately, they aren’t easy to operate while holding the camera to your eye and they have some significant limitations, which are outlined in the Controls section below.
Above the monitor you’ll find (from left): the power on/off lever, a programmable function button and a joystick, which is used as an alternative to the click wheel for navigating the menus. The click wheel is half-embedded in the top right corner of the rear panel.
Below the click wheel is the cover for the memory card compartment, which contains two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots. The upper slot supports UHS-II cards, while the lower one is only compatible with the UHS-I standard. The camera can be configured to write to both cards simultaneously or use slot 2 after slot 1 is full. Unfortunately, you can’t set up the camera to record JPEGs to one card and raw files to another or to record still shots to one card and movies to another
On the opposite side panel you’ll find the interface ports. At the top is the flash sync socket, below it a single interface for the remote control, headphone and external microphone. A Type A HDMI socket sits just below, followed by the USB 3.0 Micro Type B port.
On the base plate, the battery slips into a compartment in the grip moulding, which is unlocked via a lever to its right. There’s also an interface connection for the optional HG-SCL4 Multifunctional Handgrip, which holds a second battery as well as a standard 1/4-inch tripod socket and a hole for a ‘rotation prevention pin’.
The 8.4V 1860mAh BP-SCL4 rechargeable lithium-ion battery is CIPA rated for approximately 400 shots per charge. This is about average for a mirrorless camera with a similarly-rated battery and nothing to write home about. The battery charger automatically switches to the mains power source it’s plugged into.
We have some concerns about the design of the battery because the cover to the battery compartment is actually part of the battery itself. This means when you remove the battery to recharge it, contaminants can enter the battery compartment unless you take steps to prevent this from happening by putting the camera body in a dust-excluding bag. It’s one of the reasons (the other being menu access) we’ve down-rated the build quality of the camera, which is in all other respects a solid metal brick.
The unconventional control layout presents a challenge to new users and requires users familiar with the controls to allow for the processes needed to re-set and adjust camera functions. Unfortunately, neither the dials nor the buttons are labelled so you need to refer to the manual to find out how they work.
The top and rear dials have multiple operations, although they are mainly used for adjusting exposure settings. However the semi-embedded rear click wheel is also used to select the shooting mode; you have to press it in and turn it to scroll through the P, A, T and M settings which are displayed in the data LCD on the top panel.
The two buttons on the top panel toggle between stills and movie shooting modes and it’s deceptively easy to select the wrong one inadvertently. The functions of the unlabelled, ‘soft keys’ that flank the monitor vary, depending on whether you press them briefly (short press) or hold them down (long press).
By default, a short press on the top left (TL) button brings up the menu screen. When this mode is displayed, you can access the image settings (resolution, quality, white balance, etc.) by pressing the bottom left (BL) button, while the top right (TR) button accesses the Favourites settings (if any have been registered) while the bottom right (BR) button opens the setup menu. If you customise these keys you have to remember which setting you applied to each button.
We found accessing the menu system requires several button presses ““ and there are separate buttons for opening the Camera, Image and Setup sub-menus. The organisation of these menus is not necessarily intuitive so you have to remember which items are in which menu.
On the whole, we found these controls frustrating to use ““ even after we had restored the default settings. Most of the time we had to press the TL button several times just to get the top menu to display. This meant we were effectively flying blind (relying on previous camera settings which were made before the camera was last switched off) when we had to shoot in a hurry.
Sensor and Image Processing
The sensor and processor in the Leica SL are essentially the same as in the Leica Q and covered in our review of that camera. However, whereas the Leica Q provided three cropped formats to achieve different zoom ratios from the fixed focal length lens, the SL provides only two: 36 x 24 mm and 23.6 x 15.7 mm (APS-C).
When lenses designed for the Leica TL system are fitted, the camera will automatically switch to the smaller format. However, users can make the switch manually with SL lenses, if desired. The APS-C crop reduces the angle of view of lenses by approximately 66%. This function can be assigned to the Favourites menu.
The SL also provides six aspect ratio settings: the native 3:2 plus 7:5, 4:3, 1:1, 3:1 and 16:9. We only found the first and last of these useful.
