Is the Leica SL3 on the way? Leica registers new high-end camera in China

Leica SL2 in Silver
(Image credit: Leica)

The long wait might soon be over, as Leica looks set to announce the Leica SL3 early next year.

The Leica SL3 has been rumored for some time (see our Leica rumors hub), with many expecting the camera this year. However, it looks as though the successor to the much-loved Leica SL2 will be released in the first quarter of 2024, with a new high-end camera being registered in China. The Leica SL range is a high-end full-frame camera range that is currently made up of the Leica SL2 and the Leica SL2-S, two of the best Leica cameras available by offering great stills and video performance. 

Leica SL2-S (Image credit: Leica)

The SL2 was originally released in November of 2019, so in order to keep up with the other full-frame cameras on the market, many expected the new model to be announced soon. Although not 'officially' announced by Leica, we know that the recently registered camera is a higher-end model and a more digitally optimized Leica camera as the official registration includes dual band wifi, a wifi module only used in higher-end cameras. 

Other than the registration, there is not much known about the specs of the upcoming SL3, although, according to Leica Rumors, it is believed that the new Leica SL3 will have the same sensor as the Leica Q3. This will excite Leica users as this means that the already sublime image quality of the SL2's 47.3MP sensor will be upgraded to a whopping 60MP sensor.

If the rumors are to be believed, the SL3 will take some features from both the Leica Q3 and the Leica M11. A list of unconfirmed specs has been released online stating that the SL3 will be released with, 240MP multi-shooting, 6.5 stop image stabilization, phase detection AF, continuous shooting at 9fps, and 8k video at 30p. Although unconfirmed this list of specs would not be a surprise, as it will share its tech with existing models instead of featuring anything more advanced. Not much is said about the form factor of the SL3 but I would imagine not much will change in this regard. One feature that would be great to pinch from the Q3 would be the wireless charging, a feature that has not been seen since! 

Leica Q3 digital camera (Image credit: Leica)

The official announcement by Leica usually happens a few months after the official registration, so we can expect more details on the camera between January and March 2024. The SL range is the Leica range that is much like other full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market, and Leica has been improving the video and stills performance of the range to keep up with the pack, whilst still keeping the exquisite design it is most famous for.

The SL2 and SL2-S both rated highly during our reviews, and I am keen to see what the new camera can do with the updated sensor.

See our guides for more information on the best Leica SL lenses, the best Leica M lenses, and the best Leica camera alternatives.

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a UK-based photographer, writer, and photo editor. Kalum has been working as a freelance photographer for the best part of ten years, covering a wide range of assignments for well-known brands and publications in areas including portraiture, fashion, and documentary. 

Between commercial assignments, Kalum is currently working on a personal photography project exploring his connection to the Gower region of South Wales UK, as part of an MA in Photography from The University of West England.