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Leica SL2 – Pros – 47MP, 10bit 5K, build quality / Cons – Worse autofocus than S1R, no articulated screen, $5995

Andrew Reid

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Recent high-profile criticism levelled at Leica, is that they’re becoming a 'software company' rehousing hardware from China and Japan. Although the Leica SL2 (“Made in Germany!”) uses virtually all of the internal hardware as the Panasonic S1R – sensor, EVF, stabilisation, along I suspect with most of the mainboard too and firmware programmed by Panasonic (with menus designed by Leica), I do feel it brings something very important to the artist’s table beyond numbers.

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Big ole PDF on the camera from FDTimes here:


• Frame rates for both C4K and UHD resolutions are 24, 25, 29.97, 50 and 59.94 fps at 10-bit 4:2:2.

• Up to 29.97 fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 can be recorded internally onto an SD card.

• 50 and 59.97 fps 10-bit 4:2:2 can be recorded externally via the full size HDMI output.

• All 10-bit files can be stored in a .MOV container format at high data rates on the SD card with ALL-INTRA (low) com- pression. Every frame keeps all its information. This results in higher quality (but larger files.)

• FHD is available up to 150 -180 fps, but only 8-bit.

• The SL2 can record 5K in a 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect ratio in Super35 Crop Mode. This could be interesting for anamorphic lenses. Recording is 10-bit 4:2:0 on the internal SD card. (The HDMI output is not capable of 5K.)

• The 10-bit 4:2:2 formats allow the use of Rec. 709, Rec. 2020 (HLG) and L-Log. Leica L-Log has been completely re-de- signed with improved characteristics. An internal and external LUT for preview is available.

• The SL2 also offers more compressed 8-bit 4:2:2 Long-GOP files in Rec. 709 .MP4 containers for immediate distribution or proxy editing.



The bitrate for ALL-I DCI 4K is 400Mbit

5K is 200Mbit 4:2:0 Long GOP (no ALL-I)

No 5K over HDMI, it gets down-converted to standard 4K


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1 minute ago, Andrew Reid said:

Read the chart mate... It says there... C4K FF 4K 60p Long GOP 8bit internal.

10bit is only up to 30p.

Sorry, yeah... thanks... wasn't looking at the chart (well, I quickly glanced over it). Good to know its there...

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I think it's an interesting compromise.

It's not like Leica was known for video and people had that kind of expectation anyway. When it was launched, Panasonic was not part of the L-Mount Alliance, but still, it kind of packed everything they were able to put in it regarding video-oriented feats - it was the only FF with 10-bit. Most people will still use it primarily for stills and not video, but the feats are there and in a better capacity than let's say, Sony A9 II - which was expected to pack everything for stills AND video, the Irony is that even Canon went all-in with their 1DX MKIII but Sony kind of turned into Canon... hahahaha...

For Panasonic and Leica it's also a good deal because Panasonic saved their video feats for the S1 and, of course, the S1H, the S1R having a more limited video capabilities while the SL2 comes as a Leica version of the S1R but with all the video feats the S1R doesn't have, so in that sense, these 2 cameras are not overlapping each other, it's a some sort of win-win for them both. Leica is still able to offer video feats as a bonus and despite the SL2 and the S1R being very similar internally, they are different.


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Love my SL.

This new version has enough spec to realistically make it the last camera I'd ever need to buy and conveniently enough the price tag ensures that it probably would have to be the last camera I ever bought as well :)

If they do a trade in programme then I'd possibly go for it but it would have to be a pretty generous one considering what that balance payment would probably end up being.

For me, keeping the SL and using that balance to buy an Fp and a few L mount lenses would make more sense.

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4 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Some nice shots from Steve McCurry here and interview

Yeah but "The Silver Haired Click Weasel" (© Ken Wheeler/Angry Photographer) said McCurry is a bad man so those images count for nothing ?

6 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Panasonic can learn a lot from the Leica minimalist approach to designing the camera body.

It seems like Leica have moved it on another notch again with the menus as well. 

They look very, very smart.

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13 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

I’m surprised people still waiting for a A7SIII. It’s pretty clear they need a bigger body to match what a S1H can do for example. Then you could argue it’s no longer and A7 series camera.

The SL series is sexy indeed. Leica was smart to leverage their partnership with Panasonic on the tech side. 

Yeah I dont mind a bigger body as the A7S is really petite. But I do want to wait and see what Sony will bring. But offcourse there is always something better around the corner, and you could wait forever. I dont really like using adapters though, I am a EF lover :)

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