Leica CL Review

Leica CL Review: Mirrorless system camera Leica CL and 2.8/18 mm announced – Now with electronic viewfinder

With the CL, Leica announces a new mirrorless system camera with APS-C sensor that rounds off the TL2 at the top. It is equipped with the Leica L bayonet and therefore also accepts full format lenses. In contrast to the TL2, which is based almost exclusively on touchscreen operation, the CL has a few buttons and a slightly smaller touchscreen, but comes with a built-in electronic viewfinder.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very good processing
  • Good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • Mini-Info-Display shows the most important settings
  • Simple, yet effective operation

Cons

  • High power consumption, even in standby
  • No connections
  • Missing handle bar for better grip
  • In contrast to the TL hardly used touch screen

The Leica CL is a mirrorless system camera with APS-C sensor, which unlike the TL2 has a built-in electronic viewfinder. [Photo: Leica]

With the CL, Leica is adding a more classic model to the extremely modern TL. With a smaller screen, but with an electronic viewfinder and more buttons and even a mini info display, Leica’s aim with the CL is to appeal to the more classic photographers. This is matched by the retro design in the style of a Leica M, but in a much more compact APS-C format. In the test, the CL has to show what the operating concept with the nevertheless few simple controls is good for and what the image quality is like.

 

The rear touchscreen of the Leica CL is slightly smaller than that of the TL2, but it has a few control buttons and an electronic viewfinder. Unlike its TL sister models, the Leica CL makes hardly any use of the touch screen. For this purpose the CL offers a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder. [Photo: Leica]

The housing of the Leica CL resembles a classic rangefinder camera. It consists of two magnesium shells, which are covered with leather for a better grip. The base and top plate are made of aluminium. [Photo: Leica]

On the top, the Leica CL offers two dials and an OLED status display. [Photo: Leica]

In contrast to the extremely modern TL2 with its pure touch operation and no viewfinder, Leica has incorporated some more conservative elements in the CL without throwing modernity overboard. As with the TL2, the case is very simply designed and comes in a rounded brick design, but without any handle. Instead of milling the housing from a solid block of aluminium, only the base and top plate are made of aluminium, while a magnesium alloy is used for the front and rear housing shell. In contrast to the TL2, there is also a non-slip “leather lining” and no “bare” aluminium. Thanks to the electronic viewfinder on the left, the CL thus resembles a rangefinder camera. The electronic viewfinder is to show a 2.36 million pixel resolution image with a 0.74x magnification equivalent to a small image without delay. The resolution is 1,024 x 768 pixels (x3 subpixels), giving an aspect ratio of 4:3, which leaves room for status displays below the 3:2 viewfinder image.

Compared to the TL2, the rear display of the CL has shrunk considerably. It is arranged centrally and measures a good 7.5 centimetres diagonally. It is permanently installed and offers touch control including gesture control, as known from the TL2. Unlike the TL2, the back of the CL offers some controls. Three buttons (Play, Fn and Menu) are located on the left of the display, and a four-way controller is located on the right. On the top of the CL, in addition to the shutter release button, it has two dials and a small OLED status indicator that shows the shooting program, aperture and exposure time. The CL also has a TTL hot shoe, but there is no integrated flash.

The APS-C sensor achieves a resolution of 24 megapixels. The fast Maestro II image processor is responsible for image processing, the CL achieves ten continuous frames per second for 140 JPEG images in succession. The fastest shutter speed is 1/8,000 second, both electronically and mechanically. The autofocus works with 49 measuring fields and is supposed to be very fast. Videos are recorded at a maximum of 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) at 30 frames per second and stored as MP4. Thanks to the integrated WLAN, images can be transferred to smartphones, tablets and computers. Remote control of the camera including live image transmission is also possible via app.

