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Leica introduces impressive Leica SL3 all-rounder

The new Leica SL3. Yours for a shade shy of $7k.
2 minute read
The new Leica SL3. Yours for a shade shy of $7k.

Leica’s latest entry in the SL series, the Leica SL3, ratchets up the new features and has a bit of something for everyone.

Leica’s new Leica SL3, the follow up to the 2019 SL2, is based around a BSI CMOS full-frame sensor which records raw files in DNG or JPEG format with a resolution of either 60, 36 or 18 MP. In each case, the full sensor surface is used. Together with the dynamic range now expanded to 15 f-stops and the impressive ISO range from 50 to 100,000, this means that the SL3 should deliver detailed images in all light conditions. 

Its autofocus combines three technologies together, phase detection (PDAF), depth mapping (Object Detection AF), and contrast recognition (Contrast Detection AF), to create what the company promises are razor-sharp pictures even in dim light. In addition, intelligent subject recognition supports the photography of dynamic scenes.

Lenses attach via the L-Mount standard as you’d expect, while the company’s EyeRes viewfinder features “an elaborately manufactured” optical system made of glass lenses that runs up to 120 frames per second and a resolution of 5.76 million pixels. 

Live preview enables full control over the exposure and composition of images even before releasing the shutter. Another impressive new feature is the 3-inch high-res touchscreen with a high-quality tilting mechanism. 

Video can be captured in up to 8K including in H.265 and ProRes. A dedicated time code interface allows for professional image and sound synchronisation on set. 

A lot of attention has been paid to ergonomics, tactile feel, and menu navigation. The grip, button layout, and overall camera design have been refined, and an updated, streamlined icon and menu design offers a clear structure and easy navigation. There’s even a color-coded distinct separation of photo and video modes: red for photo mode and yellow for video mode. Freely assignable FN keys and the optimised touch interaction in the menu add finesse to shooting, and give it the sort of customisation normally associated with the manufacturers. 

Connectivity is supplied by slots for the memory cards CFexpress type B and UHS-II-SD, a USB-C port for high-speed data transmission, tethering, and power supply as well as a full-size HDMI 2.1 output for external monitors or recording equipment. Additionally, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with MIMO technology ensure a stable and fast connection to the Leica FOTOS app. And as a certified Apple “Made for iPhone and iPad” accessory, the Leica SL3, together with the included USB-C cable, enables a direct connection to Apple products. 

The new BP-SCL6 battery, along with the separately available double charger, offers some serious grunt. An optional dual charger allows for the simultaneous and faster charging of two batteries, while the accessories within the SL-System now include a new handgrip and a DC coupler. The DC coupler can even be inserted into the camera’s battery slot to ensure a continuous power supply via USB-C.

The Leica SL3 is available globally for $6995 or equivalent. 

Tags: Production Cameras Leica