Other differences between the two cameras are relatively small. The SL offers a slightly lower ISO of 50 (compared with ISO 100 in the Q) but both sensitivity ranges top out at ISO 50,000.
Continuous shooting speeds are slightly higher in the SL, at 11 fps, compared with 10 fps in the Q. The buffer capacity is also greater, claiming 30 RAW+JPEG pairs, compared with 14 in the Leica Q.
Raw files are always saved at the maximum resolution, using the ‘universal’ DNG format, which can be processed with any conversion software. JPEGs can be saved at 24MP, 12MP or 6MP resolution, although there’s no way to adjust the compression levels. A typical raw file is between 41 and 42.5 megabytes in size, while 24-megapixel JPEGs range from about 5.5 to 6.5 megabytes, indicating a compression ratio of about 7:1.
Whereas the Leica Q was restricted to Full HD 1080p video recording, the Leica SL supports Cinema 4K at 4096 x 2160 pixels with a frame rate of 24 fps and regular 3840 x 2160 pixel 4K recording. Users can choose between MP4 and MOV recording formats.
You need a UHS-II compatible SD card to record 4K footage and it must be installed in the top SD slot. The table below shows the recording options available. (Note: all video is recorded with progressive scanning.)
Frame rate MP4 format
Frame rate MOV format
4096 x 2160 pixels
3840 x 2160 pixels
1920 x 1080 pixels
120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
1280 x 720 pixels
120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
The movie settings are located in the Image sub-menu and you have to toggle to the end of it to find them. Most settings available for shooting stills are supported when recording movies, although the slowest usable shutter speed is 1/30 second. Users can also opt for either ALL-I or IPB compression with the Full HD and HD resolutions for the 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p frame rates.
Recordings start when the video button is pressed and end when it’s pressed again. A flashing red dot in the top right corner of the frame shows recording is in progress. The elapsed time is also displayed in the black cropped area at the top of the frame, while the total pictures remaining is shown in the bottom right corner.
By default, movies are recorded in the sRGB colour space, which is supported by the majority of playback devices. Recordings can continue for up to 29 minutes per clip.
Video Gamma L-Log is available for users who want a ‘flat’ colour space with very unsaturated colors and a narrow dynamic range for pro-level post processing. You can preview this effect in the viewfinder and check how other settings will impact on movie recordings by briefly pressing the LV button.
Contrast, sharpness and saturation can be tweaked individually for video recordings and digital stabilisation can be applied to compensate for camera shake with both unstabilised and stabilised lenses. This function must be set separately for movie recordings.
Time coding is also supported, with a choice between Free Run and Rec Run modes plus a setting where each recording starts with 00:00:00. Users can also define start points individually with the Manual setting.
Capture Assistants are provided in the setup menu for users who want to switch to a different aspect ratio when recording movies. They can also help select appropriate framing guidelines and display any of four ‘safety margins’ that show where the edges of scenes could be cut off.
The default sensitivity setting for movies is Auto ISO, although users can determine the ISO limit values and maximum exposure time and switch Floating ISO on and off in the setup submenu. Except for the high-speed 120 fps and 100 fps settings, movies are automatically recorded with audio, although recording can be switched off. A Wind Elimination filter is available in the Video Settings sub-menu for suppressing wind noise.
If you want to add an external microphone or headphones for monitoring audio levels, you’ll need the optional AA-SCL-4 Audio Adapter. However, you can output video directly from the camera to an external recorder via the HDMI port and gain the advantage of 10-bit recording. Video recorded to the memory cards is always at 8-bit depth.
Still pictures can be captured while recording movie clips but doing so will interrupt the recording. The SL also supports time-lapse and interval recording of still pictures, but only to a memory card. Shots captured in these modes are saved as a group.
The Leica SL comes with integrated Wi-Fi and GPS encoding. To use the Wi-Fi you need the Leica SL App, which is available for Android and iOS devices. The camera is not NFC enabled, although a QR code is provided to simplify connections for users of Android devices.
Users can also opt to set up the connection manually, choosing between the Remote Control by App setting, or working through a browser with the Web Server setting. Both connections allow remote controlled shooting and reviewing of images as well as saving them to the smart device.
