Leica SL (Typ 601) Review – Combining Legendary Design With Excellent Build Quality

The Leica SL (Typ 601) is the second mirrorless camera brought into the market by the company. With it, it brings a full-frame CMOS experience rather than the APC-C format sensor which was known of the T. But that’s not the surprising part. What shocks most of us is that it has the same lens mount as the T. Hence, the existing T lenses are directly compatible with it. This means that mounting one will set the SL to APS-C crop mode and will produce 10-megapixel images.

Leica SL (Typ 601) Review - Combining Legendary Design With Excellent Build Quality

The Leica SL (Typ 601) Uses Crop Sensor Lens on a Full-Frame Body

With the Leica SL (Typ 601), it’s like mounting a Nikon DX lens to an FX body. Furthermore, both its screen and its electronic viewfinder (EVF) can display live view images with exposure simulation. Many cameras has this feature but only for the live view mode. Of course, this can be turned off to save battery life. The same feature can also be used with focusing peaking, dipping/zebras, and a level.

The sensor found on the Leica SL is coupled with a Maestro II processing engine. This is the same as is used in the format Leica S (Typ 007). What this means is that it is capable of handling large files. The result – the SL can shoot up to an astounding 11 frames-per-second (fps). It has a 2GB buffer which enables 33 DNG or 30 simultaneous JPEG and DNG bursts. With this camera, there is no excuse that you did not capture that perfect moment.

Furthermore, it can shoot 4K video which can be recorded in either MP4 or MOV formats. When shooting 4K resolution videos, the resulting footage will be at 30 fps. Lower resolutions can still be recorded. When you do, there is a maximum frame rate of a whopping 120 fps at Full HD for 4x slow motion playback.

All images and video will be saved in an SD type media card. However, the camera has two card slots, one of which is compatible with UHS II and the other with UHS I. There is also an HDMI port that can be found to enable external video recording. For example, you can connect the SL to a laptop or computer to do a live stream.

With a high quality build, a very extensive Leica lens compatibility, high quality hardware, and great images, the Leica SL (Typ 601) looks, feels, and performs absolutely well. However, it is larger and heavier than its other mirrorless companion and can be purchased at a higher price.


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