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Canon XT vs Leica TL2

The Canon EOS Rebel XT (called Canon 350D in some regions) and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2005 and July 2017. The XT 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 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 XT versus Leica TL2
Canon XT Leica TL2
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-50,000
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 3.7 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 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 EOS Rebel XT 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon XT and the Leica TL2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Canon XT vs Leica TL2
Compare XT versus TL2 top
Comparison XT 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 smaller (23 percent) than the Canon XT. Moreover, the TL2 is markedly lighter (26 percent) than the XT. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XT 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 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399i
15.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
16.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
17.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
Notes: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The XT was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the TL2, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the TL2 is 13 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XT) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XT and Leica TL2 sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the TL2 offers a higher resolution than the XT (8MP), but the TL2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 6.41μm for the XT). Yet, the TL2 is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 4 months) than the XT, 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 XT are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XT 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).

XT versus TL2 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 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 XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
2.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
7.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
8.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
10.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
11.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
15.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
16.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
17.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286

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 XT does not. The highest resolution format that the TL2 can use is 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XT 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon XT 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
1.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
15.
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
16.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

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

The XT writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the TL2 uses SDXC cards.

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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 XT 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
1.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
2.
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
13.
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
16.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y

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 XT does not provide wifi capability.

The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the XT has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the XT was succeeded by the Canon Xti. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XT and the Leica TL2? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XT:

  • 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.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2005).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 74%.
  • 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 115k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 127x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 141g 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.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • 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 4 months of technical progress since the XT launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 6 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 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.

XT 06:15 TL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XT 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 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 XT 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 (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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
2.
 
Leica TL23.5/5....4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
7.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
8.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
10.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
11.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
12.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Fujifilm X-T205/5+ +82/1005/54.5/5 Jan 2017 899i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A3....74/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2016 399i
15.
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
16.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
17.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.

Canon XT:
Check Ebay offers
Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price

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 make your choice using the following search menu. 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 XT 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 XT Leica TL2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 1,950
    Sensor Specs Canon XT Leica TL2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 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
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 ..
    Screen Specs Canon XT Leica TL2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon XT Leica TL2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 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 XT Leica TL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon XT Leica TL2
    Battery Type NB-2LH BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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