You can also connect the camera to a computer (or other device) within the same WLAN network by opening an internet browser and typing in the URL displayed by the camera. This allows you to save image files in DNG format, which is otherwise not possible. Standard SSID security encryption methods can be applied.
The built-in GPS antenna enables the camera to receive location data from satellites orbiting the Earth. It requires a line-of-sight path to at least three of satellites for an accurate triangulation. Latitude and longitude information are recorded in the EXIF metadata in image and movie files, when the system is active (shown by an icon on the monitor screen). However, like all GPS systems, it draws power from the battery and will dramatically reduce its capacity with prolonged usage.
Still photos and movie clips recorded with the review camera and the supplied 24-90mm f/2.8-4 lens were very much as we expected from Leica equipment. Subjective assessments of test shots and movie clips showed them to be very sharp and detailed with a good dynamic range, robust contrast and natural-looking colours.
JPEG files straight from the camera were marginally softer than their equivalents from converted DNG.RAW files. We suspect this may be due to moirø© reduction processing, which isn’t applied to raw files. Interestingly, the colour balance was virtually identical in both the DNG.RAW and JPEG test shots we recorded, regardless of the subjects or lighting in which they were captured. Our Imatest tests confirmed this assessment.
Metering was generally accurate and all three patterns delivered a good balance between highlight and shadow detail most of the time. However, we noticed some highlight clipping in JPEGs recorded in bright, contrasty lighting with the default settings, although setting exposure compensation to -0.3EV went part of the way to correcting this. (You can often recover shadow details from JPEG files but once lost, highlight details cannot be restored.)
Imatest showed that the camera and lens exceeded expectations for the sensor’s resolution across a wide range of focal length and aperture settings. Full details can be found in our review of the 24-90mm lens. The highest resolution was obtained at the 35mm focal length with an aperture setting of f/3.5 at ISO 100.
Resolution remained relatively high throughout most of the review camera’s sensitivity range, with a gradual decline as sensitivity was increased. The results are shown in the graph of our test results below.
The DNG.RAW files from the review camera were able to preserve detail and tolerate noise-reduction processing slightly better than the in-camera JPEGs at ISO settings up to ISO 12500. However, long exposures taken at night began to reveal noise at ISO 6400 in JPEG files and both contrast and colour saturation deteriorated as sensitivity was increased.
By ISO 12500, noise had become noticeable and we wouldn’t recommend using the highest ISO settings for anything other than small prints ““ and even then, only in emergencies. DNG.RAW files at these settings retained a little more colour saturation and contrast than JPEGs, although noise was just as visible in them.
Interestingly, the review camera wouldn’t save files captured at ISO 50000 when exposures longer than half a second were used. This was the only setting at which this happened and, since there’s nothing in the user manual to explain it, we don’t know whether it’s an artefact of the review camera or it applies to all models.
Autofocusing was something of a mixed bag. When it worked, in normal light levels it was very fast and accurate, both with normal shooting and when the touch screen was used to set the focus position. However, we often found the camera was slow to activate AF when it was started up and we frequently had to wait for several seconds until the camera got it going. Once the system was active, it remained so until the camera was switched off but the delay recurred when the camera was switched on again.
We found it easy to move the AF point around the screen with the joystick control, both when using the EVF and in Live View mode. Unfortunately, the AF frame doesn’t provide quite enough brightness and contrast to make it easily discernible from the background in Live View mode, although the frame glows clearly in red when the area is out of focus and a little less clearly in green when focus is achieved.
Autofocusing became much slower when we took our night shots and tested the camera’s low-light performance. Although the camera and lens were able to focus in very low light levels, achieving focus involved a lot of hunting.
Half-pressing the shutter button caused the AF system to scan the scene, moving back and forth across the focusing range. When it found an edge to focus on, it did so accurately; but the process could take several seconds. Again, since there’s nothing in the user manual to explain it, we can’t say whether this is a quirk of the review camera or applies to all models.
Manual focusing was reasonably easy, provided there was enough light to see where to focus. However, magnifying the image in manual focus mode requires multiple pressings of the BL button, which is time consuming. Also, you can only view the full screen to check focus when the camera is set for DNG+JPEG shooting. You can’t enlarge the subject for focus checking in movie mode.
