2017 Leica SL Specifications, Performance and features Review

The Leica SL is a high end 24MP full frame mirrorless camera that has an amazing ‘EyeRes’ high resolution viewfinder, an extremely high degree of construct high quality as well as weather securing, and also unique though reliable controls. Possibly most considerably, this is the very first non-rangefinder style 35mm full-frame digital camera Leica has actually made, and also the firm’s first full structure mirrorless cam in the modern sense.

2017 Leica SL Body LensKey Specification

  • 24MP full-frame CMOS sensing unit
  • 0.8 x magnification electronic viewfinder with 4.4 million dots
  • 11 fps continuous burst capturing
  • Maestro II photo processor
  • Native ISO variety of 50-50000
  • 529-spot point (or 49 area) contrast-detect AF system
  • Double SD card ports
  • 4K video recording with 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI out
  • Sturdy, weather-sealed building

Leica, for all its prestige, mystique as well as eye-watering cost points, has actually been consistent in its manufacture of somewhat unconventional digital video cameras. There’s the X-U, which is the only video camera with an APS-C sized sensor that’s designed to be submersible right out of the box. There’s the T and also TL, which, at the time of its launch anyway, was rather distinct in its hefty reliance on touch control. And after that there’s the M Monochrom, the only electronic cam on the marketplace that only fires in black as well as white.

Get in the SL. Valued body-only above an M10 however (much) less than the firm’s S line of medium-format bodies, the SL is intended directly at professionals and also progressed amateurs with deep pockets. The SL is a blend of the S, M and also Q cams in terms of specs, overall layout visual and also controls.

Leica SL Performance and features

Battery life excels if not impressive. It’s CIPA ranked for 400 shots, which must be enough for a full day of modest shooting, yet if you’re going to be utilizing the SL greatly in a specialist setup, a second battery is going to be a must, at an additional price of $250.

In terms of continual shooting, 11 fps sounds magnificent quickly, yet focus, direct exposure and also white equilibrium are all locked up until you go down to 7 fps – which is still acceptably quick. Card compose times, nonetheless, are not acceptably fast. Happily, you can continue capturing, get in playback to see the most recently created photo, and check out the food selections while the buffer is clearing, however the buffer takes forever to clear.

The Leica SL is an extremely receptive cam in many areas. Speeding up through photos in playback, menu procedure and also manipulation of settings are all nice and stylish, as well as shutter lag is so low as to be essentially missing. By hand choosing your AF point is a wind with the AF joystick. But it’s not all excellent information, however.

Strictly talking, startup on the SL is practically rapid, in that the back screen and top screen begun and also you get a real-time sight in less compared to one 2nd, however you’ll have to wait around one more second or two prior to the shutter switch will terminate off a shot. With appropriate planning (or just not turning the camera off and also letting it sleep when possible), this might not problem you.

This is not helped by the fact that you can’t divvy up your Raw + JPEG data as you can on virtually every competitors’ design; in other words, you could not have the (~ 45MB) DNG submits mosting likely to the much faster UHS-II card slot, and the JPEGs going to the slower UHS-I port. It’s unclear how much this could accelerate the writing process, yet it absolutely couldn’t injure.

Connection and also Vehicle ISO

Positioned unabashedly as a specialist camera, the Leica SL isn’t really all that big on new, unique functions like panorama or art modes, however it’s obtained it where it counts.

2017 Leica SL Performance

In regards to connectivity, the SL features integrated Wi-Fi that attaches to the proprietary Leica SL application that works excellent on iOS 10 right now, and an Android variation is available also. You could regulate the video camera from another location with live view, in addition to download images from the video camera to your phone. The camera itself additionally consists of GPS ability, which complements the outdoor-friendly rugged construction.

The Automobile ISO implementation is to be commended on the SL. It uses you a choice of minimum and also optimum worths, as well as enables you to specify a particular shutter rate limit along with the choice to let the video camera change that threshold based on your existing focal size, which is especially handy with zoom lenses. You could likewise enable it in Manual shooting mode, which could likewise be handy with adapted lenses. You could quickly transform Vehicle ISO on or off with an ISO faster way button, but to fine-tune any one of the criteria, you’ll should dive into the food selections.

