Leica's latest camera will be a 60MP, 8K beast with phase detect AF (report)

Leica SL2
(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

There are plenty of new cameras expected to be launched in 2024, and one I'm particularly excited about is the Leica SL3 – and now we've got some possible specs, thanks to the usual online leaks.

We'd already heard camera rumors that the Leica SL2 would be announced in March, but now we know that the successor to the formidable Leica SL2 and SL2-S is likely to feature a 60MP sensor – and with it, 8K video.

According to a report by Leica Rumors, here's what we can apparently expect from the new camera:

• The Leica SL3 will use the same 60MP sensor as the M11/Q3
• There will be a new body that is only a bit smaller than the current SL2
• 6.5 stops image stabilization
• Phase detection AF
• 9fps continuous shooting
• Supports cropped 8K/30p and 4K/60p + full-frame & S35 C4K/30p
• Official announcement expected in the first quarter of 2024 (March?)
• The camera is already being tested in the field
• Registered Type 5404 model

If the SL3 does indeed use the same sensor as the Leica M11 and Leica Q3, it should support the same "triple resolution" 60MP / 36MP / 18MP shooting – which manifested as the 35mm, 50mm and 75mm digital focal lengths on the 28mm fixed lens Q3.

While the M11 had no video functionality, the Q3 boasted 8K and Cine8K video – and also supported the same digital zooms when filming, which would be useful if carried over to the SL3.

Again the M11 had no autofocus, but the Q3 saw Leica implement of phase detection for the first time – and it worked pretty dang well, so I'm excited to see if it's even better on the new SL. The lack of phase detect has been a huge hurdle to me falling in love with Leica's previous mirrorless cameras, so I'm psyched that we're finally getting it in an interchangeable lens body.

The 9fps burst shooting is the only thing that's slightly curious, as the Q3 could muster 7fps in 14-bit and up to 15 fps in 12-bit – so we'll have to see if that's just something that got lost in translation. 

Otherwise, if these specs are accurate, I'm pumped to see the Leica SL3. I'll take mine in silver, please!

Take a look at the best Leica cameras, along with the best Leica M lenses and best Leica SL lenses to use with them. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.