Leica Launches CL Compact Camera


Legendary premium camera and lens manufacturer Leica added a camera to its portfolio today: the CL, a digital APS-C system camera that’s elegant and discrete.

I had the opportunity to play around with the new compact earlier today at the official UK press launch. The camera is a thing of beauty that feels ‘right’ in the hand and – most importantly – takes great shots. It’s lightweight and WiFi enabled with straightforward and fairly intuitive touchscreen options. It’s compatible with lenses with Leica L-Mount and Leica M/R lenses using M-Adatper L/R-Adapter L. Photo resolution is 24 megapixels. It works well in low light conditions, and you can crank the ISO without terribly grainy results.

Rather than rewrite much more technical mumbo jumbo (of which I only really get about half) I’m going to cut and paste a few key paragraphs from today’s press release:

One of the outstanding features of the Leica CL is its electronic viewfinder with EyeRes technology developed by Leica especially for this camera. With a latency time below the threshold of perception and a resolution of 2.36 million pixels, the EyeRes® viewfinder offers an impressive viewing experience and numerous advantages: As the final image is visible in the viewfinder before the shutter release is pressed, users have complete control over the composition of their subjects.

In combination with the high-resolution, 24 MP, APS-C format sensor of the Leica CL, a Maestro II series processor and fast autofocus with 49 metering points guarantee maximum picture quality in all photographic situations. The Leica CL is not only an impressive still picture camera, this also applies to moving pictures captured with its video function at a resolution of up to 4K at 30 frames per second.


Launched alongside the CL was a new ELMARIT-TL18mm f/2.8 ASPH prime lens. This tiny pancake lens is one of the smallest in its class, weighs only 80g and features super fast autofocus. It’s awesome.

I’m keen to get my hands on a CL (and the 18mm pancake) for a longer session than afforded today (fingers crossed that’ll be during a trip I’m organizing for January) to get a real idea of what it’s like to use.

The Leica CL with the 18mm lens is priced at £3,150; one with an 18-55 zoom lens is £3,275; and the CL body alone costs £2,350. The 18mm lens on its own costs £1,020.

Find out more at uk.leica-camera.com.

About tikichris

Chris Osburn is the founder, administrator and editor of tikichris. In addition to blogging, he works as a freelance journalist, photographer, consultant and curator.
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