Leica SL

Leica SL front
  • 24MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 50 - 50000
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 4096 x 2160 video
  • Leica L Mount
  • 847g - 147 x 104 x 39mm
  • Announced October 2015
  • Additionally Known as Typ 601
  • Newer Model is Leica SL2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison

Leica SL summary

Leica SL is Leica's Pro Mirrorless camera originally announced on October of 2015. It includes a 24 MegaPixel, CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a max resolution of 6000 x 4000. It is also known as "Typ 601" in other countries.

Leica launched the fresher Leica SL2 (Read Full Comparison) as a way to update this camera.

The SL ranks at #32 out of 53 in Pro Mirrorless cameras & over all #82 out of 1428 for digital cameras in our collection. You should check our Smart camera finder to find camera listings based on your personalized factors.

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The following is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Leica SL family

The Leica SL has a history of related digital cameras. Underneath, you can find all older and latest models along with key specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Leica-SL2-S front thumbnailLeica SL2-S
SL vs SL2-S
24MPFull frame20.0 fps2020
Leica-SL2 front thumbnailLeica SL2
SL vs SL2
47MPFull frame20.0 fps2019
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Leica-SL front thumbnailLeica SL24MPFull frame11.0 fps2015

Leica SL Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of upsides and downsides of the Leica SL based on factors that are oftentimes considered essential in a camera.

2 card slots
doesnt have anti-alias filter
focusing manually
good resolution (24 megapixels)
good resolution screen (1,040 k dots)
great ISO range (50,000)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
great minimum ISO (50)
has focus by touch
has HDMI out
has headphone support
has microphone support
high quality video (4096 x 2160 pxls)
includes Top LCD display
interchangeable lenses (Leica L mount)
large sensor size (Full frame)
pretty good screen size (3 inch)
screen is touchscreen
supports face detect focus
supports RAW formats
supports tracking focus
weather proofing
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
does not posses selfie friendly display
lack of image stabilization
no articulating screen
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Leica SL Sensor details

The Leica SL is run by the Maestro II processor. The sensor dimension on the Leica SL is 36mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 864 mm² sensor is able to capture 6000 x 4000 pixels at aspect ratios of 3:2.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

The CMOS sensor has 24 megapixels and features a native ISO range of 50 to 50000. RAW files are saved therefore you have wider margin for error.

Leica opted to skip the anti-alias filter in the Leica SL. This could result in more sharper pictures but can introduce moire under certain conditions.

The image below shows the SL's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The SL sensor has a crop factor of 1 and is presented in green.

Leica SL sensor size 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica SL dimensions

Leica SL weighs about 1.87 pounds (847 gr or 29.88 oz) & the sizing of the camera is 147mm x 104mm x 39mm (5.8" x 4.1" x 1.5"). The weight of typical Pro Mirrorless camera is 706 gr and the Leica SL is more heavy when compared with other rivals.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

The following is a photo of the Leica SL besides a soft drink so you can get a feel for its scale.

Leica SL dimensions scale

The top view below will illustrate the button layout on the SL.

Leica SL topview buttons dials

Leica SL Lens specs

The SL uses the Leica L mount and has 38 lenses available on the market. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the SL.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Leica-APO-Summicron-SL-50mm-F2-ASPH lensLeica APO-Summicron-SL 50mm F2 ASPH50mmf/2740g
Panasonic-Lumix-S-Pro-16-35mm-F4 lensPanasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm F416-35mmf/4 500g
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Sigma-20mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Leica-L lensSigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM A20mmf/1.4 950g
Panasonic-Lumix-S-20-60mm-F3.5-5.6 lensPanasonic Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.620-60mmf/3.5-5.6 350g
Sigma-24mm-F3.5-DG-L-Mount lensSigma 24mm F3.5 DG24mmf/3.5 225g
Leica-Summilux-SL-50mm-F1.4-ASPH lensLeica Summilux-SL 50mm F1.4 ASPH50mmf/1.4335g
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Panasonic-Lumix-S-24-105mm-F4-Macro-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix S 24-105mm F4 Macro OIS24-105mmf/4 680g
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Leica SL Connectivity

The SL has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras with NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You can send pictures and sometimes change camera settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Certain applications even enable a Liveview and hit the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can easily be hooked up to an external screen. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack using the USB socket.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Leica SL Video specs

The max video resolution on the Leica SL is 4096 x 2160 and you can capture in MPEG-4 format. 2160p gives an exceptional resolution for video. You can crop to 1080p to get clearer video. Be wary of the substantial file sizes and make sure you get high quality SD cards that have fast write speed. The camera does have both headphone and microphone support making it very useful whilst capturing sound.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Leica SL Weather Sealing

Leica SL provides weather proofing making it a good option for use during challenging conditions. This can be particularly valuable in case you are uncertain about the elements you may face during outdoor photography.

