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Leica’s SL3 mirrorless camera offers a 60-megapixel sensor and 8K video

Leica’s SL family has always been the most “mirrorless” looking of its cameras, offering pro photographers handling that’s similar to rivals like Canon and Sony. That continues with the launch of the SL3, a 60-megapixel (MP) model that looks nothing like its famous rangefinder cameras, offering a new phase-detect autofocus system, 8K video capability and more.

The new model has the same sensor as the M11 rangefinder and Q3 compact models, but very much resembles the SL2 and tips the scale at a hefty 767 grams. It’s also IP54-rated so you can shoot in weather conditions ranging from 14 to 104°F without worrying about dust, moisture etc.

Leica

The biggest change in the layout is a new dial on the left top (all the dials are blank as you can customize them any way you want). At the back, Leica moved the three key buttons (play, function and menu) to the right, and changed the power switch to a button.

The SL3 now has a new 3.2″ 2.3m-dot LCD, and unlike past models, it can tilt (but not swivel). The EVF has also been updated to a higher-resolution 5.76m-dot 0.78x OLED version. As for storage, it supports both CFexpress type B and SD UHS-II memory cards. It comes with a full-sized HDMI and USB-C charging ports, along with mic/headphone jacks.

Leica's SL3 mirrorless camera has a 60-megapixel sensor and 8K video

Leica

The new sensor increases resolution from 47 MP on the SL2 up to 60 MP, a significant bump. It’s likely similar to the sensor Sony uses on the A7R V, and supports a wide native ISO range from 50-100,000, with a claimed 15 stops of dynamic range.

It can shoot bursts up to 15fps, but more importantly, offers a new phase-detect AF system that’s faster and more intelligent, according to the company. It combines phase detection, contrast and object autofocus for faster and more consistent performances. That includes face and eye detection, along with a new animal detection feature. It’s also supposed to be better at tracking action, Leica says.

Leica's SL3 mirrorless camera has a 60-megapixel sensor and 8K video

Leica

As for video, the SL3 can record internally in DCI 8K 8192 x 4320 at 30 fps and DCI 4K at up to 60p with a maximum bitrate of 600Mb/s. It can also record externally via the HDMI output, also at DCI 8K and DCI 4K up to 60fps. Those resolutions are all available in 10-bit with the choice of L-Log Rec. 2020 and HLG Rec. 2020. It supports ProRes recording, but only up to 1080p.

As you’re probably expecting, the SL3 isn’t cheap at $6,995, though it is significantly cheaper than the $9,000 M11. It’s now available at B&H Photo Video and elsewhere.

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