Industry News

Industry News: Leica announces the Leica SL2

New camera resets the tone for the mirrorless market

November 6, 2019 – Building on the foundation established in 2015 with the visionary Leica SL-System, Leica Camera proudly introduces the Leica SL2, the storied brand’s new icon and next evolutionary step towards building the perfect all-purpose camera. By listening closely to the valued feedback of photographers and existing SL owners, Leica made many efforts to push the envelope of technological innovation and performance while respecting its heritage of design and legacy. In addition to a technical marvel of pure performance and unmatched build quality, the Leica SL2 is also a joyous experience to use with improved ergonomics and more comfortable grip married to the well-established, simplified three-button control layout, further unifying the Leica design language across multiple product lines. While cutting-edge new features such as in-body image stabilization unlocks newfound potential from legendary Leica M-Lenses, it simultaneously augments the growing selection of SL-Lenses which are some of the finest optics Leica has ever produced. The Leica SL2 is the natural evolution of the innovative Leica SL, serving as a groundbreaking embrace of the future of digital photography and videography while paying homage to its respected history and lineage.

Preorder the Leica SL2 at Adorama

CMOS sensor with 47 megapixels for superior image quality

The unprecedented resolution of the SL2’s CMOS image sensor in full-frame format results in an unparalleled level of detail rendition and image quality. Enormous dynamic range, a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel and a sensitivity of up to ISO 50,000 enable outstanding image quality in all lighting conditions. Even when combined with Leica TL lenses, which are designed for the smaller sensor format of the Leica TL2 and CL, the SL2’s sensor still delivers an excellent image resolution of over 20 megapixels.

Optical image stabilization through sensor-shift technology

In a major evolution of the SL, the Leica SL2 features a suspended sensor which adjusts its position in order to quickly and efficiently compensate for camera shake. This in-camera method even makes image stabilization available to lenses that are not equipped with their own.

Additionally, in multishot mode, the tripod-mounted camera can record up to eight consecutive frames, whereby the sensor is shifted in half-pixel increments in between every exposure. This key feature results in images with an incredible quadrupled resolution of around 187 megapixels, leading to an extreme increase in detail resolution.

Improved ergonomics for stress-free shooting in any situation

Despite significant technical improvements, the Leica SL2 is neither larger nor heavier than its predecessor and feels particularly compact to handle. This is due to the fully redesigned camera body, whose handgrip and the edges have been subtly refined for easier handling.

Improved body design paired with increased durability make the SL2 the perfect companion for all forms of shooting. The SL2’s IP54 certification ensures an elevated weather sealing for more rugged situations, while a new option to turn off noise reduction during long exposures allows for more hands-free shooting. Less worry about the weather and environmental situations means photographers can focus more on getting the shot.

Overall the design of the SL2 recalls more of the iconic Leica identity and traditional design DNA elements that the brand has become known and loved for.

Streamlined design with new status menus

The Leica SL2 offers an innovative user interface whose efficient design allows photographers to focus their attention on the creative process. The design alignment with the existing M and Q systems makes the adjustment even easier for existing Leica photographers.

The main recording parameters can be viewed on the rear display and adjusted quickly and easily with a simple finger tap. A click wheel, a joystick, and three strategically placed, individually configurable buttons also contribute to a straightforward operation. Thanks to two dedicated status menus for stills and video recording, the parameters for either shooting mode can be adjusted entirely separately from each other.

Limitless connections

Featuring an L bayonet lens mount, the Leica SL2 is not only compatible with the ever-growing portfolio of SL-System lenses, but also with lenses of the TL-System and with the legendary lenses of Leica’s M, S and R-Systems via adapter, providing more than 170 Leica lens options, guaranteed to offer the right fit for any photographic scenario. The L-Mount Alliance expands this scope of possibilities even further, by giving SL2 photographers access to L-mount-compatible lenses from Sigma and Panasonic.

Maestro III processor for ultra-fast operation

The new Maestro III processor facilitates a superior operating speed that shines in many aspects of the SL2’s performance. The autofocus is significantly faster and allows for a virtually lag-free shutter release in any shooting situation, which is further complemented by the new Smart AF mode, which autonomously switches between focus priority and shutter release priority. Full-resolution recordings of consecutive images are possible at 10 frames per second with the focal plane shutter and 20 frames per second with the electronic shutter. Thanks to two UHS-II-compatible SD card slots, raw files can be saved simultaneously in DNG and JPEG format.

