Published Dec 10, 2020
The new Leica SL2-S is the company’s third full-frame L-mount camera, and is the most video-focused yet. Using a 24MP sensor, the SL2-S offers oversampled (meaning, very detailed) 4K/30p capture with no limit on recording time, along with the option to capture 10-bit footage to either an internal SD card or externally to a recorder. In essence, 10-bit footage means you have far more ability to tweak your video files in post-production if you don’t nail the exposure or white balance at the time of capture.
The camera also has a really generous buffer, meaning you can shoot rapid bursts of images for a long time before the camera starts to slow down. If you’re using continuous autofocus to photograph a moving subject, you can take photos at a maximum of 9 frames per second indefinitely.
Otherwise, it looks and handles nearly identically to the already well-built SL2. It offers an IP54 rating, which looks great against much of the competition that claims weather-sealing but does not back it up with any official rating. The controls have been updated and simplified a little, but a handful of custom buttons mean that most of the options you might want quick access to are close at hand.
The Leica SL2-S is available immediately at a suggested price of $4,895 USD.
The New Leica SL2-S is Leica’s Most Versatile Camera for Photography and Videography to Date
The latest addition to the SL-System is the ideal choice to capture timeless photographs and cinematic videos
December 10, 2020 – Introducing the new Leica SL2-S, the perfect solution for anyone seeking outstanding imaging performance in both photography and video production from Leica. With its new 24 megapixel CMOS-BSI sensor and two separate recording modes for photos and videos, the Leica SL2-S offers the best of both mediums in one all-metal, state-of-the-art body built for long-term durability.
The Leica SL2-S expands the multi-faceted SL-System with a versatile full-frame camera that serves as the ideal option for creatives who seek the Leica Look in both still and motion pictures. With its high-speed shooting at continuous burst rates up to 25 frames per second at full resolution and its pro-level cinema capabilities encompassing 10-bit 4K and Cine4K video with no recording length limits, the SL2-S is the ideal choice to capture brilliant photographs and cinematic videos through an intuitive camera that is built to last.
The core element of the Leica SL2-S is the newly developed backside-illuminated CMOS full-frame image sensor with a resolution of 24 megapixels. The data collected by the sensor is quickly processed by the camera’s Maestro-III processor in conjunction with the generous, 4-gigabyte buffer memory. This, for the first time, enables endless continuous shooting at up to 9 frames per second, where the burst length in JPEG format is only limited by the capacity the memory cards in the camera’s dual UHS-II card slots.
The Leica SL2-S features a stabilized image sensor, which provides a highly efficient, multi-axis image stabilization to be used with any Leica lens mounted to the body for a steadier shot yielding sharper results choosing slower shutter speeds. This sensor-shift technology also enables multi-shot capturing, automatically combining eight shots into one image with a fourfold resolution of 96 megapixels. The high sensitivity of up to ISO 100,000 – combined with the fast autofocus and in-body image stabilization – enables photographers to capture excellent images in all kinds of environments and even the dimmest of light.
The Leica SL2-S is the first SL model to enable direct tethered shooting with Capture One 21. This gives users the option of full remote control of the camera via the computer through the chosen software of many professional photographers and digital techs. In addition, the SL2-S can also be tethered to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic for seamless integration to Adobe’s widely popular photographic workflow application. An extended 90-day trial of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan is included when purchasing the camera. The Leica SL2-S shares many core attributes as its sibling model, the Leica SL2, such as the unique operating concept and high-resolution Leica EyeRes® viewfinder and utilizes the SL2’s full accessory range. The equally robust, all-metal SL2-S also features weather sealing with a certified IP54 rating against dust and spray water, endless shooting and video recording without overheating and is produced in Germany to the highest quality standards.
Perfect For Creative Videographers
The Leica SL2-S provides not just photographers but also videographers and cinematographers with outstanding possibilities which are continuously optimized via the firmware updates released for SL-System cameras on an ongoing basis. The Leica SL2-S captures 10-bit 4:2:2 videos with Leica’s L-LOG gamma profile, at frame rates of up to 60 fps, ensuring the best quality color reproduction and sharpest results. Thanks to the integrated viewing LUTs (lookup tables), the user will have full control for optimal color quality and post-processing grading throughout the recording. Another pro-level trait is the camera’s unlimited video recording time, meaning the video length is only limited by the SD card or external storage capacity.
Through future firmware developments, the camera will also support the highly efficient HEVC video compression standard for internal 10-bit recordings up to 4K/60p directly to the SD card. This will also allow videos to be split into one-minute segments to minimize the risk of data loss. Other enhanced features, such as an integrated waveform monitor and automatic Follow Focus, will be added with the next firmware update further enhancing the camera’s suitability for professional applications and long-term use.
Being equipped with the L-Mount makes the Leica SL2-S fully compatible with not just the SL-System’s extensive lens portfolio but also with APS-C TL-Lenses and via adapter, lenses from the Leica M, R, and S-System. The L-Mount Alliance provides SL2-S owners with access to over 40 autofocus lenses from Leica and alliance partners. In addition, Leitz Cine lenses – which are highly coveted among filmmakers around the world – can also be adapted to the Leica SL2-S.
The Complete Dual-Purpose Package
All the new features of the Leica SL2-S along with its established and well-regarded inherited qualities stemming from the Leica SL2 make this camera the perfect all-rounder for still photography and cinematic videography. The latest developments and technical innovations combine seamlessly with the unique build, design, and user interface making the SL2-S the fastest and most widely capable camera from Leica.
The Leica SL2-S is on sale starting today at authorized Leica dealers for $4,895.
Leica SL2-S specifications
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||6000 x 4000|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2|
|Effective pixels||47 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (36 x 24 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100-50000 (expands to 50-50000)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|White balance presets||8|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5.5 stop(s)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||225|
|Lens mount||Leica L|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||1800 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Continuous drive||20.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (12 or 2 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Storage included||Dual SD card slots (UHS-II supported)|
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
|HDMI||Yes (10-bit output)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Environmentally sealed||Yes (IP54)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||510|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||931 g (2.05 lb / 32.84 oz)|
|Dimensions||146 x 107 x 83 mm (5.75 x 4.21 x 3.27″)|