9.23.2021

Leica delivers firmware upgrades across the SL system universe. Even for an "ancient" camera. And for the SL2 it's a very valuable upgrade!

 

New firmware. Get some.

Yesterday Leica delivered firmware updates to its entire SL line of cameras. All three cameras got new stuff. And all three camera firmware updates also included separate firmware updates for various Leica SL lenses. The most amazing fact was that Leica, now in 2021, is still delivering free updates for the SL camera that they launched back in 2015. I think that's a great service to owners of older but still cherished camera bodies. 

The 3.8 tweak for the SL is largely about incremental improvements in the look of L-Log video files but I'm sure there are "under the hood" tweaks that went uncatalogued. 

But the real excitement are the new features and performance enhancements brought forward for their flagship model, the SL2. It features a bunch of new video stuff that most of us looked at longingly when the SL2S was launched. Now both cameras have waveform monitors as well as color reference bars and audio test tones. Leica added more video codecs, including H.265 codecs that deliver the same image quality as 400 M/bs All-I files but at half or less the size. You can now add highlight and shadow controls to image profiles for photos and videos. You can upload custom LUTs. There have been improvements for auto-focus speeds and much more. You'll have to go look it all up for yourself. It's here: 

https://us.leica-camera.com/Company/Press-Centre/Press-Releases/2017/Press-Release-Now-available-for-the-Leica-SL-System-new-Firmware-Update-3.0-with-extensive-improvements-for-an-even-better-workflow

This makes a very good professional camera system even more flexible and more capable. It also brings the SL2 closer to the level of the SL2S for the kinds of video I am most interested in. There are other fixes and additions that will certainly appeal to different users. 

If you shoot with SL cameras the firmware updates are available on the Leica websites now. Since I'm not getting paid by Leica (or by my readers) you'll have to do a bit of grunt work and find the URL yourself.

Oh, and the update for the 24-90mm make it even better. At least that's my current "placebo" effect.

From a comment on DP Review. A quick list of improvements for the SL2

  • New Autofocus algorithm
    • Improved eye/face/head/body recognition and focus tracking.
  • HEVC video compression
    • Internal 4K recording with 10 Bit at 60p/50p with h.265 codec.
  • Long-GOP
    • Recording for 10 Bit codecs with 150 – 200 MB/s means same Image Quality as All-Intra but less than half of data size.
  • Segmented Video
    • Videorecording will be split 1 minute segments to avoid data loss.
  • Individual Viewing LUT
    • Upload function for individual Look Up Tables.
  • Enhanced Live View
    • Better low light image composition control of the Live View image.
  • Image Overlay
    • Allows alignment of the camera position on basis of a previous taken image, that is displayed in a transparent mode in the EVF or on the LCD.
  • Automatic Follow Focus
    • Definition of three focus points for automatic focus shift during video recording.
    • FN Buttons are now possible to use.
    • Focus adjustment in video and live view additionally to predefined sequence.
  • Wave form monitor
    • Professional exposure valuation of the video signal.
  • Color bar
    • Reference for correct color grading and sound control in postproduction.
  • Record indication Frame (Tally Mode)
    • Camera shows red frame on LCD during video recording.
  • Highlight weighted metering
    • Metering method to save highlights instead of shadows.
  • Dynamic-range control
    • Increase brightness in shadows.
  • Highlight-shadow control
    • Precise contrast adjustment controls.