The Leica SL2 is a major update of the company's original full-frame mirrorless camera, the SL, which was introduced four years ago. The SL2's design isn't a dramatic departure from the original, though the hard edges have been softened, the grip has been refined and a new three-button rear interface is similar to that of the Q2. Build quality and weather-sealing has improved to the point where the SL2 has earned an IP54 rating.

The real differences between the SL2 and SL can be found on the inside. The SL2 has a 47MP full-frame CMOS sensor – likely similar to what's in the Q2 and Panasonic's S1R – and a 5-axis sensor-shift IS system that can also be used to produce 187MP Raw images. Its contrast detection autofocus system has been improved according to Leica, and a 'Smart AF' feature can automatically switch between focus and shutter release priority.

Photos can be composed via a 3.2" touchscreen display with 2.1 million dots or a large 5.76M-dot electronic viewfinder. As before, a small status display on the top plate shows important shooting information.

The SL2 can shoot bursts at 20 fps with the electronic shutter and 10 fps with the mechanical shutter, both with AF locked. For continuous focus and exposure, you'll need to drop to 6 fps. The camera has dual SD card slots, both of which are capable of UHS-II speeds. The official battery life rating for the SL2 is 370 shots per charge, but as always, you'll likely do better.

The SL2 can shoot DCI or UHD 4K at up to 60p from nearly the full width of the sensor. Both 60p and 50p footage are captured as 8-bit 4:2:0, while 30p and below can be recorded or output as 10-bit 4:2:2 streams. There's also an option to shoot 5K at up to 30p from a 4:3, roughly 1.6x, cropped region of its sensor. The camera will let you shoot using a proprietary L-Log gamma curve for any of its 10-bit modes and the standard, ready-for-use HLG curve in its 10-bit 4:2:2 modes.

The Leica SL2 will be available on November 21st at a list price of $5995.

View our SL2 sample gallery

Go hands-on with the SL2

Watch DPReview TV's first impressions

Press release:

A New Icon: Leica Camera Announces the New Leica SL2, Successor to the Trailblazing Leica SL

November 6, 2019 – Building on the foundation established in 2015 with the visionary Leica SL-System, Leica Camera proudly introduces the Leica SL2, the storied brand’s new icon and next evolutionary step towards building the perfect all-purpose camera. By listening closely to the valued feedback of photographers and existing SL owners, Leica made many efforts to push the envelope of technological innovation and performance while respecting its heritage of design and legacy. In addition to a technical marvel of pure performance and unmatched build quality, the Leica SL2 is also a joyous experience to use with improved ergonomics and more comfortable grip married to the well-established, simplified three-button control layout, further unifying the Leica design language across multiple product lines. While cutting-edge new features such as in-body image stabilization unlocks newfound potential from legendary Leica M-Lenses, it simultaneously augments the growing selection of SL-Lenses which are some of the finest optics Leica has ever produced. The Leica SL2 is the natural evolution of the innovative Leica SL, serving as a groundbreaking embrace of the future of digital photography and videography while paying homage to its respected history and lineage.

CMOS sensor with 47 megapixels for superior image quality

The unprecedented resolution of the SL2’s CMOS image sensor in full-frame format results in an unparalleled level of detail rendition and image quality. Enormous dynamic range, a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel and a sensitivity of up to ISO 50,000 enable outstanding image quality in all lighting conditions. Even when combined with Leica TL lenses, which are designed for the smaller sensor format of the Leica TL2 and CL, the SL2’s sensor still delivers an excellent image resolution of over 20 megapixels.

Image stabilization through sensor-shift technology

In a major evolution of the SL, the Leica SL2 features a suspended sensor which adjusts its position in order to quickly and efficiently compensate for camera shake. This in-camera method even makes image stabilization available to lenses that are not equipped with their own.

Additionally, in multishot mode, the tripod-mounted camera can record up to eight consecutive frames, whereby the sensor is shifted in half-pixel increments in between every exposure. This key feature results in images with an incredible quadrupled resolution of around 187 megapixels, leading to an extreme increase in detail resolution.

