Leica Unleashes a (Yes, Really) $7,500 Mirrorless Camera
Now that 4K OLED TVs are dirt-cheap, it’s nice to have a tried-and-true piece of absurdly expensive technology to lust after. Thank you, Leica, for always being there.
There’s a brand-new Leica camera, and it’s really pricey and probably excellent. The just-announced Leica SL is built to compete with the Sony A7s of the world, with its full-frame sensor and mirrorless innards. However, it costs more than twice as much. We’re talking $7,450 for the body only, and there’s a brand-new SL mount system to think about. You can use T-mount lenses natively, if you have those.
According to Leica, the SL has the fastest autofocus system of any full-frame camera, period. The numbers add up: It has a top continuous-shooting speed of 11 frames per second, with its AF system adjusting focus from shot to shot and its 2GB buffer keeping everything running along. Baby photos, sports photography, hummingbirds in flight: It’ll be good for all that.
The eye-level viewfinder is insane. It has a resolution of 4.4 million dots, which is so sharp that it will cut up your eye like a Buñuel movie. Oh, but there is more sharp—there is much more sharp. That sharpness can be found in the photos, because this camera does not have an optical low-pass filter.
That is not enough. (It is never enough, because you paid a ton for this camera.) There’s also a 3-inch touchscreen under the EVF. It will be good for viewing the 11 photos you just shot in a second with it, a gargling noise escaping from your mouth, your eyes, still stinging from the sharpness, rolling back in your head. A jolt of endorphins floods your brain. Everything shot with a Leica is double-dipped in marvelous. Probably even at ISO 50,000, which is this camera’s top setting.
Did you think this $7,450 camera only shot 1080p video? Nope. All the nice cameras shoot 4K video now. The Leica SL shoots 4K video at 30fps, which is ample but nothing special. If you want to slum it with boring old HD video, go ahead and ramp that thang up to 120fps.
Good luck using this camera without a lens. You have one SL option, unless you want to buy an adapter to use with awesome and expensive Leica M, S, and R glass. Here is your one SL option at launch: A 24-90mm/F2.8-4.0 zoom lens. It costs $4,950.
The Leica SL has two SD card slots. The Leica SL comes with a lens-cleaning tissue. The Leica SL comes with a strap. Also of note: The camera weighs almost two pounds without a lens on it and is made of milled aluminum and has some pretty sharp angles on it. Keep this thing on a low shelf—you don’t want to risk a head injury. Especially not after you spent all that money on a new Leica SL.
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