Love them or hate them, Leica remains one of the photography industry’s most iconic brands. With a slew of new camera systems having diversified their camera line-up over the last couple years, Leica’s been covering everything from APS-C to medium format. Now they’re set to release yet another new product, this time a full frame mirrorless ILC – the Leica SL.
Details are still coming in, with the big announcement planned for 7:30 Berlin time today (2:30 EST). So far, we know that it will have a full frame 24-megapixel sensor without an AA filter, a 4 megapixel EVF, a touch screen rear LCD, 49 AF points, and a bayonet T mount. They’re also releasing 3 lenses, a 24-90mm f/2.8-4, 90-200mm f/2.8-4, and 50mm f/1.4. It sounds like the lenses feature image stabilization, though I’ve not seen any switches for that in the photos yet.
As always, Leica’s product design is on point here. Above all else, this camera reminds me of the PhaseOne XF body. In terms of form, it approximates the A7 series of Sony cameras, but it’s the minimalist and deliberate approach to the camera which brings to mind the PhaseOne instead. The side grip is a welcome ergonomic feature to accompany the larger DSLR style lenses, while also differentiating this camera from the Leica M series.
Specs-wise, Leica should have a solid performer here. I’d guess that the sensor is the same as the one used in the Leica Q, which is being lauded for excellent image quality. With the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, this camera could be a real winner. The big question is, what other lenses will be available in the future? With the T, S, M, and now SL series of cameras to support, lens production will be a major hurdle for Leica.
[REWIND: Is the Leica Q Up to Snuff?]
The Leica SL will come in at € 6,900, or € 10,000 with the 24-90mm “kit” lens. Is it worth the Leica premium, or is it just another highly priced toy? We will find out soon enough. You can pre-order yours here.
**UPDATE** One of our writers, Jay Cassario, had a chance to test out the new Leica SL and has posted his first impressions on his blog here. Check it out.