Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica SL2 pictures leaked in Japan

Leica SL2 pictures leaked in Japan

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Pictures purporting to show the forthcoming Leica SL Mark II have been published on the Japanese site Nokishita. Leica Rumors is suggesting a September or October announcement date with first deliveries in October or November. However, I understand from other sources that the launch will not be this month.

Front view showing rounded sides, sculpted viewfinder binnacle and an overall more harmonious and compelling visage
Radical changes at the back of the SL2, majoring on the new Leica control layout as seen on the CL and Q2. Joystick remains but the four-way pad has disappeared. Strap lugs are now surface mounted.

Learning

We can learn a lot from the pictures if they are genuine. My guess is that they are. The new camera has more rounded lines and curved ends, similar to the M, Q and CL models. The viewfinder binnacle is also less angular and looks more at home on top of the camera. As a result, the new camera is likely to handle better than the current model. It also looks much more harmonious to my eyes and is a decided visual improvement.

The strap slots now appear to be surface-mounted rather than recessed, although it isn’t clear whether they will be slots or the more traditional strap lugs of the M and other cameras. To me, they look as though they could be slots but, even so, it should be possible to use straps fitted with the traditional split ring.

As we know from previous leaks, the sensor will be 47MP, possibly a similar unit to the one already seen in the Leica Q. There is no news on the viewfinder, but it would not be unreasonable to expect it to be the same unit featured in the Lumix bodies or, perhaps, a new design with even more pixels.

The possibility of in-body stabilisation has been rumoured before but there is no indication in the current rumours. However, bearing in mind the overall similarity of this camera to the Panasonic Lumix S1R, I would not be surprised to see stabilisation introduced. It would be welcomed by users of M lenses or SL primes which do not feature ILS.

Button changes

The back of the camera shows that the once-revolutionary unmarked buttons of the SL have been discarded in favour of Leica’s new and now universal layout first seen on the CL. The joystick is retained but, for the first time on a recent camera, the traditional four-way pad has disappeared. This isn’t a bad thing in my book — fewer buttons to press by mistake.

The power switch is in the same place as on the original SL. Interestingly, this is the spot reserved on the Panasonic S1/R cameras for the very useful lock button which can selectively disable unneeded controls. I was rather hoping Leica would have adopted a similar solution and, perhaps, placed the on/off switch elsewhere.

Altogether the SL2 looks more cuddly than the SL and it promises better handling. It looks much better, in my opinion, and is definitely less slab-sided than the SL1. From what I’ve seen so far, it will be a worthwhile update and will compete well with Panasonic’s L-mount offerings, provided the price isn’t too high.

Via Leica Rumours and Nokishita

12 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. Looks much better, as you observe.

    I have just bought the SL – it arrives tomorrow – for a too tempting £3150 by taking advantage of the last few weeks of the trade-in offer. Leica Store Manchester told me it was one of the last new SLs in the country. I’m sure I’ll be very happy with its 24mp sensor and 4.4m dot EVF…even if the body is a bit slab sided!

    The Fujifilm X-E3 (excellent little camera) has a joystick only, and deleted the usual d-pad. It works very well indeed.

    • Ah the X-E3 passed under my radio (or radar, thanks to David A for pointing this out. Auto correct again). But the four-way pad on the CL, SL, Q/2, not to mention the Panasonic Leicas, is a constant irritation for me. Good riddance, I say.

    • Ah… slab-sided or not, I am sure you will be happy with the SL and the new one is likely to be well over £5,000 I should imagine. Congratulations and I am sure we all look forward to seeing some sample shots — maybe a little article on your decision to go with the SL. All contributions well received.

  2. I actually really enjoyed the revolutionary rear design of the SL1. Once I set the buttons to my choice I found it the most intuitive camera to use. I only hated the roaming focus point which is gone with my S1R/S1. I found putting a half case on the SL1 removed the sharpness of hard edges for long periods of carrying. I also installed the thumbs up grip and that in combination with a half case made it much more comfortable to carry.
    However, I find my S1R feels lighter than the SL even though it is heavier and I love the haptics of the camera and see no need in pimping it up with half cases and thumbs up jewelry.

    • That’s a strange point you make about the heavier S1 feeling lighter than the SL. It’s true and it’s something I’ve commented on before. While I was always conscious of the SL’s bulk, I don’t seem to notice the S1’s additional grams or ounces. It is an illusion, of course, but a very good one. It must be entirely down to the more comfortable design of the body and, of course, the much better hand grip which is shaped to fit the fingers, unlike the straight-up SL grip which is designed to suit the designers. If the new SL2 can perform the same sleight of hand and feel lighter than it is, then all power to Leica. However, if IBS is added, the SL2 is likely to be more or less the same weight as the S1.

    • I am very happy with the haptics of the S1. The lock button is a masterpiece and it is something Leica has sorely needed on the CL, Q and SL. The fact that it is so customisable in the menu makes it an outstanding feature. It stands in direct contrast with the clumsy and idiotic lockdown feature of the CL which creates no Re problems than it solves.

  3. I forgot to mention that Leica really needs to get the SL2 out soon as they have been cameraless way to long. I gave up waiting as I had sold my SL in anticipation of a big value drop and finally gave up waiting for Leica and purchased an S1R and then added a S1 – a long story…hopefully Leica realizes that they are losing out on opportunities.

    • It will be very interesting to see how the SL2 is received. Much will depend on price — I am estimating around £5,500 and that’s a good £2,000 more than the S1R body and £3,500 more than the S1. And the S1 has the “advantage” of a lower pixel count for those who don’t want 47MP.

      Leica is now in completely different territory with the SL2. Not only will be body have real competition, there is new a slew of perfectly acceptable high-performance lenses for those who can’t afford Leica’s prices.

      While the SL2 will undoubtedly find favour among Leica fans (and will prompt an initial rush to upgrade), superior performance will have to accompany the red dot. Otherwise, the attraction of the Panasonics — even among existing owners of Leica lenses — will be hard to counter.

  4. I must be one of the few that like the design of the SL better than the ‘SL2’ shown here. I only wanted them to make it a bit lighter. happy they kept it simple though. I could live with it. It would have to darned good for me to pay the suggested prices though. Picked up the S1 and didn’t care for the feel of it and the buttons.

    • Everyone has their own preferences and the good thing they is that we now have a genuine choice. It’s quite exciting really. The old SL is quite the bargain at the moment, especially if you prefer it to the S1 (as many of my friends do).

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