Leica announces new SL Full Frame mirrorless camera →

October 20, 2015 |

This is interesting. Leica just unveiled the Leica SL, a new mirrorless camera designed with professionals in mind, along with three new SL lenses, including a new 50mm f/1.4 Summilux that they’re labeling as “the new reference lens of this focal length”, and that looks absolutely amazing.

What’s even more interesting, though, is that Leica somehow managed to make the new SL camera compatible with all existing T-mount lenses without the need for an adapter. Considering the Leica T has an APS-C sensor, I wonder how they’ve managed to cover the entire Full Frame sensor of the Leica SL with those lenses without suffering from severe vignetting.

My best guess is that they may have recessed the sensor of the SL deeper into the body, but I’m not sure that would work, since the focusing plane would be off with T lenses. Another alternative is that T lenses may have been designed with Full Frame coverage right from the start, which would show impressive foresight on Leica’s part. Whatever the case, I suspect we’ll find out soon enough.

However, it needs to be said: with nearly identical specs and features, the new SL clearly seems to be Leica’s answer to the Sony A7-series. If you wanted a Leica-branded Sony A7 — and many people sure looked like they did — I suspect this is as close as it gets.

We still need to see how well it performs, but for now, the Leica SL looks like an interesting product, if one clearly aimed at photographers with several thousand dollars to spare.

The new Leica SL is available for preorder at B&H for $7,450. It will begin shipping on November 21st.