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Leica SL compared to others of its kind
Old 12-29-2015   #1
ernesto
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Leica SL compared to others of its kind

Hello,

I really love that Leica has released the SL. I wonder if there is any review, comparing to others competitors of its kind.
The first that I can recall is Sony A7 series, but really do not know if other brands have something similar.

Here is a photo comparison http://www.photographyblog.com/news/...de_comparison/
Here a partial comparison http://bokeh.digitalrev.com/article/...vs-sony-a7r-ii
Here a rather strange comparison, since the Canon and Nikon are other kind of cameras, anyway here you are: https://www.ephotozine.com/article/l...kon-d4s--28318
Here a comparison of specs: http://cameradecision.com/compare/Le...ony-Alpha-7-II
Here size only: http://cameradecision.com/compare/Le...ony-Alpha-7-II

Yours

Ernesto
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Old 12-29-2015   #2
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I don't think there is anything similar yet, other than the aforementioned Sony A7. I'm sure there will be more competition in this space though.

It's a beautiful camera and astoundingly low-priced for what it is and carrying the Leica nameplate as well. Still utterly out of my budget, but I admire it.

I will probably buy a used first-gen A7 when my tax return shows up, mount my old Canon FL lenses, and have a blast.

That SL is a work of art though.
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Old 12-29-2015   #3
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What other competitors? There are none... the A7 is not a competitor. You truly have to see the SL in person to understand why it is different from a Sony. And I like Sony.
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Old 12-29-2015   #4
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
What other competitors? There are none... the A7 is not a competitor. You truly have to see the SL in person to understand why it is different from a Sony. And I like Sony.
It's impossible not to compare the two cameras. That's how you understand the differences.

try this:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2015/1...the-year-2015/

These are the first two FF EVF based camera bodies, though the Sony has had a chance to evolve a little through various versions. The price seems to separate them, but the Sony is not cheap, costing more than a D810. Sony has been very polite in covering it's sensor in a way which precludes high performance with M glass. More than any other factor, this is what separates them on the ground. With a thin cover and some user programable lens corrections for RAW the A7r2 could easily shoot M glass very well. But Sony wants to sell lenses, and then end result is two very different "systems".

In one sense Sony greed is Leica good fortune, but not for lens sales.

Hopefully somebody else will get a clue and take the best aspects of each and make the "interchangable Q"
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Old 12-29-2015   #5
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Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
It's impossible not to compare the two cameras.
Why? All you have to do is hold each of them in your hands to tell that they are in different classes.
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Old 12-29-2015   #6
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It seems to me these cameras are quite comparable: the first two examples of the genre of full-frame universal mirrorless bodies. The Leica is clearly a highly refined example of its kind, but it's still conceptually similar to the Sonys. I suspect Canon, Nikon, and maybe Pentax will eventually release their iterations on the concept, too.

It's the future, baby!! Which Leica, of all manufacturers, seems to be years out in front of, for the first time since, I dunno, 1954??
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Old 12-29-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
It seems to me these cameras are quite comparable: the first two examples of the genre of full-frame universal mirrorless bodies. The Leica is clearly a highly refined example of its kind, but it's still conceptually similar to the Sonys. I suspect Canon, Nikon, and maybe Pentax will eventually release their iterations on the concept, too.