Leica EyeRes® viewfinder with even higher resolution

The camera’s electronic viewfinder now boasts a resolution of 5.76 megapixels, allowing for a large, entirely natural-looking viewfinder image. Simultaneously, the experience is further enhanced when using the touchscreen, which has increased in size to a 3.2-inch diagonal, and now offers a significantly higher resolution of 2.1 megapixels.

The perfect tool for cinematographers

In addition to its great appeal for photographers, the Leica SL2 speaks the language of cinematographers, as the camera is able to record up to 60 frames per second in Cine 4K mode, and up to 180 frames per second in Full-HD mode. Activating Cine mode transforms the SL2 into a manually controlled cine camera as ISO becomes ASA, the shutter speed is marked in degrees on the rotary disk shutter, and the f-stops indicating the aperture ratio are replaced by T-stops, which measure the actual amount of light transmitted through the lens. Connecting audio equipment to the Leica SL2 no longer requires the use of adapters, as the camera now features a built-in headphones and mic jack, complemented by a fully-fledged HDMI connector for external monitors.

The Leica SL2 is available in Leica Stores and Leica Boutiques beginning November 21, 2019, at a recommended retail price of $5,995.

KirkD

EOS T7i
Nov 23, 2017
67
41
Canada
kirkdurston.wixsite.com
Holding a Leica like this in your hands, there is a feeling of holding perfection. The price tag, however, means that the only place I'll ever hold one of the$e with a len$ on it, is in a camera store. Glad to see they've got IBIS.
 

slclick

PINHOLE
Dec 17, 2013
3,155
681
This would be next next camera if the brand were Canon. Love the ergonomics, the layout, the build and the specs.
 
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Graphic.Artifacts

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 1, 2017
450
256
I wonder how many components the SL2 shares with the Panasonic S1R. Looks like that L alliance is going to be about more than just a common lens mount.
It appears as though the SL2 will have the same EVF as the S1's which is outstanding IMO.
 

justaCanonuser

Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
456
266
Frankfurt, Germany
Thumbs up on that!
Even better: you can buy a substantial set of RF F1.2 primes plus an EOS R for the money you have to pay for an SL2 kit with a slower Leica lens. On the other hand, as a German I am happy that Leica survived and is doing well. In fact, the Leica EVFs of the Q and the SL Mk I were the first ones that impressed me a bit. Before that, I didn't like any EVF I tried.
 
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mjg79

EOS 80D
Feb 19, 2016
114
54
damn everybody has ibis but canon.
Haha, a few years back I remember joking on here saying that even Leica would have IBIS before Canon.

But the thing is looking at the new RF lenses it seems only the 1.2 primes and the exotic 28-70/2 don't have IS - the 2.8 wide angle zoom has IS, the 35mm 1.8 prime has IS, the 24-70 2.8 has IS, the 24-105/4 has IS, the 24-240 has IS... So really I am no longer bothered, especially as the 15-35 and 24-70 have IS. I assume upcoming 1.8 primes will all get IS and the f/4 zooms already had it in EF mount.

It would be nice for some adapted older glass to get the IBIS but I can't see Canon factoring that into their decisions. I would love it for some of the my EF glass but I'm not holding my breath now. Indeed if they brought out a body with IBIS I think half the sales of the new RF 24-70 would be lost to the equally sharp but much cheaper EF 24-70L II.

I think now the question will be quite simple for Canon. Does the combination of IBIS with IS offer a real world difference for the photographer? If not it wouldn't surprise me if they don't bother with IBIS for many years to come. Most professional uses of the 1.2 primes simply won't rely on IBIS, no wedding photographer is going to say to the bride "sorry the photo is blurry, I was trying to see if I could get the shot at 1/15 and ISO 100 to satisfy an argument on an internet forum!" - they are already putting their shutter speed well beyond the minimum for safety.
 

Bennymiata

EOS 6D MK II
It's a beautiful camera and takes great shots, but pros won't use it because of its very slow autofocus.
When I do an event or wedding, I can't wait for the camera to focus.
In the old days before AF, you learned to focus very quickly, but I wouldn't want to rely on manual focus looking at an evf, and there's no time for magnifying etc. Not even enough time to chimp!
For studio work where you are tethered and have time to adjust for each shot - this Leica would be great, but it's not for action.
 

