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Leica SL2-S Mirrorless Camera

BH #LESL2S • MFR #10880
Leica SL2-S Mirrorless Camera
Key Features
  • 24.6MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor
  • Maestro III Image Processor
  • DCI 4K Video; HLG & 10-Bit Recording
  • ISO 50-100000, Up to 25 fps Shooting
Mixing Leica's traditional aesthetic with contemporary, hybrid functionality, the SL2-S is a well-rounded full-frame mirrorless camera with apt photo and video capabilities. Revolving around Leica's first BSI CMOS sensor, the 24.6MP sensor offers DCI/UHD 4K 10-bit video recording, broad sensitivity from ISO 50-100,000, and vivid image quality with low noise.
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Leica SL2-S Overview

  • 1Description
  • 224.6MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor and Maestro III Processor
  • 3DCI/UHD 4K 10-Bit Video Recording
  • 4Body Design
  • 5Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • 6Object Detection Autofocus System

Mixing Leica's traditional aesthetic with contemporary, hybrid functionality, the SL2-S is a well-rounded full-frame mirrorless camera with apt photo and video capabilities. Revolving around Leica's first BSI CMOS sensor, the 24.6MP sensor offers DCI/UHD 4K 10-bit video recording, broad sensitivity from ISO 50-100,000, and vivid image quality with low noise.

The sensor is complemented by the refined Maestro III image processor, which avails high-speed performance and versatility throughout the camera system. Full-res DNG continuous shooting at up to 25 fps is possible along with 4K video at up to 60p or Full HD at up to 180 fps. And, emphasizing the hybrid ethos, Leica has also implemented separate Photo and Video menu systems for more intuitive navigation and settings control when working in either mode.

Complementing both photo and video applications, a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system minimizes the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Also, the sensor's design incorporates a Leica Object Detection AF system, which uses 225 selectable AF areas for fast and accurate performance.

Beyond updated imaging, the SL2-S also features durable, weather-sealed body design that includes a 5.76m-dot EyeRes OLED EVF and a large 3.2" 2.1m-dot touchscreen LCD. A top status LCD is also featured for quick recognition of shooting settings and dual UHS-II-compatible SD memory card slots offer file-saving flexibility. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work in conjunction with the Leica FOTOs app for wireless file transferring and remote camera control.

24.6MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor and Maestro III Processor

Featuring a highly versatile full-frame 24.6MP BSI CMOS sensor, the SL2-S has apt imaging capabilities for both stills and video applications. Coupled with the Maestro III image processor, fast performance is ensured along with a wide ISO 50-100,000 sensitivity range. The sensor's BSI design also promotes especially clean and smooth color and tonal rendering, along with reduced noise when working at higher ISO settings. The sensor's design also omits a low-pass filter in order to maintain the highest degree of sharpness and resolution. Additionally, beyond sheer image quality, the processing power affords quick continuous shooting, up to 25 fps with an electronic shutter or 9 fps with a mechanical shutter, and a 4GB buffer enables near limitless burst shooting of full-resolution DNG or JPEG files.

DCI/UHD 4K 10-Bit Video Recording

An immensely capable video camera, the SL2-S offers both DCI and UHD 4K recording at up to 60p using either the full-frame sensor area or an APS-C/Super 35mm crop. Internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording is supported for frame rates up to 30p, and 60p is available at 8-bit 4:2:0. When recording externally via the full-size HDMI port, 10-bit output is available at all frame rates for DCI and UHD 4K. Full HD recording is also supported with high-speed frame rates up to 180 fps for slow-motion playback. Additionally, there is no imposed recording limit at any resolution or frame rate, allowing for extended recording times.

Complementing the video quality, a dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) mode and L-Log gamma profile can be used to for in-camera HDR output or for expand highlight and shadow detail and greater flexibility when color grading during post-production. There are also integrated viewing LUTs for improved color control and accuracy. Video recording can be split into 1-minute segments to avoid data loss, and a color bar provides reference for correct color grading and sound control in postproduction. Additionally, benefitting audio quality, support for an external microphone and headphones are also available via dedicated 3.5mm jacks. Video recording can be split into 1-minute segments to avoid data loss.

