At the Paris Photo exhibition this week, Leica announced the Leica SL2, a new mirrorless camera with a 47 megapixel (8368 x 5584) full-frame CMOS sensor, five-axis image stabilization, and 4K video recording capability.
The CMOS has a sensitivity of up to ISO 50,000, Leica said, and is built with a suspended-sensor design that compensates for camera shake. It can also be used, when tripod-mounted, in a multishot mode that records eight consecutive half-pixel-shifted frames that can be combined to a single image with apparent resolution of “around 187 megapixels.”
Autofocus has been tuned up, too, with the introduction of an object-detection AF system. Leica said the camera can detect whether a subject is stationary or moving and switch between motion and focus priority.
Leica stressed that, while the SL2’s L bayonet lens mount is compatible with SL-System lenses, it can also be adapted to use TL-System lenses, which are designed for image sensors in the APS-C image format. Cropped to APS-C size, the SL2’s sensor still delivers a 20 megapixel image, Leica said.
The SL2 weighs about 835g without a battery, Leica said.
So the SL2 looks to be a magnificent beast for high-res still photography, but video is not just an afterthought. It supports 10-bit 4:2:2 4K (4096 x 2160) and UHD (3840 x 2160) output at up to 50p and 59.97p via HDMI out, or recording to internal SD cards at up to 29.97p. (UHS-II cards are recommended.) And it can shoot 8-bit 4:2:0 1080p HD at up to 180fps, making it a natural for fashion photographers and others looking to deliver moving images alongside stills.
There’s even a 5K .MOV mode with frame rates of 23.98, 25 and 29.97. According to a report in Jon Fauer’s Film and Digital Times, those recordings take place in an APS-C/Super 35 crop mode and at a 4:3 aspect ratio — which opens up some possibilities for anamorphic recording — but are limited to 10-bit 4:2:0 internal recordings.
The SL2 will be switchable into Cine mode, which disables automatic exposure modes, expresses shutter speed in degrees, and replaces f-stop indications with T-stops. That’s meant to help make the camera easier to integrate into traditional cinema-style production. The camera features 3.5mm jacks for headphone and mic, along with a full-size HDMI connection.
Leica’s specs show that the camera also supports Rec. 2020 (HLG) color space and L-Log gamma in addition to Rec. 709.
The Leica SL2 is expected to go on sale beginning November 21 at an MSRP of $5,995.
Leica SL2: us.leica-camera.com