Firmware 3.1 for the Leica SL2s Fixes Its Biggest Problem

There are some things I wish Leica brought to the Leica SL2s, but that they improved the camera quite a bit. But with firmware 3.0, they unwittingly created another problem. When shooting with the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron SL, I found it had slower performance than Panasonic and Sigma’s lenses. This really became noticeable when I’d stop the lens down and shoot in manual mode. But that’s apparently now been fixed. And we’ve updated our Leica SL2s review accordingly.

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We’re still giving it the Editor’s Choice Award for the insane durability it has, great battery life, and image quality. I mean, Leica Apochromatic lenses are a thing of beauty. The autofocus is surely fast, but it’s not as reliable or as smart as Canon or Sony’s. Leica should bring more to the Leica SL2s. I still think it’s missing a lot of big things. However, the autofocus is now really great.

Here’s the snippet from our Leica SL2s review discussing the 3.1 firmware update.

Leica SL2s Firmware 3.1 Update

Update: June 6th 2022. Leica realized they made a grave error with their last firmware update. In fact, firmware 3.1 addresses and explains the issue. Indeed, the reason why the performance was so slow even with Leica’s own lenses is because there was a shutter delay. You could easily see and feel it. But it was incredibly apparent once you stopped the lens down. However, this only happened with Leica Summicron SL lenses. This makes a whole lot of sense as it was the slowest I’d ever experienced this camera and lens. But Firmware 3.1 addresses that issue. And indeed, the Leica 28mm f2 Summicron SL is far better than Panasonic’s primes and even Sigma’s offerings in my recent tests.

This firmware update came out recently from the date of writing this update. And so I decided to test the Leica SL2s and Summicron 28mm f2 lens at the Jackson Heights Pride parade along with a dinner in Queens. I found the following:

  • The new Eye/Face/Body detection isn’t as good as Canon or Sony’s. Leica’s autofocus profile parameters are a bit odd. And even when going through the menu, it isn’t really clear how you can ensure that it picks a subject and keeps that one specifically locked in. This is critical with moving subjects in the AF-C mode for photojournalism. This parameter needs some work, but it isn’t at all bad.
  • Autofocus for Face and eye detection in low light is awesome. But it’s best when there are fewer subjects and in the AF-S mode.
  • When you want to photograph a multitude of subjects, the Multi-field autofocus type is still the best option.
  • Out of 233 images, I had 2 missed shots.

The Leica SL2s indeed has great autofocus performance. And it surely can keep up with the speed of Canon and Sony. But it isn’t always as smart. It also lacks their AI databases.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.