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Leica Unveils Compact CL Mirrorless Camera
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, November 23, 2017 @ 09:30 PM (EST)
Source: DPReview

We know what you’re thinking: Why is DPG telling me about a Leica camera that nobody’s ever going to take underwater? After all, when you put this box-shaped piece of jewelry in an underwater housing, nobody can see you wearing it. But the fact is that Subal has already done us proud with some very fancy housings for a handful of Leica models (at some very Leica-esque prices). Well, Leica doesn’t only make nice-looking cameras—they’re also pretty respectable performers.

The new Leica CL may have classic looks, but its spec sheet is far from dated: This modern mirrorless boasts an APS-C sized 24-megapixel sensor, 10fps continuous shooting, and 4K/30p recording. Unlike Leica’s last release, the TL2, the CL has an integrated viewfinder and boasts physical controls—including twin exposure dials and a four-way controller—so there’s less reliance on the touchscreen. (Handy if you want to make an underwater housing, right?) Alongside the camera launch, Leica is introducing a new pancake prime lens—the Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8—which the company claims is the smallest of its kind currently on the market.

And now to the unimportant bit: The CL body will retail at $2,795, while the 18mm lens will go for $1,295, or Leica will let you take both home for a cool $3,795.

Subal, over to you.
 



PRESS RELEASE

Leica Camera Unveils Expansion of its APS-C System with the New Leica CL and Smallest Wide-Angle APS-C Lens
The new mirrorless camera and lens unite innovation, ease of use and compact design for exceptional visual storytelling

November 21, 2017- Leica Camera unveils the latest addition to its APS-C system with the Leica CL, a new camera that boasts an exceptional balance of state-of-the-art technology, mechanical precision and intuitive, classic design to make it the ideal everyday companion, a perfect fit for all types of photography. With stunning image quality – even in low-light scenarios – new electronic viewfinder technology and superb video capabilities, the Leica CL is the ultimate tool to capture everyday moments, all customizable to the photographer’s style. Available on its own or in two new camera-and-lens kit options, the Leica CL makes it simple to incorporate the art of photography into one’s daily life.

Alongside the Leica CL, the iconic photography brand is further diversifying the APS-C system’s portfolio of lenses by introducing the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH., the smallest-in-class wide-angle lens with supreme imaging performance.

Evolution of the Leica APS-C system portfolio

With the launch of the Leica CL, the Leica APS-C System now encompasses two remarkable camera models, the Leica CL and the Leica TL2. In technical terms, the two cameras are equals, but retain stark differences in regards to their design and handling. The Leica CL reflects the traditions of Leica with its iconic industrial design, classic physical button controls and dials, while the Leica TL2 embodies a futuristic look, featuring a touchscreen and full-body aluminium. Coupled with the extensive portfolio of lenses, the Leica CL and Leica TL2 make for a formidable system portfolio offering an array of specialized and distinct photographic experiences.

Introducing the Leica CL

The Leica CL is rooted in Leica’s legacy, calling upon the brand’s heritage look with modern technical features. The instinctual and convenient design of the camera features a user-friendly handling concept, providing for an exceptionally intuitive tool whose compact size and light weight allow for maximum mobility. All essential controls are located on its top plate with just two dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO value, exposure compensation and shooting mode, for quick and intuitive handling. Keeping convenience at the forefront, all relevant shooting information is viewable on the small LCD screen atop the camera, instantly providing settings and exposure parameters at a glance.

Another outstanding feature of the Leica CL is its built-in electronic viewfinder. With EyeRes® technology developed by Leica specifically for this camera, the viewfinder enables a top-tier viewing experience. Most notable among a number of advantages of the built-in EVF, is the ability to preview the brightness and color of the final image before the shutter release is fully depressed, allowing photographers to always be in control over the composition and exposure.

Alongside an impeccable view of your subjects, the Leica CL offers best-in-class image quality. In combination with the high-resolution, 24 MP, APS-C format sensor of the Leica CL, a Maestro II series processor and fast autofocus system with 49 AF points guarantee brilliant photographs in all situations, including low-light scenes. In addition to being an impressive still-picture camera, the Leica CL also captures striking video at a resolution of up to 4K at 30 frames per second.

Keeping connectivity as a top priority, the Leica CL is equipped with an integrated Wi-Fi module allowing photographers to quickly and easily share their stunning photos and videos by email or on social networks with the Leica CL App for iOS or Android. The remote function of the app also provides the capability for mobile devices to be used as an off-camera remote viewfinder, allowing control of exposure parameters, including when shooting with the self-timer function or from unusual angles.

Thanks to the L-Bayonet mount shared by the Leica TL- and SL-Systems, SL-Lenses can also be used without an adapter on the CL and the TL2. Appropriate adapters are also available for using Leica M- and R-Lenses on the cameras, offering unparalleled creative flexibility and making the Leica CL one of the most versatile cameras in the Leica portfolio.

New Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH.

To complement the Leica APS-C system, Leica is expanding the impressive TL lens portfolio with a ground-breaking new lens. Compact and lightweight, the new Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. holds the title as the smallest wide-angle APS-C pancake lens currently available in the market. When mounted to the Leica CL, the camera and prime lens are small enough to fit into a coat pocket or small handbag – providing incredible images everywhere you go. Despite being just 20.5mm (less than one inch) in total length, the lens sacrifices nothing, providing the unrivalled imaging performance all Leica lenses are known for. Travel photography is easy with this light and dynamic lens, especially when paired with the Leica CL.

As a whole, the Leica APS-C System portfolio of lenses offer exceptionally high picture quality and infinite opportunities for creative photography. In addition to the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH., the selection of lenses currently includes three zoom lenses (Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11-23 mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH., Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. and the APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55-135 mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH.) as well as three prime lenses (Summicron-TL 23 mm f/2 ASPH., Summilux-TL 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH.).

All bundled up

To make the stunning new Leica CL more easily accessible to both new and current Leica fans looking to make their first step into the APS-C system, the Leica CL will be offered in two bundle options alongside an accompanying lens. The “Prime Kit” will include the new Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens, while the “Vario Kit” option includes the Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, allowing photographers to get into this new camera and growing system with a lens that best suits their photography style in an easy-to-grab kit.

Availability

The Leica CL and Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH will both be available from Leica stores, boutiques and dealers at the end of November. The Leica CL body, in black anodized finish, will be $2,795.00 while the Prime and Vario Kits will be $3,795.00 and $3,995.00 respectively. The new Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH, in black or silver anodized finish, will be $1,295.00.

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