Leica SL

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Leica-SLIt’s a Leica. And it’s a mirrorless camera. Not a rangefinder, a mirrorless camera. Oh, and it’s full-frame.

Aimed at pro photographers, made in Germany, and sporting a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor. This just gets more and more interesting.

Developed for the Leica SL, the camera’s electronic viewfinder is the first to feature Leica EyeRes technology. The company says it has a latency time below the threshold of perception, a resolution of 4.4 million pixels and a magnification reminiscent of a medium-format camera. The EyeRes viewfinder is activated simply by looking through it. In addition, the camera also has a nearly 3-inch back panel display with a viewing angle of up to 170° and touchscreen menu navigation.

The Maestro II series processor and 2 GB of buffer memory make it possible to capture consecutive exposures at rates of up to 11 frames per second at full resolution, and 4K video with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Pictures can be saved simultaneously to an SD memory card as both a JPEG and DNG. The company claims the camera achieves the best performance currently possible in the professional camera class.

The full-frame sensor is said to deliver impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness, the highest resolution, and noise-free images in almost all lighting conditions.

Shutter speeds range from 30 minutes to 1/8000 sec. ISO maximum is 50,000.

While there are new lenses for the camera, see below, it is also designed to use Leica M lenses, supporting all their functions.

Videos can be recorded in UHD at 30 frames per second or even in Cine4K at 24 frames per second. In full HD, the camera records video at up to 120 frames per second and makes use of the entire sensor area.

As soon as the camera is in video mode, the display shows only relevant information for video recording, such as safe area, aspect ratio, zebra function, or the recording level of the microphone. An optional audio adapter allows you to connect an external microphone and the audio recording level can be set without accessing the menu. Videos can be output in 4:2:2 10-bit format in 4K resolution over HDMI 1.4.

Body components machined from solid aluminum and precisely engineered seals around controls and in the lenses provide optimum protection against dust, moisture and splashes, says Leica. Integrated ultrasonic sensor cleaning removes dust and dirt from the sensor. The glass covering the back panel display is extremely scratch-resistant and features an anti-reflex coating.

Now, those new lenses. Leica says they are distinguished by superior optical and mechanical precision. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. is the standard zoom lens in the system’s lens portfolio. There’s also the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8–4 and the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. Further Leica SL lenses will follow, says the company.

All lenses for the Leica T camera can be used without an adapter. In addition, appropriate adapters allow Leica S, M, and R system lenses and lenses from other manufacturers to be mounted on the Leica SL.

The Leica SL body will be on sale mid-November. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. zoom lens will be available at the same time. The Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2,8-4/90-280mm ASPH will be available in the second quarter of 2016, and the Leica Summilux-SL 1:1,4/50mm ASPH. will be available Q4 of 2016.


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