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The Leica SL3 - A Review by Jonathan Slack


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1 hour ago, jonoslack said:

Hi There Paul

Just right now I don't think I can tell you the readout in millisecs - but I will ask for permission to do so. 

I found the person tracking to be much better than the SL2 (which I never managed to get working properly) But I didn't try it with lots of people, and I can see that would be relevant for your wonderful dance photography - My instinct is that would be better - whether it would be good enough is moot - maybe you could rent one from WEX for a day or two?

best

Jono 

Now that we have a Wex in Cambridge, I will ask (as I recently bought a BMCC6k from them!)

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SL3 with firmware 1.0.0 (time estimate):

- Turn on (quick press of the power button): about 5-6 seconds

- Turn off (hold power button): less than 3 seconds.

- Wake up from sleep: instant.

- Put to sleep by a quick press of the power button: 3 seconds.

I am happy that Leica implemented a method to put the camera to sleep (like X2D) quickly.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Chaemono said:

The thing is, the SL2 has this amazing sensor at base ISO and up to ISO 400. I don’t own one anymore.

The 50 Summilux-SL produces these subdued colors and it could pair really well with the SL3 colors. It pairs well with the punchy SL2-S colors. The second one here https://chaemono.smugmug.com/Folder-2/50-Summilux-SL-vs-APO-50-Summicron-SL-on-BSI-sensor/i-FLrK7pP/A

 

I must be getting old because I don’t see anything in those two photographs that is dramatically different or anything that couldn’t be compensated for easily in Lightroom (and I agree with you, I really try to shoot at ISO 100 with SL2 as much as possible and keep it below 400 unless absolutely necessary).

I totally get that cameras have different color science with their sensors and some just look great out of the box with little editing. Which if you’re shooting in JPEG I guess is important, or if you’re somebody who shoots a lot of images and wants to save time in post. But I shoot DNG, even if I take 1000 images over the course of a week, I might only edit 50 of them that pass muster to my eyes, and it’s really no bother to tweak some sliders to get the color to where I want it.

I guess there are some people out there that just don’t want to do any work in post, but I don’t really know anybody who works like that. And I don’t know if the masses doom scrolling on Instagram look at a photograph and say, “ahhh, Sony sensor” or “aha, Panasonic sensor” or “that’s a 60 megapixel image”. People mostly look at pictures because of what they are about.

So the most appealing thing to me is just a camera that helps me get to the picture I want quickly. And color differences between sensors are far behind other usability concerns to me.

Forgetting everything I just said, that 50 SL Lux is insanely great, and I want one!….although I absolutely don’t need it. 

Edited by trickness
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Jonathan, I’m hoping it has an option where the shutter curtain comes down to protect the sensor when changing lenses. That has been a stand out feature on latest Sony a7 series, I bearly have had to deal with any dust on that sensor since this came in. Can I look forward to same on my SL3.

thanks for the review 

 

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2 hours ago, sebben said:

This is a bit funny. 
 

People have been complaining about slow start up times in the M series and now we can complain about how long it takes to turn off an SL as well. 
 

The switch was totally fine but perhaps for better weather sealing they decided on the glowing one. 

I don’t know. I could see it getting annoying to literally have to stop and continuously press a button for five seconds before it responds. Especially when that process was previously done in a second or less by flipping a small lever. 

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Reading the comments in this thread I realise there are people who have issues with things that I didn't realise could be a problem, let alone a significant problem. As it is late at night, all I can do is sit back with my whisky and pay tribute to the endless variety of human nature.

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5 hours ago, sebben said:

Judging by the Petapixel video the rolling shutter is as bad as expected. Why they put a timecode port on a camera that won't be used heavily as a video camera is interesting to say the least.

I wonder if this leaves the door open for an SL3-S after all.

I guess the timecode port is because they'll use the same parts for the SL3S and Most likely arm it with a 33MP Sony CMOS BSI Sensor most likely! Cant wait for the SL3 Reporter 😂
Ordered my SL3 !

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27 minutes ago, ColdShower said:

I guess the timecode port is because they'll use the same parts for the SL3S and Most likely arm it with a 33MP Sony CMOS BSI Sensor most likely! Cant wait for the SL3 Reporter 😂
Ordered my SL3 !

Sony A7S 3 still uses 12mpx. For me, 24mpx is good enough

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32 minutes ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Reading the comments in this thread I realise there are people who have issues with things that I didn't realise could be a problem, let alone a significant problem. As it is late at night, all I can do is sit back with my whisky and pay tribute to the endless variety of human nature.

That's the trickiest part by far for camera manufacturers. They'll never please everyone, and disappointment is understandable when a camera someone loves gets an update after some years of waiting, and it doesn't improve in the ways that they'd hoped (or worse, takes a step backwards). 

It's not so easy in the camera world to flit between manufacturers - we invest in lenses to suit a specific camera and so we're stuck with whatever camera body they decide to release and if a new model is a disappointment on release day, it's a long wait before the next model comes. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SrMi said:

SL3 with firmware 1.0.0 (time estimate):

- Turn on (quick press of the power button): about 5-6 seconds

- Turn off (hold power button): less than 3 seconds.

