The new Leica SL2-S firmware v2.0 adds new internal H.265 4K 60p 10-bit mode, new Long-GOP 10-bit codec options, better AF, and new monitoring features such as a waveform monitor.
The premium camera manufacturer Leica announced the SL2-S mirrorless camera in December 2020. Back then, the 24.6MP L-Mount camera mainly caught my attention because of two things. Firstly, it can shoot up to 25fps 14-bit DNG raw continuous stills (no audio) internally without limit. Secondly, the price tag is a little bit below $5,000. I know, that is still a lot of money, but we are talking about Leica.
Other than the continuous DNG raw stills, the camera can also internally shoot DCI 4K 30fps in 4:2:2 10-bit or DCI 4K 60fps in 4:2:0 8-bit with compressed codecs. The news is that Leica just released a new firmware update for the SL2-S, bringing some useful improvements and new features. Let’s take a look at what is new.
Leica SL2-S firmware v2.0
The new firmware brings quite a lot of improvements especially when it comes to the video capabilities of the Leica SL2-S. Perhaps the most noticeable update is the new internal H.265 4K 60p 10-bit mode or the Long-GOP codecs in 10-bit. Previously, the camera could only record 8-bit 4:2:0 in 4K50 and 4K60 modes. Following is the full list of improvements from Leica:
- New Autofocus algorithm – Improved eye/face/head/body recognition and focus tracking.
- HEVC video compression – Internal 4K recording with 10-Bit at 60p/50p with H.265 codec.
- Long-GOP – Recording for 10 Bit codecs with 150 – 200 MB/s means the same Image Quality as All-Intra but less than half of the data size.
- Segmented Video – Video recording will be split into 1-minute segments to avoid data loss.
- Individual Viewing LUT – Upload function for individual Look Up Tables.
- Enhanced Live View – Better low light image composition control of the Live View image.
- Image Overlay – Allows alignment of the camera position on basis of a previously taken image displayed in a transparent mode in the EVF or on the LCD.
- Automatic Follow Focus – Definition of three focus points for automatic focus shift during video recording.
- Waveform monitor – Professional exposure valuation of the video signal.
- Color bar – Reference for correct color grading and sound control in postproduction.
- Tally Mode – The camera shows a red frame on LCD during video recording.
- Highlight weighted metering – Metering method to save highlights instead of shadows.
- Dynamic-range control – Increase brightness in shadows.
- Highlight-shadow control – Precise contrast adjustment controls.
Price and availability
Do you use the Leica SL2-S for your filmmaking work? What do you think of the new improvements in the firmware v2.0? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.