Graphic.Artifacts

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 1, 2017
450
256
Even better: you can buy a substantial set of RF F1.2 primes plus an EOS R for the money you have to pay for an SL2 kit with a slower Leica lens. On the other hand, as a German I am happy that Leica survived and is doing well. In fact, the Leica EVFs of the Q and the SL Mk I were the first ones that impressed me a bit. Before that, I didn't like any EVF I tried.
If you like the EVF in the original SL you are going to love the one in the SL2. It's not just the clarity, which is stunning BTW. The eye releif and magnification are almost perfect. I hope Canon is paying attention. Personally, I wish I'd never viewed one because my X-T3 is pretty lame in comparison.
 
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JBSF

EOS 80D
Dec 19, 2014
111
53
If I win the lottery.... Beautiful, and Leica’s preproduction sample gallery really shows its capabilities. The zoom they used is superb.
 
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illadvisedhammer

buggin out
Aug 19, 2015
19
3
I dunno, Canon already has an SL3, and that's like, one better, or to put it another way, 50% more. I think both have 23.99P, not sure what else could be different.
 

Dj 7th

EOS R
Apr 22, 2019
4
2
Haha, a few years back I remember joking on here saying that even Leica would have IBIS before Canon.

But the thing is looking at the new RF lenses it seems only the 1.2 primes and the exotic 28-70/2 don't have IS - the 2.8 wide angle zoom has IS, the 35mm 1.8 prime has IS, the 24-70 2.8 has IS, the 24-105/4 has IS, the 24-240 has IS... So really I am no longer bothered, especially as the 15-35 and 24-70 have IS. I assume upcoming 1.8 primes will all get IS and the f/4 zooms already had it in EF mount.

It would be nice for some adapted older glass to get the IBIS but I can't see Canon factoring that into their decisions. I would love it for some of the my EF glass but I'm not holding my breath now. Indeed if they brought out a body with IBIS I think half the sales of the new RF 24-70 would be lost to the equally sharp but much cheaper EF 24-70L II.

I think now the question will be quite simple for Canon. Does the combination of IBIS with IS offer a real world difference for the photographer? If not it wouldn't surprise me if they don't bother with IBIS for many years to come. Most professional uses of the 1.2 primes simply won't rely on IBIS, no wedding photographer is going to say to the bride "sorry the photo is blurry, I was trying to see if I could get the shot at 1/15 and ISO 100 to satisfy an argument on an internet forum!" - they are already putting their shutter speed well beyond the minimum for safety.

So this is what I think Canon is up to........

They have basically identified three main markets for the RF system.

1. The professionals: For this group, they created the exotic lenses without IBIS. We are talking RF 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2 28-70 f/2 and the likes of 16-28 f/2 or even 70-135 f2 to follow. If you notice, all these lenses does not have IS. I asked myself why, apart from maybe size and price, I believe the major reason is because Canon is working on Pro bodies that will have IBIS to go with these lenses. They know that this lenses would be bought mostly by professionals and they are getting the camera ready.

2. The Prosumer: For this group, they have the current RF f/2.8 trinity with IS. These are for those who will only stay in the $2000-2500 range camera and thus the EOS R is adequate for. Of course this group will always reach a little up into the Professional area sometimes especially for better glass. The portrait, event and even landscape folks with be happy here. This group also may utilize lenses from the Consumer line sometimes.

3. The consumer. These are the group that want a decent camera and lens with IS. That is why the cheaper RF lenses like the RF 35, and RF 24-105 have IS. The IS mostly is needed to help this group have better shots without getting technical.

I however believe that with time, when Canon finally master making IS and IBIS work together flawlessly, all levels of camera will have IBIS.

This was my reasoning when I pre-ordered all the new f/2.8 lenses. I knew that in 2020, Canon will come out with a 5DSR like mirrorless with IBIS and another set of none IS f/2 lenses to complete the f/2 trinity. However I also know that the best camera and lens is what you have right now.

For my needs, I will love a higher resolution camera than the EOS R, but the EOS R does what I need right now better that my 5D Mark IV.
 

crazyrunner33

EOS RP
Nov 4, 2011
265
80
:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
IBIS is not new, I do not know how the sensor is, could be good. Leica glass is good but you can find many Canon optics as good or better. Eg 100-400mm MII for a fraction of the cost.
The sensor is likely the cousin to the sensors in the A7R III and D850, but tuned to Lecia's liking. It might be one generation newer.
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,347
741
1. The professionals: For this group, they created the exotic lenses without IBIS. We are talking RF 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2 28-70 f/2...

2. The Prosumer: For this group, they have the current RF f/2.8 trinity with IS.
Why not the other way around?
 
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