Best-in-class may be an understatement for the Leica SL (Typ 601) Mirrorless Digital Camera, an outstanding full-frame model that is offering professionals the “new Leica experience.” This generation of Leica is aimed to take the top spot of modern imaging technology and by the implementation of an outstanding 24MP CMOS sensor and Leica’s Maestro II processor, it will deliver among the best in image quality with sensitivities ranging from ISO 50-50000. The sensor also forgoes the use of a low-pass filter in order to maximize possible detail, especially with the use of Leica’s outstanding lens lineups. And, to make the camera a true professional’s tool, Leica has incorporated internal DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) video recording at 24 fps, along with the V-Log L gamma for maximum dynamic range.
Beginning with stills, the sensor and processor combination delivers high-resolution images at a rate of up to 11 fps. The 2GB internal buffer also allows for bursts of up to 33 DNG files or unlimited JPEGs. The Contrast AF system is claimed to be the fastest among full-frame cameras with 49 fields to work with. This ensures that photographers will not miss the decisive moment.
Video is outstanding, with UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 30 and 25 fps available in addition to DCI 4K. Alongside this impressive resolution is the ability to utilize the V-Log L gamma, a super flat profile that maximizes the dynamic range of the image and gives editors more information to work with in post production. Video is easily recorded internally via the UHS-II and UHS-I standard SD card slots at 4:2:0 8-bit sampling rate though it can be output over HDMI with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling. Super35 and full-frame options are also available, depending on your resolution and frame rate.
Also available is Full HD (1920 x 1080) and standard HD (1280 x 720) at up to an impressive 120 fps for slow motion. Numerous other video recording features were implemented on the SL (Typ 601) to make high-quality recording easier, this includes focus peaking, exposure simulation, clipping/zebras, grid overlays, aspect ratios, and safe area. Audio is also supported with a built-in stereo microphone and both a 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm microphone input. Manual and auto audio control is available.
Made in Germany from two blocks of solid aluminum, the SL (Typ 601) fits right in with Leica’s other precision made imaging tools. This body is designed for intuitive use, with numerous dials and buttons in addition to the implementation of a rear 2.95″ 1.04M-dot rear LED touchscreen for hybrid operation as part of Leica’s Professional user interface. The body also offers a spacious 0.66″ EyeRes 4.4MP EVF with a fast refresh rate of 60 fps and a magnification of 0.8x for more natural handling and composition.
The weather-resistant body has a variety of other features packed into it with dual SD card slots, one with the UHS-II standard and a backup with the UHS-I standard, as well as a 1.3″ top monochrome LCD screen for quickly viewing and changing exposure settings. Along with all of this, the SL (Typ 601) has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control and image capture using the Leica SL App and a GPS unit for geo-tagging your photographs.