The Leica Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. has a particularly flat design and, together with the CL or the T/TL/TL2, makes a very compact wide-angle combination (27 mm corresponding to 35 mm). [Photo: Leica]

Since the end of November 2017, the Leica Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. is available in silver and black at a price of 1,190 Euros. [Photo: Leica]

In addition to the CL, Leica announces the Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph., a new, particularly compact and flat APS-C lens. Although it only offers a light intensity of F2.8, it can be described as a pancake with a thickness of only 20.5 millimeters. It is also very light at 80 grams, and together with an operational CL the weight remains under 500 grams when ready for operation. The small picture equivalent focal length loves at 27 mm, thus it is a wide angle fixed focal length. Despite the compact design, eight lenses are used in six groups. Four aspherical surfaces are designed to minimize optical defects. There was even enough space for an electronic focus ring. The minimum recording distance is 30 centimetres, which, however, allows a maximum reproduction scale of only 1:14. The non-rotating front thread measures 39 millimetres, while the lens measures 62 millimetres in diameter.

Leica also intends to offer sets with the new 18 mm for about 3,500 Euros as well as the 18-56 mm zoom for 3,650 Euros. The Leica Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. will be available in silver and black. The price is just under EUR 1,200, and the market launch was finally early 2018 in the US.

Ergonomics and Workmanship

While the housing of the modern TL is milled from a single block of aluminium, the CL has a classically built light metal housing, which is in no way inferior to the TL in terms of workmanship. The design is very similar to the rangefinder cameras of the M-Series, only smaller. The case is angular at the top and bottom, while the sides are designed in a beautiful round shape. The CL looks absolutely robust, but it lacks splash water and dust protection, which you would expect for the price of almost 2,500 Euros.

The Leica CL looks like a classic rangefinder camera, but it is much more compact and lighter, yet similarly solidly built. [Photo: Leica]

As chic as the design of the CL is, ergonomically it can almost be called a disaster. Although the case has a very generous, very finely grained rubber coating, it hardly gives any grip. Worst of all is the complete absence of a handle bar, the housing is completely smooth and flat at the handle. A thumb cavity on the back is also missing.

As with the TL, the operating concept is very puristic, but relies on keys and wheels instead of the – nevertheless existing – touch screen. That’s a bit of a shame, because the touch functionality would have liked to be used for more control functions, as in the TL, to combine the best of both worlds. Thus, the touch functionality is essentially limited to gesture control in playback mode and an optionally activatable touch autofocus, whereas the menus do not allow touchscreen operation. The fact that the screen is permanently installed, however, is not surprising given the purist design. With a diagonal of 7.5 centimeters and a resolution of 1.04 million pixels, this is standard fare, and the maximum brightness of just under 700 cd/m² is also okay, as this is quite enough for reasonable visibility in bright sunlight.

In contrast to the TL, the CL has a built-in electronic viewfinder, which, with a 0.74x magnification equivalent to a 35 mm image, offers a pleasantly large and, with 2.36 million pixels, also a sufficiently fine viewfinder image. Thanks to the automatic switching by means of a proximity sensor, the CL only needs to be looked at. Although it is not possible to see the entire viewfinder with glasses, the dioptre correction offers a wide adjustment range of +/- 4 dpt. A histogram, grid lines and an artificial horizon can be displayed on the screen and in the viewfinder. The functions are somewhat strangely “hidden” in the menu item “Recording Wizard”. Also useful is the upper info display, which shows the set recording mode and exposure parameters, ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation are also displayed, at least during setting. Thanks to an illumination, this monochrome display can also be read in the dark.

The operating concept of the TL sisters was, or rather is, extremely modern and very touchscreen-heavy. With the CL, on the other hand, Leica accommodates the classic photographer who prefers key operation. Nevertheless, the CL is only sparsely equipped with buttons, only three of which are even labeled. Two buttons are also “hidden” at the top of the dials. They each activate a different dial option. The right one, like the Fn key, can be freely assigned. A long keystroke calls up all eight programmable functions, while a short keystroke calls up the last selected of the eight functions. The knob on the left-hand dial temporarily changes this to the program dial. The dials themselves set the aperture, exposure time and exposure compensation in the semi-automatic mode, program shift and exposure compensation in the program mode, and aperture and exposure time in the manual mode. This is all very catchy and logical. Furthermore, there is the menu key, which, when pressed, calls up a quick menu that can also be freely assigned in seven points. The lowest item in the quick menu or a second press of the menu button brings up the main menu first.

