The Leica Story – The Leica SL

Camera & Technology

February 23, 2018 ·

Kevin Raber

Leica’s Brilliant Mirrorless Camera

A little over two years ago Leica surprised the photo industry by introducing the Leica SL a mirrorless camera.  I applaud Leica for doing this as they saw the future of camera was going to be mirrorless.  To this day Canon and Nikon have yet to introduce an FF mirrorless Pro camera.

The Leica SL is a beautiful 24 mp camera and quite something to hold and use.  It is machined out of a solid block of aluminum.  This makes the camera somewhat heavier than others on the market.  However, it is too solidly built, and weather stalled that it feels like a real well-defined pro camera.  It’s capable of an 11 fps capture.

As with other Leica camera these days there are no labels for the few buttons that are on the camera.  The rear screen is not a fold out type of display, but it is high res and a touchscreen.  The menu system is straightforward to use and navigate. 

Leica was one of the first to introduce a joystick to their cameras, and the use of one on the SL makes working with the camera and picking focus points a real pleasure.  They also have used an electronic viewfinder that still is in a class by itself.  The EVF has 4.4 million pixel resolution and has to be looked through to appreciate.  There is no comparison.  The camera has built-in GPS and Wifi as well using two SD card slots.

        24MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

        Leica Maestro II Image Processor

        Internal DCI 4K Video & L-Log Gamma

        0.66″ 4.4MP 0.8x Electronic Viewfinder

        2.95″ 1.04M-Dot LED-Backlit Touchscreen

        Contrast AF System with 49 Fields

        Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 50000

        Two SD Card Slots; 1.3″ Top LCD Screen

        Weather-Resistant Milled Aluminum Body

        Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity and GPS

The design of the camera is smooth and well finished.  On the top of the camera is a small LCD screen that provisos all the needed camera operational read-outs.  There is a little bump on the top of the camera that contains the GPS antenna, and the wifi antennas are cleverly built into the side of the camera.

Wifi connectivity is another excellent feature of this camera and is well implemented.  We give a brief demonstration in the video.  The connection is easy to set up and pair with the app.  You then can control the camera, activate the shutter or begin and start video mode as well as preview and rate images. 

The lenses for the SL are incredible.  The zoom lenses are 16-35, 24-90 and 90-280mm.  An excellent trifecta set of lenses.  Leica didn’t go for the standard range of 24-70 and 70-200mm  like other companies.  They extended the lenses to be longer and thus offer more versatility in coverage range.

Recently Leica also has introduced two new prime lenses.  The Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 ASPH  and the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH. Lens.

Yes, the Leica SL is a bit more expensive than other systems out there.  However, if you are in the Leica ecosystem, this is a camera that takes things to the next level.  You can use an adapter for the M-lenses as well as L and S lenses.  The M-lenses are so lovely to work with as you can use focus peaking and other mirrorless benefits with the lenses.  I have had the chance to shoot this camera quite a bit and enjoyed it.  The 90-280mm lens is something special. 

The Video

 

 

 

My Thoughts On The Leica SL

 

 


Kevin Raber
January 2018

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Kevin Raber

Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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