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Leica M10-R vs TL2

The Leica M10-R and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2020 and July 2017. The M10-R is a rangefinder-style mirrorless, while the TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (M10-R) and an APS-C (TL2) sensor. The M10-R has a resolution of 40.9 megapixels, whereas the TL2 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
Leica M10-R
versus
Leica TL2
Leica M10-R Leica TL2
Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica M mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
40.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-50,000
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.7 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
4.5 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
210 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10-R 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 physical size and weight of the Leica M10-R and the Leica TL2 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.

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

Size Leica M10-R vs Leica TL2
Compare M10-R versus TL2 top
Comparison M10-R 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 (17 percent) than the Leica M10-R. Moreover, the TL2 is substantially lighter (40 percent) than the M10-R. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M10-R is splash and dust resistant, while the TL2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
2.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon R5 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 738 g 320 Y Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399 i
6.
 
Leica SL2 146 mm 107 mm 42 mm 953 g 370 Y Nov 2019 5,999 i
7.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
9.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
10.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
12.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695 i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195 i
14.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950 i
16.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 TL2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 76 percent) than the M10-R, 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 Leica M10-R features a full frame sensor and the Leica TL2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the TL2 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M10-R and Leica TL2 sensor measures

With 40.9MP, the M10-R offers a higher resolution than the TL2 (24.1MP), but the M10-R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.57μm versus 3.92μm for the TL2) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10-R is a much more recent model (by 3 years) than the TL2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 M10-R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M10-R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 39.3 x 26 inches or 99.9 x 66 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 31.5 x 20.8 inches or 79.9 x 52.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 26.2 x 17.3 inches or 66.6 x 44 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica TL2 are 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm for good quality, 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M10-R has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The Leica TL2 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

M10-R versus TL2 MP

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.

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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.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none...... ..
2.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p...... ..
3.
 
Canon R5 Full Frame 44.8 8192 54648k/30p25.314.63042 95
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
6.
 
Leica SL2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/60p...... ..
7.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.52491 96
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p...... ..
9.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none...... ..
10.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p...... ..
11.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.22133 86
12.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p...... ..
13.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none...... ..
14.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.41821 88
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.31860 84
16.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.7884 69
17.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.91192 86

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 M10-R 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 variety of features. For example, the M10-R 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M10-R and Leica TL2 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
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.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
2.
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
3.
 
Canon R55760 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Leica SL25760 Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
7.
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
9.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
10.
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
11.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
12.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
14.
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
16.
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
17.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The Leica M10-R has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M10-R 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 M10-R can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

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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 Leica M10-R 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.
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
2.
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
3.
 
Canon R5YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica SL2YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
7.
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
9.
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
10.
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
11.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
12.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
16.
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y

Both the M10-R and the TL2 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The TL2 replaced the earlier Leica TL, while the M10-R does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica M10-R better than the Leica TL2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Leica M10-R:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (40.9 vs 24.1MP) with a 30% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the TL2 launch.


Advantages of the Leica TL2:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • 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 1037k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 261g or 40 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (250 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (76 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2017).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 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.

M10-R 09:11 TL2

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 M10-R and the TL2 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.

Expert reviews

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 (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.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5......4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
2.
 
Leica TL23.5/5....4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
3.
 
Canon R54.5/5..91/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T205/5+ +82/1005/54.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-A3....74/1004.5/54/5 Aug 2016 399 i
6.
 
Leica SL24/5....4.5/54/5 Nov 2019 5,999 i
7.
 
Leica Q2....84/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
8.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
9.
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
10.
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
12.
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695 i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195 i
14.
 
Leica SL4/5..84/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i
15.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5....4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950 i
16.
 
Leica M9......4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999 i
17.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Leica M10-R:
Check Amazon price
Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price

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.

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    Specifications: Leica M10-R 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 Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2020 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 8,295 USD 1,950
    Sensor Specs Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 40.9 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7864 x 5200 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.57 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 4.78 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    Focus System Manual Focus Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 4.5 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector no USB USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Leica M10-R Leica TL2
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge250 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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