So as soon as you want to set more than the most important exposure parameters, you are quickly in the menu or even the main menu, which might not please every purist. The main menu, like the entire camera, has a minimalist structure. Only the most important things are to be set here, whereby some settings are summarized in a meaningful way. Someone has thought about it and as an experienced photographer you will seldom need to consult the manual. For the fact that the CL is so self-explanatory, one can really praise Leica. However, the downside is that there is only a limited range of functions.

Hidden between the dials, the Leica CL has a small illuminated status display. [Photo: Leica]

The CL is not even sparsely equipped with interfaces – it has none at all! The tripod thread is only on the bottom side in the optical axis and a sufficiently far away flap allows access to the battery and SD memory card. The CL also supports SDHC and SDXC as well as supposedly even UHS-II, which we didn’t notice in the test, though. The measured storage speeds are all also achievable with UHS-I.

To charge the battery, it must be removed. The matching charging cradle is naturally included in the scope of delivery. However, CL is not particularly sparing with energy. According to CIPA measuring procedures, only 220 exposures are possible – even though the CL does not even have an energy-guzzling on-board flash. In practice, the camera becomes more than hand-warm during prolonged operation, it turns out to be a heater. Fortunately it does not become unpleasantly warm. The fact that energy is not handled economically here is something you can feel even when the camera on the tripod is in operation for a few minutes and gets a little more than hand-warm. Even the energy saving mode hardly deserves this name. It is better to switch off the CL “properly”, otherwise the battery will be empty within about twelve hours. From other cameras we are used to more effective energy saving functions up to a complete automatic shutdown.

Equipment

You may not believe it at first sight, but the Leica CL even comes with a fully automatic mode and scene programs. So if you want to, you can adorn yourself with this expensive camera with its noble red dot and still take decent photos even without photography knowledge. The CL even offers a tilt panorama mode, although this works with a relatively low resolution of 8,176 x 1,920 pixels, even though it uses the continuous shooting mode, i.e. potentially the full resolution of 4,000 pixels vertically. Despite the low resolution, there are also sometimes visible stitching errors. The HDR mode, which can also be found in the scene modes and is more than just an image processing effect, works better because three differently exposed photos are actually taken and offset against each other. Those who like picture effects will find a miniature effect among the scene mode programs, but black and white photos can be made by a separate menu item in all shooting programs.

The Leica CL may look classic, but with contrast autofocus, 4K video function and WLAN it is extremely modern. [Photo: Leica]

But actually the Leica CL is built as a camera for photo enthusiasts who like to set the aperture and/or exposure time themselves. It also has an ISO automatic that can be activated even in manual mode. Leica has also thought about the exposure correction function. With automatic sensitivity selection, the aperture, exposure compensation and exposure level can be controlled. By the way, the ISO automatic can be customized. Both the highest sensitivity to be controlled and the maximum exposure time can be set. The latter works not only as a fixed value, but also depending on the focal length, and a factor can even be set so that the threshold can be set shorter than the reciprocal of the focal length.

The bracketing function is also very useful, as it offers a wide range of settings, especially for HDR photographers. Optionally three or five shots can be taken at a distance of one, two or three EV, so maximum shots can be taken in the range of +/- six EV. The whole thing can be combined with exposure compensation of +/- three EV to shift the shooting range depending on the subject. What is also not missing is an interval recording function. It takes up to 9999 photos, which is completely utopian considering the short battery life and the lack of a power supply connection.

The continuous shooting function is also extremely powerful. With almost ten frames per second, the CL is extremely fast. In JPEG, one can practically take a full picture of the memory card, the necessary more than 80 megabytes per second are written away without any problems. In Raw, on the other hand, after 34 shots, the high continuous shooting speed is over. Then the buffer is full and the CL drones along with very irregular shots averaging 1.3 frames per second. After finishing such a series, it also takes 30 seconds to write the data to the memory card. After all, the CL remains fully operable during this time. The memory speed is only about 55 megabytes per second, which indicates that the processor is a bottleneck. It may not be able to keep up with the compression of DNGs, although the use of this universal format is laudable.

