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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.