The Leica SL2-S receives a major update for video shooters.
While Leica is known for its excellent photographic images, the company has been improving the video capabilities of its mirrorless cameras for some time. The SL was a significant leap in Leica’s hybrid approach, and it’s only gotten better with the SL2, and now that SL2-S, which is receiving a firmware update to version 2.0, which is aimed heavily at video artists.
The SL2-S was launched in late 2020 with a range of video-focused features that many of us considered standard: internal 4K 10-bit recording, high bit rates, autofocus, Rec. 2020 / HDR support, protocol, IBIS, the ability to externally via record HDMI. But it comes at a price. $ 4,995.
Cache aside, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm and even Nikon have made the leap to Leica when it comes to the hybrid market. Each camera company has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and one of the biggest drawbacks to Leica is its higher price. It’s hard to justify the $ 5,000 price tag when your focus is on videos when you can pick up three of them Sony a7S II Cameras and have better autofocus and low light output immediately.
However, unless the above companies are headed towards global closure, their innovation cap will only be as high. Things like AF, low light output, bit rates, color depth, and resolution improve with each cycle, but there won’t be a significant jump in the features that will blow your hair back. The gap between the individual camera manufacturers will close even more and Leica has the potential to catch up.
With firmware version 2.0, the SL2-S is taking a step in this direction.
The biggest innovation is the 4K 10-bit 4: 2: 0 recording of HEVC recordings with up to 50 / 60p. Long GOP has also been added to 10-bit codecs, including the internal 4K 10-bit 4: 2: 2 H.264, which previously only offered 400MB / s all-intra. Long GOP is between 150 and 200 MB / s, which is about half the data size, but has about the same picture quality. The difference is that Long-GOP is a little more power-hungry when it comes to editing.
According to Leica, autofocus performance has been improved, including real-time detection and tracking of eyes, face and body. Leica has also added a focus tracking function that allows you to define three focus points for automatic focus shift during video recording.
You can now import LUTs via the SD card to view them while recording Leica’s L-Log profile. A waveform monitor has been added, along with a tally mode on the LCD, color bars, better control of shadows and lights, and a feature that lets you control one-minute segmented video. The point here is to avoid any kind of data loss.
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