When it comes to cameras that are built like tanks, the technology often becomes dated before the rugged body itself. Unless, of course, new tech is added through firmware. The Leica SL2 is one of those cameras. During our initial review, we called the camera the most durable mirrorless on the market alongside the Olympus EM1-X. But, now, the SL2 has updated firmware. While the firmware doesn’t bring any major overhauls to the areas, we found a little lacking for the price point — like autofocus — the last few updates have greatly expanded the camera’s usability.
I tested the Leica SL2 with updated firmware 5.1 and updated our Leica SL2 review with the following:
Leica has launched a few updates since the SL2 first launched, with many of them focusing on usability features. With firmware 5.1, the SL2 now has the same firmware number as the SL2S. Firmware 5.1 improves the camera’s compatibility with Profoto lighting. On the SL2S, we found that Profoto lights worked seamlessly using this latest transmitter.
Moving backward through the lists of SL2 updates, the previous firmware, 4.0, added more customization options to the controls, including controlling ISO with the thumbwheel or front dial. Photos (and videos) can now be tagged quickly by simply pushing up on the joystick. This is a really efficient way to mark your favorite images in the field. The update also allows the ISO to be adjusted in smaller increments, which is great for having more control over the final exposure. The list also includes improvements to metering, exposure, depth of field preview, and bug fixes.
Something about the SL2 body makes me slow down and put more thought into the composition. Maybe it’s the rugged, heavy feel. Or maybe it’s the beautiful black and white modes. Whatever it is, I really enjoyed shooting with the SL2. The menu system is wildly different from most cameras out there, but I found it quite refreshing. To really keep the rugged camera withstanding the test of time, however, it’s going to need some firmware updates for the autofocus system in the future.
Leica SL2 Firmware Update History Details
Here’s the history of the Leica firmware updates:
• Flash photography with Profoto units improved
• Firmware version numbers SL2 and SL2-S aligned
PHOTO & VIDEO
- NEW: Direct setting of ISO sensitivity via thumbwheel/front dial
- NEW: Configurable time before automatic WLAN shutdown ( Wi-Fi Sleep Mode )
- NEW: Photo and video tagging via joystick
- ADVANCED: Additional function support for L-Mount-Alliance lenses
- ADVANCED: Additional functions for direct access via FN button
- IMPROVED: AF metering method Person Detection allows the selection of the primarily focused eye
- IMPROVED: ISO settings in finer increments (1⁄2EV or 1⁄3EV)
- IMPROVED: Power saving mode can be completely deactivated (no AF system shutdown when recording via HDMI)
- IMPROVED: Bugfixes in the firmware
- NEW: Quick change of AF metering position between most recently used position and image center _NEW: Exposure and depth of field preview
- IMPROVED: Geotagging (via Leica FOTOS)
- IMPROVED: Aperture setting in T-stops (1⁄2 and 1⁄3 increments) in Cine Mode
- IMPROVED: HDMI output compatibility with Leica FOTOS
- IMPROVED: HDMI output compatibility with USB connection