New: Leica SL3 Singapore launch event report

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Leica announced the next generation of their SL system with the new SL3 replacing the SL2. We attended the Singapore launch event and bring you this report.

We covered in detail the first SL series camera – the Leica SL Type 601 in 2019. We were impressed with the camera and its ecosystem as a system camera. We followed up with its successor, the SL2 in 2020, and the SL2-S in 2021, and continued to be impressed with the build quality and the images the camera system is able to make. The SL3 now succeeds the SL2 as the next generation. I attended the event, armed with a Leica SL Type 601 with Leica Summilx-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens.

New: Leica SL3 Singapore launch event report

The Leica SL3 will retail at SGD 10,400 inclusive of GST. And is available globally at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and Authorised Dealers.

At the Singapore launch event, held in ARTitude Galleria, we were welcomed by Sunil Kaul, the Managing Director of Leica Asia Pacific and two Leica photographers – Justin Mott and Stefano Guindani.

Though the news of this camera had flooded the market since yesterday as the embargo lifted for the international media, the Singapore crowd in attendance still enjoyed the anticipation of the unveiling of the novelty.

Viola, the Leica SL3, shown here with the APO-Summicron-SL 50mm F/2 ASPH, emerging from a barrel dressed as a Leica Lens. At first glance, the new camera looks a dead ringer like the SL2. The SL3 measures 142mm x 108mm x 50mm (85mm at grip) and weighs 796g vs the SL2 which measures 146mm x 107mm x 42 mm weighing in at 835g.

Photographs from the Leica SL3

I then got to try out the new camera, and walked around the event site taking photographs with the new camera. The photographs from this point on are taken with the SL3 with the APO-SUMMICRON-SL 1:2/35 ASPH.

Primarily the main differences between the SL2 and SL3 are as follows:

  • Sensor upgraded from 47Mp to 61Mp. The sensor in the SL3 is now the BSI sensor also found in the M11 and the Q3. The sensor has triple resolution capability to use the entire sensor surface to produce images at 61Mp, 36Mp or 16Mp.
  • It now boasts of an improved AF system with phase detect, contrast detect and depth mapping.
  • A redesigned rear panel layout, which is similar to what we saw in the Q3.
  • A tilt and swivel rear LCD, a first for the SL system.
Backward compatibility is assured and the camera continues to perform with classical M lenses.

The lighting was challenging in the venue. Here is a photograph which is severely underexposed on the left of our journalist colleagues in attendance. And on the right is the same image, with the underexposure corrected. Note that the details and colour accuracy remain good. Skin tones are reproduced very nicely.

Also, two more photographs of Sunil Kaul in the photo booth.

An interesting evolution of the Leica SL system, which has progressively improved from the SL Type 601 to the SL2 and now to the SL3. Each step is a move in the right direction. We have registered our interest to receive a loaner camera for a longer and more detailed test period. And will report back when we have used the camera for a while.


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