Leica SL - button customizations
Old 09-09-2016   #1
Godfrey
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Leica SL - button customizations

Cal asked what my SL button customizations were as he hasn't done much in that direction yet. The following is copied from my notes on other forums.

---

I had my SL setup pretty well configured by December 2015 and that continues to work well for me. One change from that configuration is that with firmware 2.0 released, I've enabled direct Exposure Compensation.

What follows are my basic settings. They differ just a little in the different user configs:
Button (short press, not editable) :: Long press (editable)
----------------------------------
TL (menu) :: Drive mode
BL (magnification) :: Exposure pattern
TR (review) :: Exposure Compensation
BR (view overlay) :: ISO
-
LV (still/video mode switch) :: Exposure bracketing
FN (normal/aperture/exposure simulation) :: Lens Profiles
video (disabled) :: User Profiles
I have these settings encapsulated into a User Profile named "RLens", with DNG only at the full frame format and default R lens set to Summilux-R 50mm.*

The same settings swapped over to 1:1 format, DNG+JPEG, B&W rendering with +1 contrast for JPEGs, and default lens profile set to Super-Elmar-R 15mm. This is stored in a user profile named "SWC".

The same basic settings in RLens are also used in two additional user profiles for the native mount Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm lens. One of them has the toggle button set to do AF and the focus mode set to MF ("SLensM"). The other has the focus mode set to AF and the toggle button set to AE-Lock ("SLensA").

enjoy,
G
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Old 09-12-2016   #2
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Cal asked what my SL button customizations were as he hasn't done much in that direction yet. The following is copied from my notes on other forums.

---

I had my SL setup pretty well configured by December 2015 and that continues to work well for me. One change from that configuration is that with firmware 2.0 released, I've enabled direct Exposure Compensation.

What follows are my basic settings. They differ just a little in the different user configs:
Button (short press, not editable) :: Long press (editable)
----------------------------------
TL (menu) :: Drive mode
BL (magnification) :: Exposure pattern
TR (review) :: Exposure Compensation
BR (view overlay) :: ISO
-
LV (still/video mode switch) :: Exposure bracketing
FN (normal/aperture/exposure simulation) :: Lens Profiles
video (disabled) :: User Profiles
I have these settings encapsulated into a User Profile named "RLens", with DNG only at the full frame format and default R lens set to Summilux-R 50mm.*

The same settings swapped over to 1:1 format, DNG+JPEG, B&W rendering with +1 contrast for JPEGs, and default lens profile set to Super-Elmar-R 15mm. This is stored in a user profile named "SWC".

The same basic settings in RLens are also used in two additional user profiles for the native mount Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm lens. One of them has the toggle button set to do AF and the focus mode set to MF ("SLensM"). The other has the focus mode set to AF and the toggle button set to AE-Lock ("SLensA").

enjoy,
G
Godfrey,

Thanks for posting this.

Normally I would figure all this out on my own, but there is so much flexibility that it was a bit too much.

I actually turned off the DOF preview on the front to reserve it for future use for a future autofocus function. At this time I'm only using manual focus lenses.

I basically set up a my favorites menue for the elementry selections that I will like change the most like mode, ISO, bracketing, AF mode, metering...

Anyways I maxed out the buffer once in a bout of real shooting, but know that it was rather exceptional and actually hard to do. I found it to be as crazy as emptying a fresh 36 roll of film on a body with a motor drive, but only 33-34 shots. LOL.

Anyways the processor is mighty speedy.

I turned down the display times because of battery drain. It seems leaving the camera always ready might not be practical. Also know that I'm chimping a lot. LOL.

Cal
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Old 09-12-2016   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
... Normally I would figure all this out on my own, but there is so much flexibility that it was a bit too much.
...
I turned down the display times because of battery drain. It seems leaving the camera always ready might not be practical. Also know that I'm chimping a lot. LOL.
It can certainly be a bit daunting to figure out what works best for you with all the SL's customization options available.

I always turn off auto-review entirely, but not specifically to save on battery life. I just don't like auto-review, it distracts me; I prefer to stop and look afterwards, when I'm not in the middle of shooting, if I'm going to do in-camera review.

I've found that the SL consumes a lot more battery when I'm experimenting with settings, popping in and out of menus, etc—rather more than when I'm actually out shooting normally. In a normal shooting session of several hours duration, I've gotten upwards of 900 exposures on a fully charged battery. But if I'm shooting a couple, making menu changes, shooting a couple, stopping for a couple of days, reviewing a lot, shooting a couple, etc, I can drive it down to under 200 now and then. I think my overall average is about 450 exposures per charge at this point. I bought two additional batteries, numbered them, and use them in sequence to be sure they all get some semblance of balanced use and charging.

Yeah, you can rattle off a whole bunch of exposures very very speedily with the SL. If you go JPEG-only, you can likely go until the card is full if you're using a fast card...

G
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Old 09-13-2016   #4
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
It can certainly be a bit daunting to figure out what works best for you with all the SL's customization options available.

I always turn off auto-review entirely, but not specifically to save on battery life. I just don't like auto-review, it distracts me; I prefer to stop and look afterwards, when I'm not in the middle of shooting, if I'm going to do in-camera review.

