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Leica firmware updates improve usability of full-frame Q and SL cameras

Create: 08/08/2016 - 22:01
Leica Q and SL

Leica has released updates for two of its full-frame mirrorless cameras – the Q and SL.

Each update provides different features and functionality for the digital cameras.

Firmware update 2.0 for the fixed-lens Q now allows the photographer to select DNG as a recordable format. DNG is Leica’s RAW format.

Previously, photos could only be recorded as JPG or DNG+JPG.

Other significant changes include:

  • Longest shutter speed is now 120 seconds, up from 30 seconds.
  • When using the accessory electronic viewfinder, pressing the “Play” or “Menu” button turns on the LCD screen and shows either a photo (“Play”) or the camera’s control menus (“Menu”), respectively.
  • The spirit level display remains on screen even after pressing the shutter release.
  • If there is no face in the photo, the camera switches away from face detection to multifield autofocus.

PDF See all of the changes in Leica’s PDF for Firmware Update 2.0 for the Leica Q.


Leica’s firmware update for the SL offers the photographer greater control over the camera, particularly when it’s tethered to a computer.

When working in conjunction with Leica Image Shuttle 3.4 and the Leica Tethered Plug-in 1.1.0 software, nearly all aspects of the Leica SL can be controlled when it is connnected to a computer via a USB 3.0 connection.

In addition to being able to set the shutter speed, aperture, ISO value and autofocus, the computer also can be used to take a photo, which can then be displayed immediately on the computer’s monitor in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 CC.

PDF See all of the changes in Leica’s PDF for Firmware Update 2.1 for the SL.

Meanwhile, Leica also announced that the Leica R-Adapter L (US$749) is now available and allows lenses from the Leica R film cameras to be fitted to the SL. The adapter is intended for lenses made after 1976. In addition to maintaining infinity focus, it also supports aperture-priority metering.

Both firmware updates can be downloaded from Leica’s product support page:

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.