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Leica CL Vario Kit

24-megapixel APS-C sensor mirrorless camera with 18-56mm zoom lens and Wi-Fi®

2 Reviews | 1 question

Item # 91019305

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Overview

Our take on the Leica CL Vario Kit

The Leica CL combines classic and contemporary features in a conveniently compact rangefinder-style design. It's an ideal camera for travel and everyday photography. Easy to use and completely unobtrusive, the CL is discreetly sized so you can keep a low profile when you're out shooting street scenes or candids.The included 18-56mm zoom lens has you covered for all kinds of different shooting situations. Its superior optical design ensures sharp, clear images with smooth, gorgeous backgrounds.

A modern retro-styled camera with undeniable appeal

The Leica CL combines classic and contemporary features in a conveniently compact rangefinder-style design. It's an ideal camera for travel and everyday photography. Easy to use and completely unobtrusive, the CL is discreetly sized so you can keep a low profile when you're out shooting street scenes or candids.The included 18-56mm zoom lens has you covered for all kinds of different shooting situations. Its superior optical design ensures sharp, clear images with smooth, gorgeous backgrounds.

Leica CL

The Leica CL combines a luxury design with state-of-the-art technology (18mm lens and strap not included).

The CL's high-speed Maestro II processor gives you high-resolution, low-noise imaging up to ISO 50,000. In continuous shooting mode, it can capture up to 10 frames per second at full resolution. All that processing power also enables crisp, accurate contrast-based autofocus with face detection and subject tracking. Focus peaking helps you achieve sharp manual focus when you want artistic control.

A powerful fusion of digital and mechanical, manual and automatic

A high-resolution electronic viewfinder gives you a bright frame for easy, ergonomic composition and shooting. You can also use the CL's 3" LCD touchscreen to compose your shots. Touch shooting and familiar gesture controls allow for seamless, intuitive navigation while shooting or reviewing images.

Top-plate dials give you smooth manual control over the CL without having to move your eye from its electronic viewfinder. But if you're more comfortable letting the camera call the shots, there are aperture and shutter priority shooting options to fall back on. Or you can go full auto and use one of the CL's preprogrammed scene modes to let the camera choose all the appropriate settings for your situation.

Smartphone compatibility adds convenience and control

Transfer images from the CL to your mobile device for instant sharing using the camera's built-in Wi-Fi. The Leica CL app has a remote control function that lets you set aperture and shutter speed and also triggers the shutter release for self-timer shots, group portraits, and shots taken from odd angles.

Product Highlights:

  • 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • includes Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH zoom lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 27-84mm)
  • built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing and control from smart devices
    • free Leica CL app for Apple® or Android™ devices
  • lightweight magnesium alloy body with machined aluminum top and bottom plates
  • compatible with Leica L-mount and T-mount lenses
  • Maestro II series image processor allows for fast autofocus and low-noise images
  • 3" high-resolution (1.04-million-dot) LCD touchscreen
  • allows touch-focusing, touch-shooting, and gesture controls
  • top-plate LCD screen lets you confirm settings at a glance
  • 2.36-million-dot EyeRes® electronic viewfinder with eye sensor for automatic switching between viewfinder and LCD screen
  • 49-point contrast-detection autofocus system
  • focus peaking allows for sharp manual focus
Exposure Modes and Controls:
  • continuous shooting mode: up to 10 frames per second at full resolution
  • shutter speed range: 30-1/8,000 seconds (up to 1/25,000 seconds with electronic shutter)
  • ISO sensitivity range from ISO 100-50,000
  • auto, program, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, and manual exposure modes
  • 13 scene modes for different subjects and environments
  • flash sync speed: 1/180 seconds with compatible external flash unit (no built-in flash)
  • interval timer shooting for time-lapse photos and videos
File Formats and Storage:
  • still image storage modes: JPEG, RAW (DNG)
  • top JPEG resolution (pixels): 6,000 x 4,000
  • MP4 movie files with stereo sound
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording at 30p
  • shoots Full HD video at 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • records photos and video onto SD memory cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable BP-DC 12 battery and AC charger
  • neck strap
Dimensions and Warranty:

What's in the Box:

  • Leica CL camera body (black)
  • Body cap (installed)
  • Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH zoom lens (black)
  • E-52 front lens cap (installed)
  • Rear lens cap (installed)
  • Lens hood (12425)
  • BP-DC12 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V 1200mAh 8.7Wh)
  • BC-DC12 battery charger (8.4V 0.65A)
  • 63" US power cord (C7 non-polarized)
  • 26" Euro power cord (C7 non-polarized)
  • 43" x 3/4" Black leather neck strap
  • Lens pouch
  • Quick Start Guide (English)
  • Quick Start Guide (German)
  • Guarantee Card (camera)
  • Quality Assurance card (camera)
  • Instructions (lens)
  • Guarantee Card (lens)
  • Declaration of Conformity
  • Your benefits as a registered Leica customer

Awesome image quality, and while my Leica D-Lux 109 is closer in comparison to feel of the M4's I used in the 1970's, the organization of controls on this camera, once learned, make sense. Haptics are good, feel is good...and did I say the images are fantastic?

