Technology

German Leica Unveils SL 2 Mirrorless Camera

Leica SL2

As it has been discussed quite a few times on this website that the camera is one of the most important invention for the humankind. It enabled humans to move from paintings to take real images of a person, scenario or whatsoever and thus quickly became the go to device. While painting remained more of an art as it was earlier, photography and later videography inculcated elements from both art and science amalgamating them into a totally new segment.

When it comes to photography, the one part of the world that really lights up is Japan as most of the popular camera manufacturers of the world are from the region namely Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic and so on. However, Germany that is known for its near oerfect engineering is also known for photography instruments manufacturers such as Hasselblad, Zeiss and Leica but only to a niche consumer base due to their high price and products for specific purpose instead of general usage.

Leica was founded by Ernst Leitz in 1914 in Wetzlar, Germany. The name Leica is derived from the first three letters of his surname (Leitz) and the first two of the word camera: lei-ca. Leica Camera AG is 45% owned by The Blackstone Group which licenses the Leica brand name from the independently-owned Leica Microsystems GmbH.

The SL2 is the latest offering from the company in 2019 as a successor to the SL that was launched in 2015. This is the company’s mirrorless camera line-up that has attracted many professional photographers who could afford owning a Leica. Let’s get to the specifications, pros and cons of the camera:

Specs

  1. It has a 47.3 MP Full Frame Sensor
  2. It comes with a 3.2 inch 2.1 MP touch screen
  3. OLED Electronic Viewfinder of 5.76 MP
  4. IP 54 rated water and dust resistant
  5. 5 axis In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) with up to 5.5 stops of shake reduction
  6. ISO range of 50-50,000 with 14 stops of Dynamic Range
  7. Can shoot at 10 fps with mechanical shutter and 20 fps with electronic shutter
  8. Can record 5K @ 30 fps, 4K @ 60 fps and 1080 @ 180 fps (slow motion)
  9. Aluminum Top and Bottom with Magnesium Mid-Body

Pros

  1. Higher resolution sensor than SL
  2. More choices of lenses since the launch of SL line was 4 years ago
  3. Better build quality as compared to the SL
  4. IBIS finally comes to the line-up that was present in Japanese cameras
  5. Leatherette cover on the mid-section for better grip
  6. Numerous customizable buttons

Cons

  1. The developments are merely incremental in this fast paced world where there is transformation in 4 years.
  2. Mirrorless but big and heavy like any other full-frame DSLR
  3. Fixed LCD screen that is difficult for photographers to click pictures at odd angles
  4. Very expensive at $5995 (body only), sale will start on 21st November

Final Take on the Camera

The camera does what the company claims – clicks good pictures, simple. The build quality is top-notch as it is expected from Leica. The company is more concerned for ergonomics as compared to portability and that is why it is big and bulky that feels good in hand to hold. There are more compact offerings from its competitors but the question is – are they really its competitors? The answer is now because Leica has a niche consumer base that requires the level of photography that only Leica can offer. The Leica lenses compatible with the SL cameras are considered some of the best the world can offer and hence are the most expensive ones in their focal lengths. Experts claim that the photos taken on expensive Sonys, Nikons and Canons also look quite similar to Leica photos but the sharpness that the Leica camera offers are more natural as compared to the digitally enhanced photos from its competitors.

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