Emmanuel in the Promised Land

When the opportunity arose for me to visit Leica in Wetzlar, I felt like a child about to be turned loose in a toy store – excited, impatient, and nervous. I packed my small suitcase and a Leica Q2, and boarded the flight to Germany. Final destination? The heart of all things Leica – Leitz-Park in Wetzlar.

My short stay began with a visit to the old town. Wandering the narrow streets, emulating the legendary walks of Oskar Barnack and the legions of Leica fans who have followed him for a century, this was, without doubt, a photographic pilgrimage. Later, I met my hosts and colleagues and toured the museum and factory. Everywhere, the weight of history flirts with technical modernity. We were shown century-old cameras before being schooled in cutting-edge design and optics. This poignant and powerful contrast cannot be matched by any other company. Only Leica is capable of such a feat! We ended the evening with an excellent dinner at the Burg Gleiberg restaurant, a few kilometres from Wetzlar. Once again, the seamless blending of history and modernity was inescapable as we enjoyed a friendly meal in a medieval setting.

The next day brought the big reveal: the Leica SL3. Putting the impressive list of technical capabilities to the side, there is an attention to detail and a quality of craftsmanship that are the contemporary iteration of the Leica heritage. The SL3 combines high resolution (60MP), precise and reliable autofocus, a robust articulated screen, ergonomic body, improved interface, etc. I had the opportunity to use the camera throughout the day. In the studio environment with flash, in a dark bar with beer as well as outdoors, the SL3 proved to be a reliable tool – pleasant, even familiar to use. The results were spectacular and certainly worthy of today’s “medium format” cameras!

I used the outstanding SL lenses as well as M lenses, all with great success. The superb viewfinder of the SL3 was perfect, even when shooting wide open with demanding M lenses like the Noctilux-M 75mm f1.25 ASPH. The sensor, calibrated to use M lenses, provided superb results at all apertures, even at very high ISO settings. I took photos at ISO 12,500 in low light, producing files that were sharp, rich in micro-contrast and capable of great enlargement.

This is a camera that will please the most demanding photographer. From commercial to landscape, from reportage to the movie-set, the versatility, robustness and the unbeatable results from Leica’s latest offering, make it the ideal tool for today’s demanding image makers and content creators.

The SL3, like the M11-P and the Q3, is the apogee of camera achievement. While simply concentrating on what is essential, Leica married tradition and modernity like no other camera manufacturer can. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have photos to take. Auf Wiedersehen.


As you can imagine, the demand is very high and Leica will not be able to satisfy everyone at the same time. We therefore invite you to place your order and we will do our best to deliver the camera to you as soon as possible.

Finally, we will have a hands-on demo day for the new Leica SL3 with Leica rep extraordinaire Michael Lee. It will be held on Saturday, March 9 from 1pm to 4pm at our 26 Notre-Dame Est boutique. Join us to try this little wonder!