The tripod thread of the Leica CL is perfectly aligned with the optical axis. [Photo: Leica]

When it comes to autofocus, the Leica CL works briskly, but does not set any records. It takes about 0.35 seconds from pressing the shutter release button to the actual shot when focusing from infinity to two meters. The CL is by no means slow in this respect. The autofocus works purely on the basis of contrast. In addition, the autofocus offers various modes from multi-field to spot autofocus, tracking AF and touch AF, but these only work if the appropriate option is selected. So working with the multi-field autofocus and temporarily placing it on a subject detail with a fingertip is a cumbersome task. Manual focusing is no problem, here the CL supports the photographer not only with a magnifying glass, but even with a practical peaking function that highlights sharp contrast edges in the subject in colour.

The video mode must first be activated using the program dial, but then waits with 4K resolution at 30 frames per second or Full HD resolution at a maximum of 60 frames per second. A stereo microphone is built in and even the level is displayed and can be adjusted in some steps. In addition, the film look can be adjusted, for example to be able to record particularly vivid colours or black-and-white films. Overall, however, the video functions are limited, there is no manual exposure and, for example, no microphone connection. For simple snapshot moving images, however, the CL is always sufficient. The emphasis here is clearly on photography.

Like the TL, the CL can also be connected to a smartphone or tablet via WLAN to enable remote control via app including live image transmission or to transmit images. The playback mode, on the other hand, is quite rudimentary. Thus, there are no image editing functions, but at least the touchscreen with a few more functions is used. A two-finger gesture zooms or calls up the image index, and scrolling by wiping across the screen is as intuitive as on a smartphone. This is where the modern touch operation of the TL sister models shines through. By the way, the slide show function is nice, it works soundless, but with a soft transition effect. Without an HDMI connection, however, it is limited to the small 7.5 centimeter screen and thus somehow pointless.

The Leica CL does not have a grip bar and is therefore not particularly secure in the hand. Here design was preferred to functionality or ergonomics: Not very German this criteria followed by this manufacturer, let me say [Photo: Leica]

Image quality

To determine the image quality of the Leica CL, we not only took photographs with it in practice, but also tested it with the test software. The Leica Vario-Elmar TL 1:3.5-5.6/18-56 mm asph. was used as the standard zoom. It covers a focal length range from 27 to 84 millimetres equivalent to a small image, but lacks an optical image stabiliser. With its dimensions of around six by six centimetres and the elegant finish (the weight is after all around 250 grams), it is a perfect match for the CL. But we have also tested other lenses at the CL.

The 18-56 mm shows hardly any optical defects like edge darkening, distortion and color fringes. This is not least due to the active image optimization of the CL. Even at wide-angle with open aperture, the image darkens by just under 40 percent. The course is extremely gentle, which makes the edge darkening even less important. Both when zooming in and out, the edge dimming is reduced. Distortion is reduced to less than one percent barrel shape, especially in wide angle, so that it is not disturbing. There is no distortion at the long focal length end. Interestingly, at medium focal length, there is a one percent cushion-shaped distortion, which is more unpleasant than the barrel-shaped distortion at wide angle. It almost seems as if no correction is taking place. Color fringes are not visible on average, and even at maximum they are only just over one pixel wide at short and medium focal lengths, but decrease as you fade and zoom further.

Yawning emptiness: The Leica CL offers no connections whatsoever. USB and HDMI are missing as well as a remote release connector. After all, there is a remote control via app over WLAN. [Photo: Leica]

For a 24 megapixel sensor, the resolution is remarkably low, with a maximum of 46 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) in 35 mm equivalent. Here other cameras easily reach values of 60 lp/mm. A look at the sharpness artifacts and also the tonal value curve reveals why this is so: the CL works with an extremely restrained image processing. The contrasts are only slightly enhanced, there is practically no resharpening. This may be considered welcome for post-processing, but the raw data format is more suitable for post-processing anyway. We prefer to see JPEG as a crisp preparation for photos that can be used without further editing. Thus the pictures have a natural character, but this is hardly in demand nowadays. Fine image details are thus not so well brought out and the resolution is comparatively low.

