Leica SL (Typ 601) Review

February 1, 2016 | Mark Goldstein | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 10Mb.

The Leica SL (Typ 601) produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 50 up to ISO 1600, with some noise appearing at ISO 3200. The faster settings of ISO 6400 and 12,800 are still usable, although we'd suggest avoiding ISO 25,600 and especially 50,000 if possible. The 24 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture enough light in most situations, while the built-in image stabilisation allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds.

Noise

There are 11 ISO settings available on the Leica SL (Typ 601). Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG RAW

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

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)

ISO 50000 (100% Crop)

iso50000.jpg iso50000raw.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Night

The Leica SL (Typ 601)'s maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Manual mode and there's a Bulb mode for up to 30 minute exposures, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 50.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Leica SL (Typ 601) has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than wthout it turned on. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/4sec / 90mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg