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Leica SL2 Full-Frame Full Review - Performance

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Leica SL2 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Leica SL2 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The Leica SL2 produces natural-looking images, with neutral colour tones, representative of the scene, and aren't the usual "over-saturated" or "popping" images you get with point and shoot cameras, and many smartphones. Exposure compensation may be needed at times, as the camera is not afraid of letting white or bright areas over-expose. Continuous shooting, with a 4GB buffer, the camera offers up to 78 raw images, and over 100 JPEG images, with 10fps available using the mechanical shutter, or 20fps using an electronic shutter. A high-speed UHS-II SD card is recommended.


Leica SL2 Lens test images

Lens Performance - We used the Leica Summilux SL 50mm f/1.4 and the Leica 35mm f/2.0 L-mount lenses, both performed really well, with sharp details, and pleasing bokeh or background blur.  The camera's built-in image stabilisation meant we were able to get sharp shots at slower shutter speeds than would normally be possible, however, your own results will no doubt vary depending on the lens used, and how steady you can hold the camera.

Under camera settings, there is a "Lens Profiles" section (greyed out with the 35mm f/2 lens), and based on what we know about L-mount cameras, it's extremely likely that lens correction is built-in to the camera, and is automatically switched on.

High-Res Multi-shot is selectable as a drive mode, and will combine 8 photos to produce a high-resolution 187mp image, using the sensor-shift system in-between shots. Results are quite impressive, although you may want to process the images further to get the highest level of sharpness out of the images. However, there are limitations, as the slowest shutter speed is 1second, so we had to add additional lighting to our shot, rather than relying on window light (on a grey day).


Leica SL2 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The camera has an ISO range from ISO50 all the way up to ISO50,000. The camera maintains excellent levels of fine detail up to ISO1600. At ISO3200 the fine detail begins to drop off. Results in terms of noise, are still good up to ISO12500, although colour saturation drops slightly at ISO6400, and drops again at ISO12500. At ISO25000, I'd most likely want to resize the image, or avoid looking at it at full size and avoid "pixel peeping". ISO50,000 is best avoided altogether unless you're planning on processing the image further, and colour saturation is low.


Leica SL2 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under mixed and fluorescent lighting, with a warm result under tungsten/incandescent lighting. For more accurate results, the Tungsten preset performs well, and the fluorescent preset gives a slight colour cast, so you'd be better leaving it on auto white balance under fluorescent lighting. Under natural light, the white balance is excellent.


Video - The camera offers a wide range of video resolutions and frame rates, and uses the full width of the sensor for video recording. When you switch to video mode, the interface is updated to give you quick access to video options, giving you a "Cinema" camera. The camera offers 5K (30/25/24p, 4:3 aspect ratio), 4K CINE / DCI 10-bit (up to 60fps), 4K UHD (up to 60fps), High-speed FullHD up to 180fps (without sound, and requires manual focus), FullHD at 60fps, with additional frame rate options (from 23.97 up) and compression options.

In terms of 60fps vs 30fps, and 4K video footage, 60fps video has a silky smooth frame rate that people tend to love or sometimes hate. The choice is available with the SL2, and also gives you the opportunity to reduce the framerate later to create slow-motion footage.

Image stabilisation works well to help give a stable, steady image, even when using the camera handheld. The only issue we noticed when recording was the ability for the camera to pickup wind noise, and a muffler / deadcat or external microphone would help here. If you do use manual focus, then focus peaking works well to help aid focus.

We've uploaded a number of sample videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel at a variety of frame rates and resolutions.


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Niknut Plus
10 2.8k 82 United Kingdom
18 Aug 2020 2:28PM
£5300 ???????....GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin !!
Poolegan 7 41 United Kingdom
28 Aug 2020 9:36AM
Quite, and you still can't take any pictures until you've spent another shed load on a lens. But you get a free strap, so that's ok then.

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