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Leica’s New Camera Has an Interface Unlike Any Other

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But is that worth $6,995?

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Sometimes, meaningfully updating a product requires a complete and obvious overhaul. New design, new materials and a fresh coat of paint. Other updates are a bit less noticeable, but can be equally significant. That appears to be the case with Leica’s new SL3 camera, whose biggest departure from the SL2 is not its look or its lenses, but its overhauled user interface.

For those unfamiliar, The SL3 is the latest and greatest of Leica’s mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras. The SL3 employs the same premium Leica L-mount lenses as its predecessor does, but it boasts a higher-resolution sensor: 60 megapixels vs 47 megapixels. That makes it Leica’s highest-resolution SL camera yet.

Leica managed to pack the full-frame sensor and everything else fans love about 2019’s SL2 into a slightly more compact body. Leica also upgraded the autofocus, added the ability to shoot 8K video and shielded that body with IP54 water resistance

Still the biggest story might be the interface, which is intended to be more user-friendly, once you get the hang of it.

Longtime Leica fans will quickly pick up on the new look and feel of the SL3’s user interface.DPR/Richard Butler

As Richard Butler writes in Digital Photography Review: “Leica says it redesigned every one of the camera’s icons, and even went so far as to adopt a new typeface for its menus, but these are merely the outward signifiers of a fairly ‘ground, up’ approach to rethinking how a camera should work. In a landscape of cameras that can often look and feel interchangeable, with only lens choices to distinguish between them, it’s interesting to encounter a camera that tries to do something different.”

That said, in a detail-packed initial review that’s worth a closer look, Butler notes that at $6,995, the SL3 costs roughly 80 percent more than Sony’s a7R V, which carries many similar features. So it still may come down to how much you like Leica’s unparalleled lenses — and that unmistakable red-and-white logo on your camera body.


Leica SL3

The Leica SL3 is a full-frame mirrorless camera, the successor to the 2019-released SL2. It has a new 60-megapixel sensor — the same one that’s in Leica’s Q3 — much improved in-body image stabilization and the ability to record 8K video. It also has a redesigned user interface.



Full-Frame Mirrorless


60.3-megapixel CMOS

Lens Mount

Leica L