Leica SL Review

Overall 55
Imaging 30
Features 70
Size 76
Price 0

Main Features

  • 24.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 50 - 50000
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 147 x 104 x 39 mm
  • Weight: 847 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Also known as Leica Typ 601

Leica SL Summary

This review is devoted to SL that Leica has first introduced to the public in Oct 21, 2015. This model is a Pro Mirrorless camera with a resolution of 24.0 MP and a Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

In Pro Mirrorless cameras (Top 10 MirrorLess Cameras) this model has taken rank #13 out of 180. Its Overall Score has reached 55/100 and it takes a rank of #25 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Leica SL Compared to other MirrorLess Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Leica SL review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Continuous Shooting: 11.0 fps
  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 13.4
  • Min Native Iso: 50
  • Af Touch: Yes
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Headphone Port: Yes
  • Wireless Connectivity: Built-In
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes
  • Storage Slots: 2

CONs

  • Af Phase Detection: No

Popular comparisons of Leica SL

Complete Comparison of Leica SL With Other Cameras in Pro Mirrorless Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Leica SL. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Pro Mirrorless cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Leica SL

Leica SL has the following external dimensions 147 x 147 x 39 mm (57.87 x 40.94 x 15.35″) with the weight of 847 g.

The typical weight for average Pro Mirrorless type cameras is 672g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Leica SL, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Leica SL is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 39mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Leica SL with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Leica SL is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Leica SL compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Leica SL — 400 shots
Min: 210 shots
Average: 432 shots
Max: 870 shots

Thickness

Leica SL — 39 mm
Min: 37 mm
Average: 63 mm
Max: 97 mm

Weight

Leica SL — 847 g
Min: 465 g
Average: 672 g
Max: 1320 g

Unfortunately, Leica SL comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Leica SL comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Leica SL Photo and Sensor Features

Leica SL comes with Maestro II processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 24.0 MP and is equipped with a Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Leica SL has the following ISO range 50 - 50000 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

In a huge database of models that we have collected, Leica SL features a 24.0 MP sensor. In the Pro Mirrorless class, there is a high-resolution camera.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Leica SL, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 88 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Leica SL’s sensor.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Full frame sensor featured in Leica SL with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Leica SL

LCD and ViewFinder

Leica SL is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 1,040k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Electronic ViewFinder.

The Leica SL’s embedded ViewFinder comes with coverage of 100 and a resolution of 4,400k dots.

100% ensures that the resulting photo will capture the exact scene you could see in the viewfinder while shooting. Such coverage indicator also means that the framing of your shot will be more accurate, so there won’t be need for further cropping.

This model comes with a high-quality LCD screen. This is a type of a touch screen, which makes shooting much more convenient and simple, allowing you to adjust the point of focus and camera settings with fingertips.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Leica SL are its 11.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Besides, SL comes with an electronic shutter, which has a max speed of 1/8000 sec. It also means that you can take shots without any noise. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. While electronic shutter is great for continuous and noiseless shooting, in some cases, it may result in rolling shutter effects on your images.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, SL unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash. Luckily, it has a special slot for external flashes instead.

Focusing

In addition, SL has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Leica SL, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 4096 x 2160 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Leica SL allows you to save files in MPEG-4 formats.

Leica SL supports 4K (Ultra-HD) video. This is the highest available resolution as for today . Thus, opting for this model, you will be dazed by the video’s crispness and the quality of details when watching it on a 4K screen.

Such impressive resolution stats make this model stand out against the previous model, which provides a max video resolution of only. Thus, in case you are planning to update your old camera and would love to have a possibility to shoot lots of high-quality videos, high resolution is a significant advantage of SL.

In addition, Leica SL is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone and, since it comes with a port for external headphones, we can call Leica SL a perfect camera for high-quality videography purposes.

Connectivity and Storage

One more advantage of Leica SL is its embedded wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity. This feature makes it possible to share files with suitable devices without the necessity to connect them physically.

In addition, SL is equipped with its USB 3.0 or HDMI ports that make it possible to connect SL with suitable external devices.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Leica SL provides a shooting life of 400, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 432 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Leica SL is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Leica SL for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Leica SL’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Leica SL’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the SL to the average MirrorLess camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Leica SL for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Leica SL performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 97. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Leica SL can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Leica SL for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Leica SL performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 87. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Leica SL can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 104 x 39 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Leica SL for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Leica SL performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 95. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Leica SL can be called a 95 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1821)

Disadvantages:

  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (49)
  • Small battery life (400 shots)

Leica SL for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Leica SL performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 69. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Leica SL can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (847 g)
  • Big size (147 x 104 x 39 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Leica SL for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Leica SL performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 98. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Leica SL can be called a 98 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1821)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Leica SL Detailed Specs

General
Brand Leica
Model SL
Announced Oct 21, 2015
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Leica T
Number of Lenses 3
Focal Length Multiplier 1x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 4,400k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.8
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization No
Built-in Flash No
Flash Range 0
Flash Modes no built-in flash
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 88
DxO Color Depth 25.0
DxO Dynamic Range 13.4
DxO Low Light ISO 1821
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 50,000
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 50
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection No
Number of Focus Points 49
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 847 g
Physical Dimensions 147 x 104 x 39 mm
Battery Life 400 shots
Battery Type 400 shots
Battery Model BP-SCL4
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS Built-in
Storage Type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported on slot 1)
Storage Slots 2

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