Digital Camera

Leica “SL2” actual machine check Improved operability and high sensitivity image quality

Leica Camera Japan's new model “Leica SL2”, a new full-size mirrorless camera released in late November, was held at the Leica Ginza store on November 13. A lot of SL2s lined up at the venue and I was able to try shooting freely. I immediately checked what kind of camera the SL2 is.

  • The Leica SL2 is a full-size mirrorless lens with an L mount that achieves high image quality, such as increasing the number of pixels in the sensor and installing an in-body image stabilization mechanism. The suggested retail price is 810,000 yen excluding tax, and the release date is scheduled for November 23

  • Leica SL2 lined up at the venue

The SL2 is the successor to the Leica SL launched in 2015. In addition to replacing the full-size CMOS sensor with a 47-megapixel high-pixel version, there are significant improvements such as a new in-body image stabilization mechanism. The suggested retail price is 810,000 yen excluding tax.

  • Attaching an L-mount zoom lens “Vario Elmarito SL f2.8–4 / 24–90mm ASPH.”

With the SL2 in hand, it has a simple design compared to a Japanese manufacturer's camera, giving it an image of a solid German industrial product. At first glance, it looks a lot like SL, but I felt that the details were brushed up to make it easier to use. The grip has an indentation that was not available before, making it easier to hold even when a heavy lens is attached.

  • SL2 [left] and SL [right]. The basic design is the same, but improvements have been made in every detail.

  • The inside of the grip has a dent, making it easier to hold

There are two dials on the top and back as before, especially the top dial is large and feels very easy to turn. The increase in the number of function buttons to which various functions can be assigned has improved the ease of use.

  • Equipped with a large dial behind the shutter button

  • The rear dial is mounted at this position

  • The shutter button part is somewhat inclined

Leica's digital cameras are also known for being equipped with high-definition EVF [electronic viewfinder], but SL2 is equipped with high-definition EVF of 5.76 million dots. The view was also very clear.

The button arrangement on the back has also been changed, and the operation buttons around the LCD monitor have been collected on the left side of the LCD. Although the number of buttons has decreased, according to the company, it was because the photographer was able to concentrate on shooting rather than operation.

  • SL2 [left] and SL [right]. SL2 has a solid button on the left side of the LCD panel

The menu screen has a new page that allows you to list the settings. This page has a different layout for taking pictures and taking pictures, and the sound level meter and time code are also displayed for movies.

  • Display example when taking a picture

  • Display example during movie shooting

It is said that the processing speed has been improved by installing a new image processing engine this time, but AF has not been sluggish even though it is 47 million pixels as high as before. AF has a “person recognition” function that automatically detects the person and automatically adjusts the focus. When I tried it, I could recognize more than one person, and I could select who I was focusing on. When the face was visible, the AF frame overlapped with the face, and movement as a face recognition was also seen. Human detection is instantaneous and practical.

SL2 adopts L mount like SL. In addition to Leica, the L-mount lens is also released by Sigma and Panasonic, so you can't miss the many choices. Sigma and Panasonic L-mount lenses were also lined up at the venue, so they could try it out.

  • Appeal that Sigma and Panasonic L-mount lenses can also be used

  • Sigma's compact single focus lens "45mm F2.8 DG DN"

  • Panasonic's large-diameter standard lens “LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4”

Leica M mount lenses for rangefinder cameras can be mounted using Leica genuine mount adapters. The M mount lens has manual focus, but it is easier to focus by assigning an enlarged display to the SL2 function button.

  • Attaching the "Zumalon M F5.6 / 28mm" using the "L lens adapter for L"

The recording medium is an SD card double slot. SL only supported UHS-II on one slot, but both SL2 supported UHS-II. In the interface, headphones and microphones that previously required adapters can be connected directly. It can be said that this is an improvement that emphasizes video shooting. Since the battery is the same type as SL, it can also be used when replacing from SL.

  • Recording media slot is a double slot

  • interface. Emphasizes video shooting and is equipped with a microphone jack and headphone jack

  • Battery is the same type as SL

It also supports the “Leica FOTOS” app that can transfer images to a smart device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. In addition, a new version of the app that includes new features that can be directly linked to Adobe Lightroom CC will be released in late November.

  • Leica FOTOS update is also announced

Photographer Steve McCully of the photographer group Magnum appears as a special guest at the venue. It seems that they shot in China in July using the SL2 prototype.

  • Steve McCully

McCulley said about SL2, “It's like taking a studio camera on the street, like a dream camera. I like to shoot in a place with little light, but it ’s satisfactory even if I shoot with ultra-high sensitivity. The result was obtained.The shutter sound was quiet and it didn't break the atmosphere of the place. It was the best camera I have ever used, "he said.

Author Profile
Osamu Takeishi

Born in 1981. Since 2006, he has worked as an editor for the Impress news site “Digital Camera Watch”, covering the camera and photography industry and writing equipment reviews. Free from 2018.

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