What are the Leica Systems?

What are the Leica Systems?

Posted by Paolo Capili on 2023-03-7

What are the systems that they have?

Leica has multiple systems that are either discontinued or not as popular as the 3 main camera categories that we’re going to talk about.

M Line

The most popular and most commonly used Leica system would probably be the Leica M System. It started from 1959 with the Leica M3 and today the newest M Body would be the Leica M11. The M series camera's lens mount stays the same until today, you can also easily find third party brands that make lenses for the M mount.

Why are the Leica M cameras so popular?

From our previous blog, we talked about how collectors and photography enthusiasts have a huge following in regards to Leica cameras. The M line has many special and limited editions that are designed by famous designers and artists. Leica M6 which was discontinued in 2002 is making a comeback on their production line because the sales are booming in the used market. M3 is still so popular for film photographers that the price still holds its value even up to today. Leica M8 is their first digital rangefinder camera that was introduced in September 2007 with 10 megapixels and CCD sensor. Right now with the Leica M11, it boasts a 60 Megapixels CMOS sensor and has the capability to charge in-camera.

SL Line

SL Line is on their 2nd generation of cameras. They are the Full frame Autofocus Interchangeable Leica that was developed with Panasonic and Sigma that shared the new mount called “L-mount”. They have 2 versions of the SL2, The SL2 and SL2-s. The biggest difference between the two is that the SL2 will have 47 Megapixels over the 24 megapixels of the SL2-S.

A lot of working professionals go with the SL line because of the Auto Focus function that it has and the flexibility that it has to take 3rd party lenses like Sigma that can Autofocus.

The only downside of this line is the cost. Competing with different manufacturers like Canon and Sony with more specs and lesser price, The Leica SL will be very hard to pick as it's not as fast as a Canon R5 or the Sony a7R V, but the colors, sharpness and the way that the photos are rendered from the Leica cameras and lenses sets it apart from the other manufacturers.

Q Line

Same as the SL line,The Q is on the 2nd generation of its line up. The Leica Q2 with faster processor, faster AF speed, higher megapixels and now, weather sealing. Basically everything good about the first generation of Q is definitely improved on the Q2. The Leica Q2 is their point and shoot 35mm full frame camera that you cannot change lenses. Its fixed focal length of 28mm with a fast aperture of f1.7. Although you can't change the lens on the camera, it does give you a macro feature and digital crop to 35, 50 and 75 focal lengths which makes the camera more practical.

The Leica Q2 has different special and limited editions, same as the Leica M. They also have a monochrome edition that shoots true black and white images with a sensor that only produces black and white photos.

Out of the 3 Leica systems, which one would you go for? Which one would be the right camera for you? Or would you even invest in a Leica system? Everyone would have different answers to these questions. At the end of the day, a camera is a tool that you use to make images. Use the one that makes you happy.