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Found 13 results

  1. Leica Camera stellt heute mit der Leica SL2 eine neue spiegellose Vollformatkamera vor. Sie kommt ab dem 21. November 2019 zu einer unverbindlichen Preisempfehlung von 5.990 Euro in den Handel. Die Leica SL2 auf einen Blick 47 MP Sensor IBIS – Bildstabilisator in der Kamera Pufferspeicher 4GB (78 DNG / > 100 JPG) UHS-II Slot 5k Video Eletronischer Sucher (EVF) mit 5,8 MP / 120 B/s, 0.78x Vergrößerung Mechanischer Verschluss 30 min bis 1/8.000 s Electronischer Verschluss 1 s bus 1/40.000 s Blitzsynchronzeit 1/250 s Multishot erzeugt 2 DNG-Dateien: 1x 47 MP, 1x 187 MP (Kombination aus 8 Bildern) Kontrast-Autofocus ISO 50 bis ISO 50000 WLAN und Bluetooth Akku Leica BP-SCL4, ca. 370 Aufnahmen (CIPA Standard, ohne EVF) Abmessungen (BxHxT) 146 x 107 x 42mm Gewicht ca. 835g (ohne Akku) Leica SL2 Produktbilder Tom Berger konnte als Beta-Tester die Kamera schon in der Praxis testen: » Praxisbericht Leica SL2 Einen weiteren Bericht gibt es von Jono Slack (auf Englisch) » Jono Slack: Leica SL2 Review Die offizielle Pressemitteilung Leica Camera Eine neue Ikone Leica Camera kündigt mit der Leica SL2 die Nachfolgerin der bahnbrechenden Leica SL an und setzt neue Maßstäbe für spiegellose Systeme Wetzlar, 6. November 2019. Mit dem visionären Leica SL-System hat Leica Camera im Jahr 2015 das Fundament gelegt, auf dessen Grundlage heute mit der SL2 eine neue Ikone der geschichtsträchtigen Marke vorgestellt wird: der nächste evolutionäre Schritt beim Bau einer perfekten Universalkamera. Unter Berücksichtigung des Feedbacks von SL-Fotografen hat das Unternehmen mit der Leica SL2 die Grenzen technologischer Innovation und Leistung ausgeweitet und gleichzeitig seine hohen Designansprüche bewahrt. Die Leica SL2 steht für pure Leistung und unübertroffene Verarbeitungsqualität. Sie wartet mit verbesserter Ergonomie und einem komfortableren Griff in Verbindung mit dem bewährten, vereinfachten Drei-Tasten-Bedienkonzept auf, das die Leica Designsprache über mehrere Produktlinien hinweg weiter vereinheitlicht. Modernste neue Funktionen wie die Bildstabilisierung im Kameragehäuse erschließen das Potenzial der legendären Leica M-Objektive neu und unterstreichen die Leistungsfähigkeit der wachsenden Auswahl an SL-Objektiven, die zu den besten Optiken gehören, die Leica je produziert hat. Die Leica SL2 ist die konsequente Weiterentwicklung der innovativen Leica SL und bietet eine bahnbrechende Zukunftsperspektive für die digitale Fotografie und Videografie – ohne ihre Herkunft und Geschichte zu verleugnen. Nachhaltig produziert Die SL2 ist die einzige spiegellose Kamera, die in Deutschland entwickelt und gefertigt wird. Mit einer unvergleichlichen soliden Metallkonstruktion und einer eleganten Belederung ist sie eine Kamera, die widrigen Umständen trotzt, jahrelang Freude am Fotografieren und die Zukunftssicherheit bietet, die konsequente Firmware-Updates gewährleisten. Optimiertes Design mit neuen Statusmenüs Die Leica SL2 bietet eine innovative Benutzeroberfläche, deren effizientes Design es dem Fotografen ermöglicht, seine ganze Aufmerksamkeit dem kreativen Prozess zu widmen. Die Designanpassung an das M- und das Q-System macht die Handhabung für erfahrene Leica Fotografen noch einfacher. Das Display auf der Rückseite zeigt die wichtigsten Aufnahmeparameter und dort lassen sie sich mit einem einfachen Fingertipp schnell und einfach einstellen. Ein Klickrad, ein Joystick und drei durchdacht platzierte, individuell konfigurierbare Tasten tragen ebenfalls zu einer einfachen Bedienung bei. Dank zweier spezieller Statusmenüs für Fotografien und Videos können die Parameter für beide Aufnahmemodi völlig unabhängig voneinander eingestellt werden. Verbesserte Ergonomie für sorgloses Fotografieren in jeder Situation Trotz erheblicher technischer Verbesserungen wie der Bildstabilisierung im Body ist die Leica SL2 nicht größer als ihre Vorgängerin, fühlt sich aber in der Handhabung besonders kompakt an. Das ist auf das völlig neu gestaltete Kameragehäuse zurückzuführen, dessen Handgriff und Kanten für eine einfachere Handhabung dezent verfeinert wurden. Optimiertes Gehäusedesign gepaart mit erhöhter Haltbarkeit machen die Leica SL2 zur perfekten Begleiterin für jegliche Art von Aufnahme. Die IP54-Zertifizierung der SL2 gewährleistet einen erhöhten Schutz gegen Nässe und Staub, während eine neue Option zum Ausschalten der Rauschunterdrückung bessere Langzeitbelichtungen ermöglicht. Dank sorglosem Umgang mit Wetter und Umweltsituationen können sich Fotografen ganz auf die Aufnahme konzentrieren. Insgesamt erinnert das Design der SL2 stärker an die ikonische Leica Identität und die traditionellen Elemente der Design-DNA, für die die Marke bekannt und geschätzt ist. CMOS-Sensor mit 47 Megapixeln für überlegene Bildqualität Die beispiellose Auflösung des CMOS-Bildsensors der SL2 im Kleinbild-Vollformat führt zu einer Detailwiedergabe und Bildqualität, die ihresgleichen sucht. Ein enormer Dynamikbereich, eine Farbtiefe von 14 Bit pro RGB-Kanal und eine Empfindlichkeit von bis zu ISO 50.000 ermöglichen eine hervorragende Bildqualität bei allen Lichtverhältnissen. Auch in Kombination mit Leica TL-Objektiven, die für das kleinere Sensorformat der Leica TL2 und CL ausgelegt sind, liefert der Sensor der SL2 eine hervorragende Bildauflösung von über 20 Megapixeln. Neuer Leica Object Detection Autofocus Der neue Leica Objekterkennungs-AF sorgt für einen schnellen und zuverlässigen AF-Betrieb. Neben einer Reihe von Modi und Funktionen, inklusive Gesichtserkennung, erkennt das leistungsstarke AF-System der SL2 auch automatisch, ob sich ein Objekt bewegt oder stillsteht und schaltet entsprechend zwischen Bewegungs- und Fokuspriorität um. Optische Bildstabilisierung durch Sensor-Shift-Technologie Eine der wichtigsten Weiterentwicklungen der Leica SL2 ist der beweglich aufgehängte Sensor, der seine Position anpasst, um Verwacklungen der Kamera schnell und effizient auszugleichen. Diese kamerainterne Methode ermöglicht sogar die Bildstabilisierung für Objektive, die nicht selbst damit ausgestattet sind. Darüber hinaus kann die Leica SL2 auf dem Stativ im Multishot-Modus bis zu acht auf einander folgende Bilder aufnehmen, wobei der Sensor zwischen jeder Aufnahme in Schritten von einem halben Pixel verschoben wird. Mit dieser bedeutenden Funktion entstehen Aufnahmen mit vervierfachter Auflösung von rund 187 Megapixeln, die eine extreme Steigerung der Detailauflösung mit sich bringt. Leica EyeRes® Sucher mit noch höherer Auflösung Der elektronische Sucher der Kamera verfügt nun über eine Auflösung von 5,76 Megapixeln und ermöglicht ein großes, völlig natürlich aussehendes Sucherbild. Gleichzeitig wird das Erlebnis bei der Nutzung des Touchscreens weiter verbessert, der sich auf eine Diagonale von 3,2 Zoll vergrößert hat und nun eine deutlich höhere Auflösung von 2,1 Megapixeln bietet. Der ultraschnelle Maestro-III-Prozessor Der neue Maestro-III-Prozessor verhilft der Leica SL2 zu einer überlegenen Arbeitsgeschwindigkeit, die in vielen Aspekten der Kameraleistung zum Tragen kommt. Der Autofokus ist deutlich schneller und ermöglicht in jeder Aufnahmesituation eine nahezu verzögerungsfreie Auslösung – ergänzt durch den neuen Smart AF-Modus, der autonom zwischen Fokus- und Auslösepriorität wechselt. Bildserien in voller Auflösung sind mit zehn Bildern pro Sekunde mit dem Schlitzverschluss und 20 Bildern pro Sekunde mit dem elektronischen Verschluss möglich. Dank zweier UHS-II-kompatibler SD-Kartensteckplätze können Rohdateien gleichzeitig im DNG- und JPEG-Format auf separaten Karten gespeichert werden. Perfektes Werkzeug für Filmschaffende Zusätzlich zu ihrem Leistungsportfolio bei Fotoaufnahmen spricht die Leica SL2 auch die Sprache der Filmschaffenden, da die Kamera im Cine 4K-Modus bis zu 60 Bilder pro Sekunde und im Full-HD-Modus bis zu 180 Bilder pro Sekunde aufnehmen kann. Die Aktivierung des Cine-Modus verwandelt die SL2 in eine manuell gesteuerte Filmkamera: Aus ISO werden ASA, die Belichtungszeit wird in Grad der Umlaufblende angegeben und die Blendenstufen, die das Öffnungsverhältnis anzeigen, werden durch T-Stops ersetzt, die die tatsächliche Lichtmenge angeben, die durch das Objektiv auf den Sensor fällt. Der Anschluss von Audiogeräten an die Leica SL2 erfordert keine Adapter mehr, da die Kamera nun über eingebaute Kopfhörer- und Mikrofonbuchsen verfügt, ergänzt durch einen vollwertigen HDMI-Anschluss für externe Monitore. Grenzenlose Verbindungen Dank des L-Bajonetts ist die Leica SL2 nicht nur mit dem stetig wachsenden Portfolio an SL-Objektiven kompatibel, sondern auch mit den Objektiven des TL-Systems und, über Adapter, mit den legendären Objektiven der Leica M-, S- und R-Systeme. Damit ergeben sich über 170 Objektivoptionen, sodass sich für jedes fotografische Szenario die optimale Lösung findet. Die L-Mount-Allianz erweitert diese Möglichkeiten noch einmal, indem sie SL2-Fotografen den Zugang zu L-Mount-kompatiblen Objektiven von Panasonic und Sigma ermöglicht. Leica FOTOS App Die Leica SL2 wird auch von Leica FOTOS unterstützt, der vielseitigen App, erhältlich für Android und iOS Smartphones. Leica FOTOS verbindet sich direkt via Wi-Fi (Bluetooth® wird von entsprechenden Kameras ebenfalls unterstützt) mit der Kamera und speichert die Anmeldedaten, sodass bei einer späteren erneuten Nutzung die Verbindung so komfortabel und reibungslos wie möglich erfolgt. Mittels Leica FOTOS kann die Live-View-Funktion der Kamera ferngesteuert und so aufnahmerelevante Einstellungen wie Blende, ISO, Verschlusszeit sowie Belichtungskorrektur direkt auf dem Smartphone vorgenommen werden. Natürlich kann die jeweilige Kamera auch drahtlos ausgelöst werden, was gänzlich neue kreative Möglichkeiten der Bildgestaltung eröffnet. Mittels der hochauflösenden Displays moderner Smartphones, lassen sich die aufgenommenen Bilder direkt im Anschluss in einer 100-Prozent-Vorschau auf ihre Schärfe kontrollieren – auch die Belichtungsdaten werden wiedergegeben, was bei Folgeaufnahmen äußerst hilfreich ist. Ist die eigene Auswahl getroffen, können die gewählten Bilder entweder über soziale Netze geteilt oder mobil nachbearbeitet werden. Dazu ist Leica FOTOS in Verbindung mit vielen populären Bildbearbeitungs-Apps nutzbar. Für das volle Potenzial können die Bilder auch als DNG-Rohdaten an die jeweilige Postproduktions-App weitergegeben werden. Werden die fertigen Bilder nach der Bearbeitung auf dem Smartphone gespeichert, so geschieht das auf Wunsch in einem gesonderten Leica Album – Schnappschüsse werden so von aufwendig komponierten und nachbearbeiteten Aufnahmen in der Leica FOTOS App getrennt gehalten. Viele neue Features und ein komplett neuer mobiler Workflow auf dem iPad erwarten Nutzer der FOTOS App ab dem 21. November – dann erscheint die Version 2.0 von Leica FOTOS. Die Leica SL2 ist ab dem 21. November 2019 zu einer unverbindlichen Preisempfehlung von 5.990 Euro erhältlich.