It is gratifying that the lens achieves almost full resolution both in the image center and at the image edge already at open aperture. While the resolution at medium focal length hardly decreases from a maximum of 46 to 44 lp/mm compared to the wide angle in the image center, it is only 38 lp/mm at the maximum in telescopic position. At the edge of the image, the result is reversed, as here, the resolution is almost the lowest in the wide angle with a maximum of 29 lp/mm, the edge drop is even the strongest here and amounts to almost 40 percent in the maximum, which is already quite clear, but for such a zoom, it is not at all unusual. With a medium focal length of 50 millimetres, there is the highest edge resolution of 33 lp/mm, and accordingly the edge fall-off is significantly lower here than in the wide angle. In telescope position, the edge resolution decreases again to a maximum of 28 lp/mm, thus it is approximately at the wide-angle level, but with a less strong relative edge decrease, as the resolution in the image center is clearly lower in telescope position. By the way, the resolution decreases noticeably beyond F8, you should not necessarily fade further than F11. It makes sense to stop at F16 anyway.

When it comes to image processing, the Leica CL is not only very honest and unobtrusive when it comes to resolution, but also when it comes to noise reduction, which gives it a completely different image than other cameras. First of all, the signal-to-noise ratio at low sensitivities is surprisingly high, reaching almost 45 dB. Up to ISO 400, the value is good at over 40 dB. From ISO 800 on, the value already decreases significantly, but is still acceptable up to ISO 1,600 with over 35 db. Above ISO 1.600, brightness noise becomes noticeable, which increases strongly from ISO 3.200 on. Thereby, the image noise always remains fine-grained, as a barely existing noise suppression can also not lead to a block formation. The CL only seems to intervene in color noise, which remains low up to the highest sensitivity of ISO 50,000.

Although the APS-C sensor of the Leica CL has a resolution of 24 megapixels, the unobtrusive image processing means that less resolution is used in the images than in cameras with more aggressive image processing. [Photo: Leica]

Interestingly, the CL shows astonishingly many details at high sensitivities according to the measurement. Instead of details disappearing in watercolor-like pictures, they simply disappear in the noise at some point. According to the measured value, the images are very detailed up to ISO 1.600, but even up to ISO 12.500 there are no dramatic losses to complain about. The visual inspection actually shows that the finest details are still clearly visible at ISO 3.200, in addition to the distinct brightness noise of course. At higher sensitivities, smaller details, such as a single black hair in front of a gray background, will be lost in noise. Nevertheless, the Leica CL provides a pleasant counterpart to what other manufacturers call “image quality” at higher sensitivities. Some people might like that!

At ISO 400, the input dynamics reach their maximum with over eleven aperture stops. In the ISO 100 to 1,600 range, it is well above ten aperture stops. Above ISO 6.400, the input dynamic decreases significantly; at ISO 6.400 itself, it is still well usable with over nine aperture stops. The output tonal range starts at low sensitivities with extremely good values and moves up to ISO 400 with over 224 of 256 possible brightness gradations. But above that it drops rapidly, at ISO 1.600 there are only 128 steps left, a barely sufficient value for reasonably finely graded brightness gradients.

The color fidelity of the CL is good on average, although Leica does not leave some colors untouched. Cyan, for example, tends to be bluish, green is rendered somewhat pale and red tends to be orange. The manual white balance, on the other hand, is extremely precise and does not deviate even at high sensitivities. The actual colour depth is very good up to ISO 800 with well over four million colours and even above that it only decreases slowly. Up to ISO 3,200, the measured value is good with over two million colours and even at ISO 12,500, over one million colours are still differentiated.

The battery and memory card of the Leica CL share a common compartment on the camera base. However, CL is not particularly economic in its use of energy. The camera gets quite warm and the battery becomes empty relatively quickly. [Photo: Leica]

Conclusion

The Leica CL is a superbly crafted camera, but anything but cheap. From the price-performance ratio one gets much more camera for the money with other manufacturers, but not the Leica-Prestige. The camera, which costs almost 2,500 euros, does a lot of things right and implements ideas that are not available from other manufacturers. This makes the CL not only a very expensive, but also unique camera. Especially the operating concept deviates from the usual paths of Japanese cameras and appears well thought-out in many places. Even if the CL does not necessarily shine with an over-complete range of functions, almost everything important is on board and, above all, well thought out. Moreover, the fact that CL comes from a traditional German manufacturer does not mean that it is not technically up to date. The autofocus is quite fast and the continuous shooting speed is surprisingly high.

