Canon 20D vs Leica TL2
The Canon EOS 20D and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2004 and July 2017. The 20D is a DSLR, while the TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 20D and the Leica TL2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 20D and the Leica TL2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The TL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 20D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL2 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Canon 20D. Moreover, the TL2 is substantially lighter (48 percent) than the 20D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 20D nor the TL2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The power pack in the TL2 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|2.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|3.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|4.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|8.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|9.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|11.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|12.||Canon 300D||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|13.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|14.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|15.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|16.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850|
|17.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 20D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the TL2, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the TL2 is 10 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (20D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24.1MP, the TL2 offers a higher resolution than the 20D (8.2MP), but the TL2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 6.42μm for the 20D). Yet, the TL2 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 10 months) than the 20D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica TL2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TL2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 20D are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 20D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|4.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The TL2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 20D does not. The highest resolution format that the TL2 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 20D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 20D, the Leica TL2, and comparable cameras.
|4.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 20D has one, while the TL2 does not. While the built-in flash of the 20D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The 20D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL2 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 20D and Leica TL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the TL2 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 20D does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 20D (unlike the TL2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the 20D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 20D was succeeded by the Canon 30D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 20D better than the Leica TL2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 20D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2004).
Arguments in favor of the Leica TL2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 72%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 118k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 144x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 371g or 48 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 1.1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Reflects 12 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 20D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 20D and the Leica TL2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 20D or the TL2. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|2.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|3.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|4.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|5.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|8.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|9.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|11.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|12.||Canon 300D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|13.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|14.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|15.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|16.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850|
|17.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 20D vs Leica TL2
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2004||July 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 1,950|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||721||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 20D||Leica TL2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
144 x 106 x 72 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||770 g (27.2 oz)||399 g (14.1 oz)|
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