I've found that the SL consumes a lot more battery when I'm experimenting with settings, popping in and out of menus, etc—rather more than when I'm actually out shooting normally. In a normal shooting session of several hours duration, I've gotten upwards of 900 exposures on a fully charged battery. But if I'm shooting a couple, making menu changes, shooting a couple, stopping for a couple of days, reviewing a lot, shooting a couple, etc, I can drive it down to under 200 now and then. I think my overall average is about 450 exposures per charge at this point. I bought two additional batteries, numbered them, and use them in sequence to be sure they all get some semblance of balanced use and charging.

Yeah, you can rattle off a whole bunch of exposures very very speedily with the SL. If you go JPEG-only, you can likely go until the card is full if you're using a fast card...

G
Godfrey,

Your almost full year of ownership is a great asset. For me I have owned the SL for one week today.

It does seem like you can customize the camera's six soft buttons to the extent that you can create your own camera. Then there is so much flexibility to the extent that you can create your own personalized menu (Favorites).

I kinda dumbed down the camera keeping the Leica layout for the TL, BL, TR, and BR.

At this point I'm playing around with the camera controls a lot, and also perhaps chimping a lot when typically I just shoot away like you.

Anyways thanks for sharing your insights.

Cal
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Old 09-13-2016   #5
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You're welcome. It's not quite a year yet ... but I'm glad that what I've learned through the time I've had the SL is useful to others. One of these days I might write a more user-friendly instruction manual. I feel the current manual does a satisfactory job as a reference but is rather poor on workflow and integration of operational dynamics. It's also a bit incomplete as some features were definitely added after the manual was completed and fw 2.0 added more features that are not covered. It's a journey of discovery... :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
...
It does seem like you can customize the camera's six soft buttons to the extent that you can create your own camera. Then there is so much flexibility to the extent that you can create your own personalized menu (Favorites).

I kinda dumbed down the camera keeping the Leica layout for the TL, BL, TR, and BR.
...
(Note that the video release button can also be customized with firmware 2.x installed, for a total of seven customizable buttons.)

Think about it this way:

Each of the buttons has a standard, unchangeable short-press function and a customizable long-press function. In some cases, the short-press function can be switched off or made accessible only in specific operational modes (examples: the video release can be disabled unless you're in video capture mode, the TL button can be defeated when the EVF is active so your nose doesn't push you into menu mode ...). So, in general, TL/BL/TR/BR will always have the same short-press functions, it's the long-press functions that will differ by your customization.

The Favorites menu can be tailored to your needs in each user configuration as well. For instance, I have one set of Favorites menu items in my R lens configurations (RLens and SWC) and a different set in each of my SL lens configurations (for AF and MF primary usage models), to address differing needs and capabilities with adapted vs dedicated lenses.

G
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Old 09-13-2016   #6
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
You're welcome. It's not quite a year yet ... but I'm glad that what I've learned through the time I've had the SL is useful to others. One of these days I might write a more user-friendly instruction manual. I feel the current manual does a satisfactory job as a reference but is rather poor on workflow and integration of operational dynamics. It's also a bit incomplete as some features were definitely added after the manual was completed and fw 2.0 added more features that are not covered. It's a journey of discovery... :-)



(Note that the video release button can also be customized with firmware 2.x installed, for a total of seven customizable buttons.)

Think about it this way:

Each of the buttons has a standard, unchangeable short-press function and a customizable long-press function. In some cases, the short-press function can be switched off or made accessible only in specific operational modes (examples: the video release can be disabled unless you're in video capture mode, the TL button can be defeated when the EVF is active so your nose doesn't push you into menu mode ...). So, in general, TL/BL/TR/BR will always have the same short-press functions, it's the long-press functions that will differ by your customization.

The Favorites menu can be tailored to your needs in each user configuration as well. For instance, I have one set of Favorites menu items in my R lens configurations (RLens and SWC) and a different set in each of my SL lens configurations (for AF and MF primary usage models), to address differing needs and capabilities with adapted vs dedicated lenses.

G
Godfrey,

The above is so helpful. I have yet to explore the user profiles that offer the mentioned advanced customization.

Too much to obsess about... LOL.

I'm not at that level yet.

I did notice that with the firmware update (1.2 to 2.1) that basically I have a different camera. LOL.

Cal
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Old 09-13-2016   #7
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It's a good idea to create at least one user profile with your usual default configuration. This is so that when firmware updates are installed, the installer can automatically export them to the SD card and reload them afterwards. Otherwise, major updates generally clear all user settings. (It's a good idea to export your user profiles whenever you make 'permanent' changes to them too, or before you start experimenting with things, so you can reload to a known set that works easily.)

The customization and and user profiles work together to make a very configurable camera very easy to use. :-)

G
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Old 09-13-2016   #8
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

The customization and and user profiles work together to make a very configurable camera very easy to use. :-)

G
Godfrey,

The above level of making the camera my way is still daunting because of all the capabilities, but yet the camera is easy to use. It is kind of making the camera not only personal and custom, but also specifically made for me and the way I process information and shoot.

Anyways all this adaptability can really spoil me. LOL.

I walk to work (about 2.5 miles), and I passed the Second Avenue Subway construction this morning with my SL. Took an interesting shot of a closed bagel store that promoted "Fast Service" and had three Portapotties hemmed in by a chain link fence as part of the ongoing construction site.

Normally I use manual metering almost exclusively, but I find the Matrix metering to be highly accurate and fast in "A" mode. This is all new to me because on other cameras I don't trust the auto metering as much as I do on the SL.

Cal
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