The SL provides 12 white balance settings, ranging from Auto through to three manual settings, one by measuring a target point, another by metering and the third through Kelvin temperature settings. There are two pre-sets for fluorescent lighting and one for halogen lamps as well as the normal sunny, cloudy, shady, tungsten and flash settings. There is no preset for LED lighting.
The auto white balance setting failed to compensate for the warm cast of incandescent lighting but provided good corrections for our fluorescent and LED lights. We weren’t able to test the flash performance due to the lack of a flashgun. Both the tungsten and fluorescent pre-sets over-corrected, the latter quite substantially. Manual measurement delivered neutral colours under all three types of lighting.
We couldn’t see any difference between movies recorded in MP4 and MOV formats so we’ve provided a mixture in the frame grabs at the end of our image Samples section. Video quality was generally very good, particularly with the two 4K settings, although the camera showed a tendency to clip highlights a little in bright conditions in much the same way as it did for still shots.
To overcome these difficulties, the Video Gamma L-Log profile delivers ‘flat’ camera footage that should be suitable for post-processing. The substantial reduction in contrast and saturation makes it unsuitable for normal playback.
Provided it was engaged, the AF system proved able to keep pace with subject movements, even when they moved quickly across the field of view. Exposures were usually quick to re-adjust when light levels changed during a recording.
Soundtracks were clear with a satisfactory stereo presence, considering the sizes and separations of the tiny in-camera microphones. However, in still conditions low-level interference from focusing and zooming was virtually inevitable, although the wind-reduction filter did a good job of suppressing wind noise.
We carried out our timing tests with a Lexar Media Professional SDXC UHS-II U3 Class 10 cards, which is fast enough to support 4K movie recording at the highest bit rates the camera supports. The review camera took almost two seconds to power-up for the first shot and then a further two to three seconds to engage autofocusing.
Autofocus lag averaged 0.2 seconds for JPEGs but just under 0.1 seconds for DNG.RAW files. Shot-to-shot times were consistently 0.45 seconds for DNG.RAW files and 0.5 seconds for JPEGs.
Processing times for both JPEGs and DNG.RAW files averaged 4.6 seconds. In the high-speed sequential shooting mode, the review camera was able to record 117 Large/Superfine JPEGs in 11.9 seconds before capture rates slowed, which works out at a frame rate of just under 10 fps. It took more than 30 seconds to process this burst.
On changing to DNG.RAW format, the review camera was able to record 35 frames in 3.3 seconds, representing a frame rate of roughly 11 fps, as specified. It took almost 60 seconds to process this burst.
The buffer capacity was reduced to 32 frames when DNG+JPEG mode was selected and recording stopped after 3.1 seconds, which means the capture rate was not affected. It took well over a minute to process this burst.
While the Leica SL is very solidly built and a superior imaging performer, it has a few downsides that will deter potential purchasers. The first is the price tag; few photo enthusiasts can afford to invest almost AU$18,000 in a camera plus one lens. For professionals, it’s another story and, if the equipment will do what you want, this investment is justifiable and you’ll get equipment that will last a lifetime and withstand challenging environments.
Then there’s the issue of weight. When you add together the 850 gram camera body (with battery and cards included) and the 1,140 gram lens, you’ll be carrying a total weight of just under two kilograms. And that’s without the camera bag you’ll need to protect your investment and any other items you want to add. (And mirrorless cameras are supposed to be lighter than DSLRs!)
We also had some issues with the balance of the camera and lens combination. In our opinion, the 24-90mm f/2.8-4.0 lens is a bit too heavy to be comfortable on the SL body. Maybe it would work better if the camera’s grip was deeper, although probably not since the grip is already pretty deep. Perhaps the addition of a battery grip could improve the overall balance, although that would add extra weight. We don’t know the solution but it’s something potential buyers should keep in mind.
There’s also the issue of lenses to consider. So far there are only three dedicated lenses: the 24-90mm f/2.8-4.0 lens we’ve reviewed plus a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens and a 90″“280 mm
f/2.8″“4.0 zoom lens. While these three lenses will cover the main subject types for most users, some photographers would like more choice.