Anonymous, New York, NY

Reviews

Leica CL Vario Kit Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Leica CL Vario Kit

Anonymous from New York, NY on 4/22/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome image quality, and while my Leica D-Lux 109 is closer in comparison to feel of the M4's I used in the 1970's, the organization of controls on this camera, once learned, make sense. Haptics are good, feel is good...and did I say the images are fantastic?

Pros:

Cons:

Exquisite

Peter from Montclair, NJ on 1/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A perfect 21st century Leica rangefinder. Intuitve and exquisite.

Pros:

Cons:

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi Built-in
Touchscreen Yes
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-85mm
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom N/A
Filter Diameter 52mm
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash No
HDMI Output No
Memory
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Image
Sensor Size APS-C
Megapixels 24.24
Image Stabilization None
Highest Resolution 6000 x 4000
4K Video Yes
Video Resolution 3840 x 2160
Dimensions
Width (inches) 5-1/2
Height (inches) 3-1/8
Depth (inches) 1-15/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 13.8
Warranty
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

Camera Features
Lens Features

Camera Features

Overview: The Leica CL Vario Kit consists of the Leica CL interchangeable lens camera and the Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH zoom lens. The kit includes a rechargeable battery, battery charger, and leather neck strap.

CL Camera Body: The all-black Leica CL has the classic looks of a 35mm film camera with the latest technology of a DSLR. The top plate and base plate are made of machined anodized aluminum. The front and rear shells are made of magnesium with an elegant leather wrapper. The camera is handcrafted at the Leica factory in Wetzlar, Germany.

APS-C Image Sensor: The CL is equipped with an APS-C sized (23.6 x 15.7mm) CMOS image sensor with 24.96 total/24.24 million effective pixels. The image sensor has a 3:2 aspect ratio. Coupled with the APS-C sensor is a MAESTRO II generation image processor.

Lenses: The CL has the L-bayonet mount for Leica TL- and SL-lenses. With the appropriate adapter, you can use Leica M or R lenses with the camera.

Monitor: The camera has a 3" TFT LCD touchscreen monitor with 1.04 MP resolution. The touch controls are similar to those on most mobile devices, with tap, swipe, pinch, and spread actions. On the top plate is a small LCD screen (128 x 58 pixels) to indicate camera settings.

Viewfinder: In addition to the LCD monitor, the CL is equipped with the 2.36MP EyeRes Viewfinder with 1024 x 768 resolution and 0.74 x ±4 diopter settings. An eye sensor near the viewfinder automatically switches from the viewfinder to the monitor.

Memory Cards: The CL has a single slot that will accept SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards. The camera is compatible with UHS-I and UHS-II high-speed cards.

Battery: The camera is powered by the BP-DC12 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.2V 1200mAh, 8.7Wh). The battery charges is approximately 140 minutes using the supplied BC-DC12. A fully charged battery has the capacity for approximately 220 shots.

Top-Mounted Controls: The top panel has two setting wheels on either side of the shutter release. The controls for the wheels can be assigned to numerous functions, including shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO sensitivity. You can also press the button in the center of the left setting wheel to select the recording mode.

Still Image Types/Sizes: The CL can record still images in JPEG in 3:2 aspect ratio in three sizes: 24MP (6000 x 4000), 12MP (4272 x 2856), and 6MP (3024 x 2016). You can also record uncompressed DNG files at 6016 x 4014 (24 MP). If desired, you can record both JPEG and DNG files simultaneously.

