With the release of the Leica SL2-S, the company’s L Mount mirrorless cameras are attempting to break into the famous market.
It can deliver a set of requirements that earlier SL cameras could not do since the resolution has been decreased, along with the price. In addition, this offers higher low-light performance, with an ISO 100,000 headline rating and burst shooting at 25 frames per second. Unfortunately, the latter option is only accessible while shooting with the electronic shutter and does not include continuous focusing as a feature. This is a very significant limitation.
Additionally, it is being promoted to filmmakers with video-friendly specifications to entice them to purchase the product. For example, it can record in 4K at a resolution of 10 bits and 4:2:2 at 30 frames per second internally (recording at 60 frames per second is also possible with an external recorder). Furthermore, it has additional characteristics, such as dual UHS-II card ports, that bolster its credentials in this field.
Leica SL2-S Design and handling
If you’re familiar with the Leica SL2-S and its controls, switching to the SL2-S will seem highly natural. Leica has maintained the design nearly the same – it is a large, bold, and bulky affair that will not be preferred by many, especially those with somewhat smaller hands. Leica has kept the design virtually the same. The fact that it is so large and hefty gives it a distinct advantage in terms of durability, as it should endure a considerable amount of rough treatment.
This assertion is supported by the aluminum and magnesium alloy body having a dust- and water-resistance rating of IP54. That indicates it ought to have very little trouble holding up to be used in the rain for long periods.
The SL2-S has certain annoying design flaws that make it difficult to use; thus, even though it is, in some ways, a well-designed product, using it may sometimes be aggravating. Operating it with one hand is tough, making it challenging to adjust quickly to things like the focus point.
Because we had to make room for our second hand initially, there were a few instances in which we could not make adjustments quickly enough to adequately respond to the circumstances. However, if you have larger hands, you could find it less cumbersome; in any case, I recommend trying it out before making a purchase.
Leica SL2-S Features
It has almost half the resolution of the 47MP SL2-S but only 24.6 megapixels. Because of this, it is better suited for working with video and in low-light conditions while simultaneously having a high enough pixel count to be more than useable in most everyday settings.
This manifestation may be seen in the increased high ISO sensitivity, which can now reach a maximum of ISO 100,000. (compared to the 50,000 of the SL2-S).
Those interested in shooting video will find that the SL2-S can record at a professional level 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 either internally at 30 frames per second or to an external recorder at 60 frames per second.
In addition, L-log recording is an option, and while there are currently just two look-up tables (LUTs) built into the system (Classic and Natural), more are planned to be included in further firmware upgrades.
According to Leica, the camera does not overheat even while recording for extended periods, a problem that has plagued other manufacturers in recent years. Integration with Capture One 21’s tethering features is another advantage of the package.
Leica SL2-S Performance
During this test, we were only provided a single lens, the Leica 50mm f/2. Because of this, it was difficult to test out some of the advertised specs in an acceptable manner, such as its ability to capture fast-moving scenes at 25 frames per second, which is usually more suited to being shot at a greater distance with a longer lens.
The substantial buffer that was promised behaved well; in fact, it performed so well that we got tired of holding down the shutter button well before the card was complete. The SL2-S could better keep up with somewhat predictable moving targets when shooting at slower rates. The peak shooting speeds don’t allow for focusing in between each image, but when shooting at slower speeds, it was possible.
However, there are instances when the autofocus may be excruciatingly sluggish, which can result in a few missed opportunities.
It does not have the rapid speeds we are used to seeing from Sony’s A7/A9 series and Canon’s newest mirrorless models. It also trails behind the Nikon Z series, which is disappointing considering the camera’s price.
Leica SL2-S Image & Video Quality
You will be rewarded with high-quality photographs and video if you can get over the SL2-S’s peculiarities in handling and autofocusing.
Even though the sensor has a lower resolution, it is still possible to capture a significant amount of detail in the vast majority of everyday scenarios, particularly at ISO settings that are lower or in the normal range. There is a solid dynamic range, and the colors are vivid. There is also a decent level of realism without being over the top.
In most cases, the all-purpose metering mode does an excellent job of producing well-balanced photographs. However, switching to the spot metering mode may be more advantageous if you find yourself in a situation with a lot of contrast.
The automated white balance setting performs admirably under various lighting circumstances, such as cloudy, sunny, and artificial lighting. As a result, colors are rendered accurately and realistically across the board.
The level of video quality is quite excellent, just as we had anticipated. The footage is smooth and detailed, and a good range of resolutions and frame rates are available to suit a wide variety of video-makers, from those who do it sparingly to those who do it for a living. The solutions range from 1080p to 4K, and the frame rate ranges from 24 to 60 frames per second.