Also with the image quality one does not get any standard fare. Leica uses a very restrained image processing, which results in very honest images. The effective resolution seems to be somewhat lower than with cameras with the same sensor resolution, but the images appear more natural and honest. Especially the image noise is significantly less or not at all affected by the CL, so that the results at high sensitivities are visibly noisy, but don’t appear as soft-washed. Many a photographer, as long as he can afford the Leica CL, should like it.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Leica
Model CL (Type 7323)
Sensor CMOS APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)25.0 megapixels (physical)
24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.9 µm
Resolution (max.) 6.016 x 4.014 (3:2)
Video (max.) 3.840 x 2,160 30p
Lens Leica Vario-Elmar-TL 1:3.5-5.6/18-56 mm Asph. (zoom lens)
Video finder EVF, 100% field coverage, 2,360,000 pixels resolution, 1.11x magnification (sensor-related), 0.74x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 4.0 dpt)
Monitor 3,0″
Resolution 1.040,000 pixels
tiltable
rotatable
swiveling
Touchscreen yes
Fully automatic yes
Scene mode automatic
Scene modes 9
Automatic programming yes
Program shift yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
Manually yes
Bulb Long Term Exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function yes, panoramic view
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement, center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/8.000 s
Flash
Synchronous time 1/180 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Leica (M and X series), standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC
GPS
Remote release yes, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Interval recording yes
Storage medium
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 100-50,000
manually ISO 100-50,000
White balance
automatically yes
manual measuring yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields
Speed 0,35 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions 131 x 78 x 45 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 396 g (body only
)649 g (with lens)
Tripod thread on optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manually on the lens
Battery life 220 recordings (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available

 

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Very good processing
  • Good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • Mini-Info-Display shows the most important settings
  • Simple, yet effective operation

Cons

  • High power consumption, even in standby
  • No connections
  • Missing handle bar for better grip
  • In contrast to the TL hardly used touch screen
Manufacturer Leica
Model Elmarit-TL 1:2.8 / 18 mm Asph.
Price (EIA) 1.190,00 EUR
Bayonet connection L-Mount
Focal length 18.0 mm
Luminous intensity (maximum aperture) F2,8
Smallest aperture F16
KB full format no
Lens system 8 lenses in 6 groups incl.
aspherical lens(es
)
Number of aperture blades 7
Close-up limit 300mm
Image stabilizer available no
Autofocus available yes
Water/dust protection no
Filter thread 39mm
Dimensions (diameter x length) 62 x 21 mm
Lens weight 80 g

Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” presented

After last month’s “100 years of bauhaus”, Leica is once again presenting a special edition of the CL mirrorless system camera, the “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi”. Their leather is intended to adorn a unique, urban design, and the compact Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. is the ideal fixed focal length lens for street photography.

The Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” has an urban leather finish and comes with the Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. lens, which is particularly suitable for street photography [Photo: Leica]

Technically, the Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” is identical to the production model. [Photo: Leica]

To whom the name “Jean Pigozzi” means nothing: he is a French-Italian photographer, entrepreneur (founder of a company) and art collector. In addition to the special leather covering and the enclosed strap and Elmarit TL lens, it is technically a completely normal Leica CL with a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, Leica L bayonet, innovative touch screen operating concept in combination with classic controls, electronic viewfinder and WLAN, which connects to the new Leica Photos App. Since June 2019, the Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” is available at a price of 3,750 Euro, Leica did not mention a quantity limit in the press release I have received.

In addition to the lens, the Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” also includes a special belt. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica CL “Urban Jungle by Jean Pigozzi” will be available in a stylish box from 25 June 2019 at a price of 3,750 Euros. [Photo: Leica]

Limited special edition Leica CL “100 Years Bauhaus”: Celebration Of the 100th anniversary

To commemorate the centenary of the Bauhaus this year, Leica is launching a special edition of its CL mirrorless APS-C camera. When it was founded in 1919, the Bauhaus combined art and craftsmanship in a unique way and today stands for art, architecture and design. The Leica CL “100 years of Bauhaus”, limited to 150 pieces, bears only a discreet Bauhaus logo, designed in 1929, on the camera and the carrying strap supplied.

