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Thursday, 07 March 2024


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One thing - the "new" batt for the SL3 (the BP-SCL6, intro'ed last year) has greater capacity than the "old" BP-SCL4, but is the same size, and costs about $100 less. It's back-compatible with the SL/SL2 cameras. Leica did intro a new double-header charger today, which is nice.

4 fps!

For me the SL2 has indeed been largely “a platform” to host my M lenses on a more versatile and stabilized tool than the M camera. Although I own one L-mount lens (Sigma 24-70) I nearly always grab the SL2 only when I need such a camera to preserve the unique characteristics of M lenses.* So I am not concerned with whether or not the SL body is state-of-the-art with AF, fps, or video specs, none of which I employ with an SL camera.

Today’s SL3 announcement ticked three of the four attributes I most wanted to see addressed with the SL2 body. So, yes, I enthusiastically placed my pre-order with my dealer. (And sold my SL2!) Hopefully I’ll get a camera by, say, Thanksgiving…but with Leica you never know.

* Specifically, the SL2’s ability to preserve the nuances that most Leica M lenses can capture is crucial to me. This bears no relationship to film-era photography. It’s a capability born when digital cameras became able to identify lenses and adjust geometry and preserve tonality to that lens’s design targets. This is why a Leica M lens on, say, a Sony body looks absolutely pedestrian. This is also something that’s really relevant mostly when printing images. Online presentations are too thin.

If I was earning a photographic living this would definitely be a first choice tool, total state of practical engineering art and design and interestingly the direct opposite spectrum of the Ricoh/Pentax film camera project update last week of the first product being a half-frame zone focus manual film advance something designed to appease the phone generation now used to shooting “verticals”, these are truly some extreme photographic times!

It’s not smaller in all dimensions; just not as wide…

The SL2 is 146mm wide, 107mm high and 42mm deep, weighing 838 gms
The SL3 is 142mm wide, 108 mm high and 50mm deep weighing 762 gms

The smaller size caused the need for a new mechanical shutter, which unfortunately is a bit louder based on reviews. Presumably IBIS specs were also compromised a bit for sake of size.

Not all is rosy by early reactions to reviews on the Leica User Forum. Battery life is “not wonderful” according to Jono Slack. The timecode button affixed to the VF is odd design. Folks are not thrilled with current video or AF tracking results, already wanting FW updates. The on/off button is weird, changing colors for different reasons, and apparently requiring several seconds hold to power off. There is no battery charger provided for that seven grand. There is a new menu/settings interface that will require a learning curve for SL2 owners. Etc.

There are of course already wish lists for the SL4. Life on the forums.

As someone who finally snuck into the Leicaverse through the backdoor (a used Q), I can appreciate their quality, simplicity and ergonomics. That said, I also realize that any day it could: fall, fail or get stolen; and then I'm back to ground zero- acquiring them is not a poor man's game. Quality comes at cost, but the simplicity and ergonomics thing is accessible to any camera manufacturer willing to consider and profit from it.

Not sour grapes here (as for the first time in my life, I actually CAN afford this camera) but to my eyes, it doesn't look at all comfortable to hold.

Like it was designed to be held by robot hands. Not human hands. Unlike, dare I say it, a Pentax Monochrome which looks like it was designed to fit into human hands.

Looks good... I'll add it and a few lenses to my "when I win the lottery" list.

I said I was excited for the next SL a while back.


Yeah, totally worth the wait.

So, the power switch is like a computer button. Now the thing is going to take surreptitious photos the way smart phones listen in on your conversations. :>)

Nikon buys RED, and you say that the big news in the camera world is the announcement of the Leica SL3, a camera which relatively few people will buy? Hmmm!

[That news hit not even 24 hours ago as I write this. You think I have staff? You gotta give me a MINUTE. —Mike]

Despite owning a Leica Q2, M4, M240 and CL, I'll wait for the Panasonic variant of this camera. I just can't play in that price range these days. The good news is that I have plenty of L-mount lenses for it already - most of them Sigmas. But I eagerly await users reviews of the SL3 anyway.

"Leica has put everything it knows how to do into one camera."

Almost everything. They did leave out the hardware for Content Authentication. I'm guessing that addition will have to wait for the Reporter version.

Three things about this power button. Switch is better than a button because you can immediately see or feel whether the camera is on or off. This button is in a wrong place. You need two hands to operate it. Power button, err switch, needs to be easily accessible with the right hand that holds the camera. And if this button has a light to show when it is on, it will be very annoying in low light being just next to the viewfinder.
I would expect more from Leica.

Power Button = BIG NO!

Camera goes in bag, something pushes on bag, camera turns on. Then maybe off. Maybe on again.

Camera hangs on neck strap, bounces off body, camera turns off. Maybe back on.

Photos are about a moment in time. You don't want an accidental button push to keep you from that moment. But then, maybe people buying this camera don't take photos.

Two things the sensor and the lenses.The sensor is probably a Sony which is tweeked by Leica.
As for the Lenses I would stick with those made by Leica in Germany. That's why I would get this camera in the first place which I'm not.

At that price, for what it delivers, it is not a tool, it is a piece of jewelry. It now slots in with Rolex watches and Montblanc pens as shiny, overpriced aspirational gizmos. They have abandoned photographers as their core market in favour of oligarchs - if you do not believe me, just see where they are advertising nowadays. I do not blame them for this - if that is the way they can survive as a company, then that is the direction they should go. However, in doing so, they have lost me as even a potential customer even though I was a Leica user for 25 years in the film days (see where my photographs are still hosted online)

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