Leica CL Review

November 21, 2017 | Amy Davies | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 12Mb.

As we’d pretty much expect from anything bearing the famous Leica brand, image quality from the CL is excellent.

Colours directly from the Leica CL camera are very pleasingly saturated, without being unrealistic. The Standard “Film Type” setting is a good choice to leave the CL shooting in for most situations - with the Vivid setting being good when subjects could use a little boost in saturation.

Automatic white balance does a decent job in the majority of situations, producing accurate colours under artificial lighting, with just a hint towards yellow or warmer tones. Under overcast skies, colours can also be a little warmer than is accurate - switching to a specific white balance setting is recommended if you’re looking for ultimate accuracy.

The overall impression of detail is fantastic when looking at images at A4 or below, and you can see if you zoom in at 100% that the CL is capable of resolving very fine detail. When it comes to low light images, the CL copes well all the way up to ISO 6400. Images taken at ISO 12800 are useable, if you’re only intending to use them small, but ISO 25000 and above is probably best avoided if you can help it.

All-purpose metering is a good option for most everyday scenes, with nicely balanced exposures in the majority of conditions. Switching to spot metering for high-contrast situations can be beneficial, as can dialling in some exposure compensation - this doesn’t seem to be too common a problem however.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Leica CL. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

iso12500.jpg iso12500raw.jpg
   

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)

iso25000.jpg iso25000raw.jpg
   

ISO 50000 (100% Crop)

 
iso25000.jpg  

Night

The Leica CL's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The following shot was taken at 30 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

night.jpg

Film Styles

The Leica CL offers 5 different film styles to choose from.

Standard

FilmStyle1-Standard.jpg
 

Vivid

FilmStyle2-Vivid.jpg
 

Natural

FilmStyle3-Natural.jpg
 

B&W Natural

FilmStyle4-BWNatural.jpg
 

B&W High Contrast

FilmStyle5-BWHighContrast.jpg