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Interview with Stephan Schulz, Leica Camera on the SL2 and filmmaking


Andrew Reid

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Stephan-Schulz-Leica-Camera-EOSHD-Interv

When I began shooting with my own Leica SL2 earlier this year, I found a lot to like about the high-spec mirrorless camera for filmmaking - and it is superb for photography. However, the battery power management has prevented shooting in 4K and 5K reliably, varying depending on the type of lenses used. After making Leica aware of this issue, Leica's Head of Product Management, Professional Photo System and co-designer of the SL2 Stephan Schulz has been on my case and I have been on his!

The good news is that Leica are investigating the possibility of a firmware update to alleviate the problem and I will be carrying out testing duties for Leica on the video side going forward.

The Leica SL2 battery grip is on the way from Wetzlar and could offer an instant solution, but this needs to be tested. Here we hear directly from Stephan at Leica Camera AG in an exclusive interview on EOSHD...

https://www.eoshd.com/news/interview-with-stephan-schulz-leica-camera-on-the-sl2-and-filmmaking

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Only Leica I have ever used is the S2...not even a video mode back then but such a beautiful piece of equipment and superb build quality...the pictures weren't shabby either :)

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So he seems to be saying get a 2nd hand SL if you want a B camera for the SL2.

Would've thought they'd want to sell more new CL and TL2s by upgrading the firmware to boost their video specs for that role really.

Ditto the Q2 could do the job as well.

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Yes it would have to be a second hand one as the SL is out of production since mid-2019 now, so I would have thought a new CL for 4K Super 35mm LOG 24p would be idea! It's a lovely form factor for it as well.

A bit like a Sony A6400 that actually looks and handles like a camera rather than a Playstation2 controller :)

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I hope that power issue is a firmware bug, if not I can't believe that Leica haven't tested the power consumption of the camera with standard battery in 4K mode with other brand of lenses...

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I certainly hope a firmware update will sort it out.

At first I suggested to Leica that a new battery solution might be needed. There's USB C, there's the battery grip, but if firmware cannot fix it, ideally the camera needs an upgraded battery. I just don't know if this is possible, or not. The aim of the SL2 is to keep the size advantages of mirrorless cameras as much as possible, given the high spec hardware inside. It is a really sleek, slim body and you feel that when you use it and carry it all day. That must be kept, but at the same time the 4K situation must improve quite dramatically.

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Hello. I'm a professional Cinematographer and own Leica cameras..They are the best in the world.. I would buy the Leica SL2 in a heart beat for cinematography, but no one is mentioning moire which is quite a serious issue many professionals are bringing up. Once this is resolved I would love to buy the camera & use it for motion pictures.

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On 6/5/2020 at 3:49 PM, Gerardo Puglia said:

Hello. I'm a professional Cinematographer and own Leica cameras..They are the best in the world.. I would buy the Leica SL2 in a heart beat for cinematography, but no one is mentioning moire which is quite a serious issue many professionals are bringing up. Once this is resolved I would love to buy the camera & use it for motion pictures.

The moire is pretty awful in the SL2 - more so than in the Panasonic S1R or Nikon Z7 or a7RIII. I don't know if it has something to do with the microlens array or possibly the Leica lenses are resolving more. Could be a number of things. But it is quite pronounced and not just occasionally. Far more common than I've seen with any other camera.

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On 6/5/2020 at 11:48 AM, Andrew Reid said:

Yes it would have to be a second hand one as the SL is out of production since mid-2019 now, so I would have thought a new CL for 4K Super 35mm LOG 24p would be idea! It's a lovely form factor for it as well.

A bit like a Sony A6400 that actually looks and handles like a camera rather than a Playstation2 controller :)

I'm not sure what they're afraid by releasing a CL with 4K Log. We've seen pretty clearly from other companies that APS-C cameras don't cannibalize the FF offerings for video - either someone wants full-frame video or they don't, in which case they'll spend less money on an APS-C model.

The idea that getting a second-hand SL as a B-cam instead of them making a CL for such a purpose seems... silly as well as not beneficial to them. They won't make any more money if someone buys a used SL.

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51 minutes ago, pixelpreaching said:

The moire is pretty awful in the SL2 - more so than in the Panasonic S1R or Nikon Z7 or a7RIII. I don't know if it has something to do with the microlens array or possibly the Leica lenses are resolving more. Could be a number of things. But it is quite pronounced and not just occasionally. Far more common than I've seen with any other camera.

I don't find the moire to be worse than S1R, Z7 or A7R III. Particularly as it shares a very similar sensor to the S1R and Z7, maybe even identical and Panasonic DNA very much in the specs too.

Maybe the different filter stack gives you a sharper image from the lens?

That could have contributed.

But in no way is moire a big problem on this camera... You have the 5K mode and 4K/60p S35 which are full pixel readouts for a start.

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3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I don't find the moire to be worse than S1R, Z7 or A7R III. Particularly as it shares a very similar sensor to the S1R and Z7, maybe even identical and Panasonic DNA very much in the specs too.

Maybe the different filter stack gives you a sharper image from the lens?

That could have contributed.

But in no way is moire a big problem on this camera... You have the 5K mode and 4K/60p S35 which are full pixel readouts for a start.

I believe it is the exact same sensor as the S1R, with Leica's tuned pipeline and whatnot. But the filter stack and microlens array would have been added by Leica - and I am fairly positive they are different from the others because Leica wanted to ensure optimal IQ with M-mount lenses. The filter stack/microlens array can make moire more likely depending on how they're set up. And if the lens is out-resolving the sensor, you'll get moire under certain circumstances.

I guess we have different experiences with the camera - moire was incredibly noticeable in video within the first 30 minutes of shooting. And it's a widely documented issue from many users.

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