Leica put all of its best specs into the new $6,995 SL3

The new $6,995 Leica SL3 has a 60-megapixel sensor. | Image: Becca Farsace / The Verge

Today, Leica announced the new SL3, the latest version of its full-frame mirrorless camera system that succeeds the SL2 from 2019. Inside its all-metal body are the guts of the Leica Q3 that launched last spring. It includes a 60-megapixel sensor, improved autofocus, and the ability to shoot video in 8K. But what sets the SL3 apart is hardware that’s better suited for pros, including a very large hand grip for extended use and IP54 water resistance for more peace of mind out in the elements.

There is no mistaking that the SL3 is a Leica with that huge logo on the front.

Outside of specs, what sets the SL3 apart from the SL2 is a slightly smaller size, although it’s still very large and in charge, and hardware tuned for a more user-friendly and efficient experience. Changes include an extra programmable dial on top of the camera for quicker controls, shifting all the rear menu buttons to the right for better use with a single thumb and swapping its power switch for a power button with an LED indicator around it for power and battery information at a glance. There is also a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a tilting 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen, a CFexpress Type B slot in addition to SD, and even a timecode interface.

Internally, Leica has also attempted to make the software both easier to navigate and quicker to understand. Icons are simpler with more contrast, and the video menu is differentiated from the photo menus via color (red for photo, yellow for video). But most importantly, Leica has taken a page out of Nikon’s book by encouraging the customization of buttons and dials. There are endless options for personalization of the three external dials and many of the buttons, along with the ability to move and customize internal menu icons. So if you fancy remapping entire camera systems, the SL3 will provide endless amounts of entertainment and hopefully lead to more efficient shooting as well.

Something that hasn’t changed, though, is the Leica price tag. The Leica SL3 is $6,995 for the body alone, which is more expensive than top-tier cameras from Nikon or Sony. But if clean, minimal German design is more your thing, the SL3 has all of Leica’s best specs in a full-frame body built for pros.