The 47.3-megapixel Leica SL2 is now official and it shoots 10-Bit 5K video

Nov 6, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The 47.3-megapixel Leica SL2 is now official and it shoots 10-Bit 5K video

Nov 6, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Rumours of the Leica SL2 have been out for a while now. We saw photos and a list of specs leaked two months ago. But now, Leica has officially announced the Leica SL2; A 47.3-megapixel full-frame L mount mirrorless camera capable of shooting stills at up to 20fps, 4K video at 60fps, and 1080p HD slow motion at up to 180fps.

The Leica SL2 shows some significant upgrades over its predecessor, the original Leica SL. The 24-megapixel sensor of the original has almost doubled in resolution, increasing to 47.3-megapixels.

MountLeica L
FormatFull Frame
Pixels47.3-megapixels
Max Resolution8368 x 5584 pixels
Aspecct ratio3:2
Sensor typeCMOS
Bit depth14-Bit
Stabilisation5-axis sensor shift
ISO100-50000 (extended 50-50000)
Shutter speed1/8000 to 1800 sec (mechanical) / 1/40000 to 1 second (electronic)
Continuous shooting47.3-megapixels at up to 20fps (70 exposures RAW / 100 exposures JPG)
VideoMOV/H.26410-Bit
5K (4992 x 3744) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/180p
MP4/H.26410-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160)23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
Full HD (1920 x 1080)23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/180p
External Recording Modes10-Bit DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) up to 59.94p
Recording LimitUp to 29 Minutes
Audio RecordingBuilt-In Microphone (Stereo) / External Microphone Input (Stereo)
Focus TypeAuto and Manual Focus
Autofocus PointsContrast Detection: 225
Viewfinder5,760,000 Dot OLED with 100% coverage
LCD3.2″ 2,100,000 Dot fixed touchscreen LCD
Memory Card SlotDual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
ConnectivityFull size HDMI / Type-C USB / 3.5mm headphone / 3.5mm microphone / Bluetooth / Wi-Fi
Dimensions146 x 107 x 42 mm (5.75 x 4.21 x 1.65″)
Weight835 g (1.84 lb) Body Only

The focus on video is an interesting move for Leica. The SL2 is capable of shooting 10-Bit 5K video at 23.976, 25 or 29.97 frames per second, and it comes with a “Cine mode” which Leica says “Transforms the SL2 into a manually controlled cine camera”. Essentially, the ISO becomes ASA, shutter speed turns to a shutter angle in degrees and the f-stop indicator is replaced by T-stops.

As well as 5K, it shoots 10-Bit 4K DCI or UHD video at up to 59.94 frames per second, and 1080p at up to 180fps. This matches the speed of the Panasonic GH5 when shooting 1080p, but this is a full frame sensor, not a 2x crop Micro Four Thirds camera. The specs and releases I’ve received don’t suggest that the camera crops when shooting 1080p, so one has to assume that it does not. We’ll know for sure, though, once they start getting into the hands of users. It also shoots regular 8-bit h.264 at 4K UHD up to 59.94fps and 1080p up to 180fps.

Being a Leica, it’s no slouch when it comes to stills, either. At least on paper. Inside the body is a 47.3-megapixel CMOS sensor which shoots 14-bit DNG raw files. And it shoots them at up to 20 frames per second. It houses a pretty substantial buffer, too, because it can keep up this rate for 78 exposures when shooting DNG raw or 100 images when shooting jpg.

It’s an L Mount camera, and as such it can take the array of L mount lenses becoming available from their L mount alliance partners, Sigma and Panasonic. It’s also compatible with Leica’s M, S and R systems via adapters, offering over 170 Leica lens options.

Despite some pretty major improvements over the Leica SL, and a redesigned camera body, Leica says that the SL2 is neither larger nor heavier than its predecessor, and offers a refined handgrip for easier handling. It also has IP54 certification ensuring improved weather sealing for rugged situations, and you can now disable noise reduction during long exposures.

The Leica SL2 is available to pre-order now for $5,995 and begins shipping on November 21st.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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13 responses to “The 47.3-megapixel Leica SL2 is now official and it shoots 10-Bit 5K video”

  1. Ron Cunningham Avatar
    Ron Cunningham

    Mike C Lovett just what you need ?

    1. Mike C Lovett Avatar
      Mike C Lovett

      ?

  2. Daniel Yu Suzuki Avatar
    Daniel Yu Suzuki

    4K60, 5K 10 bit, USB-C, full frame, ultracompact and yet still with the 29m59s video limit. Like wtf.

  3. Johnny Martyr Avatar
    Johnny Martyr

    I handled the SL when it was first introduced and really enjoyed the feel and instinctual control arrangement. The SL body is cast from a single block of alloy, I haven’t seen any comments about the SL2 being built the same way. Surprised to hear that handgrip was improved as it seemed great to me from the start. The SL2 seems like a realistic middleground for photographers between the somewhat anachronistic M series and impossibly priced S series. The concentration on video is probably wise for any mirrorless.

  4. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    Sony all of a sudden doesn’t seem so innovative !!!

    Now I can’t wait for the new fuji xt3 or the x-h2 !!

  5. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    Nice, but ergonomics are horrible

    1. Johnny Martyr Avatar
      Johnny Martyr

      Howso? I handled the SL when it was introduced and loved it. Very compact, fits nicely in the hand, very solid, controls are laid out intuitively, are simple and menus don’t feel cluttered.

    2. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      I’m sure menus are fine. As for holding in my hand, nope. I personally prefer Canon/Nikon ergonomics. For me, holding leica is like holding a little brick. The latest Canon mirrorless feels OK though.

      1. Johnny Martyr Avatar
        Johnny Martyr

        “holding leica is like holding a little brick” haha, yes, well high weight and small size is typically associated with a higher quality camera and has been a Leica trademark from the start; small and dense but unlike a brick in that it is round and fits correctly in the hand with controls that fall precisely where you would use them in practice. The SL2 embodies the classic Leica associations with small and high quality.

    3. Peter Foote Avatar
      Peter Foote

      Sergi Yavorski I used to say that, still not enough reason to shoot Canon anymore.

    4. Justin Akard Avatar
      Justin Akard

      Peter Foote haha. Poor Canon. Just kidding… F Canon.

  6. Ollie Ezio Thomas Avatar
    Ollie Ezio Thomas

    I check my piggy bank for £6000!

  7. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    Tempting… very tempting… The leica name pulls like a tug boat… but.. I’ll stay still and Love even More my Nikon setup.. its already paid for…