  2. Text & Photos Thomas A. Berger | www.tab-fotografie.de Translation by Michael Evans | English version first published on Macfilos | German version available here The headline of my little review, in which I use Leica’s own wording to announce the new SL2, is the start of the enthusiasm that I feel for the youngest scion of the House of the Red Dot. But first, I ought to review of my entry into the world of the SL. Euphoria and immediate enthusiasm were not evident at the outset when I experienced the first SL. In fact, my approach was over a rather rocky path. Suffice it to say that I did not really care much about the camera at the time of its release in 2015. I must confess that I could not do much with this camera at first. Compared with my beloved M-cameras, it was too big, too heavy and, in view of the already long-established mirrorless competition of Sony & Co, with their excellent cameras, rather superfluous. Even for Leica it was way too expensive. These were my first reactions back then. And so it was that at the time the SL was removed from my wish list. At that time, Leica still played the supporting role for street and travel photography with the M system. For the main work in my job as an advertising photographer within my agency, apart from the digital medium format in full format, DSLR Nikons were my weapons of choice. Turnaround Then came the turnaround: As a Hasselblad V photographer for many years, I was enthused by the Hasselblad X1D when it arrived. The realisation grew with working with this mirrorless medium-format camera that my ever-increasing problems of focusing with digital SLR cameras were suddenly blown away. No more problems with blurring during hectic appointments, because the sharpness just does not sit at the one the spot, requiring you to sweat blood and water to get the sharpness where you need it. That was the initial spark which caused me to take a second look at the Leica SL as a possible workhorse. Good that I did, because at the very first encounter I recognised immediately that this was a great camera. It represented Leica’s high quality standards in the field of mirrorless cameras. From the start I got along well with the SL in its guise as a workhorse. Since then, my association with Nikon DSLRs has ceased after over 30 years. With the SL and M, I am now completely happy and at peace with Leica. No choice A few months ago, I was asked by Leica Forum administrators, Andreas and Leon, if I would be interested in becoming a field tester for the software of the forthcoming SL2. What a question! Of course I would. I should say in advance that this review is written against the background of a purely practical user who uses his camera professionally and privately in his own personal way. I am not a professional tester who judges the camera by means of neutrally processed test photos on the test bench. And, although I will of course try to judge soberly and factually, my findings are always relatively subjective and very related to my personal way of working. They are not very technically based, the image results are developed by me from RAW with the Photoshop converter, basically in my style. I will not go into much detail in terms of features and technical capabilities of the new body. Furthermore, I am predominately a stills photographer and my review therefore refers exclusively to photography with the SL2. I make no statements about the camera’s video opportunities, although I acknowledge that Leica has gone big-time into video with this camera and it is likely that many videographers will be attracted to the SL2. Ergonomics, handling and operation The die-hard SL user, picking up the SL2 for the first time after unpacking, will be amazed. Despite the familiar appearance at first glance, the -2 feels extremely different. It becomes clear at once that the slightly different design elements and surfaces have led to a significantly changed grip. The SL2 is a perfect example of how just a few millimetres of change in the chassis pitches and shapes can make a big difference or improvement to the handling. Andreas Kaufmann, in a popular video interview, said that a new SL would not be as brutal and would be more cuddly. He certainly expected a significant redesign and some may say that he would have expected even little more change in the SL2. The original SL design was controversial from the start. But I am happy to say that the relatively minor changes in handling have wrought a significant improvement in the overall experience of owning this camera. The new “leather jacket”, the slightly rounded edges of the textured metalwork and, especially, the slight modification to the shape of the grip, with its inner recess, provides significantly more grip. The SL2 holds up well in my medium-sized male hands and is simply excellent to handle. The weight is practically the same — although you immediately think the camera is lighter because of the better handling. Although the new model is actually 80g heavier than that of the SL, I would have sworn the first time I picked up the -2 that it would be lighter. Here you can clearly see how the grip and feel can subconsciously create an impression of a camera. The dimensions of the camera have remained practically identical, the case has not increased in thickness. This is surprising because the SL2 now has IBIS with its moveable sensor. More on that later. What immediately catches the eye is the modified button design on the back of the camera. Here you have the three clearly-labelled pushbuttons as on the Leica M10 model, which I personally find great. (Also, incidentally, they are identical to those on the Q2 and CL). Those who work in parallel with the M10, such as me, find this departure from the unlabelled four-key concept of the SL a real relief. Although I got used to the SL over time, I always had my problems with the key assignment when things got hectic. The new concept suits me down to the ground. Joystick and adjustment wheels, on the other hand, have remained the same as on the SL. The new strap lugs, which are external and no longer recessed in the body, are a design cue I find a little less attractive. However, I do admit that it is now easier and quicker to attach and remove the strap as a result of the new design. It’s an improvement in practice, even though the sleek design has suffered as a result. When it comes to menu navigation, the SL2 is also quite similar to the M10 — but of course only in the areas that correspond to the M10. Added is a so-called quick menu in the main interface, which you can configure yourself. Here you can read the most important and most frequently used functions at a glance and operate them via touch interface without having to enter the list menu. One big change from the SL is the absence of a GPS. The SL2 has no antenna for locating and therefore no internal GPS. This is nicer for the design, because the ugly plastic hub on the left, under which the antenna was located, is now gone. GPS is now available only through the connection with the smartphone. Certainly some will regret that. Personally, it does not matter that much, as I’m not a copious user of tagged photos. Nevertheless, for some, this may be a downer. The Sensor The denser sensor is high on the list of reasons why Leica claims that the SL2 is a “milestone”. It is a completely new sensor with 47.3 effective-megapixel resolution. And is also equipped with IBIS. Above all, the so-called In Body Image Stabilisation — that is, the anti-shaking dachshund in the camera with the help of the movably mounted sensor — was a much-anticipated feature that has now become reality. For me personally, the addition of IBIS is at least as important as the doubling of the resolution, if not more so. The risk of blurred photos becomes greater as the sensor resolution increases. It is a great thing to be able to draw on it objectively and independently. It works too! As one who often attaches M-Lenses to his SL I think this is a really big step forward. With the many adapted manual lenses or also the new foreign lenses from the L-mount range of the partners without lens stabilisers (for instance, my new 45mm f/2.8 SIGMA with L-mount) having image stabilisation is a great asset. And, as already mentioned, Leica even managed to squeeze the IBIS sensor into an equally slim body. Perhaps that’s why they had to make the strap lugs external! I can only say good things about the image quality from the new sensor. Contrary to my fear that the higher resolution on the same sensor surface as the SL would lead to more noise in the higher ISO range, the SL2 has completely quelled those concerns. Even at ISO settings, the new sensor shows what it can do. The images are consistently not only finer, but also lower in noise than those from the camera’s