New Full-Frame Leica SL2-S Has Beefier Video Features

Leica updates its SL2 with oversampled video and improved bit depth. 

The Leica SL2-S is the latest full-frame L-mount camera in the SL series offering new features for video shooters. 

Built around a 24.6MP CMOS-BSI sensor with a pixel pitch of 5.94 μm, it oversamples 6072 x 4056 pixels to produce its 4K images. The SL2-S captures 4:2:2 10-bit videos with Leica’s L-LOG gamma profile at frame rates up to 60fps, but there are some caveats. 

Using the full width of the sensor the internal recording tops out at 4K DCI 30p 4:2:2 10-bit. There is an option for internal 4K DCI at 60p, but it crops to ASP-C at 4:2:0 8-bit. When recording externally, via the HDMI, it will bump up to 4K DCI 10-bit 4:2:2 but still with a crop. The same goes when recording 4K UHD. 

4K DCI Recording Options

  • 4K DCI: 59.94fps, 4:2:0 / 8-bit (SD), 4:2:2 / 10 Bit (HDMI), APS-C, H.264, Long GOP, 150Mbps
  • 4K DCI: 50fps, 4:2:0 / 8-bit (SD), 4:2:2 / 10 Bit (HDMI), APS-C, H.264, Long GOP, 150Mbps
  • 4K DCI: 29.97fps, 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400Mbps
  • 4K DCI: 25fps, 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400Mbps
  • 4K DCI: 24fps, 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400 Mbps

4K UHD Recording Options

  • 4K UHD: 59.94fps, 4:2:0 / 8-bit (SD), 4:2:2 / 10 Bit (HDMI), APS-C, H.264, Long GOP, 150 Mbps
  • 4K UHD: 50fps 4:2:0 / 8-bit (SD), 4:2:2 / 10 Bit (HDMI), APS-C, H.264, Long GOP, 150 Mbps
  • 4K UHD: 29.96fps 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400 Mbps
  • 4K UHD: 25fps 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400 Mbps
  • 4K UHD: 23.98fps 4:2:2 / 10-bit (SD & HDMI), 35mm & APS-C, H.264, ALL-I, 400 Mbps

It's worth noting the sensor doesn't have a low-pass filter, so while your images may look sharper, there is the potential for moiré. But this is the new direction with sensor design. They're becoming more reliable in terms of anti-aliasing, so camera manufacturers are choosing to bypass the filter altogether for a sharper image. 

The camera supports Rec. 709, L-Log Rec. 2020, and HLG Rec. 2020 gammas, and with its integrated viewing LUTS, you can have control throughout the recording. Better yet, the camera has unlimited recording time, with the only limitation being the size of your SD card or external storage. 

The SL2-S features 5-axis body image stabilization (IBIS) with camera shake correction up to 5.5 stops. It supports the entire line of L-mount lenses along with Leica's Object Detection AF for fast and reliable autofocus that includes face recognition, whether or not a subject is stationary or in motion, and subsequently switches between motion and focus priority.

Build wise, it's nearly the same as the SL2 with weather-sealing that's rated IP54. So if you're familiar with the first generation, navigation with the SL2-S will be quick to pick up. 

Leica also points out the camera's road map. In a future firmware update, it will support 4K 60p 10-bit H.265/HEVC recordings. Additionally, the update will offer an integrated waveform monitor, color-bars, timecode input, and tally modes as well as automatic follow focus. Expect the firmware to arrive in spring 2021. 

The Leica SL2-S is available now for $4,895 USD.     

You Might Also Like

Your Comment