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Leica TL vs TL2

The Leica TL and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2016 and July 2017. Both the TL and the TL2 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The TL has a resolution of 16.1 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 TL VS Leica TL2
Leica TL Leica TL2
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica T mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-12500 ISO 100-50000
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.7" LCD, 1230k dots 3.7" LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge250 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 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 TL 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica TL and the Leica TL2. 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.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the TL2 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Leica TL vs Leica TL2
Compare TL versus TL2 top
Comparison TL or TL2 rear

In this particular case, the Leica TL 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 TL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL» 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica TL2« 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 iLeica TL2
 
Fujifilm X-T20« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 iFujifilm X-T20
 
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399iFujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399iFujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699iFujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399iFujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799iFujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699iFujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 iLeica CL
 
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X2« » 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 TL was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the TL2, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 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 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 TL and Leica TL2 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the TL2 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the TL. 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 4.80μm for the TL). However, it should be noted that the TL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the TL, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly 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 inch or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inch or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inch or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica TL are 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica TL 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).

TL versus TL2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........Leica TL
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........Leica TL2
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........Fujifilm X-T20
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........Leica CL
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........Leica X2
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the TL2 provides a better video resolution than the TL. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the TL is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The TL 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 TL 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 TL and Leica TL2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica TL
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n Leica TL2
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T20
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10none n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Leica CL
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X2
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400

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

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TL 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 TL cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

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 TL and Leica TL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T20
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2SYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CLYstereomono--nonenoneY--Leica CL
 
Leica TYstereomono--none2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica X2Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X2
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400

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

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL and the Leica TL2? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Leica TL:

  • 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 segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2016).


Arguments in favor of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 16.1MP), 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: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 4 points). 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.

TL 04:06 TL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the TL and the TL2 in practical situations. 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 (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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 iLeica TL2
 
Fujifilm X-T20+ +82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 iFujifilm X-T20
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A3..74/1004.5/5..4/5 Aug 2016 399iFujifilm X-A3
 
Fujifilm X-A10....4/5..4/5 Dec 2016 399iFujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S..77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2016 699iFujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2....4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399iFujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799iFujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1+ +79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699iFujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 iLeica CL
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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:
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica TL 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 TL Leica TL2
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Leica T mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2016 July 2017
    Launch Price USD 1695 USD 1950
    Sensor Specs Leica TL Leica TL2
    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 16.1 Megapixels 24.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 6014 x 4014 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 3.92 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 6.52 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12500 ISO 100-50000 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica TL Leica TL2
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7 inch 3.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL Leica TL2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-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 TL Leica TL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Leica TL Leica TL2
    Battery Type BP-DC13 BP-DC13
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge250 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) 399 g (14.1 oz)

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