predecessor. This is detectable at any ISO setting, but becomes visually more relevant once past ISO 400. This is really remarkable and refutes the commonly held opinion that a larger pixel density automatically leads to stronger noise. But I have confirmed one suspicion: The SL2 does not replace the digital medium format for me. However, it does come very close to the image quality of the larger sensors. Yet for those who need the last ounce of perfection in their photography, it is still not possible to better the larger-sized mirrorless cameras from Hasselblad or Fuji. That said, the distance between the new formats with the arrival of the SL2 has become significantly narrower. The SL2 achieves a level which will probably be sufficient in 90 percent of cases. Clarification I have made a small comparison to help clarify this proposition. Below a series of images, which I photographed with the Leica SL, the SL2 (each with the 24-90 Vario) and with the Hasselblad X1D and the 90s. I want to emphasise that my comparison is only about the noise behaviour and the dynamics, not about the resolution. The sharpening position is sometimes not exactly the same in the test shots, so my photos are not suitable for analysing the resolution but only for comparing the noise behaviour. For my assessment task I have also interpreted the results in the RAW processing and subsequent storage to the same level of resolution, so a total of about 50 megapixels, including the shots with the 24MP-SL. Thus, in my photographic reality, it is easier to compare what the sensors in the high-ISO range do when, as is common practice in the job, they are used for later for different media — for instance for large billboards or exhibition boards have to be “inflated” to the required resolution. My conclusions overall: Although the pixels of the SL are larger than those of the SL2 and thus would have to be brighter, the noise as the SL sensitivity increases is blatantly stronger. The quality gap between the two Leicas is definitely bigger than that between the SL2 and the Hasselblad. Of course, the SL2 and X1D have the same pixel resolution and so the fineness of the noise is initially the same, which is one explanation. Nevertheless, I find it amazing that the SL2, despite possessing only around 60% of the sensor surface of the X1D, keeps noise even at high ISOs so well under control. Leica has really done a good job and this includes pushing sensor technology into the high league.. In practice To say it in one sentence: The SL2 is a lot of fun! When I got the camera I was again away on one of my small photo trips and, coincidentally has the task of photographing a wedding in Switzerland. As a result, my picture examples are not commercial in nature but include street scenes as well as scenes of the wedding. What impressed me most about the SL2 is the ease and speed with which you can take pictures. Compared with its predecessor, the new camera is not only easier to handle, more satisfying overall, but can also provide super-fast results. It is quiet, very agile and is therefore also ideal for street photography. It is quiet inconspicuous when used with correspondingly compact M lenses despite the SLR look. However, I should make one point here. The bright white Leica logo on the front of the viewfinder housing has even become a tad larger than it was on the SL and is just terrible. In a similar way, the red Leica dot is too close to the edge of the housing. As a trained graphic designer and typographer, I would have wished for more sensitivity here. But I digress. In this context, however, I should mention the outstanding viewfinder which, again, impresses mightily. I have the impression that it is not only of very high resolution but that it works without delay. It is a pleasure to achieve focus with the SL2 and I have to say that this is one of the vest electronic viewfinders I have ever used. This is likely to be the case for users such as Sports photographers be interesting. I am in this area but not the very big expert, because I put a lot of manual focus with the SL and the SL2, as already mentioned often work with M lenses and also professionally in advertising shootings usually the autofocus only Focusing security serves and does not have to have much performance in the area of speed and follow-up. In this context, but to mention the very good viewfinder, which was also improved again. I had the impression that he is not only high-resolution but also works without delay. It is a pleasure to be in focus with him and he is still one of the best electronic viewfinder ever. Conclusion One thing is certain: I will definitely get the SL2, despite my continuing work with medium format. For me, the most important point is not necessarily the higher resolution. 47 megapixels in a Leica is basically great, but I still have my Hasselblad X1D. It will continue to be the first choice in the field of architecture and studio. What’s really intriguing to me about the SL2 is the ease and speed with which you can be on the road with these 47 megapixels. And that it also offers IBIS support. That simply is not on offer in a medium format camera. And with the comparative low price of just under €6,000, Leica has even admitted itself into a more “normal” price level. And that’s why my piggy bank has to cough up again. I just hope it’s getting fat enough. Text & Photos Thomas A. Berger | www.tab-fotografie.de Translation by Michael Evans | English version first published on Macfilos | German version available here
  3. Leica Camera introduces today the Leica SL2, the new generation full frame mirrorless camera. The Leica SL2 will available starting November 21st at $5,995 / 5,990 € / £ 5,300. Leica SL2 at a glance 47 MP Sensor Leica Maestro III processor IBIS - In Body Image Stabilizer Buffer Memory 4GB (78 DNG / > 100 JPG) UHS-II Slot 5k Video ISO 50 to ISO 50000 Viewfinder (EVF) 5.8 MP / 120 fps, 0.78x magnification Mechanical shutter 30 min to 1/8000 s Electronic shutter 1 s to 1/40000 s Flash Sync 1/250 s Multishot generates 2 DNGs: 1x 47 MP, 1x 187 MP (8 pictures are combined into one high-res image) Contrast Autofocus WLAN / Bluetooth Battery (Leica BP-SCL4), approx. 370 recordings (CIPA, without EVF) Dimensions (W x H x D) 146 x 107 x 42mm Weight Approx. 835g (without battery) Leica SL2 product images Jono Slack already has a full review after testing it for some weeks. » Here is his Leica SL2 review. Press Release A New Icon: Leica Camera Announces the New Leica SL2, Successor to the Trailblazing Leica SL 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. Crafted with conscience The SL2 is the only mirrorless camera designed and crafted in Germany, with an unmatched all metal solid construction and elegant leather wrap to withstand the time and deliver years of photographic pleasure, thanks to the sustainability guaranteed by consistent firmware updates. 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. Improved ergonomics for stress-free shooting in any situation Despite significant technical improvements, and the presence of in-body stabilization, the Leica SL2 has kept the same size than its predecessor and feels particularly compact to handle. 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. 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. New Leica Object Detection Autofocus The new Leica Object Detention AF ensures a fast and reliable AF. In addition to an array of modes and features, including face recognition, the SL2’s high-performance AF system also automatically detects whether a subject is stationary or in motion, and subsequently switches between motion and focus priority. 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. 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. 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. 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 build in headphones and mic jack, complemented by a fully-fledged HDMI connector for external monitors. 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. Leica FOTOS App Of course the new Leica SL2 is supported by Leica FOTOS, the versatile app available for Android and iOS Smartphones. Leica FOTOS connects directly to the camera via Wi-Fi (Bluetooth® is supported where available) and saves the registration details to make future connections between the camera and the app as fast and convenient as possible. Leica FOTOS enables photographers to access the Live View function of the camera and remotely change exposure-relevant settings such as aperture, ISO value, shutter speed and exposure compensation from a smartphone. It naturally also allows wireless control of the shutter release, which opens up entirely new creative opportunities. Thanks to the high-resolution displays of modern smartphones, pictures can be viewed immediately at full size to assess their sharpness. The exposure parameters are also displayed, which can be extremely helpful for adjusting the settings for subsequent exposures. As soon as a personal selection has been made, the pictures can either be shared in social networks, or saved for mobile post processing in the smartphone. Leica FOTOS can be used for this in combination with many popular post processing apps. To exploit the full potentials of digital image processing, the pictures can also be transferred to the respective app in DNG RAW data format. If users wish to save the finished pictures after processing on their smartphone, they can take advantage of the option for saving them to a separate Leica Gallery – this keeps painstakingly composed and processed pictures from the Leica FOTOS app separate from simple snapshots. Expect many new features and a whole new mobile workflow experience on the iPad when Leica FOTOS will be available in version 2.0 from November 21, 2019. The Leica SL2 is available beginning November 21, 2019.