Leica SL Body, handling and controls

Taken on its very own, the Leica SL isn’t really all that huge. It’s primarily the exact same elevation as a Nikon D810 or 5D Mark IV, however lighter and considerably thinner. The grip is the biggest issue. It serves with a little M-mount lens connected, but when you attach a native lens your wrist will immediately smash.

2017 Leica SL Body
Okay, that’s certainly an exaggeration. But the SL’s hold is the embodiment of ‘kind before feature.’ If all you’re mosting likely to do is consider the SL on a rack, that’s fine. But being used, the grip’s product isn’t really ‘grippy’ sufficient, there is no ergonomic contouring whatsoever and also the huge indigenous lenses make everything feel out of balance. I obtained made use of to it, yet I never ever liked it. There are video cameras whose ‘really feel’ pleads you to select them up as well as head out and shoot with them, as well as the SL is too unpleasant in the hand due to its minimalist aesthetic appeals to provide that quality.

The remainder of the style

The back screen’s screen top quality and touch performance are terrific, and also the top LCD is easily legible and also makes good use of its restricted real estate (I wish it would certainly show shooting details much faster after start up, though). The AF joystick is, well, a happiness, and also doubles as a ‘verification’ switch in the food selections.

The good news is the remainder of the design functions much better compared to the grasp. All the switches (especially the shutter) have fantastic responsive feedback despite the weather-sealing, although the leading 2 feature switches are difficult to get to without damaging your grip. The twin control dials offer fantastic comments as well, however if you rotate them as well swiftly, they’ll primarily ignore your input, which could make adapting to rapidly changing scenarios discouraging.

The most effective component of the SL is certainly the digital viewfinder. You simply need to see it to think it. The resolution is crazy, the refresh price only dips under really dark lights, and the magnifying proportion indicates it provides a bigger home window into the world than a Canon EOS-1D X II. It’s the current criteria for electronic viewfinders, and also if you’re a die-hard optical viewfinder DSLR shooter, you owe it on your own to take the SL for a spin.

The SL comes close to the very best develop quality of any cam I’ve ever utilized, barring a state-of-the-art sports body. It’s simply … a black steel brick (in an excellent way). There is no ‘looseness’ or unnecessary play anywhere, from the diopter to the battery release. The battery even needs a two-step process to expel, which encounters as somehow improved and also accurate, and also does not get old. Similar to various other Leica cams, the paint will scuff if you consider it incorrect.

Picture and video clip top quality

JPEG shade is quite awful, with an overall soft combination, general green cast as well as blue-tinged reds. Skin tones truly deal with this kind of therapy. JPEG processing, however, does a great work of handling incorrect color that was so widespread in the Raw files. Developing is less outstanding, causing some detail loss (which, in this case, demonstrates how the Sony a6500 winds up with even more detail in JPEGs despite beginning with much less detail in Raw), and the greater resolution electronic cameras truly start to distance themselves from the SL below. By default, the SL has actually noise reduction readied to ‘reduced,’ which gets rid of mostly all chroma sound but leaves lots of luminosity sound. It’s an interesting selection that leaves the appearance of higher information, but comes at the price of high ISO color saturation – as well as we have actually seen there are video cameras around that could strike a much better balance. One plus to this strategy is that colors are much less likely to bleed into each various other at these
ISO worths.

The below example reveals the low-key, green-shifted shade scheme as compared to a fast modification in Adobe Electronic camera Raw; no other adjustments were made besides white balance, as well as the ’em bedded’ profile was used. The most essential question: does the SL have that ‘Leica look?’ You choose, however it’s most absolutely the native lenses Leica has made for the SL that would be chiefly in charge of such a qualitative evaluation. As well as we will certainly reach those later on, yet initially, allow’s see exactly how the total bundle, consisting of the 24MP sensing unit, fare in our workshop test scene.