It's the future, baby!! Which Leica, of all manufacturers, seems to be years out in front of, for the first time since, I dunno, 1954??
I agree with your conclusions.
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Old 12-29-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
It's impossible not to compare the two cameras. That's how you understand the differences. try this: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2015/1...the-year-2015/ These are the first two FF EVF based camera bodies, though the Sony has had a chance to evolve a little through various versions. The price seems to separate them, but the Sony is not cheap, costing more than a D810. Sony has been very polite in covering it's sensor in a way which precludes high performance with M glass. More than any other factor, this is what separates them on the ground. With a thin cover and some user programable lens corrections for RAW the A7r2 could easily shoot M glass very well. But Sony wants to sell lenses, and then end result is two very different "systems". In one sense Sony greed is Leica good fortune, but not for lens sales. Hopefully somebody else will get a clue and take the best aspects of each and make the "interchangable Q"
You ignoring the 240 intentionally ?
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Old 12-29-2015   #9
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they are both full frame, evf based, mirrorless, 20 something megapixel cameras. i'm not sure how much more in the weeds we can go to seperate them, so seems like the same 'class' to me.
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Old 12-29-2015   #10
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You ignoring the 240 intentionally ?
But it's not an evf, it's a true rangefinder in the classic sense. Very different I think. I see full fame evf more as the natural evolution of the slr than the rangefinder.
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Old 12-29-2015   #11
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Ok, I'll concede. I'm obviously in the minority. My line of thinking is that there is huge size difference, haptics / ergonomic difference, and price difference. The Leica is the first (of many hopefully) mirrorless camera that is sized like a DSLR. That's why I feel it's in a class of its own and why I say you need to hold it in your hand. I like both cameras though.
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Old 12-29-2015   #12
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Yes, not much similar besides the A7 series.
I played with the dpreview studio comparison tool and I compared raw and jpeg to A7ii, A7rii, D810, 645z, 5Diii, 5Diii, 5DSR.... it was funny because even the original 5Dmk2 from how many years ago appeared to destroy the SL in terms of resolution. Who knows what lenses are used in that comparison though.

I went and played with the camera at the Leica store and brought a memory card to check the files later. It really is a gorgeous camera. I'm not especially fond of the design...it is quite huge with the native zooms and M lenses do look a bit to small on it. But it handles nice and it is very snappy in performance and very easy to manually focus with that EVF.
Files are really nice. I mainly played with my 50 Summilux ASPH which renders amazing on the SL....but the 24-90 (?) is a fantastic lens. Super sharp.

I would buy it if it could tether with Capture One. I wish more camera companies realized this and made a deal with them to allow tethering and functionality.
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Old 12-29-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Ok, I'll concede. I'm obviously in the minority. My line of thinking is that there is huge size difference, haptics / ergonomic difference, and price difference. The Leica is the first (of many hopefully) mirrorless cameras that is sized like a DSLR. That's why I feel it's in a class of its own and why I say you need to hold it in your hand. I like both cameras though.
by that logic, wouldnt the Sony a99 be the first mirrorless camera sized as a DSLR?
it shouldnt really be considered DSLR as it doesnt have a reflex mirror, however it only takes A mount lenses
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Old 12-29-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Ok, I'll concede. I'm obviously in the minority. My line of thinking is that there is huge size difference, haptics / ergonomic difference, and price difference. The Leica is the first (of many hopefully) mirrorless camera that is sized like a DSLR. That's why I feel it's in a class of its own and why I say you need to hold it in your hand. I like both cameras though.
I am guessing but I think leica is aiming at the a7 market. As noted, they have a ff digital rf already. They've run similar experiments before, pns cameras, the modul r, etc. They seem to have exerted huge effort on this on though. Really taking that presumed market seriously. Just my 2 cents,
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Old 12-29-2015   #15
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What other competitors? There are none... the A7 is not a competitor. You truly have to see the SL in person to understand why it is different from a Sony. And I like Sony.
Why is it different from, say, an A7rII?

Deliberately omitting half the dials and putting in a bigger EVF doesn't automatically put it in a different class.

I like Leica, but if the best they can do in a regular mirrorless form is a reinforced, oversized A7 with one currently available native lens (and no others until Q3 2016), a massive standard zoom no less, they need to up their game.

The EVF is great, though. I wish my A7rII had the same amount of eye relief.
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Old 12-29-2015   #16
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These are the first two FF EVF based camera bodies, though the Sony has had a chance to evolve a little through various versions.
Ehm, Sony A99? If you make the EVF the important bit, the Sony A99 needs a mentioning.