Body Design

  • Used in conjunction with other members of the L-Mount Alliance, the L lens mount is a versatile interface with a mount diameter of 51.6mm and a flange distance of 20mm for working with a broad range of optics.
  • The impressive EyeRes EVF is a high-resolution 5.76m-dot OLED finder offering a clear 0.78x configurable viewing magnification along with a smooth 120 fps refresh rate and 0.005 sec lag.
  • Large 3.2" 2.1m-dot touchscreen LCD is a bright, clear means for live view shooting as well as playback and menu navigation. This screen also uses Gorilla Glass for a highly durable design.
  • Separate photo and video menu systems eliminate the need to readjust settings when switching from photo to video modes, resulting in a more intuitive workflow, especially when mixing content types in a single shoot.
  • In addition to the rear LCD, a 1.28" top status LCD can also be used for quickly reviewing shooting settings, even when the camera is powered off.
  • Durable, weather-sealed magnesium-alloy construction is splash, dust, and freezeproof (IP54-rated) to accommodate working in harsh weather conditions and trying environments.
  • Dual UHS-II-compatible SD memory card slots offer flexible image storage, allowing you to segregate raw and JPEG files to different cards, save duplicate files to both cards, or simply double your storage space with overflow recording.
  • A USB Type-C port allows for fast file transferring; tethering, with full support for Capture One 21 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom; and high-speed in-camera battery charging. Additionally, a full-size HDMI Type-A port benefits video applications, and 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks suit advanced audio recording needs.
  • BP-SCL4 rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated for approximately 510 shots per charge.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, when used in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android, permits sharing imagery directly to a linked mobile device and also enables remote control over the camera and remote shooting via a live view image. Additionally, Bluetooth LE helps to maintain a permanent connection between the mobile device and the camera, enabling remote waking of the camera and automatic connection anytime within range.

Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization

Helping to achieve the utmost sharpness when photographing handheld, 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization compensates for a broad range of movement types to render sharper, clearer imagery.

Using sensor-shift stabilization technology, the SL2-S also features a Multishot mode to capture and compile eight separate exposure to create a single 96MP file. Suitable for static subjects and when working on a tripod, this mode creates a more highly detailed and color accurate image than a single shot alone can produce and produces an image with a 12000 x 8000-pixel resolution.

Object Detection Autofocus System

For accelerated autofocus performance, a Leica Object Detection AF system quickly calculates the distance to subjects and adjusts the focusing position with sensor and lens communication occurring at rates up to 480 fps. This contrast-detection type focus method benefits both still and video recording modes, as well as subject tracking applications through the use of a Body Detection mode. It also features 225 selectable AF areas, which provide excellent control over where the camera will focus, and Automatic Follow Focus offers three focus points for automatic focus shift during video recording.

Leica SL2-S Specs

Imaging
Lens MountLeica L
Sensor ResolutionEffective: 24.6 Megapixel (6072 x 4056)
Sensor TypeFull-Frame CMOS
Image StabilizationSensor-Shift, 5-Axis
Built-In ND FilterNone
Capture TypeStills & Video
Exposure Control
Shutter TypeMechanical Focal Plane Shutter, Electronic Shutter
Shutter SpeedMechanical Shutter
1/8000 to 500 Seconds
Electronic Shutter
1/16000 to 60 Seconds
ISO Sensitivity50 to 100,000 in Auto Mode
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average, Multi-Zone, Spot
Exposure ModesAperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation-3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
White BalancePresets: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Warm White), Halogen, Shade, Tungsten, White Balance Adjustment
Continuous ShootingMechanical Shutter
Up to 9 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 5 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 2 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Electronic Shutter
Up to 25 fps at 24.6 MP for Unlimited Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Interval RecordingYes
Self-Timer2/12-Second Delay
Still Image Capture
Image Sizes3:2 DNG
6000 x 4000
3:2 JPEG
6000 x 4000
4272 x 2848
2976 x 1984
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image File FormatDNG, JPEG
Bit Depth14-Bit
Internal Video Capture
Recording ModesH.264/MOV 4:2:2 10-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24.00p/25p/29.97p [400 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p [400 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [200 Mb/s]
H.264/MOV 4:2:0 8-Bit
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 50p/59.94p [150 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 50p/59.94p [150 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 100p/119.88p/179.82p [20 Mb/s]
H.264/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p [100 to 150 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/179.82p [20 to 150 Mb/s]
Recording LimitUnlimited
Video SystemNTSC/PAL
Built-In Microphone TypeStereo
Audio Recording AAC Audio
LPCM Audio
External Video Capture
External Recording Modes4:2:2 10-Bit via HDMI
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24.00p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
4:2:0 8-Bit via HDMI
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.98p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/180p
IP StreamingNone
Interface
Media/Memory Card SlotDual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Video I/O1 x HDMI Output
Audio I/O1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
Other I/O1 x USB Type-C (USB 3.2 / 3.1 Gen 1) Data Input/Output (Shared with Power Input)
Power I/O1 x USB Type-C Input/Output
WirelessBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Monitor
Size3.2"
Resolution2,100,000 Dot
Display TypeFixed Touchscreen LCD
Secondary DisplayTop: Status Display
Viewfinder
TypeBuilt-In Electronic (OLED)
Resolution5,760,000 Dot
Eye Point21 mm
Coverage100%
MagnificationApprox. 0.78x
Diopter Adjustment-4 to +2
Focus
Focus TypeAuto and Manual Focus
Focus ModeContinuous-Servo AF, Manual Focus, Single-Servo AF
Autofocus PointsContrast Detection: 225
Flash
Built-In FlashNo
Maximum Sync Speed1/250 Second
Flash Compensation-2 to +2 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Dedicated Flash SystemTTL
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe
Environmental
Operating Temperature14 to 104°F / -10 to 40°C
General
Battery Type1 x BP-SCL4 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1860 mAh (Approx. 510 Shots)
Tripod Mounting Thread1 x 1/4"-20 Female (Bottom)
Accessory Mount1 x Hot Shoe Mount
Material of ConstructionMagnesium Alloy, Aluminum
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.7 x 4.2 x 3.3" / 146 x 107 x 83 mm
Weight2 lb / 931 g (With Battery, Recording Media)
Packaging Info
Package Weight3.715 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.6 x 8.6 x 6"