Movie Recording: Movies are recorded in MP4 format. Video recordings can be up to 29 minutes in length, with a maximum file size of 4 GB. You can choose from the following resolutions:

  • 4K: 3840 x 2160p, 30 fps
  • Full HD: 1920 x 1080p, 60 fps or 30 fps
  • HD: 1280 x 720p, 30 fps

Recording Modes: The Leica CL offers the following Recording Modes:

  • P (Automatic Program): The camera automatically sets the aperture and shutter speed based on the exposure metering.
  • S (Shutter Priority): Lets you set the shutter speed, while the camera chooses the aperture setting based on the exposure metering. Shutter speed range is 30s to 1/25000 (up to 1/8000 with mechanical shutter; beyond that with electronic shutter)
  • A (Aperture Priority): Lets you choose the aperture setting, while the camera chooses the shutter speed based on the exposure metering. Aperture range with the included lens is f/3.5 to f/16.
  • M: (Manual): Full manual setting lets you set both the shutter speed and aperture.
  • Movies: Records 4K or HD movies
  • Scene: Preset modes for shooting in specific situations: fully automatic, sport, portrait, landscape, night portrait, snow/beach, fireworks, candlelight, sunset, digiscoping, miniature, panorama, and HDR.

Drive Modes: The menu offers the following drive modes:

  • Single: Normal, single image recording.
  • Continuous Shooting: In Continuous Shooting mode, you can choose from High, Medium, or Low Speed. At high speed, the camera can record up to 10 frames per second at full resolution. The maximum number of photos that can be taken at one time is 140 (JPEG only) or 33 (DNG+JPEG).
  • Interval: For shooting a series of photos over an extended period, you can set the camera to record a specific number of images over a set amount of time. You can even delay the beginning of the recording. In the menu, you can select the following:
    • Number of Frames: 1 to 9999
    • Interval between Frames: 1 second to 24 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds
    • Countdown to First Shot: 1 second to 24 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds
  • Self Timer: You can set the self timer to 2 seconds (to avoid camera shake) or 12 seconds (to allow the photographer time to get into the picture)
  • Exposure Bracketing: Exposure Bracketing lets you take three images, each with different exposure compensation. Bracketing range is ±3 EV in 1/3 EV increments.

Focus Methods: The Leica CL utilizes contrast-based autofocus with 49 metering points. You can select from the following auto focusing methods: single point, multi-zone, face detection, and touch AF.

Metering: The CL lets you choose from three methods of measuring the light of the scene you're about to shoot. You can select the following metering methods: Multi-zone, center-weighted, and spot metering.

Exposure Compensation: You can adjust the exposure above or below the metered exposure. The range of exposure compensation is ±3 EV in 1/3 EV increments.

White Balance: The Leica CL offers automatic white balance correction, as well as the following presets: Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen Lighting, Shadow, Electronic Flash, Memory 1, Memory 2, and a manual color temperature setting.

ISO Sensitivity: You can adjust the ISO sensitivity manually or automatically. Manual settings range between ISO 100 and ISO 50000.

External Flash: The camera does not have a built-in flash. On the top of the camera is an ISO accessory shoe with center and control contracts for Leica flash units. Flash synchronization is 1/180 second. You can also adjust the exposure with flash by ±3 EV in 1/3 EV increments.

Built-in Wi-Fi: The camera has built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) for connecting to your smartphone or tablet. Using the Leica CL app on your device, you can remotely control the camera, and manage images on the camera's memory card. You can see the camera's live view on your device, perform Touch AF, change settings, trigger the shutter release, and start/stop video recordings. Images on the memory card can be viewed, rated, or deleted, shared on social media sites, or stored on your smart device in full resolution. The Leica CL app is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later. It is also compatible with Android devices running version 4.1 and up.

Lens Features

Included Lens: The Leica CL Vario kit includes the Vario-Elmar-TL 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH zoom lens. The camera has the Leica L-bayonet mount, and is also compatible with the Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8 ASPH prime lens.

Lens Hood: The lens includes a petal-shaped lens hood (12425) to protect the front element, and to block stray light from entering the lens. The lens hood adds approximately 1-3/4" to length of the lens, when installed. When not in use, it can be reverse-mounted on the lens for storage.

Specifications:

  • Focal Length: 18-56mm
  • 35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28-85mm
  • Type of Mount: Leica L bayonet type (with contact strip)
  • Filter Diameter: 52mm
  • Focusing Range: 11.8" (0.3m) to infinity at 18mm; 17.7" (0.45m) to infinity at 56mm
  • Focusing Modes: Automatic (AF) or Manual (M), in AF mode manual override possible at any time
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/16 (at 18mm); f/5.6 to f/16 (at 56mm)
  • Lens Construction: 10 elements in 7 groups (including 4 aspherical surfaces)
  • Angle of View:
    • At 18mm: 75° Diagonal, 62° Horizontal, 41° Vertical
    • At 56mm: 28° Diagonal, 23° Horizontal, 15° Vertical
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 2.476", Length: 2.682" (3.192" w/caps)
  • Weight: approximately 9 ounces

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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