Re. competition or no competition - it all depends on what you want to use it for and how important build quality is. For some there might be no competition because of build quality, for some others because of price. But if it is a tool to do something specific, any other camera that can do that job just as well will be competition.

Basically it is useless to say this or that camera is or isn't competition.
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Old 12-29-2015   #17
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Why is it different from, say, an A7rII?
It's twice the size...
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Old 12-29-2015   #18
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Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
I am guessing but I think leica is aiming at the a7 market. As noted, they have a ff digital rf already. They've run similar experiments before, pns cameras, the modul r, etc.
I was told, by the Leica store in Soho, that Leica was aiming at DSLRs. They might not know everything regarding Leica's thought process, but they probably know more than me.
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Old 12-29-2015   #19
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I was told, by the Leica store in Soho, that Leica was aiming at DSLRs. They might not know everything regarding Leica's thought process, but they probably know more than me.
Seems reasonable in the sense that the a7 is aimed at the dslr. As in disrupt the market (gate that phrase, but it appropriate here) and steal sales from those who might otherwise buy a dslr. Consider even the name, the SL. What else was called that.
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Old 12-29-2015   #20
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by that logic, wouldnt the Sony a99 be the first mirrorless camera sized as a DSLR?
it shouldnt really be considered DSLR as it doesnt have a reflex mirror, however it only takes A mount lenses
I'll be honest, I wasn't aware that the A99 was mirrorless. Looks like the real SL competitor to me...
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Old 12-29-2015   #21
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
It's twice the size...
Yes, but you can put a leather half-grip or full battery grip on the A7 series and they come closer in size. The D810 is a substantially larger camera than the D750, but I would put them (roughly) in the same category of professional, all-rounder Nikon DSLRs.

The problem with the SL is that any M lens smaller than the Noctilux ASPH or the 75mm Summilux is almost tiny on the body...keeping the body M-sized with a built in EVF seems like the sane option. Center EVFs are essential to long lenses, though, and Leica seems to want to people to believe that the SL is a serviceable sports camera. It is not.
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Old 12-29-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
Seems reasonable in the sense that the a7 is aimed at the dslr. As in disrupt the market (gate that phrase, but it appropriate here) and steal sales from those who might otherwise buy a dslr. Consider even the name, the SL. What else was called that.
Funny thing is that at PhotoPlusExpo I brought a black SL2-MOT that I had Sherry assemble from two rescued cameras: one was a shelf queen that had a dead CdS cell and a desilvering prism; and the other a beaten in SL2 that was so heavily used that the lens mount needed replacement, but it had a perfect prism and the meter worked. Sherry simply made me one good camera from two, and the end result was a museum piece fresh from 1975.

At the Leica SL booth I flashed my camera and beat on the reps behind the counter asking, "Why couldn't you guys come up with a fresh name?" "Why do I need a new SL when I have an old one?" LOL.

The SL impressed me, but I have to be happy with the cameras I already have (too many).

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Old 12-29-2015   #23
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Yes, but you can put a leather half-grip or full battery grip on the A7 series and they come closer in size.
Ok, you win.
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A milestone in photography
Old 07-21-2016   #24
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A milestone in photography

I'm really really impressed by the Leica SL.

This is the first Leica camera I would like to own, and the first digital camera i'd consider to use over a film camera. And let me put things into perspective, I'm a film camera shooter, although I also own two full frame DSLRs which I almost never use. I was also a sort of Leica hater, at least given the half-hearted, conservative products they had released in the last 42 years (that is, since the introduction of the Leicaflex SL2 camera). No more Leica hate from now on.

I think Leica did the most OBVIOUS and SMART thing a camera designer which understands commited photographers would do.

The state of the art pre-Leica SL:

Mirrorless cameras? They don't have viewfinders comparable to optical viewfinders, in magnification, resolution and quality. This one does, as far as i can read about.

