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Canon SX420 vs Leica TL2

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and July 2017. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and an APS-C (TL2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420 versus Leica TL2
Canon SX420 Leica TL2
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Leica T mount lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/25p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-50,000
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.7 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
0.5 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX420 and the Leica TL2. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the TL2 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon SX420 vs Leica TL2
Compare SX420 versus TL2 top
Comparison SX420 or TL2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL2 is notably larger (29 percent) than the Canon SX420. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX420 nor the TL2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the TL2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The power pack in the TL2 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Leica TL2 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620 3.8 in 2.2 in 1.1 in 6.4 oz 295 n May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Fujifilm X-T20 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-A3 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399i
 
Leica CL 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Nikon D3400 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX420 was launched at a lower price than the TL2, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica TL2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the TL2 is 1225 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the TL2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX420 and Leica TL2 sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the TL2 offers a higher resolution than the SX420 (19.9MP), but the TL2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 1.19μm for the SX420) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the TL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the SX420, and its sensor might 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the 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 SX420 are 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).

SX420 versus TL2 MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the TL2 provides a better video resolution than the SX420. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 720/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX420 and the TL2 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX420 and Leica TL2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX420 has one, while the TL2 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX420 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the TL2 write their files to SDXC cards. The TL2 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the SX420 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 PowerShot SX420 IS and Leica TL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the TL2 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The SX420 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Both the SX420 and the TL2 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX420 replaced the earlier Canon SX410, while the TL2 followed on from the Leica TL. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX420 better than the Leica TL2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the TL2 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 134x69mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the TL2).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

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Advantages of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 19.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/25p).
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • 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 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 8 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX420 08:18 TL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX420 and the Leica TL2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX420 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Fujifilm X-T20+ +82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-A3..74/1004.5/5..4/5 Aug 2016 399i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX420:
Check Amazon price
Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX420 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 1,950
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Leica TL2
    Battery Type NB-11LH BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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