Leica T vs TL2
The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2014 and July 2017. Both the T Typ 701 and the TL2 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 TL2 provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica T (Typ 701) 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica T and the Leica TL2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
In this particular case, the Leica T and the Leica TL2 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the TL2 is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the T Typ 701. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T Typ 701 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 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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850|
|2.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|3.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|8.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|9.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|10.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|12.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|14.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T Typ 701 was somewhat cheaper (by 5 percent) than the TL2 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
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 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the TL2 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 16.2 MP of the T Typ 701. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the TL2 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.79μm for the T Typ 701). However, it should be noted that the TL2 is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the T Typ 701, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 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 Leica T are 24.7 x 16.4 inches or 62.8 x 41.6 cm for good quality, 19.8 x 13.1 inches or 50.2 x 33.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.5 x 10.9 inches or 41.9 x 27.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica T (Typ 701) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica TL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|10.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the TL2 provides a better video resolution than the T Typ 701. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the T Typ 701 is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T Typ 701 and the TL2 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 TL2 – are available as accessories. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica T and Leica TL2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|10.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The T Typ 701 has one, while the TL2 does not. While the built-in flash of the T Typ 701 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T Typ 701 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 T Typ 701 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 Leica T (Typ 701) and Leica TL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|10.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the T Typ 701 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T Typ 701 was succeeded 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 Leica website.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica T and the Leica TL2? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Leica T (Typ 701):
- 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 heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2014).
Advantages of the Leica TL2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 16.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the T Typ 701 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the TL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica T and the Leica TL2 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T Typ 701 or the TL2. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|1.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850|
|2.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|3.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|8.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|9.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|10.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|12.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|13.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|14.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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.
Specifications: Leica T 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 Model||Leica T||Leica TL2|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2014||July 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1,850||USD 1,950|
|Sensor Specs||Leica T||Leica TL2|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||16.2 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4944 x 3278 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.37 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,500 ISO||100 - 50,000 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 TL2|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.7inch||3.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica T||Leica TL2|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica T||Leica TL2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica T||Leica TL2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
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)||399 g (14.1 oz)|
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