  4. Testbericht von Thomas A. Berger | www.tab-fotografie.de Update 14. November 2019: English Version here Erste Erfahrungen mit einem neuen Meilenstein – Leica SL2 Die Überschrift meines kleinen Reviews, in der ich mich dem Wortlaut von Leica zur Ankündigung der neuen SL2 bediene, ist gleich zu Anfang eine gewisse Begeisterung zu erkennen, die ich für den jüngsten Spross aus dem Haus mit dem roten Punkt empfinde – aber der Reihe nach. Zunächst ein Rückblick zu meinem Einstieg ins SL-Leben: Dass Euphorie und sofortige Begeisterung nicht von Anfang an für die SL standen, zeigt mein steiniger Weg zur ersten Leica SL. Von der Kamera war ich nämlich bei ihrem Erscheinen 2015 zunächst überhaupt nicht sonderlich angetan und ich muss gestehen, dass ich mit dieser Kamera zunächst nicht viel anfangen konnte. Verglichen mit meinen geliebten M-Kameras zu groß, zu schwer und angesichts der schon längst etablierten, spiegellosen Konkurrenz von Sony & Co. mit deren hervorragenden Kameras auch noch Leica-typisch viel zu teuer – das waren meine ersten Reaktionen damals und somit war die SL zunächst mal abgehakt. Zu dieser Zeit spielte Leica mit dem M-System bei mir immer noch die Nebenrolle für die Street- und Reisefotografie. Für die Hauptarbeit in meinem Job als Werbefotograf innerhalb meiner Agentur waren neben dem digitalen Mittelformat im Bereich Vollformat ausschließlich die DSLR-Nikons zuständig. Dann kam die Wende: mit Erscheinen der Hasselblad X1D, von der ich als jahrelanger Hasselblad-V-Fotograf gleich begeistert war, wuchs bei der Arbeit mit dieser spiegellosen Mittelformatkamera die Erkenntnis, dass meine immer größer werdenden Probleme der Scharfstellung mit digitalen Spiegelreflexkameras plötzlich wie weggeblasen waren. Keine Probleme mehr mit Unschärfe bei hektischen Terminen, weil die Schärfe einfach nicht auf dem Punkt sitzt und man Blut und Wasser schwitzt, um die Schärfe auch da hin zu bekommen, wo man sie braucht. Das war die Initialzündung für die Leica SL als mögliches Arbeitstier – und mit der ersten Live-Begegnung auch prompt die Erkenntnis: eine tolle Kamera, die den hohen Qualitätsanspruch von Leica im Bereich der spiegellosen Kameras sehr gut repräsentiert und mit der ich dann auch von Anfang an sehr gut zurecht kam. Seit diesem Zeitpunkt ist eine über 30 Jahre dauernde Arbeit mit Nikon passé und ich bin im Vollformat mit der SL und der M nun gänzlich bei Leica gelandet. Vor ein paar Monaten dann die Nachricht von unseren LUF-Admins Andreas und Leon, ob ich Interesse hätte, als Feld-Tester für die Software der kommenden SL2 tätig zu werden – was für eine Frage, die ich natürlich auch als rein rhetorisch gewertet habe! 😉 Vorausschicken möchte ich, dass mein Review vor dem Hintergrund als reiner Praxisanwender geschrieben ist, der seine Kamera in seiner ganz persönlichen Art beruflich und privat einsetzt. Ich bin kein professioneller Tester, der die Kamera mittels neutral aufgearbeiteter Testfotos auf dem Prüfstand beurteilt. Und obwohl ich natürlich versuchen werde, nüchtern und sachlich zu urteilen, sind meine Erkenntnisse immer verhältnismäßig subjektiv und sehr auf meine persönliche Arbeitsweise bezogen. Sie sind nicht sehr techniklastik, die Bildergebnisse werden von mir in der RAW-Verarbeitung mit dem PS-Konverter grundsätzlich in meinem Stil entwickelt und ich werde auch nicht sehr ins Detail gehen, was die Funktionen und technischen Möglichkeiten des neuen Gehäuses anbelangen. Außerdem bin ich üblicherweise reiner Fotograf und mein Review bezieht sich deshalb auch ausschließlich auf die Fotografie mit der SL – Aussagen über die videotechnischen Möglichkeiten mache ich keine. Ergonomie, Handling und Bedienung Wenn man als eingefleischter SL-Anwender die SL2 nach dem Auspacken zum ersten Mal in die Hand nimmt, kommt sofort ein Staunen auf: Obwohl die Kamera auf den ersten Blick ihrer Vorgängerin zunächst sehr sehr ähnlich sieht, fühlt sie sich extrem anders an! Es wird sofort klar, dass die beim zweiten Hinsehen leicht veränderten Designelemente und Oberflächen zu einem deutlich veränderten Griffgefühl geführt haben. Die SL2 ist ein perfektes Beispiel dafür, wie nur wenige Millimeter Veränderung von Gehäuserundungen und Formen eine große Veränderung bzw. Verbesserung des Handlings bewirken können. Es wurde nach der sinngemäßen Aussage von Andreas Kaufmann, einen neue SL würde nicht mehr so grob geschnitzt sein, sicherlich viel vom neuen Design erwartet und manch einer wird vielleicht sagen, dass er von der SL2 etwas mehr Veränderung erwartet hätte – zumal die SL ja bezüglich ihres Designs von Anfang an recht umstritten war. Ich kann aber berichten, dass die zunächst nur marginal wirkenden Veränderungen in der Handhabung eine deutliche Verbesserung gebracht haben. Der jetzt komplett umlaufende Kunststoffbezug, die leicht abgerundeten Kanten des mit Strukturlack versehenen Gehäuses und vor allem der in der Form leicht veränderte und mit einer Einbuchtung auf der Innenseite versehene Handgriff verhelfen der Kamera zu deutlich mehr Grip – die SL2 hält sich mit meinen etwa mittelgroßen Männerhänden einfach hervorragend! Das Gewicht ist praktisch gleich geblieben – obwohl man auf Grund des besseren Handlings sofort meint, die Kamera ist leichter! Auf meiner zugegeben ungenauen Haushaltswaage ist sogar eine im Vergleich zur SL ganz minimale Gewichtserhöhung zu verzeichnen (siehe Fotos), obwohl ich nach dem ersten Anfassen tatsächlich geschworen hätte, die SL2 ist leichter als die SL. Hier kann man deutlich sehen, was ein neues Griffgefühl bewirken kann. Die Maße der Kamera sind praktisch ebenfalls gleich geblieben, das Gehäuse hat auch in der Dicke nicht zugelegt. Das ist insofern erstaunlich, weil die SL2 jetzt mit ihrem beweglich gelagerten Sensor über IBIS verfügt – dazu später mehr. Was sofort ins Auge fällt, ist das veränderte Tastendesign auf der Kamerarückseite. Hier stand mit ihren drei wieder beschrifteten Drucktasten eindeutig die Leica M10 Modell, was ich persönlich super finde. Wer wie ich parallel mit der M10 arbeitet, empfindet diese Abkehr von dem unbeschrifteten 4-Tasten-Konzept der SL als echte Erleichterung. Ich habe mich im Laufe der Zeit bei der SL zwar dran gewöhnt, hatte aber immer wieder mal meine Schwierigkeiten mit der Tastenbelegung, wenn es hektisch wurde. Das neue Konzept kommt mir sehr entgegen. Joystick und Bedienräder sind hingegen in Bezug auf die SL gleich geblieben. Die jetzt nach außen abgesetzten und nicht mehr in den Gehäusebereich versenkten Chrom-Bügel für den Tragegurt empfinde ich zwar designmäßig als etwas weniger gelungen, aber dafür lässt sich nun ganz eindeutig der Tragegurt viel schneller und einfacher befestigen und wieder abnehmen. In der Praxis eine Verbesserung, auch wenn das glatte Design dadurch etwas gelitten hat. Bei der Menüführung ist die SL2 der M10 ebenfalls recht ähnlich – natürlich nur in den Bereichen, die mit der M10 auch korrespondieren. Hinzugekommen ist ein sogenanntes Schnellmenü in der Hauptoberfläche, das man selbst konfigurieren kann. Hier lassen sich auf einen Blick die wichtigsten und am häufigsten gebrauchten Funktionen ablesen und per Touchoberfäche sofort bedienen, ohne ins Listenmenü zu müssen. Eine große Veränderung gegenüber der SL betrifft das GPS. Die SL2 hat keine Antenne mehr für die Ortung und demzufolge auch kein internes GPS. Das ist zwar schöner fürs Design, weil nämlich der hässliche Plastik-Hubbel links, unter dem sich die Antenne befunden hatte, jetzt weg ist. Dafür gibt es GPS jetzt nur noch über die Verbindung mit dem Smartphone. Das werden sicherlich einige bedauern. Mir persönlich macht es nicht so viel aus, da ich auch hier kein ausgiebiger Anwender von getaggten Fotos bin. Trotzdem wird dies für so manchen vielleicht ein Wermutstropfen sein. Der Sensor Hier steckt sicherlich der Hauptfaktor der von Leica proklamierten SL2 als „Meilenstein“: ein völlig neuer Sensor mit 47 Megapixeln Auflösung – und der ist auch noch mit IBIS versehen! Vor allem die sogenannte