Those who opt to use the T-series lenses will have to accept the associated APS-C crop frame size (which may or may not be advantageous). Any Leica lenses with the L-bayonet mount plus M-Lenses, S-Lenses, R-Lenses and Leica Cine series lenses can be fitted to the camera via adaptors, although this isn’t always an ideal solution.
Finally, there’s the user interface, which takes some getting used to. Initially, we didn’t like it at all and missed the direct dials for shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO that are found on many modern cameras.
However, given time, we were able to operate the camera reasonably efficiently, although there were a few times when inadvertent button presses changed settings without our being aware of the adjustments. We also concluded that having to toggle through three or four settings to change frequently-adjusted functions like ISO and drive settings can cause you to miss spur-of-the-moment shots.
Autofocusing performance may also be an issue to some potential buyers and we’d advise them to do some hands-on checking before committing. The fact that the user manual is deficient in essential information about the performance to expect from the camera is also of concern.
On the positive side, the image quality we obtained from the review camera is truly excellent and goes a good way towards justifying its high price tag. The touch-screen monitor works well and the EVF is the largest, brightest and sharpest we’ve encountered and a real joy to use. Its refresh rate is so fast you would think it was an optical finder; yet it has all the advantages of an EVF.
Essentially, the decision to buy this camera and lens boils down to whether it suits you and whether you can justify the investment. The Leica SL makes a clear statement that mirrorless is the way of the future for the company ““ and for that alone we can be thankful.
Image sensor: 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor with IR-Filter but no low-pass filter, 24 megapixels effective
Image processor: Leica Maestro II series
A/D processing: 14 bit (DNG), 8 bit (JPEG)
Lens mount: Leica L-Mount (bayonet)
Focal length crop factor: 1x
Image formats: Stills – JPEG, DNG.RAW, RAW+JPEG; movies – MP4, MOV
Image Sizes: Stills ““ 35mm format: 6000 x 4000, 4272 x 2848, 2976 x 1984; APS-C format: 3936 x 2624, 2736 x 1824, 1920 x 1280; Movies: 4K (4096 x 2160) @ 24 fps; 4K (3840 x 2160) @ 25 and 30 fps; 1080p @ 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 120 fps; 720p @ 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 120 fps
Image Stabilisation: Lens based
Dust removal: Provided
Shutter (speed range): Focal plane shutter with 1/8000 to 60 second shutter speeds, time exposures up to 30 min; shutter mechanism rated for 2 years or 200,000 releases; Electronic shutter available to cover exposures from 1/12500 second to 1/16000 second.
Exposure Compensation: +/- 3EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
Exposure bracketing: 3/5/7 images in 1/2/3 aperture steps; additional direct JPEG-HDR
Other bracketing options: None
Self-timer: 2 or 12 seconds delay
Focus system: Contrast AF with 37 or 49 Fields, Point, Field, Zone (9 Fields) area selection
Focus modes: AF-S (focus priority), AF-C (shutter priority), Static, Dynamic (tracking), Auto (face detection), MF, Touch-AF; optional setting/shutter release by touching the monitor; magnification and focus peaking aids for manual focusing
Exposure metering: Center weighted, Multi zone, Spot metering patterns
Shooting modes: P, A, S and M
Colour space options: Adobe RGB, ECI RGB, sRGB
ISO range: Auto, ISO 50″“ISO 50000
White balance: Preset Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, HMI (5600 K), Fluorescent warm, Fluorescent cool, Flash, Grey card, Manual colour temperature 2000 K to 11500 K
Flash: External only; Standard X-jack, Hot shoe with Sync. and TTL-Mode contacts; X-synch at 1/250 seconds
Sequence shooting: Max. 11 shots/sec.
