Leica CL

Leica CL

In keeping with the minimalist-yet-functional school of thought, the black Leica CL is a tiny, elegant mirrorless digital camera that provides intuitive operation and a diverse range of photography capabilities in one package.

A 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and Maestro II image processor combine to provide the CL the ability to capture high-resolution stills at up to 10 frames per second and UHD 4K/30p video. The CL has an ISO sensitivity range of 100-50000, allowing it to be used in a wide range of lighting situations.

In addition to enabling completely quiet operation and shutter speeds of up to 1/25000 sec, the camera’s 49-point contrast-detection focusing technology ensures that images are captured as quickly and precisely as possible.

Integrated into the distinctive slimline design is a 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder that provides bright and crisp eye-level vision, as well as a 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD that allows for familiar operation using touch and gesture controls.

Additionally, the top plate has its own LCD for rapid settings review, as well as two knobs and customizable buttons for more direct change of frequently used parameters, all of which are located on the top plate. Wireless sharing and remote camera control are also possible with the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which is accessible through a connected mobile device as well.

24MP APS-C CCD sensor with Leica Maestro II image processing.

An APS-C CMOS sensor with a resolution of 24.2MP is at the heart of the camera system, which works in conjunction with Leica’s Maestro II processor to produce high-resolution, clear still images with native sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 50000 and a maximum continuous shooting rate of 10 frames per second for up to 33 DNG+JPEGs or 140 JPEGs.

A mechanical shutter can achieve exact shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 sec and flash sync rates of up to 1/180 sec, but a quiet electronic shutter can achieve shutter speeds of up to 1/25000 sec.

The sensor and CPU also offer UHD 4K video recording at 30 frames per second for ultra-high quality viewing, as well as Full HD at 60 frames per second and HD at 30 frames per second. Focus peaking is also available to assist you in ensuring that your films are in focus.

49-Point contrast-detection AF System

AF System with 49 Selectable Points for Crisp Photographs An updated contrast-detect AF system with 49 selectable points for sharp photos ensures that you always capture tack-sharp images. The focusing technology provides rapid and precise performance in a wide range of illumination and shooting circumstances, including low-light situations.

Body Design

  • The built-in electronic viewfinder boasts a resolution of 2.36 million dots and a magnification of 0.74x, allowing for bright, clear vision at eye level. A manual diopter with a range of +/-4m is also available to accommodate varying vision strengths.
  • With a touchscreen interface and support for familiar gesture controls, the rear 3.0″ 1.04m-dot LCD provides smooth, easy navigation while shooting or reviewing photos.
  • The top-mounted status LCD is used to rapidly check the current shooting settings.
  • Designed to be robust but lightweight, the top and bottom covers are made of machined and anodized aluminum alloy, while the front and rear body shells are made of magnesium alloy, resulting in an overall design that is both rigid and lightweight.
  • Two dials with center buttons are included on the top plate for convenient setting change, and a four-way rear directional pad may be utilized for an intuitive selection of focus points while shooting in manual mode.

Wi-Fi connectivity is pre-installed.

Because of the built-in IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, you may wirelessly link iOS and Android devices to the CL, allowing you to transfer photographs and videos from the CL to smartphones or tablets for uploading online.

The free Leica App makes it easy to share images between the camera and a mobile device, and it also has a remote control option that allows you to wirelessly alter the camera’s shutter speed, aperture, and shutter release time from a distance.

Additionally, the app may be used as a remote electronic viewfinder, which can be useful for constructing self-portraits or group photographs, or when working from challenging shooting angles.

Mount for the Leica L-Bayonet

The L-bayonet mount on Leica’s mirrorless cameras allows users to connect both full-frame SL-series and APS-C TL-series lenses, which benefit from electronic communication for lightning-fast autofocus, electronic aperture control, and optical image stabilization.

Additionally, as is the case with most mirrorless cameras these days, the L mount is compatible with a multitude of adapters, such as the M-Adapter L, which allows photographers to use any M-mount lens in their arsenal.

Adapters for the S, R and Cine series will also be available from Leica, providing compatibility with a wide selection of the company’s top lenses.

Leica CL Specs

MSRP$2795 (body only), $3795 (w/18mm lens), $3995 (w/18-56mm lens)
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution6014 x 4014
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorMaestro II
ISOAuto, 100-50000
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (2 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Number of focus points49
Lens mountLeica L
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.74× (0.49× 35mm Equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/25000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBP-DC12 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220
Weight (inc. batteries)403 g (0.89 lb / 14.22 oz)
Dimensions131 x 78 x 45 mm (5.16 x 3.07 x 1.77″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Leica CL Price

About Author


Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features

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