Leica SL2-S Reviews

I liked it but still returned it back for multiple reasons.

By Arthur
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2022-01-01

I really wanted a Leica for my hybrid life, but ultimately few issues prevented me from keeping it for video work. 1) No tilted screen. Video is a lot about low-angle shots, and I don't always want to be dragging around an external monitor, mounting it, plugging the cable just to be able to comfortably shoot low-angle. Usability is important. Wasting time and effort every time I need to go down with the camera is just annoying. 2) I find the camera to be missing false color, and I love it on my C70. An extra button would also help to access additional features, like switching to slow-motion and back with one click. It also would be nice if slo-mo was not cropped. 3) The auto-focus is subpar. Yes, I use my Leica R lenses and DZO, but there are times where I need to use auto-focus on my gimbal. Sometimes tracking objects and people's faces as I move the camera by tapping on the screen. I can't do it with the Leica. 4) I found the video to be at times leaning towards the reds on the skin tones. 5) Lack of third-party cages made it very hard to rig the camera. I find paying 2k for Metal jacket to be ridiculous. 6) The battery life could be better, and each battery is like $300. I'd need 4 - 5 of them for my video work, and I find it to be a bit expensive. What I love is everything else people have said about it. The image quality, the simplicity of the camera, the quality, etc. So I stick to my Canons for now, with the hope that the SL3 will improve on some of the issues for me. As long as the screen tilts and the autofocus works, I can see myself looking at Leica seriously again.

Exceeded my expectations.

By Steven
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-10-13

Have used previously the Canon XA10 and the Canon XF405 for internet streaming in 1080p I have over the last six years recorded over one thousand programs. I felt that I took a little bit of a risk on the SL2-S because it's a hybrid camera geared toward video usage. First, I updated to the latest firmware version. Once the battery was fully charged I was happy to see that the SL2-S synched flawlessly with my Teradek encoder. I found the Leica menu to be well laid out, super crisp, and even somewhat similar to Canon's menu navigation system, only Leica's is cleaner and simpler in my opinion. The moment of truth was when I first began streaming with the SL2-S. The video quality reflected on my monitor was literally a jaw dropping moment. The video image quality is absolutely superb. It was then that I realized that the Leica color science really is all that its been heralded to be by Leica fans. I primarily stream video with the lens set on the 50mm mark. The autofocus facial recognition thus far has proven accurate after having streamed about ten programs, each about an hour in length. A few things I would like that the SL2-S doesn't have are a DC charging port/cord and a SDI output. However, the battery has ample strength and my new HDMI cord handles anything up to 4K, so there are no shortcomings for what I use it for. I look forward to utilizing the SL2-S for streaming, video recording and certainly for taking pictures. The build quality of the camera and lens makes this thing a delight to hold and use. I am well pleased with my purchase of the SL2-S. Thank you B and H for fast shipping and an enjoyable shopping experience.