Because it does not have a screen that can be articulated, it is maybe less enticing to vloggers. This is not because of the product’s quality but because it makes filming directly into the camera more complicated than it could be with other versions.
Leica SL2-S Specs
|Effective: 24.6 Megapixel (6072 x 4056)
|Built-In ND Filter
|Stills & Video
|Mechanical Focal Plane Shutter, Electronic Shutter
1/8000 to 500 Seconds
1/16000 to 60 Seconds
|50 to 100,000 in Auto Mode
|Center-Weighted Average, Multi-Zone, Spot
|Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
|-3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
|Presets: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Warm White), Halogen, Shade, Tungsten, White Balance Adjustment
Up to 9 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 5 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 2 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 25 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Still Image Capture
6000 x 4000
6000 x 4000
4272 x 2848
2976 x 1984
|Image File Format
|Internal Recording Modes
|H.264/MOV 4:2:2 10-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24.00/25/29.97 fps [400 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97 fps [400 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [200 Mb/s]
H.264/MOV 4:2:0 8-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 50/59.94 fps [150 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 50/59.94 fps [150 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 100/119.88/179.82 fps [20 Mb/s]
H.264/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [100 to 150 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/119.88/179.82 fps [20 to 150 Mb/s]
|External Recording Modes
|4:2:2 10-Bit via HDMI
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
4:2:0 8-Bit via HDMI
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/119.88/179.82 fps
|Built-In Microphone Type
|Media/Memory Card Slot
|Dual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
|1 x HDMI Output
|1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
|1 x USB-C Input/Output
|1 x USB-C (USB 3.2 / 3.1 Gen 1) Data Input/Output (Shared with Power Input)
|Fixed Touchscreen LCD
|Top: Status Display
|Built-In Electronic (OLED)
|-4 to +2
|Auto and Manual Focus
|Continuous-Servo AF, Manual Focus, Single-Servo AF
|Contrast Detection: 225
|Maximum Sync Speed
|-2 to +2 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
|Dedicated Flash System
|External Flash Connection
|22 to 72°F / -10 to 40°C
|1 x BP-SCL4 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1860 mAh (Approx. 510 Shots)
|Tripod Mounting Thread
|1 x 1/4″-20 Female (Bottom)
|1 x Hot Shoe Mount
|Material of Construction
|Magnesium Alloy, Aluminum
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|5.7 x 4.2 x 3.3″ / 146 x 107 x 83 mm
|2 lb / 931 g (With Battery, Recording Media)
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
|8.6 x 8.6 x 6″
Leica SL2-S Final Verdict
The Leica SL2-S is an unusual piece of equipment to consider purchasing. It caters to videographers and offers various features conducive to creating videos; nevertheless, it does not come with a screen that can be articulated.
It performs well as a hybrid stills-video camera, but its handling is a bit quirky, and its autofocus isn’t flawless, so not everyone will find it appealing. Nevertheless, if you are interested in becoming a part of the Leica brand, doing so in this manner is currently one of the least expensive ways to do so.
Is A Leica SL2-S worth it?
Whether or not the Leica SL2-S is worth the money depends on the inclinations and requirements of the individual. The SL2-S is a high-end mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor intended for professional use. In addition, it comes with a wide variety of sophisticated features and capabilities.
What is the Leica SL2-S used for?
The Leica SL2-S is a flexible camera used for various photographic purposes, such as portraiture, sports photography, documentary photography, and panoramic photography.
Does Panasonic make Leica SL2-S?
No, Panasonic does not manufacture the Leica SL2-S camera. Although Leica and Panasonic have collaborated, and specific models of each company’s cameras share technology and components, the Leica SL2-S is a unique model Leica has developed and is responsible for producing.
Is Leica SL2-S Made in Germany?
The Leica SL2-S is, in reality, manufactured in Germany, particularly in the Leica factory located in Wetzlar.
Does Leica SL2-S have autofocus?
The Leica SL2-S is equipped with a high-performance autofocus system that can perform precisely and is dependable.
Is Le manner SL2-S a Rebadged Panasonic?
Contrary to popular belief, the Leica SL2-S is not a rebranded Panasonic product. Instead, it is a separate model developed by Leica and manufactured by Leica; however, it does share some technology and components with Panasonic cameras.
Does Leica SL2-S have eye detection?
The Leica SL2-S comes equipped with an eye detection autofocus system that can identify and follow subjects’ eyes to achieve a focused image that is both crisp and precise.
How fast is Leica SL2-S?
Even in dimly lit environments, the Leica SL2-S’s speedy autofocus system can complete focusing tasks in a prompt and precise manner. In addition, it can take up to 25 pictures in a single second during its high-speed continuous photography mode.