InBodyImageStabilization, also der Anti-Wackeldackel in der Kamera mit Hilfe des beweglich gelagerten Sensors war ein sehnlichst erwartetes Feature, das Leica jetzt wahr gemacht hat. Für mich persönlich ist der IBIS mindestens genauso wichtig wie die Verdoppelung der Auflösung, wenn nicht sogar wichtiger. Denn die Gefahr unscharfer Fotos durch minimale Verwackelung steigt potentiell mit der Steigerung der Sensorauflösung. Völlig objektivunabhängig drauf zurückgreifen zu können ist eine tolle Sache. Und: es funktioniert auch! Ich bin einer, der sehr häufig M-Objektive an seine SL adaptiert und finde das einen wirklich großen Fortschritt, jetzt auch mit den vielen adaptierten manuellen Objektiven oder auch den neuen Fremdobjektiven aus dem L-Mount-Angebot der Partner ohne Objektiv-Stabi (wie z.B. mein neues 45er Sigma mit L-Mount) eine Bildstabilisierung zu haben – klasse! Und wie schon erwähnt hat es Leica sogar geschafft, den IBIS-Sensor in ein gleich schlankes Gehäuse zu stecken. Zur Bildqualität des neuen Sensors kann ich nur Gutes berichten. Entgegen meiner Befürchtung, die höhere Auflösung auf der gleichen Sensorfläche wie bei der SL führe zu einem stärkeren Rauschen im hohen ISO-Bereich, wird mit der SL2 widerlegt. Auch in den hohen ISO-Einstellungen zeigt der neue Sensor, was er kann: die Aufnahmen sind durchgehend nicht nur feiner, sondern auch rauschärmer als bei der Vorgängerin! Im Grunde ist das praktisch in jeder ISO-Einstellung zu sehen, optisch wirklich stärker relevant wird es ab ISO 400. Das ist wirklich bemerkenswert und widerlegt die häufige Meinung, eine größere Pixeldichte führe automatisch zu stärkerem Rauschen. Was sich aber auch bestätigt hat: die SL2 ersetzt für mich nicht das digitale Mittelformat. Sie kommt zwar sehr nahe an die Bildqualität der größeren Sensoren heran, aber wer das letzte Quäntchen Perfektion auch für die Kunden braucht, kommt trotzdem nicht an den größerformatigen spiegellosen von Hasselblad oder Fuji vorbei. Allerdings ist der Abstand mit der SL2 deutlich geringer geworden und ihr Niveau wird wohl in 90 Prozent der Fälle ausreichen. Ich habe zur Verdeutlichung einen kleinen Vergleich gemacht: nachfolgend eine Motivserie, die ich mit der Leica SL, der SL2 (jeweils mit dem 24-90er Vario) sowie mit der Hasselblad X1D und dem 90er fotografiert habe. Ich möchte betonen, dass es bei meinem Vergleich nur um das Rauschverhalten und die Dynamik geht, nicht um die Auflösung. Die Schärfelage ist teilweise in den Testshots nicht ganz exakt gleich, deshalb taugen meine Fotos nicht zur Analyse des Auflösungsvermögens sondern nur zum Vergleich des Rauschverhaltens. Ich habe außerdem für meine persönliche Einschätzung in der Praxis alle Aufnahmen bei der RAW-Verarbeitung und anschließenden Speicherung auf das gleiche Auflösungsniveau interpoliert, also insgesamt auf etwa 50 Megapixel, auch die Aufnahmen mit der 24MP-SL. So lässt sich in meiner fotografischen Realität besser vergleichen, was die Sensoren im High-ISO-Bereich leisten, wenn sie, wie es im Job häufige Praxis ist, für später benötigte Medien wie z.B. Großplakate oder Messetafeln auf die dafür benötigte Auflösung „aufgeblasen“ werden müssen. Insgesamt zeigt sich dabei folgendes Bild: Obwohl die Pixel der SL größer sind als die der SL2 und damit lichtstärker sein müssten, ist das Rauschen mit höher werdenden Empfindlichkeitseinstellungen bei der SL doch eklatant stärker. Der Qualitäts-Abstand zwischen den beiden Leicas ist dabei definitiv größer als der zwischen der SL2 und der Hasselblad. Natürlich haben die SL2 und X1D die gleiche Pixelauflösung und damit ist die Feinheit des Rauschens zunächst einmal die gleiche, was eine Erklärung ist. Trotzdem finde ich es erstaunlich, dass die SL2 trotz nur etwa 60% der Sensorfläche der X1D ihr Rauschen auch bei hohen ISOs so gut im Griff hat. Da hat Leica wirklich einen guten Job gemacht und schließt damit sensortechnologisch in die ganz hohe Liga auf. Die Praxis Um es mit einem Satz zu sagen: Die SL2 macht sehr viel Spaß! Ich war in der Zeit, als ich die Kamera bekommen hatte, mal wieder auf einer meiner kleinen Fotoreisen und hatte außerdem zufällig in diesem Zeitraum eine Hochzeit in der Schweiz zu fotografieren. Demzufolge sind meine Bildbeispiele auch nicht kommerzieller Natur sondern beinhalten Street-Motive sowie Szenen des Paar-Shootings meiner Hochzeiter. Am meisten begeistert hat mich bei der SL2 die Leichtigkeit und Schnelligkeit, mit der man fotografieren kann. Die Kamera ist aus meiner Sicht im Vergleich zur Vorgängerin nicht nur deutlich besser zu halten – wie oben beim Thema Ergonomie ja schon angesprochen – sondern lässt sich einfach insgesamt super schnell bedienen. Die Kamera ist leise, sehr agil und eignet sich deshalb auch hervorragend für die Streetfotografie, da sie mit entsprechend kompakten M-Objektiven trotz Spiegelreflex-Look recht unauffällig ist. Nur ein Punkt arbeitet hier entgegen und dieses Manko liegt im Design: der strahlend weiße Leica-Schriftzug auf der Vorderseite der Sucherkappe ist sogar noch einen Tick größer geworden als bei der SL und fällt einfach fürchterlich auf. Wie übrigens auch der viel zu große rote Leica-Punkt auf der Vorderseite, der auch noch zu nahe an der Gehäusekante sitzt. Als ursprünglich ausgebildeter Grafikdesigner und Typograf hätte ich mir hier mehr Feingefühl gewünscht, aber ich schweife ab 😉 ... Der Autofokus ist nochmals verbessert worden und bietet jetzt weitere Funktionen und Automatisierungen, auf die ich persönlich hier aber nicht sehr tief eingehen möchte. Nur so viel: es gibt sogar vorprogrammierte und selbst veränderbare Autofokus-Profile für verschiedene Bewegungsabläufe. Dies dürfte für Anwender wie z.B. Sportfotografen interessant sein. Ich bin in diesem Bereich aber nicht der ganz große Experte, da ich mit der SL und auch der SL2 sehr viel manuell scharf stelle, wie schon erwähnt häufig mit M-Objektiven arbeite und auch beruflich bei Werbe-Shootings in der Regel der Autofokus nur zur Scharfstellsicherheit dient und nicht sehr viel Leistung im Bereich Schnelligkeit und Nachverfolgung haben muss. In diesem Zusammenhang ist aber der sehr gute Sucher zu erwähnen, der ebenfalls nochmals verbessert wurde. Ich hatte den Eindruck, dass er nicht nur hochauflösender ist sondern auch verzögerungsfreier arbeitet. Es ist ein Genuss, mit ihm scharf zu stellen und er ist nach wie vor einer der besten elektronischen Sucher überhaupt. Fazit Eins ist sicher: Ich werde mir die SL2 zulegen. Trotz vorhandenem Mittelformat. Für mich der wichtigste Punkt ist dabei eben gar nicht unbedingt die höhere Auflösung. 47 Megapixel in einer Leica sind zwar grundsätzlich toll, aber ich habe ja noch meine Hasselblad X1D. Die wird auch weiterhin in den Bereichen Architektur und Studio erste Wahl sein. Was für mich persönlich an der SL2 wirklich faszinierend ist, ist die Leichtigkeit und Schnelligkeit, mit der man mit diesen 47 Megapixeln auf der Straße unterwegs sein kann. Und das auch noch mit IBIS-Unterstützung. Das bietet einfach keine Mittelformatkamera. Und mit einem für Leica-Verhältnisse vergleichsweise günstigen Preis von unter 6.000,- Euro hat sich Leica sogar auf ein einigermaßen „normales“ Preisniveau eingelassen. Und deshalb muss halt wieder mal mein Sparschwein dran glauben. Ich hoffe nur, dass es schon fett genug geworden ist ... Text und Fotos: Thomas A. Berger | www.tab-fotografie.de
  5. Does anyone with an SL2 have experience with Sony’s latest A7r4 or A9 series (1 or 2)? I mainly shoot my family and my running toddlers and other fam events. My Sony A7r4 grabs faces and holds focus without a thought and about 100% of the time, will the SL2 be competitive there? I mainly shoot an m10-p, but when autofocus is needed I grab the Sony. I’m hoping to switch to the SL2 with an early preorder already made, but I’m only hesitant in its AF abilities. Coming from a new Sony, I’m hoping it will be comparable. My Q2 had solid AF abilities and great hit rate, if the SL2 is a step past that, it is indeed then competitive.