Improved ergonomics for stress-free shooting in any situation

Despite significant technical improvements, the Leica SL2 is neither larger nor heavier than its predecessor and feels particularly compact to handle. This is due to the fully redesigned camera body, whose handgrip and the edges have been subtly refined for easier handling.

Improved body design paired with increased durability make the SL2 the perfect companion for all forms of shooting. The SL2’s IP54 certification ensures an elevated weather sealing for more rugged situations, while a new option to turn off noise reduction during long exposures allows for more hands-free shooting. Less worry about the weather and environmental situations means photographers can focus more on getting the shot.

Overall the design of the SL2 recalls more of the iconic Leica identity and traditional design DNA elements that the brand has become known and loved for.

Streamlined design with new status menus

The Leica SL2 offers an innovative user interface whose efficient design allows photographers to focus their attention on the creative process. The design alignment with the existing M and Q systems makes the adjustment even easier for existing Leica photographers.

The main recording parameters can be viewed on the rear display and adjusted quickly and easily with a simple finger tap. A click wheel, a joystick and three strategically placed, individually configurable buttons also contribute to a straightforward operation. Thanks to two dedicated status menus for stills and video recording, the parameters for either shooting mode can be adjusted entirely separately from each other.

Limitless connections

Featuring an L bayonet lens mount, the Leica SL2 is not only compatible with the ever-growing portfolio of SL-System lenses, but also with lenses of the TL-System and with the legendary lenses of Leica’s M, S and R-Systems via adapter, providing more than 170 Leica lens options, guaranteed to offer the right fit for any photographic scenario. The L-Mount Alliance expands this scope of possibilities even further, by giving SL2 photographers access to L-mount-compatible lenses from Sigma and Panasonic.

Maestro III processor for ultra-fast operation

The new Maestro III processor facilitates a superior operating speed that shines in many aspects of the SL2’s performance. The autofocus is significantly faster and allows for a virtually lag-free shutter release in any shooting situation, which is further complemented by the new Smart AF mode, which autonomously switches between focus priority and shutter release priority. Full-resolution recordings of consecutive images are possible at 10 frames per second with the focal plane shutter, and 20 frames per second with the electronic shutter. Thanks to two UHS-II-compatible SD card slots, raw files can be saved simultaneously in DNG and JPEG format.

Leica EyeRes® viewfinder with even higher resolution

The camera’s electronic viewfinder now boasts a resolution of 5.76 megapixels, allowing for a large, entirely natural-looking viewfinder image. Simultaneously, the experience is further enhanced when using the touchscreen, which has increased in size to a 3.2-inch diagonal, and now offers a significantly higher resolution of 2.1 megapixels.

Perfect tool for cinematographers

In addition to its great appeal for photographers, the Leica SL2 speaks the language of cinematographers, as the camera is able to record up to 60 frames per second in Cine 4K mode, and up to 180 frames per second in Full-HD mode. Activating Cine mode transforms the SL2 into a manually controlled cine camera as ISO becomes ASA, the shutter speed is marked in degrees on the rotary disk shutter, and the f-stops indicating the aperture ratio are replaced by T-stops, which measure the actual amount of light transmitted through the lens. Connecting audio equipment to the Leica SL2 no longer requires the use of adapters, as the camera now features a build in headphones and mic jack, complemented by a fully-fledged HDMI connector for external monitors.

The Leica SL2 is available in Leica Stores and Leica Boutiques beginning November 21, 2019, at a recommended retail price of $5,995.

Leica SL2 specifications

Price
MSRP$5999
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8368 x 5584
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorMaestro III
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-50000 (expands to 50-50000)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating5.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG
  • DNG (14-bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points225
Lens mountLeica L
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.78×
Viewfinder resolution5,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed1800 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/40000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Interval
  • Exposure bracketing
  • Multishot
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation-3–5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage includedDual SD card slots (UHS-II supported)
Connectivity
USB USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (10-bit output)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBuilt-in
Battery descriptionBP-SCL4
Battery Life (CIPA)370
Weight (inc. batteries)835 g (1.84 lb / 29.45 oz)
Dimensions146 x 107 x 42 mm (5.75 x 4.21 x 1.65)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone