Canon SX540 vs Leica TL
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and November 2016. The SX540 is a fixed lens compact, while the TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX540) and an APS-C (TL) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||Leica T mount lenses|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 80-3,200||ISO 100-12,500|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0 LCD, 461k dots||3.7 LCD, 1230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|5.9 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|205 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 82 x 92 mm, 442 g||134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS and the Leica TL? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon SX540 and the Leica TL are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the SX540 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 TL is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon SX540. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX540 nor the TL are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX540 has a lens built in, whereas the TL 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 TL can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon G1 X Mark III||115 mm||78 mm||51 mm||399 g||200||Y||Oct 2017||1,299|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon 1300D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850|
|Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
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 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 SX540 was launched at a lower price than the TL, 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.
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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX540 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica TL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the TL 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 SX540 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the TL offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX540 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Leica TL. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 4.80μm for the TL). Moreover, it should be noted that the TL is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the SX540, 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 Canon SX540 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX540 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica TL are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX540 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
|Canon G1 X Mark III||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX540 provides a higher frame rate than the TL. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The SX540 and the TL 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 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 SX540 and Leica TL in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G1 X Mark III||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||9.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL has a touchscreen, while the SX540 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX540 and the TL write their files to SDXC cards. The SX540 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the TL cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 PowerShot SX540 HS and Leica TL and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G1 X Mark III||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the TL has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The SX540 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
The SX540 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the TL has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the TL was succeeded by the Leica TL2. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX540 better than the Leica TL or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 16.1MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the TL requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- 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).
Advantages of the Leica TL:
- 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.
- 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 461k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 205) 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.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 9 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 SX540 and the Leica TL 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX540 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
|Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|Leica TL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Canon 77D||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon 200D||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon G1 X Mark III||+||79/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2017||1,299|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon M6||..||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon 1300D||o||73/100||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|Canon SX720||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|Canon SX530||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|Canon SX710||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|Fujifilm X70||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|Leica TL2||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|Leica T||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850|
|Leica X2||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX540 vs Leica TL
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 SX540||Leica TL|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2016||November 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,695|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||4.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,500 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5.9 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX540||Leica TL|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||205 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||442 g (15.6 oz)||384 g (13.5 oz)|
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