Leica SL Display and Viewfinder

The Leica SL includes a 3" fixed screen boasting a resolution of 1,040k dots.

Moreover the screen is touch friendly which means you can switch focus point and adjust settings by using your fingertips. The SL also includes a Top LCD display in order to instantly see camera settings.

Leica SL screen and viewfinder Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

The View Finder specs for Leica SL are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • ViewFinder Resolution 4,400k dots
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.8x

Viewfinders are very handy during bright outdoor situations which will make the camera display washed out and very difficult to see.

Leica SL Shutter specs

Leica SL is able to shoot continuously at 11.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Leica SL Flash and Hot shoe specs

Leica SL features external flash support but is lacking in-built flash.

Leica SL Autofocus specs

Leica SL features just Contrast Based Autofocus & lacks Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker and precise when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera includes Face detect which can be valuable for portraits.

It includes 49 focus points to pick from. Leica SL has tap to focus. You are able to use your fingers to adjust where you focus. It also comes with Tracking Autofocus for objects that move. Leica SL boasts manual focusing in case it is required during low light situations or you want to have more exact focusing control.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Leica SL Battery life

The battery pack (BP-SCL4) for the Leica SL is fashioned to last for 400 photos as per the CIPA benchmarks which is on par with it's competitors. The usual Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 441. Olympus E-M1X has got the maximum (870) battery life within this group of cameras.

Here is a number of Pro Mirrorless cameras having the strongest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Sony-Alpha-A9-Mark-II front thumbnailSony A9 II
SL vs A9 II
690 yesyesyes
Sony-Alpha-A9 front thumbnailSony A9
SL vs A9
650 yesyesyes

Leica SL for different kinds of photography

The following chart shows a rundown of the Leica SL for different kinds of photography. To check out more, have a look at the specific section below.

Leica SL Portrait photography advice

The Leica SL receives a score of 84 which is awesome, meaning that it is a wonderful option to use for portrait photos. Taking portrait photos leans heavily to sensor dimension, RAW support and potential to use external lighting.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
manual focus
resolution is good (24 megapixels)
large sensor size (Full frame)
supports face detection autofocus
saves RAW files

Leica SL as a Street photography camera

With a very good rating of 70, the Leica SL is a very decent fit for street photography. A very good street photography camera comes with a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
large sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
supports focus by touch
weather proofing
very good ISO range (50,000)
screen does not articulate
does not have image stabilization

Leica SL Sports photography highlights

A very good sports photography rating of 72 suggests the Leica SL is a fine fit for photographing sports. A camera really should have very good tracking and shutter speeds for sports photography.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000s)
MP count good (24MP)
large sensor size (Full frame)
comes with tracking focus
environment proof
does not have image stabilization
does not have phase detect autofocus

Leica SL Travel photography features

Portability is extremely crucial when choosing a travel camera. All things considered, the Leica SL gets a very good 71 as a travelling camera which is a fine fit for your vacations.

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environment proof
features touch to focus
good megapixels (24MP)
doesn't offer selfie friendly display

Leica SL Landscape photography features

When you're planning to pick a camera for landscape photography, the most significant aspect is going to be image quality. The Leica SL with it's exceptional rating of 81 as a landscape camera is a tremendous option compared to its competition.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
focusing manually
interchangeable lenses (Leica L mount)
screen size is good (3")
good megapixels (24MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
does not have low pass filter
great high ISO (50,000)
exports RAW files
environment proofing
2 card slots
no image stabilization

Leica SL Vlogging advice

A camera for vlogging should offer a moving display, mic input and if possible IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Leica SL is just not appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a low rating of 34.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
touchscreen functionality
provides face detection autofocus
high quality video (4096 x 2160 pxls)
comes with external microphone socket
screen is not selfie friendly
no image stabilization

Leica SL Alternatives

If you are shopping for replacements to the SL, below is a range of the top placed cameras that fall in to the class of Pro Mirrorless.

The chart just below offers you a summary of the SL compared to it's highest ranked rivals shown previously.

These are some more cameras you may take a look at as alternative options. To review a comprehensive comparison, visit the "compare" link.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success


General Information
Model type
Leica SL
Also referred to as
Typ 601
Pro Mirrorless
Physical type
SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Maestro II
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor measurements
36 x 24mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Highest Possible resolution
6000 x 4000
RAW data
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Total focus points
Lens support
Leica L
Available lenses
Crop factor
Type of display
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
3 inch
Display resolution
1,040k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Viewfinder resolution
4,400k dots
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Min shutter speed
60 secs
Max shutter speed
1/8000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
11.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash modes
no built-in flash
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Microphone support
Headphone support
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
847 grams (1.87 pounds)
Physical dimensions
147 x 104 x 39mm (5.8" x 4.1" x 1.5")
Battery life
400 photographs
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 secs)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported on slot 1)
Card slots
Retail price