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Canon SL1 versus Leica TL

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (called Canon 100D in some regions) and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 and November 2016. The SL1 is a DSLR, while the TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon SL1 vs Leica TL

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SL1 and the Leica TL is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the SL1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon SL1 vs Leica TL
Compare SL1 versus TL top
Compare SL1 and TL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Canon SL1. Moreover, the TL is markedly lighter (6 percent) than the SL1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SL1 nor the TL 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon SL1» 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Leica TL« 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Canon SL2« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T6« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon T5« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« » 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« » 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Leica CL« » 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X2« » 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SL1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 68 percent) than the TL, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon SL1 vs Leica TL

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the TL is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (SL1) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon SL1 and Leica TL sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SL1 offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 16.1 MP of the Leica TL. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.80μm for the TL). Moreover, it should be noted that the TL is much more recent (by 3 years and 7 months) than the SL1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The SL1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

SL1 versus TL MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon SL1» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Leica TL« APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica TL
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X70
Leica CL« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica CL
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----Leica X2
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon SL1 vs Leica TL

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the SL1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SL1 and Leica TL in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Leica TL«- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica TL
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T6
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
Leica CL« »2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 10.0 n n Leica CL
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n Leica TL2
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica T
Leica X2« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X2
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6

Both the SL1 and the TL write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Leica TL«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
Fujifilm X70« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
Leica CL« »Ystereomono----Y--Leica CL
Leica TL2« »Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
Leica X2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica X2
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6

Both the SL1 and the TL have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SL1 was replaced by the Canon SL2, while the TL was followed by the Leica TL2.

Review summary: Canon SL1 vs Leica TL

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SL1 or the Leica TL – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 16.1MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (68 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2013).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica TL:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1040k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 117x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build 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 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SL1 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL comes out slightly ahead of the SL1 (8 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

SL1 07:08 TL

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the SL1 and the TL in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon SL1»Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Leica TL«----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Leica CL« »----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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