  6. Review (Text & Images) by Jono Slack So, here we have Leica’s upgrade to the SL, or so I thought, but it isn’t quite that simple. I have been looking back at my Lightroom catalogue and it seems that I first shot with the Leica SL on June 1st 2015. Since then I’ve shot lots of events, seven weddings and hundreds of landscape, environmental and wildlife images (and even some street photography). Nearly four and a half years on, my camera has been through hell and high water, Rain and sweat and dust and seaspray, it’s been banged against walls and pulled onto the floor by children. It has performed flawlessly, and I know it better than any camera I have ever used. I have no idea how many pictures I’ve taken with it, but I have around 20,000 saved images (and I’m really very brutal about culling) I would estimate well over 200,000. The SL still fulfills all my requirements, and I’m still in love with the interface. So why would I want something different, and let’s be honest - how often does one really NEED 47mp. Added to which the strap lugs on the Leica SL2 stick out, and it only has 3 buttons on the back (rather than the 4 on the SL), and they have writing on them! Worse than that, they’ve replaced the beautiful Bauhaus brutalism with a kind of soft edged version, all the edges smoothed out and finessed. But it’s my job to test these cameras, so I have, and my thoughts are below. As usual I should stress that my remit is to test cameras, not to write reviews, and if I find something wrong, then my duty is to tell Leica about it (not you) . . And I certainly do tell Leica! Having said that, I would never knowingly miss out a fault (like the sticky out strap lugs), and I will do my very best to convey my honest feelings about the camera. Leica never try to influence my writing, although they do have the opportunity to fact check what I write. Sadly I’m not a video photographer, but I’m going to spend more time on the video features as they seem to be much more significant in the Leica SL2. I really hope you enjoy this article. I have perhaps been a bit more descriptive than normal about the functions / operation and menus as I feel that there are quite a lot of innovations and that they’re worth the time and effort, and I’m hoping that the article will be a good companion for those who have just received the camera (or are waiting for it). Body and Design The design of the SL was a bit ‘Marmite’, some people (including me) loved it for its functional brutality and nod to the Bauhaus. Others were not so impressed and simply thought it was ugly (and uncomfortable). Many thought it was too big and heavy and there was some discussion that the Leica SL2 might be a lot smaller: The Leica SL …is 147mm wide, 104mm high and 39mm deep, weighting 860 gms The Leica SL2 …is 146mm wide, 107mm high and 42mm deep, weighing 928 gms So it actually isn’t any smaller than the SL, although it does seem to look quite a lot smaller. The slightly higher viewfinder lump and a deeper grip, together with the softer lines make it kinder on the eye and feel lighter in the hand! I don’t think the actual 68gm weight difference is going to make much difference to anyone (weights include battery). I’m aware that some people felt that the sharp edges of the SL made it difficult to carry for long periods. Personally I never did find this a problem, but Leica have addressed these concerns with the Leica SL2. The corners are now slightly rounded off and the grip is deeper, with an indent on the inside for the fingers to rest. It definitely doesn’t hurt so much when I whack my hip with the bottom corner! The Leica SL2 is more conventional looking than the SL and I think that most people will consider it to be a handsome camera. Controls and Ergonomics I have to confess to loving the 4 button rear layout on the SL. However, it’s clearly sensible to standardise the interface across all the Leica system cameras, and the 3 button layout of the Leica SL2 is another step in this direction. The Short press / Long press methodology of the CL and the SL has been retained, but with the Leica SL2 there doesn’t seem to be a menu option to limit the long press option for the individual buttons (all options are shown with the long press). At first this seemed like a step backwards, but actually it isn’t something one wants to change all that often, and it’s nice to have all the options available without having to go back into the Customise menu. There are 5 function buttons: I currently have them set as follows: The rear Fn button toggling Info Display (like the bottom right on the SL) The top left Fn button is set to Exposure Metering The top right Fn button is set to ISO The front top Fn button is set to Magnification The front bottom button is set to AF Mode The Camera Back Superficially the rear of the Leica SL2 looks very similar, but now there are three buttons on the left of the display marked Play Fn Menu The Play button works the same way as the SL, the Fn button is described above. The Menu button has 3 press settings: 1st press brings up the Status Screen (more later) 2nd Press brings up the Favorites menu (configurable in the menu section) 3rd Press takes you to the Main Menu (more later). If you have been in the main menu in the current session then the 3rd press will take you to the last selected option, if not it takes you to the first page. There are no buttons on the right hand side, but just like the SL there is a dedicated EVF/Display mode selector button and the same excellent joystick. The rear Display / LCD panel has had its resolution increased from 1,040,000 to 2,100,000 and is touch screen as per the SL. Size has been increased from 2.95” to 3.2”. The EVF has also had a hike in resolution to 5,760,000 at 120fps (the SL was 4,400,000). The magnification is now 0.78x. This is a significant improvement all-round and Leica seemed to have reduced the contrast a little so that the shadows don’t block out so easily. The Top Plate The Leica SL2 has lost the plastic GPS lump on the left hand side of the viewfinder, and this is now plain metal. The right hand side has the same 1.28” excellent monochrome LCD (but this still shows the Exposure compensation as + or - rather than a specific value. The top plate still has two function buttons (but they are black rather than silver). The Front Plate The Leica SL2 has two function buttons aligned vertically (rather than the single button on the SL - which makes up for the loss of one of the four buttons on the back plate. The Right Side The SD card door seems to be the same as that on the SL (nothing wrong with that!). However, the Leica SL2 now supports two UHS II type SD cards. You can choose various options for the second SD card (backup / jpg / continuation). The Left Side There are two rubber covers, the top cover reveals Audio In and Audio Out 3.5mm Jack sockets together with an HDMI 2.0b socket. The small lower socket has a USB-3.1 Gen 1 Type C (USB-C) socket which can also be used for charging the camera. The Base Plate The base plate is not identical to the SL due to a different body construction. The shape is slightly different and the positioning and construction of the contacts is different due the space limitations inside the camera. This means that there is a different handgrip for the Leica SL2. The Status Screen The Status Screen is a quick menu which comes up automatically on the first press of the menu button. This is really nicely thought out and has links to all the most frequently used functions on the camera. It also controls switching between Photo and Video. The top part of the screen shows the current settings whilst the lower section is touch enabled. You can use touch to pick the settings, but I’ve found that it’s better to tap the function you need and then select the option using the rear dial. Alternatively you can use the joy stick to navigate the menu and select the options. Each of the settings in the lower two rows have a description of the chosen setting above it. In Photo Mode The options in the top row are: PMAS Mode Aperture Shutter Speed ISO Exposure Compensation The shutter speed and Aperture become enabled or disabled depending on which PMAS mode is chosen (Program / Manual / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority. The options in the middle row are: Drive Mode Focus Mode AF Mode AF Profiles Exposure Mode (normal Multi-Point, centre weighted and spot options) White Balance (an expected number of options) The options in the bottom row are: File Type (DNG and/or JPG: large (46.7mp), medium (24mp) or small (12mp) Card Format User Profile (Default + 6 user profiles with up to 10 character names) Lock Wifi / Bluetooth connection shortcut for Connection to Fotos. Main Menu Some of these options are worth further description Drive Mode Options are: Single Shot Continuous - Low Speed: 3 photos per second Continuous - Medium Speed: 6 photos per second Continuous - High Speed: 12 fps (without AFc, AE, AWB) Continuous - Very High Speed: 20 fps (with electronic shutter no AFc, AE, AWB) Self Timer 2 sec Self Timer 12 sec Interval shooting Exposure Bracketing Focus Mode Options are: iAF (intelligent AF which switches between modes depending on subject) AFs (AF single) AFc (AF continuous) MF (manual focusing) AF Mode Options are: Multi Field Spot Field Zone Tracking Face / Eye detect AF Profiles This is an interesting new concept for AF. There are a series of Focus profiles, each of which can be configured to suit your individual requirements. The profiles are: Children / Pets (Standard Movements) Teamsports (Fast and unexpected change of direction) Runner (Constant Movements) Wildlife (Sudden appearance and change of direction) For each of these 4 profiles you can change 3 components: Depth Sensitivity Field Movement Shift in Direction Each component can be shifted from -2 (fix) to +2 Responsive) I’ll deal with the implications of these settings in the focusing section below. In Video Mode The options in the top row are: PMAS Mode Aperture Shutter Speed ISO Exposure Compensation The shutter speed and Aperture become enabled or disabled depending on which PMAS mode is chosen (Program / Manual / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority The options in the middle row are: Focus Mode AF Mode Exposure Mode (normal Multi-Point, centre weighted and spot options) White Balance (an expected number of options) File Format (Mp4 or MOV) Resolution, formats and frame rates (see video section below) The options in the bottom row are: Microphone level Headphone Volume User Profile (Default + 6 user profiles with up to 10 character names) Lock Wifi / Bluetooth connection shortcut for Connection to Fotos. Main Menu Clicking the Menu button a second time will bring up a user configurable Favourites menu which works in just the same way as the SL (if one has been configured). Otherwise it will take you straight to the 6 page menu section, as will a third click if it has been configured. The Menu System On of Leica’s unique selling points is simplicity. The designers constantly seek to keep menus simple, and to offer what you need rather than allowing menus to expand into impenetrable and complicated mazes. It really is a unique point as well - Other manufacturers menus are either more or less well designed, but without exception they are huge and confusing. Having worked with them for 10 years, I realise that it’s very difficult to listen to customers on the one