Buffer capacity: Max. 33 RAW files or 30 RAW+JPEG pairs
Storage Media: 2 GB internal memory plus dual slots for SD, SDHC, SDXC cards; SD 1 slot (UHS II) with maximum writing speed 100 MB/s, SD 2 slot (UHS I) with maximum writing speed 30 MB/s
Viewfinder: 0.66-inch type, SXAG screen with 4,400,000 dots, 20 mm eyepoint 37 degree FOV, 100% frame coverage, 0.8x magnification, -4 to +2 dioptre adjustment, eye sensor
LCD monitor: 2.95-inch Touch-sensitive, Back light LED with Anti-fingerprint and Anti-scratch coating; 1,040,000 dots; 3:2 aspect ratio; View angle: 170 °; 16 Million colours; Frame coverage: 100 %
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 ø— 3, 6 ø— 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 %)
Playback functions: Protect/delete, auto/manual rotate, index view (12 or 30 thumbnails), scrolling, group display mode for time-lapse and continuous bursts of shots, slideshow, magnify/reduce, movie playback with volume control and trimming.
Interface terminals: 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 centre and control contacts for flash units; Standard X-jack; Multifunctional interface in baseplate for optional handgrip
Wi-Fi function: Built in, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.5 GHz)
Power supply: 1860 mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack; CIPA rated for approx. 400 shots/charge; Charging time: approx. 180 min
Dimensions (wxhxd): 147 x 104 x 39 mm
Weight: Approx. 770grams (body only); 850 grams with battery and card
Distributor: Leica Camera Australia http://en.leica-camera.com/
Based on JPEG files from the review camera.
Based on DNG.RAW files converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
Auto white balance with LED lighting.
ISO 50, 30 second exposure at f/4.5; 50mm focal length.
ISO 100, 30 second exposure at f/7.1; 50mm focal length.
ISO 800, 10 second exposure at f/7.1; 50mm focal length.
ISO 6400, 4 second exposure at f/10; 50mm focal length.
ISO 12500, 2.5 second exposure at f/10; 50mm focal length.
ISO 25000, 2.5 second exposure at f/14; 50mm focal length.
ISO 50000, 1/2 second exposure at f/9; 50mm focal length.
30mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/7.1.
24mm focal length; ISO 200, 1/30 second at f/8.
63mm focal length; ISO 500, 1/60 second at f/9.
90mm focal length; ISO 3200, 1/80 second at f/8.
90mm focal length; ISO 6400, 1/80 second at f/4.
90mm focal length; ISO 640, 1/80 second at f/4.
47mm focal length; ISO 400, 1/50 second at f/7.1.
90mm focal length; ISO 1250, 1/80 second at f/6.3..
33mm focal length; ISO 3200, 1/20 second at f/8.
81mm focal length; ISO 3200, 1/80 second at f/5.6.
24mm focal length; ISO 6400, 1/25 second at f/5.
55mm focal length; ISO 6400, 1/50 second at f/3.6.
36mm focal length; ISO 5000, 1/40 second at f/4.5.
31mm focal length; ISO 6400, 1/20 second at f/5.6.
73mm focal length; ISO 25000, 1/60 second at f/8.
45mm focal length; ISO 6400, 1/40 second at f/6.3.
67mm focal length; ISO 1000, 1/40 second at f/5.6.
90mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/80 second at f/11.
16:9 aspect ratio; 90mm focal length; ISO 80, 1/80 second at f/11.
Still frame from Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) movie clip recorded in MP4 format at 24 fps.
Still frame from Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) movie clip recorded in MP4 format at 24 fps with the ‘flat’ Video Gamma L-Log profile.
Still frame from 4K (3840 x 2160) movie clip recorded in MP4 format at 25 fps.
Still frame from Full HD (1920 x 1080) movie clip recorded in MP4 format at 100 fps.
Still frame from Full HD movie clip recorded in MOV format at 50 fps.
Still frame from Full HD movie clip recorded in MP4 format at 50 fps.
Still frame from Full HD movie clip recorded in MOV format at 25 fps.
Still frame from HD (1280 x 720) movie clip recorded in MOV format at 50 fps.
Still frame from HD movie clip recorded in MOV format at 25 fps.
Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24″“90 mm f/2.8″“4 ASPH. lens.
RRP: AU$11,000; US$7,450
- Build: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.2
- Autofocusing: 8.5
- Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
- Still image quality RAW: 9.1
- Video quality: 9.0