Meeting my expectations so far

By Arthur
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-08-03

I have not had my camera that long but the Leica SL2S with the Vario-Elmarit 24-70mm lens is everything I expected it to be. The colors spectacular and the build quality is outstanding. Simply put, when I bought my first Leica X I knew I would never pick up another camera without the Leica badge. Now that this is my second Leica I have been reassured that Leica's are in a class all by themselves. I am very happy with my purchase.

Exceeds all expectations

By Samuel
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-07-29

Was looking for a hybrid that has the Leica look and this camera is worth it. Auto focus is just whatever for video but I personally manual focus anyway. Leica LUTs for Log look sublime. Sensor works well in tough lighting conditions.

Amazing Camera !!!

By Nilo
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-07-17

I love how this camera is made . Super solid and I don't have to worry about it getting water and dust in it . Not the best autofocus but it's manageable as long as you know your workarounds . The 4K video is amazing !! Plus the HD 180 FPS is a nice feature to have . Oh and did I mention about being able to hook this up with a V-Mount battery via usb -C to Dtap cable ? That and the Atomos ninja v make it a nice compact run and gun filmmaking kit . The Leica look is an obsession that a lot of Leica owners would admit to as a reason for purchasing this tool . Despite some of it's minor short comings , it's an amazing step forward in my career being able to provide images from this camera . Thank you B&H for shipping this out to me in a timely manner ! You guys are the best !

Great camera in its own right and good complement to SL2

By Alex
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-06-14

Comparing this camera to the SL2 is more apples and oranges than I would have thought. The SL2-S is great in low light, and has somewhat faster autofocus. While both cameras produce gorgeous images, there are differences in what comes directly out of the camera. They are not huge differences and can be easily corrected afterwards. The best review of this camera I have seen, and one that explores the differences between the SL2-S and the SL2 is the review from Steve Huff (one of the reviews on this site). I think that he provides an accurate assessment. I am still getting used to both cameras but I really enjoy the feel of the SL series camera body and the ease of use of the controls. While I bought the SL2 before the SL2-S came out, I can see that there are enough differences between the two that I am quite happy to have both. I think the SL2 excels in landscape, architecture, and in anything where I need to crop and can thus benefit from the larger file size. The SL2-S would be my choice for general purpose travel, evening and night photography (particularly street scenes), and most action-related stuff such as my dogs. Admittedly, neither camera has the incredible autofocus capability of recent higher end Sony or Canon cameras but both the SL2 and SL2-S are capable with the edge going to the SL2-S.

Quality, Sanity, Simplicity, Results are Superb

By Henry
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-12-10

Rather than a myriad of buttons, dials, and gizmos -- Leica builds a UI (User Interface) designed for photographers, not computer geeks. Stills settings are separate from Video settings and all are logically presented for instant access. Most importantly for me, the old fashioned stills photographer, the image's RAW files (DNG like Adobe) have amazing depth in both shows and highlights yet are adaptable to the creator's wishes.

The kit lens is not worth the Leica name

By Gavin
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2021-11-30

I ordered the kit and I am disappointed. Like many folks that are jaded with Canon's decision to make money instead of respecting their customers investment in lenses, I decided to switch to a company that has a fanatical following. According to the Internet, it is Sigma lens badged as a Leica lens and unfortunately it shows. I was disappointed in the total lack of dimensionality of the lens. Leica lenses are famous for that 3D dimensionality and that was why I switched to Leica. This kit lens doesn't give this and after 7 shots I tried the 35 and the 24-90. Both of these lenses are In a different league and worthy of the Leica name. I'll be selling my kit lens! Now onto the body. I love it! The simple menus and the color saturation of the raw images is superb. Upgrade the firmware when you get it as it makes a massive difference, both for video and photos. I suggest changing the default settings to suit your shooting style and circumstances. It has been a week now and I'm comfortable with the menus and the custom function buttons. I don't miss my Canon bodies at all. Zero regrets on the body.

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Unfortunately, we have no prior knowledge concerning future firmware updates or features that may be compatible for use with the Leica SL2-S Mirrorless Digital Camera in the future. The best I can recommend would be to contact Leica USA with your inquiry directly by e-mailing them at [email protected]
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How many stop of dynamic range is the SL2-S capable of in video mode?
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There are many factors in evaluating dynamic range. While we do not have any specifics on the SL2-S's dynamic range in video mode, we can say the file, if properly exposed, is very flexible. Another consideration is the LUT that is being applied. Hope this info helps.
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4k 60p crop?

4k 60p crop?
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Yes, you are correct. C4K and 4K @60fps are Super 35 or APS-C.
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