The Leica CL “100 years of Bauhaus” bears the Bauhaus logo from 1929 [Photo: Leica]

The carrying strap of the limited Leica CL “100 years of bauhaus” also bears the famous lettering. [Photo: Leica]

The train was designed in 1929 by Joost Schmidt, a Bauhaus student of the first hour, who influenced the graphic design of the Bauhaus like no other. It was originally intended for the quarterly magazine of the Bauhaus. The CL is finished in silver, while the leather with the embossed lettering is black. Like the silver Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 Asph. which is part of the set, the CL corresponds technically to the series version (for details see further links). The scope of delivery also includes a black leather carrying strap also with the embossed lettering. According to Leica, the subtle embossing is to be in keeping with the no-frills design represented by the Bauhaus, based on the principle “form follows function”. The Leica CL “100 years of bauhaus” set, limited to 150 pieces, will cost 3,750 Euros and will be available from June 2019 in the United States.

Silver version of the Leica CL available from October 2018

The Leica CL, available since November 2017, will be joined by a silver-black version of the traditional German camera manufacturer. This gives the 24 megapixel resolution mirrorless APS-C system camera a variant with a very classic look. Technically, the silver-black Leica CL corresponds to the already available black CL.

Leica CL with Elmarit-TL 1:2.8 18 mm. [Photo: Leica]

Leica CL with Elmarit-TL 1:2.8 18 mm. [Photo: Leica]

Leica CL (Type 7323) Data Sheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5
)25.0 megapixels (physical) and 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.9 µm
Photo resolution
6.016 x 4.014 pixels (3:2)
4.272 x 2.856 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
3.024 x 2.016 pixels (3:2)
Panorama Sweeping panorama8
,176 x 1,920 pixels
Image formats DNG, JPG
Metadata Exif, DCF standard
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
Maximum recording time 29 min
Video format
MP4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
L-Mount

Focus

Autofocus mode Contrast Autofocus
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, brightness adjustable, with touch screen
Info display additional info display (top) with lighting
Video finder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,360,000 pixels, 1.11x magnification factor, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 4.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/8,000 to 30 s (automatic
)1/8,000 to 30 s (manual)
1/25,000 to 30 s (electronic shutter)
Bulb function
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Bracketing function with a maximum of 5 shots, 1 to 3 EV increments, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 50,000 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 50,000 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes Fireworks, Candlelight, Landscape, Night portrait, Portrait, Sunset, Sports, Beach/Snow, and one additional scene mode program
Picture effects Miniature effect, black and white
White balance Automatic, Clouds, Sun, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent lamp, Kelvin Input, Manual 1 Memory
Color space sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 10.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 140 stored photos, max. 33 images in raw
Self-timer Self-timer with interval of 2 s, special features: or 12 seconds
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 9,999 recordings, start time adjustable
Recording functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash no built-in flash availableShoe
: Leica (M and X series), standard center contact
Flash range Flash sync speed 1/180 s
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction, flash exposure compensation from -3.0EV to +3.0EV

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply unit no power supply connection
Playback functions Playback magnifier, image index, slide show function with crossfade effects
Face recognition Face recognition
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation
Special functions Electronic spirit level, Grid fade-in, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles with 6 user profiles
Connections WLAN: available (Type: B, G, N)
AV Connections Audio input: noAudio output
: no
Tripod thread 1/4″ in optical axis
Special features and miscellaneous Maestro 2 image processorTouch
AFEye sensor
for switching between viewfinder and monitorMagnesium housingMicrophone sensitivityadjustableWind noise filter

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 131 x 78 x 45 mm
Weight 396 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Leica BC-DC12 Special Battery ChargerLeica
BP-DC12 Special Battery Bayonet Cover
, Strap, Accessory Shoe Cover, Power Cord (EU, US, local power cord)

 

Previous articlePanasonic G5 Review
Next articleSony A350 Review
Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.