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Leica SL2-S is a 'Leica for videographers' – and also boasts 25fps burst shooting

Leica SL2-S is a 'Leica for videographers' – and also boasts 25fps burst shooting
(Image credit: Leica)

The Leica SL2-S has been officially unveiled by the manufacturer, and is being positioned as the 'Leica for videographers' with its limit-free 10-bit 4K 60p capabilities, leaner body and sensor resolution, and lower price point.  

On paper the Leica SL2-S is a less expensive, lower resolution version of the original Leica SL2 – though this new 24MP full-framer has some very welcome new features that make it more than just a smaller camera with a smaller price tag.

• Read more: Best Leica cameras

In terms of video the 10-bit 4:2:2 4K and C4K are supported by a log profile, which will help extend the dynamic range and allow for more effective color grading options – particularly with the integrated LUTs. Video can be captured up to 60p in both 4K / C4K and 1080p. 

In addition, the fact that the SL2-S doesn’t have a limit on recording times (the dreaded 29m 59s limit imposed by many non-video cameras) should provide a benefit for those that prefer to shoot for long intervals. 

Leica says that HEVC compression (enabling videos to be split into one-minute sections, in case of data loss) will be added "in the future" for 10-bit recordings up to 4K 60p, with features like waveforms and Follow Focus being also set to be incorporated in the next firmware update.

(Image credit: Leica)

That said, the lack of an articulating screen is a big drawback for a video-oriented camera – while the fixed 3.2-inch, 2.1 million-dot display is a touch affair, it does make filming (and especially vlogging) more or a challenge. 

While Leica may be pushing the camera as a video-centric device, the SL2-S actually boasts some significant advancements for stills shooters as well. Perhaps due to featuring a lower resolution sensor than its 47MP big brother, the sensitivity has been increased to ISO100-100,000 (expandable to ISO50) from ISO100-50,000. 

The continuous burst has been ramped up as well. While the original camera was capable of 10fps mechanical and 20fps with the electronic shutter, the Leica SL2-S can rattle off 9fps mechanically and a blistering 25fps electronically (albeit both without continuous AF). The latter is among the fastest on the market, outpacing the likes of the Canon EOS R5

It retains the 5-axis in-body image stabilization of the SL2, rated to the same 5.5 stops of shake compensation, and also carries over the 225-point contrast detect AF system. The Multishot function quadruples the 24MP sensor's native resolution to 96MP, facilitating high-res shooting under the right circumstances. 

The Leica SL2-S is on sale now, priced at $4,895 / £3,975 (approximately AU$7,039). 

Pre-order the Leica SL2-S at B&H (US)
Pre-order the Leica SL2-S at Park (UK)

Read more: 

Best Leica cameras
Leica SL2 review
Leica Q2 Monochrom review