hand and to keep things simple on the other. Many other companies pride themselves in listening to customer requests, and implementing them. This might seem good theoretically, but it does end up with too many options, some of which are contradictory, and many others badly thought out. I get many many emails from photographers requesting their own personal feature, some of these ideas are good, lots of them reflect on their not having fully understood the options already available and even more suggest that they haven’t applied lateral thinking to their particular issue (this is a speciality of mine!). However, Leica do listen - and they do implement sensible changes. For example, the two most commonly requested features I’ve had with respect to the SL are: 1. The ability to switch off acceleration for manual focus on L mount AF lenses 2. The option to switch off Long Exposure Noise reduction (Dark Frame Subtraction). Both of these have been implemented in the Leica SL2 There are 6 pages of menu options, the layout is very similar to the SL, CL and M10 I’m not going to go through all the details (I’m sure the manual will do a better job) but as with the Status Screen above I will go into a few options which caught my attention. Auto ISO Settings Leica have always been very good with auto ISO settings, and I’ve always been very fond of the option to set the maximum exposure time as 1 times 1/2, 1/4 of the focal length. The SL has options Maximum ISO Shutter speed Limit Maximum ISO with Flash Shutter Speed Limit with Flash What has changed is the Shutter speed limit - the options are a list of shutter speeds and Auto. The argument is that with In Body Image Stabilisation the Auto option will choose the best shutter speed in any situation, but of course, IBIS cannot judge the amount of movement in the subject, I would very much like to see the 1 1/2 1/4 F/L options back again, having found them invaluable when shooting Weddings and especially concerts. Camera Settings This option is on the 5th page of the menu options, and has some interesting changes. The options (which cover three pages) are: Capture Assistance (with sub menu) Touch AF (on/off) Touch AF in EVF (on/off) Focus Limit (Macro) AF Assist light (on/off) Power Saving (sub menu) USB Charging (on/off) Lens Profiles EV Increment USB - Mode (mass storage, PTP or select on connection) Distance Unit Date and Time (which has a ‘via smartphone’ option) Edit File Name (irritatingly, like the SL, you can only change the first letter) Reset Image Numbering Capture Assistance is interesting There are 4 separate info profile settings, each of which can be switched on and off, and each of which can contain any of the following (with on/off switches): Info Bars Grid Clipping / Zebra Focus Peaking Level Gauge Histogram I think this is useful and elegant, however, of course, you have to assign one of the function buttons to “Toggle Info Levels” as the camera no longer has a dedicated info button (bottom right on the SL!). Power Saving is also relevant There are two options Auto Power Off All Displays Auto Off The Leica SL2 uses the same battery as the SL, it uses the Maestro III processor rather than the Maestro II, and it has 47mp rather than 24mp. My recommendation is to leave on the default limits for Auto Power off and All displays off. I’ll discuss this further in Battery Life. Battery Life I like to be able to shoot immediately, and so the first thing I do normally is to turn off “Auto Power Off” and to turn “Auto Display Off” to the longest period, and that’s what I did with the Leica SL2 when I first got a body. Initially I was horrified with the battery life, and on a long walk (about 4 hours) I only managed to take 176 shots before the battery needed replacing. I complained about this to Leica, and it was pointed out that the faster processor and bigger files together with the stunningly fast write times made this inevitable. Then I got to thinking harder about this, and reset the power saving settings. I then spent a few hours taking pictures in batches (as you might do at a wedding or event). In this perfect situation I managed to get 1085 images from a single charge. Which of course is fine. My current feeling is to leave the defaults for power saving (see above), set ‘pre-focus’ to off; and under such circumstances I would expect to get about 350 images on a hike or country walk, and perhaps 650 images when shooting an event or a Wedding, and more if shooting a sports event (not that I often do that!). Video The Leica SL2 offers really excellent video facilities; Video Gamma: Rec. 709, L-Log Rec. 2020 (V-Log), HLG Rec 2020 MOV files for all formats, MP4 for 4K and Full HD All formats support frame rates of 29.97p, 25p and 23.98p to cover PAL and NTSC. At all but 5k it also supports frame rates of 59.94p and 50p Slo Motion is available for Full HD at 180fps, 15o fps 120 fps and 100 fps Audio Format for both MOV and MP4 is 2ch 48khz / 16bit 5k at a resolution of 4992x3744 200mbps at 4.2.0 / 10 bit directly to SD Cine 4K at 4096x2160 & 4K (UHD) 24p, 25p and 30p 10 bit at 400 Mbps 4.2.2 directly to SD card 8 bit at 150Mbps (60 &50 fps) 4.2.0 directly to SD 10 bit 4.2.2 is also supported but on an HDMI recorder only 4k at 3840x2160 4.2.2 / 10 bit directly to SD card Full HD 4.2.2 / 10 bit directly to SD for all but the 100fps and above (8 bit). This is much more impressive than the Panasonic S1r. indeed it includes everything in the paid update for the S1 except the waveform display. The logic for this is that anyone likely to need this would be using an external HDMI display. Also, there is only one standard Look Up Table. However if a movie maker has already defined the ‘Look’ of the movie it is possible to make a specific LUT, and can implement that in any current external recorder or monitor that supports import of LUTs. The Leica SL2 improves on the S1 in allowing bitrates up to 400mbps (directly to SD card as well as via an HDMI recorder). One might argue that it’s more in the range of the new Panasonic S1H for shooting video. Indeed it is more or less at the same level, although the Leica SL2 did not have room for a built in fan, which is why there is a limitation of video to 29 minutes. Manual focusing with the Leica SL2 allows you to change the behaviour of the ‘focus by wire’ focus rings on most modern L mount lenses (by Leica and by Panasonic and Sigma). You will be able to choose whether these operate by ‘acceleration’ (in the same way as the SL) so that if you turn the ring faster the focusing is incrementally increased. Or ‘Static’ in which case there is a linear relationship between turning the focus ring and the change in focus. This may not be implemented in the initial firmware as it also requires some changes to the firmware of the Leica lenses, but it should be available very shortly afterwards. Focusing I have to admit to being easily confused by AF options on digital cameras, but I’ve found the new AF options in the Leica SL2 to be easy to understand and quite logical. I think that the new options for Depth Sensitivity, Field Movement and Shift in direction, together with the AF profiles are a really good idea. For example, I was finding that shifting from a snap of the dog on a walk, to shooting a plant close up, sometimes the camera was reluctant to go so close. Increasing the depth sensitivity sorted out this problem. Choosing Wildlife Mode and then Tracking has proved to be a good solution to shooting birds in flight. Sadly I’ve not had any sports events to shoot, so I haven’t been able to try out the sports mode. In more general terms I’ve found that the AF is very fast, and more importantly is very accurate, whichever mode you choose. It also works very well with the Panasonic and Sigma lenses I’ve tested with the Leica SL2. In Body Image Stabilisation This is one of the big attractions with the Leica SL2, but it’s rather difficult to talk about! The zooms I generally use with the SL already have Optical Image Stabilisation and I didn’t find too much trouble with the SL. The little TL 55-135 actually is a real gem on the Leica SL2, and of course the IBIS is a great help here. I’m sure that it will be an asset with all the TL lenses Lots of Leica users I know have the SL for use with the Leica M Noctilux and Summilux lenses. Of course the Leica SL2 will work just as well (better as the EVF behaves better in low light) and of course it is a real asset to have IBIS for use with these M lenses, What I can say is that I haven’t had any real issues with camera shake with the Leica SL2, and I’ve shot a lot in really poor light. So I think IBIS must be working well! Image Quality I haven’t done many detailed tests of image quality, but the Leica SL2 images are attractive with good dynamic range, the high ISO seems to be a slight improvement over the SL when examined at 100%, but of course this translates to quite a big improvement when you consider the extra resolution. I didn’t encounter any problems with the higher resolution (above a requirement to be a bit more careful to avoid camera shake). Things are more complicated by the fact that Adobe do not yet have specific support for the Leica SL2 DNG files, apparently these should be available when the camera is shipping. You should bear this in mind when looking at the images here. My experience is that the DNG files look great using the Adobe standard profile, the detail is stunning and the colour accurate and good. If this section seems short, it’s because I feel that image quality is really a given with modern cameras - I’m sure that lots of others will do exhaustive tests at 5.3 metres of a carefully consistent scene, at all ISO levels, and of course DxO will do their sensor test. I’m certainly not criticising this useful information, but I do feel that whilst extremely important 10 years ago it’s beginning to look increasingly like examining angels dancing on the heads of pins, and that the scene you’re photographing and the lens you are using together with your technique and post processing is going to have a much bigger effect on your images. L Mount Lenses I have thoroughly tested the Leica SL2 with the following L mount lenses Leica 55-135 TL Leica 50 APO Summicron SL Leica 75 APO Summicron SL Leica 24-90 Vario Elmarit SL Leica 90-280 Vario Elmarit SL Panasonic 70-200 F4 Sigma 14-24 F2.8 Apart from the fact that the Accelerate / Linear manual focus option is not available yet pending lens firmware updates. All of these lenses worked really well, producing images sharp to the corners at all apertures. The SL APO-Summicron lenses, which are so perfect on the 24mp SL lose nothing on the Leica SL2. Indeed, the zoom lenses don’t seem to reveal any vices with the higher resolution. I was also very impressed with the two non-Leica lenses, and I’m planning to write a bit more about them at another time. They don’t draw the same way as the Leica lenses, but they are both very sharp with fast AF. I think it bodes very well for the future. Personally I’d prefer to use Leica lenses, but for lesser used focal lengths it’s great to be able to have a lighter / more economical option. More than that the AF worked well and consistently with all the lenses, and there really didn’t seem to be any downside to using the lenses from Panasonic and Sigma. M Mount Lenses I used the Leica SL2 with the following M mount lenses WATE (Wide Angle Tri-Elmar) 28mm Summilux M 35mm Summilux M (FLE) 50mm Summilux M 50mm