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Canon T1i vs Leica T

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i (called Canon 500D in some regions) and the Leica T (Typ 701) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2009 and April 2014. The T1i is a DSLR, while the T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T1i
versus
Leica T
Canon T1i   Leica T
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
15.1 MP – APS-C sensor 16.2 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/20p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 3.0" LCD – 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3.4 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g
Canon T1i:
Check Ebay offers
Leica T:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T1i and the Leica T (Typ 701)? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon T1i and the Leica T 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.

The T Typ 701 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the T1i is only available in black.

Size Canon T1i vs Leica T
Compare T1i versus T Typ 701 top
Comparison T1i or T Typ 701 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica T is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon T1i. Moreover, the T Typ 701 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the T1i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T1i nor the T Typ 701 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 T Typ 701 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
7.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
8.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799i
15.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
16.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
17.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 T1i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the T Typ 701, 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

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 T Typ 701 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T1i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T1i and Leica T sensor measures

With 16.2MP, the T Typ 701 offers a higher resolution than the T1i (15.1MP), but the T Typ 701 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.69μm for the T1i) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the T Typ 701 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 1 month) than the T1i, 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 T Typ 701 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica T (Typ 701) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

T1i versus T Typ 701 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the T Typ 701 offers substantially better image quality than the T1i (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
2.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
7.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
8.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
9.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
10.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.712.9154679
15.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
16.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
17.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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 T Typ 701 provides a faster frame rate than the T1i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/20p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T1i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the T Typ 701 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the T Typ 701 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T1i and Leica T in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4/s Y n
2.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon SL1optical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9/s Y n
7.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
10.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7/s Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y n
15.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0/s n n
16.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The T Typ 701 has a touchscreen, while the T1i has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The T1i writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the T Typ 701 uses SDXC 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 EOS Rebel T1i and Leica T (Typ 701) 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SL1Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T10Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
16.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the T Typ 701 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the T1i does not provide wifi capability.

Both the T1i and the T Typ 701 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, while the T Typ 701 was followed by 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 T1i better than the Leica T or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:

  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica T (Typ 701):

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/20p).
  • 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 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 136g or 26 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.
  • 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 5 years and 1 month of technical progress since the T1i launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T Typ 701 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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.

T1i 04:17 T Typ 701

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T1i and the Leica T 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T1i or the T Typ 701 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
2.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
3.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon SL14/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
7.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
8.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
9.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
10.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T104.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 May 2015 799i
15.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
16.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
17.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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.

Canon T1i:
Check Ebay offers
Leica T:
Check Ebay offers

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon T1i vs Leica T

    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 T1i Leica T
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2009 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1,850
    Sensor Specs Canon T1i Leica T
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 16.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 4944 x 3278 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 4.37 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/20p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 75
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 663 1082
    Screen Specs Canon T1i Leica T
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon T1i Leica T
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.4 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T1i Leica T
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon T1i Leica T
    Battery Type LP-E5 BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 384 g (13.5 oz)
    Canon T1i:
    Check Ebay offers
    Leica T:
    Check Ebay offers

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