DSLRs? Mirrorless cameras can mount a far wider lens variety, and have optical advantages (being able to design the lens to sit closer to the sensor gives the optical designer more freedom for correcting aberrations). They are also potentially smaller and potentially more reliable (less parts to be knocked out of alignment, less moving parts). And a bit more silent.

Modern DSLRs from Canikon? They don't support MANUAL FOCUSING, which has had a comeback since the last 10 years. What I mean is that they don't support it in a serious way. Which means a huge viewfinder with good focusing aids.

What I think the leica designers did was very very easy, in fact i think this was perhaps the EASIEST camera to design in years, at least the basic specs were very easy to infer if one wants to make a SENSIBLE, professional camera in 2015 or 2016:

- Weight? The old pro cameras of the past weighted between 700 to 900 grams. The SL is within that limit.

- Build quality should be so high it should justify the price tag. Body material should be metal and feel like it.

- It should be reliable and feel reliable

- It should have an excellent viewfinder that should not make you want to go back to an optical viewfinder

- Sensor output should be clean and rich in dynamic range, with enough resolution.

- Lens mouth size should allow a lot of freedom designing lenses, and adapters for widely available lenses should be provided.

- Full features for video production should be provided. Video quality should be state of the art for a camera in this price range. I can bet that at least half of the sales of this camera will go to the pro video people.

Lenses? For me the trio of 50/1.4, 24-90, and 90-280 is totally sensible and the logic was easy, very easy to infer:

- "Since the adapters will allow users to put all kinds of lenses in the camera, we should provide them something that is not easily avaliable in lenses today, which is... Make a zoom lens with a very useful range (24-90) which has optical quality so high, that the photographer would not wish to replace this lens with prime lenses. Optical quality extremely high including pleasing bokeh, of course." From what i see, the 24-90 is a no-holds-barred lens, it has 4 (FOUR) aspheric lenses and I can see that Leica pulled out all stops and did not try to shrink down the lens size if this was going to negatively impact performance. WELL DONE LEICA!! The OIS was just an icing on the cake.

- Same for a 90-280, i would have been happy even if they did a 90-200, which would complete an extremely useful 24-200 range, but they went the extra mile and the dimensions are not far from the 70-210/2.8 zooms all pros are using, so it's a sensible choice.

- 50mm (or 35mm, or 43mm, or 45mm...) lens should exist in all decent systems.

So with this trio, the photographer has almost anything he would need to have for 90% of optical situations. Though i would suggest to add an 90/1.8 or 90/1.4 as next release, and an extreme wideangle would be good as well. But hey, the M and R lenses are out there to cover those needs as well.

So finally, it took Leica about 50 years but they finally did it -- they aimed high, pulled all out the stops. I think you can now write Leitz camera milestones very simply:

- Original Leica: there was nothing like it.
- Leica M3: the best viewfinder avaliable in any 35mm camera up to that point, backed with excellent build quality, compactness and excellent lenses.
- Leicaflex: Up to that point the best built 35mm SLR with the most refined mechanism (although I'd contend that the Canon F-1 of 1971 comes close) and the best viewfinder, with perhaps the best lenses of their time.
- Leica SL

Between the Leicaflex and the Leica SL, i would say Leica (or Leitz Wetzlar) did nothing that was truly innovative or a product that was fully perfected in all respects and putting itself in a very favorable light compared to other product. No, it played the "niche luxury brand" game, instead of going back to the spirit of the 50s M3, or the spirit of the 70s Leicaflex --- the spirit of bringing the BEST product possible. This is not only the true renaissance of the Leica brand, but I dare to say this is the renaissance of GERMANY in cameras. This camera is state of the art, very leicaish, and very German.
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Old 09-29-2016   #25
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I was told, by the Leica store in Soho, that Leica was aiming at DSLRs. They might not know everything regarding Leica's thought process, but they probably know more than me.
John,

In my case the SL replaces a Nikon D3X. The files from the SL crushes the files from the D3X even though both are 24 MP. A 27 inch EIZO does not lie.