- Wake up from sleep: instant.

- Put to sleep by a quick press of the power button: 3 seconds.

I am happy that Leica implemented a method to put the camera to sleep (like X2D) quickly.

 

Firmware 1.1 is out for some time now, as FYI.

Switching on: putting my eyes on the EVF and pressing the switch on, I get the image in 2 sec.

There are so many improvements on the SL3 and the sum of it makes it a marked evolution. I think the real reason not to buy / upgrade is budget, which is fair. SL2 remains a great camera. SL3 is just better in everything. It feels great in the hand, M-lenses are compact and a pleasure on it and the APO lenses are so well balanced. The redesign of the grip with less indentation is noticeable improvement in handling the camera. The UI is great and intuitive, no much learning curve for a SL2 user actually. The sensor is M11’s, so you know what you are getting compared to SL2. The AF is a considerable improvement compared to SL2’s and I think it would be more than enough for most people’s need and certainly those already using a SL2. I was against the titled screen, but found it very well implemented. Once it is there, you start using it. The camera does feel more compact and lighter, and I think it does the job even very well, so versatile, including for street photography. There is attention to details everywhere, including a little logo to mark where the location of the sensor is. CF Express card slot is welcome; I use an Angelbird AV Pro 1TB without issue. I haven’t had a chance to try tethering / capture one yet. Just the sensor and AF are a significant change. Battery life is not great, but same or better than SL2, which already had that issue.

To quote @Jeff S, just make your own opinion by actually trying the camera.

Edit: forgot to add, for those interested/concerned, you can switch off the LED light on the power button (first thing I actually did 🤓)

Edited by Hanno
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9 hours ago, sebben said:

Would be nice if they also gave the camera to someone with expertise in video as this clearly is a hybrid.

Just to answer some basic questions like.

Which video modes show Moire if any?

What is the rolling shutter like?

What is the exposure latitude (How many stops over and under middle grey are recoverable)

Does it overheat?

Does the autofocus work well with video?

How does the FHD ProRes perform? Does it have aliaisling? 

What is the audio quality like?

How long does the timecode hold sync?

What is the lag of the HDMI port?

etc etc. 

your camera? very cool. What other bodies are you using for Leica Cine?

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2 hours ago, SrMi said:

SL3 with firmware 1.0.0 (time estimate):

- Turn on (quick press of the power button): about 5-6 seconds

- Turn off (hold power button): less than 3 seconds.

- Wake up from sleep: instant.

- Put to sleep by a quick press of the power button: 3 seconds.

I am happy that Leica implemented a method to put the camera to sleep (like X2D) quickly.

 

Well

I have a camera in front of me, 

Turn on (quick press of power button)  2 seconds

Turn off (hold power button) 6 seconds

Put to sleep with a quick press of the power button 3 seconds (we agree)

. . . but sometimes it's almost instant

wake from sleep - 2 seconds

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5 hours ago, sebben said:

Judging by the Petapixel video the rolling shutter is as bad as expected. Why they put a timecode port on a camera that won't be used heavily as a video camera is interesting to say the least.

I wonder if this leaves the door open for an SL3-S after all.

Well, I just watched that, and at least I'm pleased that we seem to have come to largely the same conclusions - and impressed that they can get to the same point in a couple of days!

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3 minutes ago, tomasis7 said:

your camera? very cool. What other bodies are you using for Leica Cine?

This is a marketing image from Leica to promote the SL3 as a serious video camera, which on closer inspection it clearly isn't because the sensor is far from optimised for video production. 

I don't have a Leica Camera that shoots video, I don't even have one that has a screen. 🫠

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4 minutes ago, sebben said:

This is a marketing image from Leica to promote the SL3 as a serious video camera, which on closer inspection it clearly isn't because the sensor is far from optimised for video production. 

I don't have a Leica Camera that shoots video, I don't even have one that has a screen. 🫠

oh, a box thing ;) nice..

mine is not a video camera neither but ill figure out lol 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, jonoslack said:

Well

I have a camera in front of me, 

Turn on (quick press of power button)  2 seconds

Turn off (hold power button) 6 seconds

Put to sleep with a quick press of the power button 3 seconds (we agree)

. . . but sometimes it's almost instant

wake from sleep - 2 seconds

Which firmware? I have just upgraded to 1.1.0.

- Turn On (time to shutter release): less than a second.

- Turn Off (hold the power button until the top LCD turns off): 2.2 sec.

I am using only a UHS-II card.

It is possible that after a while, the camera goes into a much deeper sleep, and the startup becomes slower later. I have seen that on other cameras.

Edited by SrMi
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2 hours ago, Nedward said:

Jonathan, I’m hoping it has an option where the shutter curtain comes down to protect the sensor when changing lenses. That has been a stand out feature on latest Sony a7 series, I bearly have had to deal with any dust on that sensor since this came in. Can I look forward to same on my SL3.

thanks for the review 

 

there is not an option for that.

But there is an option for Auto Sensor Cleaning that will shake the sensor.

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