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Leica T vs TL

The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2014 and November 2016. Both the T Typ 701 and the TL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T Typ 701 has a resolution of 16.2 megapixels, whereas the TL provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica T versus Leica TL
Leica T Leica TL
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica T mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
16.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-12,500
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.7 LCD, 1300k dots 3.7 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g 134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica T (Typ 701) 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica T and the Leica TL 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The T Typ 701 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the TL is available in three color-versions (black, silver, titanium).

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

In this particular case, the Leica T and the Leica TL have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T Typ 701 nor the TL 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 battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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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
 
Leica T 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica TL 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Canon SL1 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549i
 
Fujifilm X-A10 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399i
 
Fujifilm X-A2 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699i
 
Leica CL 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL2 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica X2 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Ricoh GR II 4.6 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 8.9 oz 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The TL was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the T Typ 701 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica T and Leica TL sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the T Typ 701 offers a slightly higher resolution of 16.2 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the TL. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the T Typ 701 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.80μm for the TL). Moreover, it should be noted that the TL is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the T Typ 701, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual 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 Leica T (Typ 701) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The Leica TL offers exactly the same ISO settings.

T Typ 701 versus TL 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 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
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
 
Fujifilm X-A10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T Typ 701 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. However, optional viewfinders – the Visoflex (Typ 020) for the T Typ 701 and the Visoflex (Typ 020) for the TL – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica T and Leica TL 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
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A10none n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T Typ 701 and the TL write their files to 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 Leica T (Typ 701) and Leica TL 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
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X-A10-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the T Typ 701 and the TL have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T Typ 701 was replaced by the Leica TL, while the TL was followed 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 Leica website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica T better than the Leica TL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica T (Typ 701):

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2014).


Arguments in favor of the Leica TL:

  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the T Typ 701 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (1 points each). 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.

T Typ 701 01:01 TL

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica T and the Leica TL place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 T Typ 701 or the TL 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 (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
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Canon SL1+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
 
Fujifilm X-A10....4/5..4/5 Dec 2016 399i
 
Fujifilm X-A2....4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1+ +79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Leica T:
Check Ebay offers
Leica TL:
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: Leica T 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Leica T Leica TL
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2014 November 2016
    Launch Price USD 1,850 USD 1,695
    Sensor Specs Leica T Leica TL
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.2 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4944 x 3278 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 4.37 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 75 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1082 ..
    Screen Specs Leica T Leica TL
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.7inch
    LCD Resolution 1300k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica T Leica TL
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica T Leica TL
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Leica T Leica TL
    Battery Type BP-DC13 BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 384 g (13.5 oz) 384 g (13.5 oz)

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