I tried my Noct-Nikkor on the SL, and at F1.2 it is easy to nail the focus. The processor is from the Leica "S" and I purposely filled the 33 shot buffer once which is actually hard to do. kinda comparable to emptying a F3 with MD-4 and a fresh roll.

I also mount a 50 Lux "E60" which is like an ideal lens using stacked "L" to "M" and a "M" to "R" adapters. Wide open this lens has the right balance of sharp and soft. The colors are like from the Leica "Q" (same sensor). It seems that the SL likes SLR lenses for ergonomics. To me it is like a digital "R10." Interesting to note that Jono Slack compares the weight and size of the SL and a SL2 as being comparable. Funny thing is I also own that SL2-MOT.

In another thread Leica developed an "Image Shuttle" and tethering is possible. The SL is a brutal camera. I love it.

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Old 09-29-2016   #26
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Having owned the A7 for a year and a half before getting the M-P, the M-P does a better job of being a "mirrorless" body for M or R lenses than the A7. And the SL does a better job than the M-P, by far.

The SL is in a class of its own at the present time.
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Old 09-29-2016   #27
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The SL is unique in that it exhibits the kind of hubris of which only Leica is capable. It's similar to luxury watches in the sense that those proudly exhibiting one are asking to be mocked behind their backs. It's the kind of camera that the Emperor Has No Clothes was written for. The SL is basically a Nikon D600 wrapped in some nice metal with bazookas for lenses, which somehow manage to be both gigantic and variable aperture. But don't worry, they announced that a 35mm f2 will be announced at the NEXT Photokina. Have fun with your luxury D600.
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Old 09-29-2016   #28
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The SL is unique in that it exhibits the kind of hubris of which only Leica is capable. It's similar to luxury watches in the sense that those proudly exhibiting one are asking to be mocked behind their backs. It's the kind of camera that the Emperor Has No Clothes was written for. The SL is basically a Nikon D600 wrapped in some nice metal with bazookas for lenses, which somehow manage to be both gigantic and variable aperture. But don't worry, they announced that a 35mm f2 will be announced at the NEXT Photokina. Have fun with your luxury D600.

SK you sound quite bitter. You do make a point.
It's frustrating to think this camera has been out for a full year and has only three system lenses available (only the 50mm f1.4 prime)
That said. It may be the best "universal back" with this sensor size available at the moment.
It was a breakthrough for Leica and continues to set a quality standard for evf only mirrorless cameras.
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Old 09-29-2016   #29
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EL OH EL. This must all be satire. Really, I like the SL but come on, saying it has no competitors is ridiculous. It's a second rate camera to many others which it competes against. The price for the lenses is absurd and the price for the body is about $1500 too high even given Leica's luxury tax. This camera has just been made obsolete by the X1D and GFX. Both of which have more lenses upon release than this system after a year.
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Old 09-29-2016   #30
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SK you sound quite bitter. You do make a point.
It's frustrating to think this camera has been out for a full year and has only three system lenses available (only the 50mm f1.4 prime)
That said. It may be the best "universal back" with this sensor size available at the moment.
It was a breakthrough for Leica and continues to set a quality standard for evf only mirrorless cameras.
The Sony A7RII sensor is objectively a far better piece of technology for less than half the cost.
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Old 09-29-2016   #31
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EL OH EL. This must all be satire. Really, I like the SL but come on, saying it has no competitors is ridiculous. It's a second rate camera to many others which it competes against. The price for the lenses is absurd and the price for the body is about $1500 too high even given Leica's luxury tax. This camera has just been made obsolete by the X1D and GFX. Both of which have more lenses upon release than this system after a year.
+1.

