Leica builds upon the SL mirrorless camera in some major ways with the SL2, but is it a good option for filmmakers?
This morning, Leica announced its brand new full-frame mirrorless camera, the $5995 SL2, which seems to have a lot to offer both photographers and filmmakers alike.
Built with an impressive 47MP full-frame mirrorless CMOS sensor with Maestro III processor, the SL2 shoots 5K at up to 30fps, Cine4K at up to 60fps, and 1080p at up to 180 fps. It offers 8/10-bit recording through an SD card (10-bit through HDMI output), autofocus with face and body tracking, built-in body image stabilization, and Cine Mode for cinematographers, which, according to Leica, "transforms the SL2 into a manually controlled cine camera," changing "aperture" to "shutter angle", "ISO" to "ASA", and "f-stops" to "T-stops" when you attach a cine lens.
It also comes with a variety of other features that will satisfy some of the needs of filmmakers, including focus peaking, zebra, safe overlays, a mic and 3.5mm headphone jack, a new OLED EVF with 5.76 million dots of resolution.
- 47 Megapixel full-frame mirrorless CMOS sensor
- 4K/60fps and 5K/30p cropped video recording
- Autofocus with face and body tracking
- Cine Mode for cinematographers
- Built-in body image stabilization
- 3.5mm jack for headphones or microphone
- Maestro III processor
- New EVF with 5.76 million dots
- 3.2-inch rear LCD
- Ergonomic with IP54 weather rating
- Three-button layout
- Price: $5995
Here are a couple of promo videos released by Leica today. Check them out below:
If you want to take a look at some more test footage, here are a few YouTubers that offer that as well as their first impressions of the camera.
Despite its many exciting features, the Leica SL2 has some stiff competition, including the Sony a7R IV, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, and (especially) the Panasonic LUMIX S1H.
I won't get into comparisons, at least not in this post—and you guys can have at it in the comments—but most would probably agree that the S1H blows the SL2 (and all the others) out of the water when it comes to specs and, hello, price. The SL2 retails for $5995, a whopping $2000 more than the S1H...and $3500 more than the BMPCC6K.
But, you know, it's Leica. Leica is expensive. The build quality is always exceptional, and to be honest, I'm sure most of us expected this camera to be more pricey than it is.
Overall, Leica loaded the SL2 with some good features and specs, which could potentially make it a competitive shooter in its class. And for filmmakers who are die-hard Leica fans, now they've got a camera they can swoon at...even if it's a little too rich for their blood.
Pricing and Availability
You can pre-order the Leica SL2 for $5995. Shipping will begin on November 21st, 2019.