The New Leica SL (Typ 601) System

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The newly announced Leica SL (Typ 601). A 24mp, full-frame, mirrorless monster from Leica!

There’s a new Big Daddy in town! Leica has announced its 24mp, mirrorless, full-frame camera system and from the pics I have seen, it’s a MONSTER!! It’s called the SL (Typ 601). Leave it to Leica to give it one of these funky “Typ” names, sounds so serious 🙂

It looks like a Sony A7 series on steroids. Seriously, it looks like a beautiful monstrosity, just in time for Halloween 🙂

I’m hoping to see this thing in the flesh this weekend at the Photo Plus show in NYC. I will report back if I do see it in the flesh so stay tuned.

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The original 35mm Leica SL. Perhaps the best film SLR made by Leica. Image from 2008, CPG Productions.

The Leicaflex SL was introduced in 1968. While Leica 35mm SLR’s didn’t exactly set the world on fire the way their M series did, I do consider the SL one of the finest 35mm cameras of its time. Dials, knobs, a glorious viewfinder and pure manual focus goodness and unlike many of the R series cameras, the SL was actually designed and made by Leica.

I can’t foretell whether the new digital SL (Typ 601) will have the timeless appeal of the original SL, but I have no doubt it’s going to be an imaging giant!

Meanwhile, if you’ve got serious cash to spend, you can pre-order the Leica SL HERE and the matching Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH HERE. It’s slated to be released for sale November 20, 2015.

Despite its price tag, I’m sure this camera will SELL OUT almost right away, so if you got the cash, I don’t have to tell you…Don’t hesitate because that SL won’t wait! 🙂

This is going to be an awesome combo, no doubt, but it’s going to be WAY beyond my reach and wallet. I like cheap and this ain’t cheap…but I like it!

But I’ll tell you one thing…If you get this, YOU my friend will definitely be a CAMERA LEGEND!! 🙂

Here are the official specs and a pdf brochure on the SL (Typ 601) from Leica.

Technical Data – Leica SL (Typ 601) & SL 24-90

Memo 2016-33 Leica SL (Typ 601)

The Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2

“Toe Curling Fun” 🙂 Panasonic DMC-LC1, 2009. For a larger and better view, please click on the photo.

The Panasonic DMC-LC1, aka, the Leica Digilux 2 was a 5mp point and shoot camera introduced in 2004 and featured a 28-90mm f/2-2.4 Leica Vario-Summicron lens.

I have fond memories of this camera. I remember lusting after it and getting one in 2005. I’ve never had more fun with a digital point and shoot than I did with this camera!

Now, I also had a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 before this and was not impressed with the “Leica” lens on it. It was sharp, but lacked any character.

The LC1 was different. The lens on this camera was phenomenally sharp. And it did have character. It had a Leica signature for sure.




Now being a small sensored point and shoot you’re not going to get any crazy bokeh with it. However, you CAN get some decent bokeh with the right technique/situation, but you also get resolution that looks better than you’d ever expect from five megapixels.

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“JD Omniac” 2006. Panasonic DMC-LC1. As mentioned in the article, you CAN muster out some bokeh from the Panasonic LC1 if you shoot wide open and get in close. Please click on the photo for a larger and better view.

The build is also very good and it almost reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with a big lens on it. I absolutely loved this camera for street shots.

“Fine Arts, Ten Bucks” 2005, NYC. Panasonic DMC-LC1. He had some good stuff for ten bucks! I asked the man what his name was, he said “Call me Papi”…I said “Ok Papi” 🙂

I am sure Panasonic built everything on this camera, including the lens, though it really seems like a Leica designed lens rather than just a Leica “badge” as on other Lumix cameras.

You can also get this camera under the Leica name as the Leica Digilux 2. The Digilux 2 comes in a silver/chrome finish. I much prefer the black body of the Panasonic version, it works much better for unobtrusive street work. The Leica is also more expensive, as expected. Ignore the “red dot” and get the Panasonic! Trust me on this one 🙂

If buying one of these, be forewarned that many have had sensor failures, and you always have to be careful when buying older digital cameras, especially expensive ones.

That said, the Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2 are cult classics and fantastic cameras that prove megapixels aren’t everything.

“Doc Spock” 2007. Panasonic DMC-LC1. Please click on the photo and check out the man’s face to see the outstanding resolution from this 5mp camera. You may have to double click it to see it properly.

Note 11/10/14: I have found the hard drive and some “lost photos” from the DMC-LC1 and have updated the post. The post is now current.

Note 11/4/14: I will be updating this post with more images from the LC1, but first I have to find the old hard drive which contains my images from this camera! It’s been a while since I’ve seen that old drive 🙂

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