2017 Leica SL Images Quality Night

Our newest test scene simulates both daytime and also low-light shooting. Pressing the ‘lighting’ buttons on top of the widget changes between both. The daytime scene is by hand white balanced to provide neutral grays, yet the cam is left in its Car establishing for the low-light tests. Raw documents are manually corrected. We offer three various watching dimensions: ‘Full’, ‘Print’, and ‘Comp’, with the latter two offering ‘stabilized’ comparisons by using matched watching dimensions. The ‘Compensation’ alternative selects the largest-available resolution typical to the electronic cameras being compared.

We could see that information capture is excellent to the point of appearing somewhat oversharpened. Given the resolution, it’s hard to request more detail than this, but there’s an abundance of aliasing as well as false color offered the incredibly sharp lens as well as lack of anti-aliasing filter. Raw documents look competitively tidy at lower ISO values, and as those values climb, the Leica SL continuouslies execute fairly well – within 1/3 stop of its peers.

Dynamic Array

The Leica SL’s 24MP sensing unit kips down decent efficiency in our dynamic variety examinations. It’s somewhat ISO Regular from ISO 200 to 400 onwards, while direct exposure latitude tests show similar dynamic array to a Canon 5D Mark IV. In other words, dynamic array lies someplace in between Canon’s previous generation of sensor innovation as well as where Sony’s technology currently is. It deserves keeping in mind that very dark signals obtain clipped to black which, integrated with some banding, makes heavily pushed tones far much less functional compared to Nikon competitors. The SL is still a great ways behind the dynamic range course leader: the Nikon D810 with its indigenous ISO value of 64.

2017 Leica SL Images Quality dayt


As a camera the SL works relatively well with the supported zoom lenses, or with adjusted lenses if you have some sort of gear or gimbal (or if you’re simply secured onto a tripod). The assortment of shooting aids is instead rich, with a real-time histogram, degree, emphasis coming to a head and also audio monitors readily available to you – yet unfortunately, you need to switch over between these, as they aren’t all offered simultaneously on your screen.

When hand-held, the comfort designs continuously be a problem, and also the SL, with its adapter dongle for audio input as well as result along with the full-size HDMI port appear to hint that its real house will get on a bigger, built-up gear.

We’ve placed the Leica intentionally against peers that likewise fire Movie theater 4K, which is wider compared to Ultra HD 4K. At once, we can see that the SL has higher moire artefacts in the center target compared to its rivals. Total degrees of information ready though, delaying simply slightly behind the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II. Leica additionally appears to have placed a little infiltrate the 1080p result, which is encouraging given that the SL fires 1080/120p for slow-moving movement capture.

Auto ISO is offered in hand-operated motion picture capturing, so you can hold your shutter speed and aperture consistent while having the video camera ‘gain’ up or down, and also you could assign a switch to direct exposure settlement to a personalized button. As covered in more information on the autofocus web page, if you want autofocus, it’s finest to make use of the Vehicle (Face Detect) mode; if you want to use a solitary factor or area, it’s best to stick to solitary or hand-operated emphasis.

The SL has some significant video-shooting chops, a minimum of going by the spec sheet. With the ability of DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 24 fps as well as Ultra HD (3840×2160) at 30 fps making use of a Super 35 portion of its sensing unit, as well as 10-bit 4:2:2 result over HDMI, and also it looks like though Leica is aiming high. Allow’s see how it stacks up.

Leica SL Specifications

MSRP $7450
Body type
Body type Large SLR
Max resolution 6000 x 4000
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Maestro II
ISO Auto, 50-50000
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 529
Lens mount Leica L
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.8×
Viewfinder resolution 4,400,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe and PC sync)
Continuous drive 11.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
Format MPEG-4
Videography notes 4:2:o 8-bit (internal), 4:2:2 10-bit (HDMI out); supports V-Log L gamma
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported on slot 1)
Storage included 2GB
USB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n
Remote control Yes (via smartphone or shutter release cable)
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BP-SCL4 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 400
Weight (inc. batteries) 847 g (1.87 lb / 29.88 oz)
Dimensions 147 x 104 x 39 mm (5.79 x 4.09 x 1.54)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Built-in