The Right Balance
Lavonne Cheah 

Leica Camera AG has expanded its APS-C System product portfolio with its latest Leica CL. The new camera unites innovative technologies, extremely easy handling and iconic design. It makes for the perfect everyday companion, especially for spontaneous shots.

The Leica CL is a gorgeous little box. It’s a compact, rangefinder-style camera with a built-in viewfinder, a touchscreen with customisable menus, and innovative manual controls. It is actually the second model made in Germany that uses the Leica APS-C System. The first is the Leica TL2.

The CL has the same 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and Maestro II image processor as the TL2 with fast autofocus through 49 points, guaranteeing maximum picture quality. The video function is just as impressive, capturing moving pictures at a resolution of up to 4K at 30 frames per second.

One of the outstanding features of the 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 users complete control over the composition of their subjects.

The Leica CL is also equipped with an integrated Wi-Fi module. There’s no USB port except for a single UHS-II-supported SD card slot. The only way to get images and videos off the camera is to use Leica’s iOS or Android app to wirelessly transfer images to a phone or tablet.

In addition to this, the remote function of the app lets mobile devices be used as an off-camera viewfinder or for altering exposure parameters – for example when shooting with the self-timer function or from unusual angles.

At a glance, the CL boasts a simplistic design in Leica’s compact system camera class. The controls are located at the top plate, positioned conveniently so shots can be made without having to take the eye away from the camera.

In addition to the electronic viewfinder, there are two dials for setting the aperture, shutter speed ISO value, and exposure compensation. The top display plate instantly provides information about all relevant settings and exposure parameters.

The CL is compatible with Leica’s TL mount system, which boasts a total of seven lenses, including a new, compact 18mm f/2.8 option. It’s also compatible with the seven lenses in the SL system, and Leica offers mount adapters to use M- and R-mount lenses on it.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 265.