APO Summicron M 75mm APO Summicron M I also used the Leica 60mm Elmarit R Macro with the adapter. Everything worked as it should, and the results for all of these lenses were excellent, but I didn’t have any of the older and more troublesome wide angle lenses to test, and I guess that as with the SL, they will not do quite so well as they do on the M10. On the other hand I would imagine that all the very fast mid focal length lenses would be great (Noctiluxes etc.). However there are 2 major advantages over the SL when using M lenses: In Body Image Stabilisation This is a real bonus with the SL, making handholding possible at much slower shutter speeds Zooming in for Focusing With the SL, when you zoomed in and moved about, it always returned the zoom point to the centre of the screen. What's more there was no pointer in the viewfinder to move around. This was my biggest problem using M lenses on the SL, and so much of a problem I had basically give up. With the SL2, there is a square you can move around with the joystick, and when you zoom in it zooms in at that point. The position of the square is retained between shots (and even when you turn off the camera). This is going to change the lives of many people using M lenses. All the 6 bit coding was picked up properly and adjustments were made (apparently correctly). I didn’t have a chance to use the camera with any non-Leica M lenses, but I would imagine that it would perform just the same as the SL. Leica Fotos At the time of writing I’m using beta versions of Leica Fotos, but the connection to the Leica SL2 is straightforward and works very well. It also seems to be well remembered, so that all you need to do is to turn on the camera and open Fotos on your phone and reconnection is effective and simple. The Low Power Bluetooth option for tagging images with GPS information is not yet ready, but having used it with both Fuji and Panasonic with success I’m sure it’ll work well with the Leica SL2 (but I’ll still miss the inbuilt GPS of the SL). I’m aware of exciting new developments with Fotos, which Leica are taking very seriously, these advances also rely on future updates with Lightroom for Android and iOS. Personally I’ve spent a lot of time developing a workflow using Lightroom on an iPad pro for initial selection and editing of images and I’m pretty sure that Fotos will become an integral part of this workflow. Wedding/Event Photography When shooting any event, I try to get a selection of images up on to the web the same evening, before people start thinking about anything else! This means that it’s vital to be able to select and process images fast, and to push them up to the internet, even with a mediocre connection. For the last year I have been using Lightroom on an iPad pro; it works really well: You can do the initial selection fast and create galleries using smart previews while the DNG files are pushed up to Adobe cloud more slowly. When you get home they will download to Lightroom Classic for printing / books etc. To my mind the Leica SL was the perfect camera for this, I have been using it together with an M camera for more than 4 years for weddings and events. The AF is good, and the 24mp DNG files hit the perfect balance between resolution and manageable file size and post processing speed. I was very worried that the Leica SL2 would spoil this by having so much more resolution. It isn’t so much the issue of the file size, but 47mp makes processing in the current version of Lightroom much slower than 24mp files. Obviously it’s good to have the extra ‘crop-ability’ of the 47mp files, and the Leica SL2 does offer slightly better high ISO than the SL, but that doesn’t really help when trying to get a first batch of images out quickly. Then I broke the habit of a lifetime (well, 10 years feels like a lifetime!). I experimented with using jpg files. My first reaction was rather an epiphany, the 24mp jpg files looked really really good, especially in the kind of low light situations one is so often forced to shoot in. Trying to do extensive post processing on the jpg files rather moderated my enthusiasm, but I have worked out a really good modus operandi for event shooting with the Leica SL2: Shoot DNG on one card and 24mp jpg on the second card Import the jpg files to the iPad pro for selection and minor processing Create lightroom gallery / push files to lightroom for fast internet use When I get home import the DNG files to Lightroom Classic for more serious work. This involves a little more work, but it has advantages in that the big DNG files don’t take up space on Adobe Cloud, and you have the opportunity of using the higher resolution files for the final images of the event. Landscape Photography I can’t claim to be a formal landscape photographer, my allergy to tripods and hanging around for hours on chilly dawns makes me a bad candidate! On the other hand I am often around at dawn (usually with the dog), and I very often shoot ‘landscape’ images. The Leica SL2 really excels here, the Image stabilisation works excellently for those of us not using tripods and the higher resolution almost moves the camera into Medium Format territory, with the added advantage of smaller body and more versatile lenses. One of the criticisms of the SL (and some other Leica cameras) was the inability to turn off Long Exposure Noise Reduction (dark frame subtraction). This has been rectified in the Leica SL2. Travel and Street Photography I have always loved shooting the SL on my travels, usually with the 24-90 to cover all bases and a standard prime for low light work in the evenings or indoors, perhaps with a Wide Angle Tri-Elmar (WATE) tucked in the bag for the rare moments I need something wider. Since traveling with the Leica SL2 I’ve found myself much more likely to carry one or two of the SL Summicron primes together with the WATE and perhaps the 28 Summilux M. The extra crop-ability makes carrying a zoom less important, and of course it makes the load a lot lighter. This autumn on our trip to Crete we managed three weeks with only Ryanair hand luggage! I was really pleased with the results from the Leica SL2. My most used lens was the 50 F2 SL, in fact I used only 3 lenses: Sigma 14-24 F2.8 DG Leica 50mm APO Summicron SL Leica 28mm Summilux M f1.4 M Conclusion So this isn’t really an ‘upgrade’ of the SL, it’s a complete rethink with reference to 4 years customer feedback and an infinity of discussions and meetings, both internally and with photographers and film makers, and with the wisdom that competitors releases confer. My satisfaction with the SL really isn’t the point in this context but its taken quite a big effort of will on my part to take a step back. The competition seem to have decided that there should be 2 (or 3) full frame mirrorless cameras specialised for different situations: Lower Resolution for PJ or Events (that’s me!) Higher Resolution for Landscape and enthusiasts Video directed camera for serious movie shooters. This philosophy is reflected in the recent offerings from Sony, Panasonic and Nikon (and to a lesser extent Canon). With the Leica SL2 Leica have decided to roll these three cameras into one versatile camera which can cover all the needs of every serious photographer, and in my opinion they have very largely succeeded. Personally I’m even tempted to delve into the world of video! Of course, Leica cameras have a reputation for being prohibitively expensive, but the Leica SL2 is being launched at a price €1,000 less than that of the original SL. Certainly it’s more expensive than the direct competition, but when you consider it’s really 3 cameras rolled into one, and you look at the secondhand prices for the SL, it begins to look like a real bargain. The Leica SL2 is a ‘no nonsense’ camera which seems to me to deliver on every level, whether you are a videographer, a landscape shooter or an serious amateur. The new Status Screen is a real joy to use, the images are excellent and the menus are minimal whilst still containing everything you should need. Testing the camera and writing this review has represented something of a journey for me, and I’ve tried to represent that journey in this article. The SL has been my constant working companion for 4 years and I have come to love its idiosyncrasies; sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge the new kid on the block! But whereas the SL might have been charmingly idiosyncratic the Leica SL2 is much more of a mainstream camera, but without actually losing any of the things which made the SL such a good workhorse. On the other hand there are many obvious improvements, especially with the inspired interface - it just works really well, and Leica have even made the subtleties of AF seem comprehensible! The video options are sophisticated and well thought out. When I started this journey I didn’t think that the Leica SL2 would replace the SL in my bag, but it’s become increasingly clear that the Leica SL2 will be my primary camera for a long time to come. Acknowledgements As always, to Emma, who has to put up with my tantrums and enthusiasms, and spoiled walks whilst I’m trying to get to the bottom of something! to Stephan Schulz who has been really valuable in providing reality and reality checks. Thank you so much for your time and for being so pleasant and patient (especially with the video stuff!), I hope it’s been worth it. Also to Stefan Daniel and Steffen Rau at Leica for help with information and support. to Sean Reid at readreviews.com who will already have his detailed review up on his site as your read this. Please log in and take a look, it’s worth every penny. To David Farkas at Leica Miami for friendship, a wonderful day long discussion at the 50th anniversary of the LHSA in the bar at the Hotel Leitz in Wetzlar (and yes David, you owe me on the 41/48mp bet!). He will have a review up on the RedDotForum site in the next few weeks. Oh Yes - and to Chats and Hari for real friendship and for lots of laughs.
  7. Just anticipating This thread is meant to display images from the SL2.
  8. ISO 100 pushed by 3.8 stops and Shadows +51 looks amazing. Some other minor tweaks and Sharpening +40, NR +50. Check out the less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-tzdLng/ SL2 + 50 Summilux-SLISO 100 f/1.4 @1/1600 sec. Same as above, processedISO 100 f/1.4 @1/1600 sec.
  9. This is a lot more challenging now to push the files due to the risk of shadows banding. Severely underexposed and Exposure pushed by 3.85 stops, Shadows +50, Sharpening +40, NR +60. I think, I only want to shoot this camera at base ISO. It looks ISO-invariant there. Less compressed JPEGs here: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-tzdLng/ SL2 + 50 Summilux-SLISO 100 f/2 @1/500 sec. Same as above, processed
  10. One issue we/DxOMark/someone should sort out, IS the ISO giving optimal DR. I sort of understand that base ISO of SL2 is 100 (?). But for SL we know that the DR is largest for ISO 50, followed by ISO 200, then ISO 100, ISO 400, and so on. For this reason, I have been primarily using ISO 50 and ISO 200 on the SL, avoiding ISO 100. So my question is, how is SL2's DR at ISO 50 vs ISO 100 (or ISO 200)? Is the ISO-invariance influenced by starting at ISO 50 vs ISO 100?
  11. If you want to discuss on Facebook, we have a Leica SL2 group too: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leicasl2/ Join us on Facebook!
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