How did Hasselblad manage to make 3 medium format lenses available where as Leica has so far only made two lenses that nobody asked for, and one that should have been available from day-1, that you still can't buy actually. And frankly there is no way the 50mm 1.4 SL is better than the existing Otus, or better in a meaningful way than the Sony Zeiss 50 Planar.
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Old 09-29-2016   #32
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Go pick one up and use it for 15mins and then pick up the sony and use it for 15mins.
The quality of the build is obvious. Image quality .... I can't say there is a remarkable difference at 24mp.
There may or may not be. I just have not made a serious comparison not have I seen any that were all that "scientific" .
Is it worth the dough.... that'sa completely subjective question and one that does not deserve mocking.
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Old 09-29-2016   #33
brennanphotoguy
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Go pick one up and use it for 15mins and then pick up the sony and use it for 15mins.
The quality of the build is obvious. Image quality .... I can't say there is a remarkable difference at 24mp.
There may or may not be. I just have not made a serious comparison not have I seen any that were all that "scientific" .
Is it worth the dough.... that'sa completely subjective question and one that does not deserve mocking.
I use them both on a very regular basis, actually had an SL yesterday, and sure, it's heavier and more weather sealed than the Sony bodies but it's not "better" in any way, shape or form outside of the EVF being larger and having higher resolution.
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Old 09-29-2016   #34
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The SL is unique in that it exhibits the kind of hubris of which only Leica is capable. It's similar to luxury watches in the sense that those proudly exhibiting one are asking to be mocked behind their backs. It's the kind of camera that the Emperor Has No Clothes was written for. The SL is basically a Nikon D600 wrapped in some nice metal with bazookas for lenses, which somehow manage to be both gigantic and variable aperture. But don't worry, they announced that a 35mm f2 will be announced at the NEXT Photokina. Have fun with your luxury D600.
Wow.

10 characters, but, again, wow.
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Old 09-29-2016   #35
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Only people who've spent a stupid amount of money on something say that they shouldn't be mocked for spending a stupid amount of money.

I have used the SL first at Photoexpo during launch, where Leica informed me that the SL would not be able to fire the central shutter in leaf lenses (doh!). Then I've used it casually a handful of other times. Just because something is made of metal doesn't mean that everything inside isn't sub-par in every way.
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Old 09-29-2016   #36
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This camera has just been made obsolete by the X1D and GFX. Both of which have more lenses upon release than this system after a year.
How would the X1D and GFX be more useful to people who want to use Leica R and M lenses (like Cal and Godfrey)?
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Old 09-29-2016   #37
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These kind of statements show you don't know what a fact is.
Because we all know that Nikon designed the SL right? The SL is just a redesigned D610?
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Old 09-29-2016   #38
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Only people who've spent a stupid amount of money on something say that they shouldn't be mocked for spending a stupid amount of money.

I have used the SL first at Photoexpo during launch, where Leica informed me that the SL would not be able to fire the central shutter in leaf lenses (doh!). Then I've used it casually a handful of other times. Just because something is made of metal doesn't mean that everything inside isn't sub-par in every way.
Keep it nice!
Your need to call people stupid has put you on notice.
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Old 09-29-2016   #39
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Because we all know that Nikon designed the SL right? The SL is just a redesigned D610?
Nah it looks like Sony did. Then Leica stole the idea, but said the Sony sensors were too good so they used a cheap one like they always do, and then bought some EVF tech from Epson.
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Old 09-29-2016   #40
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How would the X1D and GFX be more useful to people who want to use Leica R and M lenses (like Cal and Godfrey)?
Then you could use an A7RII and have a much better sensor and spend a lot less money. The M lenses balance a ton better on the smaller A7 bodies anyways. The X1D and GFX are the same price or cheaper than an SL with any of the SL lenses and someone who is buying into a new system would have to have a couple screws loose to try and justify an SL over either of the two new digital medium format options which offer much better.....everything. Don't start on the "well the SL has higher FPS," thing because we know that people aren't using the SL like a flagship CaNikon body.
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