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Christmas Gift Guide

Top dials

Traditional Leica design

Status display

Streamlined back

No grip

Look ma, no connectors

No connectors here either

Nice display

SD card in the battery compartment

Comes with a strap

Leica CL

ISO 160

ISO 400

ISO 1000

ISO 3200

ISO 4000

ISO 6400

ISO 12500

I like the layout, with the side-by-side dials rather than front and back. Pressing the left button changes modes, and you can remap the secondary function on the fly by holding its button down. It defaults to ISO sensitivity.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The CL borrows a lot from the Leica M series, though I think it has most in common with the Leica Q.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It has a tiny status display on top that shows you the current shooting mode, shutter speed, aperture and where relevant, exposure compensation setting.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

By making the top dials multifunctional and mappable on the fly, Leica could get rid of extraneous buttons on the back. A single press of the Fn button lets you change a particular setting; holding it down lets you choose a different setting to be the one-touch option.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

You really have to hold it with two hands.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

To keep the clean lines, Leica eschews such niceties as a USB port for charging. So not only do you have to tote the charger, you also have to tote the power cord, because it doesn't have built-in prongs.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

But I would have liked titling or articulation, even if it means an unsightly hinge. (The plastic bar cutting across the top of the viewfinder eyepiece will not be on the shipping models.)

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It's there because Leica didn't want to put an unsightly door on the side, which is annoying.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

No, the lens isn't red. Sigh.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

View full-resolution image.

(Note: CNET crops images to a 16:9 viewport. The originals are 3:2.)

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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