In the middle of a full-frame mirrorless race, Leica is launching a camera that promises both speed and high resolution. Announced on Wednesday, November 6, the Leica SL2 mixes a 47-megapixel sensor with top speeds of 20 fps. An update to the Leica SL, the company calls the Leica SL2 “the next evolutionary step towards building the perfect all-purpose camera.”
At the heart of the camera is a 47-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor. Leica says the sensor is capable of capturing excellent color with a 14-bit color depth for each RGB color channel. The sensor tops out at ISO 50,000.
That image sensor is suspended inside the camera body to compensate for camera shake, a technology called sensor-shift stabilization. That same stabilization system is behind the camera’s multi-shot mode, which captures up to eight images in half-pixel increments, combining those shots for a resolution of around 187 megapixels. The mode requires a tripod.
The new sensor is paired with an updated Maestro III processor, allowing for 10 fps burst shooting with the physical shutter and 20 fps bursts with the electronic shutter. Leica is claiming a virtually lag-free shutter release with the update. That’s paired with a new Smart AF mode that swaps between focus priority, which delays the shot if not yet in focus, and shutter release priority mode automatically.
For video, the Leica SL2 brings 60 fps 4K. Stepping down to HD allows for up to 180 fps for slow-motion captures. A Cine Mode adjusts the controls to video, including switching ISO to ASA, marking shutter speed with degrees and indicating aperture as t-stops. Ports include headphone, mic, and HDMI.
While the SL2 houses a number of updates — including a higher-resolution viewfinder — Leica says the mirrorless camera isn’t any heavier than the previous generation. The company says the camera recalls some iconic Leica designs while using an entirely redesigned body that’s refined for better handling and a simpler control scheme. The exterior is also weather-sealed.
The L-mount camera allows the body to be used with a wide selection of Leica SL lenses (as well as cropping with TL lenses), while the L-Mount Alliance opens up lens options from Sigma and Panasonic too.
While fast and detailed, as a Leica, the SL2, of course, won’t come cheap. The Leica SL2 is slated for release on Nov. 21, listing at $5,995.
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