Newsshooter has reported a series of image tests on the soon to be released Leica SL. Accredited Camera Technician and Hollywood first AC Tim Arasheban conducted the shoot at Panavision with a pre-production Leica SL.
Mmmm, lens charts look pretty on the web, don’t they? Said no one. Download the original file from Vimeo for a better viewing, but be mindful that this is still a compressed export of the test.
It indeed looks good from initial impressions, perhaps the remarks of someone with Tim Arasheban’s experience is more of a takeaway, here they are in a nutshell:
- Arri Alexa reminiscent tonal range, subtle and clean skin tones out of the box.
- Comparing to the C500 (recently used on a project) an estimated stop less in the shadows, and 1 to 1.5 less in the highlights.
- Softer than the Sony A7s but smoother tonal range, 10 bit output ‘above and beyond’ Sonys 8 bit colour.
- Very low rolling shutter in S35 mode, similar to 5D in full frame.
- Noise level similar to Sony A7S at ISO 3200.
The 4.4 million pixel EyeRes viewfinder was also high in appraisal, billed as one of the best he’d seen on a camera system. The larger sized HDMI port got kudos too.
The setup for these tests were the Leica SL body, shooting to L-Log (pre-production) 4K in S35 mode. ISO 800, shutter 1/50th at 24p. Recording was via the output to a Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q in 4:2:2 10bit. Latter being the key, the camera records 8 bit in-camera, 10bit unlocked via the output.
Carrying such a heavy price tag you’d expect (even demand) that the Leica SL have a very impressive build quality. And this is so; it’s look like this thing will take some abuse.
At this point it’s hard to see exactly where this will sit in the market. A price tag of over $7000 for the spec sheet is perhaps one only Leica could get away with. Reports like this are great in suggesting this is more than a nicely spec’d premium camera; that it may add value to productions that other systems can’t.
Here’s the spec list for the Leica SL (Typ 601)
- Lens Mount: Leica L
- Sensor: 24MP Full-Frame
- Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 24 x 36 mm
- Movies: MOV, MP4
- Memory Card Type: Dual SDXC/SDHC/SD
- Resolutions & Framerates: 4096×2160: 24 fps, 3840×2160: 30 fps, 25 fps, 1920×1080 & 1280X720: 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, 50 fps, 60 fps, 100, 120 fps
- Video Clip Length: Up to 29 Minutes
- Audio Recording Built-in Mic: With Video, Stereo
- Optional External Mic: With Video, Stereo + Mono
- Focus Mode: Continuous-servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M), Single-servo AF (S), Touch AF & Shutter
- Viewfinder Type: Electronic 4.4M pixel 0.66″
- Screen Type: 2.95″ Touchscreen LED (1,040,000)
- ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 50-50000
- Shutter Speed: 1/8000 – 60 second
- Interval Recording Yes
- Connectivity” 1/8″ Headphone, 1/8″ Microphone, HDMI A (Full Size), USB 3.0, X-Sync Socket
- Wi-Fi Capable Yes
- Battery: 1x BP-SCL4 Lithium-ion Battery Pack, 8.4 VDC, 1860 mAh
- Dimensions: (WxHxD) 5.8 x 4.1 x 1.5″ / 147.0 x 104.0 x 39.0 mm
- Weight: 1.86 lb / 847 g with battery