Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

The new generation from Leica to professionals: SL3 was introduced

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Among mirrorless cameras, Leica’s SL series has always offered professional photographers a similar usage experience to rivals such as Canon and Sony. Continuing this tradition, Leica launched the SL3 model with 60 megapixel (MP) resolution, a new phase detection autofocus system, 8K video recording capacity and many other innovations.

Leica SL3 full of innovations

Although the new model has the same sensor as the M11 rangefinder and Q3 compact models, it is very similar to the SL2 and has a rather heavy build, weighing 767 grams. Additionally, with its IP54 rating, it is protected against dust, moisture, etc. in weather conditions between -10 and 40°C. It offers the opportunity to shoot without worry.

The biggest change in its design is the addition of a new dial in the top left, which you can customize as you wish. On the back, Leica moved the three main buttons (play, function and menu) to the right and turned the power switch into a button.

The SL3 comes with a 3.2-inch 2.3 million-dot LCD screen compared to previous models, and in this model the screen can only tilt but not rotate. The electronic viewfinder has also been updated to a higher resolution 5.76 million dot 0.78x OLED version. In terms of storage, it supports both CFexpress type B and SD UHS-II memory cards. It has microphone/headphone jacks in addition to full-size HDMI and USB-C charging ports.

The new sensor provides a significant increase from 47 MP on the SL2 to 60 MP. This sensor, which is likely to be similar to the sensor used in Sony’s A7R V, supports a wide native ISO range of 50-100,000 and has a claimed 15 stops of dynamic range.

Capable of shooting bursts at up to 15fps, the SL3, more importantly, has a new phase detection AF system that is faster and smarter, according to the company. This system combines phase detection, contrast and subject autofocus, delivering faster and more consistent performance. In addition to face and eye detection features, it also includes a new animal detection feature. This, according to Leica, will also offer better performance in tracking the action.

Regarding video, the SL3 can record internally at DCI 8K 8192 x 4320 at 30 fps and DCI 4K at up to 60p with a maximum bitrate of 600Mb/s. It can also record externally at DCI 8K and DCI 4K at up to 60fps via HDMI output. These resolutions are L-Log Rec. 2020 and HLG Rec. Available in 10-bit with 2020 options. It supports ProRes recording, but only up to 1080p.

As expected, the SL3 isn’t cheap at $6,995, but it’s significantly more affordable than the $9,000 M11 model. It is available for sale abroad in B&H Photo Video and other places.

Danish Kapoor