Leica SL2-S Firmware Update Adds External Video Raw Output and More


Leica SL2-S Firmware Update Adds External Video Raw Output and More

Both the Leica SL2 and Leica SL2-S received new firmware updates. The SL2-S can now output a 12-bit raw video signal over HDMI to be recorded by external devices. Both cameras got new and improved features on both the photo and video sides.

The Leica SL2 has been with us already since November 2019. Back then, the 47MP full-frame mirrorless camera made headlines with its video specs reaching 5K30 and 4K60 modes internally. Make sure to check Johnnie’s Leica SL2 first impression review to see how the camera performed in the field.

A year later, Leica announced the more affordable (I never thought I would use “Leica” and “affordable” in one sentence, yet here we are) sibling, the SL2-S. The 24.6MP camera offers up to 25fps 14-bit DNG raw continuous stills (no audio) internally without limit and video up to DCI 4K 30fps in 4:2:2 10-bit or DCI 4K 60fps in 4:2:0 8-bit. All this for under $5,000 (although now the camera is listed at $5,190 on B&H). Last year, Johnnie shot a mini-documentary with the SL2-S – make sure to go and check how it performed in the field. A few months ago, the SL2-S review unit found its way into our office, so Gunther made a Lab Test.

Anyway, a few days ago, Leica announced new firmware updates for both the SL2 and SL2-S which add interesting video-oriented features. The SL2-S gets raw video output over HDMI as previously announced in our article, but there is more. Let’s take a look at the details.

Leica SL2 firmware 4.0

The older of the two camera bodies, Leica SL2 got mostly refinements in terms of ergonomy of operation with the new firmware. Here is the full list of the new and improved photo and video features:

  • direct setting of ISO sensitivity via thumbwheel/front dial
  • configurable time before automatic WLAN shutdown (Wi-Fi Sleep Mode)
  • photo and video tagging via joystick
  • additional function support for L-Mount-Alliance lenses
  • additional functions for direct access via the Fn button
  • AF metering method Person Detection allows the selection of the primarily focused eye
  • ISO settings in finer increments (1⁄2 EV or 1⁄3 EV)
  • power saving mode can be completely deactivated (no AF system shutdown when recording via
    HDMI)
  • Bugfixes in the firmware
Leica SL2
Leica SL2. Image credit: CineD

Here are the improved video features:

  • aperture setting in T-stops (1⁄2 and 1⁄3 increments) in Cine Mode
  • HDMI output compatibility with Leica FOTOS
  • HDMI output compatibility with USB connection

Here are the new and improved dedicated photo features:

  • quick change of AF metering position between most recently used position and image center
  • exposure and depth of field preview
  • geotagging (via Leica FOTOS)

You can also download the release notes as a PDF file in which Leica dives deeper into each new function of the firmware 4.0.

Leica SL2-S firmware 3.0

Perhaps the most exciting new feature of the firmware 3.0 with the SL2-S is the ability to output a 12-bit raw video signal over HDMI so that it can be recorded by external devices such as the Atomos Ninja V, V+, or the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G. Please note, that the SL2-S cannot output the full sensor as a raw video signal over HDMI, but only a Super35 crop.

Here is the full list of the new and improved photo and video features:

  • direct setting of ISO sensitivity via thumbwheel/front dial
  • configurable time before automatic WLAN shutdown (Wi-Fi Sleep Mode)
  • photo and video tagging via joystick
  • additional function support for L-Mount-Alliance lenses
  • additional functions for direct access via the Fn button
  • AF metering method Person Detection allows the selection of the primarily focused eye
  • ISO settings in finer increments (1⁄2 EV or 1⁄3 EV)
  • power saving mode can be completely deactivated (no AF system shutdown when recording via
    HDMI)
  • bugfixes in the firmware

Here are the new and improved video features:

  • raw format output via HDMI for external device recording
  • aperture setting in T-stops (1⁄2 and 1⁄3 increments) in Cine Mode
  • HDMI output compatibility with Leica FOTOS
  • HDMI output compatibility with USB connection
Leica SL2-S
Leica SL2-S at work. Image credit: CineD

Last but not least, here are the new and improved dedicated photo features:

  • quick change of AF metering position between most recently used position and image center
  • exposure and depth of field preview
  • geotagging (via Leica FOTOS)

The same applies to the SL2-S too – you can download the release notes as a PDF file in which Leica dives deeper into each new function of the firmware 3.0.

Price and availability

Both firmware updates are available now free of charge and can be downloaded from the Leica support webpage. This is the link for the SL2 update and this is the link for the SL2-S firmware update. The cameras themselves currently sell for $6,995 (SL2) or $5,195 (SL2-S).

Have you ever used the Leica SL2 or SL2-S for video work? How do you like the image? What do you think about the new firmware updates? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.




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