Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. While it shares a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor, 10 fps continuous shooting and 4K/30p video capture.

Compared to the TL2, the CL offer more conventional handling, including twin exposure dials, physical buttons for menu and playback, and a 4-way controller. It also features a high-resolution 2.36 million-dot EVF built in. Despite the more traditional ergonomics, the CL's rear LCD is touch-sensitive, and supports swipe gestures for image navigation and mode switching.

The CL is being launched alongside a new Elmarit-TL 18mm F2.8. At just 20.5mm/0.8in in length, Leica calls the "smallest wide-angle APS-C pancake lens currently available in the market."

Pricing for the CL and the new 18mm follows below:

  • Body only, black anodized finish : $2,795.00
  • Leica CL Prime Kit with 18 mm : $3,795.00
  • Leica CL Vario Kit with 18-56 mm : $3,995.00
  • Elmarit-TL 18 F2.8 ASPH, black / silver anodized : $1,295.00

Press release

Leica Camera Unveils Expansion of its APS-C System with the New Leica CL and Smallest Wide-Angle APS-C Lens

The new mirrorless camera and lens unite innovation, ease of use and compact design for exceptional visual storytelling

November 21, 2017- Leica Camera unveils the latest addition to its APS-C system with the Leica CL, a new camera that boasts an exceptional balance of state-of-the-art technology, mechanical precision and intuitive, classic design to make it the ideal everyday companion, a perfect fit for all types of photography. With stunning image quality – even in low-light scenarios – new electronic viewfinder technology and superb video capabilities, the Leica CL is the ultimate tool to capture everyday moments, all customizable to the photographer’s style. Available on its own or in two new camera-and-lens kit options, the Leica CL makes it simple to incorporate the art of photography into one’s daily life.

Alongside the Leica CL, the iconic photography brand is further diversifying the APS-C system’s portfolio of lenses by introducing the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH., the smallest-in-class wide-angle lens with supreme imaging performance.

Evolution of the Leica APS-C system portfolio
With the launch of the Leica CL, the Leica APS-C System now encompasses two remarkable camera models, the Leica CL and the Leica TL2. In technical terms, the two cameras are equals, but retain stark differences in regards to their design and handling. The Leica CL reflects the traditions of Leica with its iconic industrial design, classic physical button controls and dials, while the Leica TL2 embodies a futuristic look, featuring a touchscreen and full-body aluminium. Coupled with the extensive portfolio of lenses, the Leica CL and Leica TL2 make for a formidable system portfolio offering an array of specialized and distinct photographic experiences.

Introducing the Leica CL
The Leica CL is rooted in Leica’s legacy, calling upon the brand’s heritage look with modern technical features. The instinctual and convenient design of the camera features a user-friendly handling concept, providing for an exceptionally intuitive tool whose compact size and light weight allow for maximum mobility. All essential controls are located on its top plate with just two dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO value, exposure compensation and shooting mode, for quick and intuitive handling. Keeping convenience at the forefront, all relevant shooting information is viewable on the small LCD screen atop the camera, instantly providing settings and exposure parameters at a glance.

Another outstanding feature of the Leica CL is its built-in electronic viewfinder. With EyeRes® technology developed by Leica specifically for this camera, the viewfinder enables a top-tier viewing experience. Most notable among a number of advantages of the built-in EVF, is the ability to preview the brightness and color of the final image before the shutter release is fully depressed, allowing photographers to always be in control over the composition and exposure.

Alongside an impeccable view of your subjects, the Leica CL offers best-in-class image quality. In combination with the high-resolution, 24 MP, APS-C format sensor of the Leica CL, a Maestro II series processor and fast autofocus system with 49 AF points guarantee brilliant photographs in all situations, including low-light scenes. In addition to being an impressive still-picture camera, the Leica CL also captures striking video at a resolution of up to 4K at 30 frames per second.

Keeping connectivity as a top priority, the Leica CL is equipped with an integrated Wi-Fi module allowing photographers to quickly and easily share their stunning photos and videos by email or on social networks with the Leica CL App for iOS or Android. The remote function of the app also provides the capability for mobile devices to be used as an off-camera remote viewfinder, allowing control of exposure parameters, including when shooting with the self-timer function or from unusual angles.

Thanks to the L-Bayonet mount shared by the Leica TL- and SL-Systems, SL-Lenses can also be used without an adapter on the CL and the TL2. Appropriate adapters are also available for using Leica M- and R-Lenses on the cameras, offering unparalleled creative flexibility and making the Leica CL one of the most versatile cameras in the Leica portfolio.

New Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH.
To complement the Leica APS-C system, Leica is expanding the impressive TL lens portfolio with a ground-breaking new lens. Compact and lightweight, the new Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. holds the title as the smallest wide-angle APS-C pancake lens currently available in the market. When mounted to the Leica CL, the camera and prime lens are small enough to fit into a coat pocket or small handbag – providing incredible images everywhere you go. Despite being just 20.5mm (less than one inch) in total length, the lens sacrifices nothing, providing the unrivalled imaging performance all Leica lenses are known for. Travel photography is easy with this light and dynamic lens, especially when paired with the Leica CL.

As a whole, the Leica APS-C System portfolio of lenses offer exceptionally high picture quality and infinite opportunities for creative photography. In addition to the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH., the selection of lenses currently includes three zoom lenses (Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11-23 mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH., Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. and the APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135 mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH.) as well as three prime lenses (Summicron-TL 23 mm f/2 ASPH., Summilux-TL 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH.).

All bundled up
To make the stunning new Leica CL more easily accessible to both new and current Leica fans looking to make their first step into the APS-C system, the Leica CL will be offered in two bundle options alongside an accompanying lens. The “Prime Kit” will include the new Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens, while the “Vario Kit” option includes the Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, allowing photographers to get into this new camera and growing system with a lens that best suits their photography style in an easy-to-grab kit.

Availability
The Leica CL and Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH will both be available from Leica stores, boutiques and dealers at the end of November. The Leica CL body, in black anodized finish, will be $2,795.00 while the Prime and Vario Kits will be $3,795.00 and $3,995.00 respectively. The new Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH, in black or silver anodized finish, will be $1,295.00.

Leica CL specifications

Price
MSRP$2795 (body only), $3795 (w/18mm lens), $3995 (w/18-56mm lens)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution6014 x 4014
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorMaestro II
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-50000
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (2 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG
  • Raw (DNG)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountLeica L
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.74× (0.49× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/25000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • sport
  • portrait
  • landscape
  • night portrait
  • snow/beach
  • fireworks
  • candlelight
  • sunset
  • digiscoping
  • miniature
  • panorama
  • HDR
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous low/med/high
  • Interval
  • Exposure bracketing
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)
Connectivity
HDMINo
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBP-DC12 lithium ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220
Weight (inc. batteries)403 g (0.89 lb / 14.22 oz)
Dimensions131 x 78 x 45 mm (5.16 x 3.07 x 1.77)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone