What’s Old is New Again: Leica Introduces Vintage Inspired CL Camera to World


To the joy of many, Leica announced it is expanding its range of APS-C cameras with the debut of the new, vintage-styled CL mirrorless camera.

This is the second camera manufactured in Germany by the iconic optics firm and shares technology with its sister, the TL2 camera, which sports a modern design instead of the CL’s decidedly classic approach to the camera’s form factor.

The new CL camera from Leica in black is expected to be available at retail by the end of this month.

While the CL is retro-styled, it is not retro-tech: The new camera will have what Leica calls EyeRes technology that is bespoke for the model.

EyeRes acts as a viewfinder that limits image latency and captures images at a resolution of 2.36 million pixels which produces crystal clear views of their work.

Image via Leica.

The new Leica CL’s shared APS-C sensor enables the device to also take video at resolutions up to 4K and at 30 frames per second. The camera’s Maestro Series II processor, rapid autofocus with 49 metering points work together to help the photographer to get “sharp focus quickly and accurately” according to FStoppers.

With a Wi-Fi system baked into the camera, users can then share their pictures to social media platforms using Leica’s custom CL App that is available for both Android and iOS smartphones. Photographers can also use the app on their phone as another viewfinder or a remote viewfinder for the CL.

The CL was designed with lightweight applications in mind, such as street photography or when a DSLR may be too much, and towards this end the engineers have made the majority of the camera’s functionality accessible via the top plate on the camera, including two dials for aperture settings, shutter speed, ISO value, and exposure compensation.

Using a bayonet mount, the Leica CL becomes compatible with TL and SL lens systems with focal lengths from 17mm to 200mm. Leica M and R-lenses can be used on the CL with an adaptor. Compatible lenses include three zoom lenses, Super-Vario- Elmar-TL 1:3.5–4.5/11–23 ASPH, Vario-Elmar-TL 1:3.5–5.6/18–56 ASPH, and the APO- Vario-Elmar-TL 1:3.5–4.5/55–135 ASPH, as well as four prime lenses: the Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/18 ASPH., Summicron-TL 1:2/23 ASPH, Summilux-TL 1:1.4/35 ASPH, and the APO- Macro-Elmarit-TL 1:2.8/60 ASPH.

Image via Leica.

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