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Leica SL (Typ 601) review

March 23, 2016

Overall Rating:

4

Leica SL (Typ 601)


  • Features: 8/10
  • Build/Handling: 7/10
  • Metering: 8/10
  • Autofocus: 8/10
  • AWB Colour: 7/10
  • Dynamic Range: 9/10
  • LCD viewfinder: 9/10

Pros:

  • - Extraordinary electronic viewfinder
  • - Excellent image quality
  • - Internal 4K video recording

Cons:

  • - Large, heavy body
  • - Unintuitive controls with poor default set-up
  • - Limited native lens range

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£5,050.00 (Body only)

It may push the definition of ‘compact’ to its limit, but Leica’s top-end CSC has some outstanding features that set it apart from the rest, as Andy Westlake discovers

Leica SL (Typ 601) review – Viewfinder and screen

Leica-SL-back

If there’s one thing Leica really has got absolutely right with the SL, it’s the viewfinder. Its 4.4-million-dot EyeRes finder gives exceptional detail, and a larger view than the optical finders on even top-of-the-range full-frame DSLRs. Its 60fps refresh rate means there’s barely any lag, either. In addition to this, it can display a wide range of exposure information, overlay your choice of gridlines and even display electronic levels. The net result isn’t just the most impressive electronic viewfinder yet, but it’s probably the finest viewfinder on any full-frame camera to date, surpassing even the best optical finders such as that on the Canon EOS 5DS R.

The EVF is backed up by a 3in, 1.04-million-dot rear screen that also gives a bright, detailed view. It’s touch-sensitive, which means it can be used to select the focus point and change certain settings, including ISO and exposure compensation. An eye sensor allows the camera to switch seamlessly between the two viewing methods during shooting. It’s just a pity that the LCD isn’t articulated in any way, which is a disadvantage compared to the tilting screen on the Sony Alpha 7R II.

  • Sensor: 24-million-pixel full-frame CMOS
  • Output size: 6,000×4,000 pixels
  • Lens mount: Leica L
  • Focal-length mag: 1x
  • Shutter speeds: 60-1/8000sec + bulb
  • ISO: 50-50,000
  • Exposure modes: PASM
  • Metering system: Multi-field, spot, average
  • Exposure comp: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • Drive mode: 11fps max, 7fps with AF
  • LCD: 3in, 1.04-million-dot touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 4.4-million-dot, 0.8x magnification
  • AF points: 49-point contrast-detection
  • Video: Cine 4K (4,096×2,160) at 24fps
  • External mic: Via optional adapter
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC (2 slots)
  • Power: BP-SCL4 rechargeable Li-ion
  • Battery life: Approx 400 shots
  • Dimensions: 147x104x39mm
  • Weight: 847g (with battery and card)
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