Leica SL Field Test Part II: Testing performance, manual focus, 4K video and more


posted Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 12:15 PM EDT


After exploring the design and usability of Leica's big (literally) full-frame mirrorless camera, the SL Typ 601, writer Eamon Hickey is back at it with a second Field Test installment. In this write-up, Eamon begins by diving into the camera's burst shooting performance and autofocus performance. Sporting an impressive 11fps burst shooting rate and a fast contrast-detect AF system, the Leica SL was nimble and responsive, but not without a few downsides.

Also, unlike Leica's famed M-series of rangefinder cameras, the Leica SL, as mentioned, features autofocus like most modern digital cameras. However, as Eamon found out, the SL works just fine with adapted Leica M-mount lenses if you want to try your hand at manual focusing. Eamon also explores the image quality from the Leica SL's native AF-capable 24-90mm f/2.8-4 zoom, the camera's 4K video capabilities and its built-in GPS and Wi-Fi features. Lastly, he wraps up his field testing experience with his final thoughts on this high-quality yet pricey mirrorless camera.

Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4: 81mm, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 400, -1EV

Though Leica has a long history in the "mirrorless" category, with the storied M-series and later the digital M family of rangefinders, the SL Typ 601 is Leica's first full-frame digital mirrorless camera with AF following 2014's APS-C-based Leica T Typ 701. Offering a weather-sealed metal construction, a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor coupled to Leica's Maestro II image processor, ISO ranges from 50 to 50,000, 11fps burst shooting and up to DCI 4K video, the Leica SL aims to be a highly versatile professional-level multimedia camera. 

For all the details of Eamon Hickey's real-world shooting experience, check out his latest Leica SL Field Test Part II, and be sure jump back to Part I if you haven't already. Also, don't forget to browse the Gallery page for RAWs and JPEGs from real-world photos, our Samples tab for lab test shots and the Performance section to see just how speedy this camera actually is.

Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4: 24mm, f/10, 1/8s, ISO 1000
Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4: 90mm, f/4, 1/80s, ISO 250


Leica SL Field Test Part II

OverviewField Test Part IGallerySamplesPerformance