Leica TL Comparison Review
The Leica TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in November 2016 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 16.1 megapixel.
Is the Leica TL a good camera? The TL has a Camera Elo of 2200. This rating puts the TL below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the TL ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Leica T mount lenses|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 12 500|
|3.7 LCD, 1230k dots|
|5 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Leica TL vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica TL alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||amazon.com|
|9.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G7||125 mm||86 mm||77 mm||410 g||350||n||May 2015||649||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica TL was launched in the US market at a price of $1,695. 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.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Leica TL features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica TL among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 alternatives.
|11.||Panasonic G7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||904||71|
|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. The TL indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the TL can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Leica TL in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||1440||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Leica T||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Leica X2||optional||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic G7||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One convenient feature of the TL is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 TL and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica CL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica TL2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Leica T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Leica X2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the TL offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the TL 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|2.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica CL||..||..||4.2/5||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950||amazon.com|
|9.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G7||4/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Leica TL FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the TL.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the TL based on?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the TL?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500.
Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?
Yes, Leica provides the Visoflex (Typ 020) as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Leica TL?
Leica does not publish a shutter rating for the TL. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Does the Leica TL feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The TL's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.
Which battery does the TL use?
The camera gets its power from the BP-DC13, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Leica TL|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1 695|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||371 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 928 x 3 264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12 500 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||3.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BP-DC13 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||384 g (13.5 oz)|
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