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Leica TL versus Leica TL2

The Leica TL and the Leica TL2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, 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 megapixel, whereas the TL2 provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica TL vs Leica TL2

The physical size and weight of the Leica TL and the Leica TL2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the TL – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica TL vs Leica TL2
Compare TL versus TL2 top
Compare TL and 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica TL» 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica TL2« 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399- i
Leica C-LUX« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i
Leica CL« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica X2« » 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i
Leica X1« » 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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. 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: Leica TL vs Leica TL2

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.

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 megapixel, compared with 16.1 MP of the TL. This megapixel 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.

TL versus TL2 MP

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 comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica TL» APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica TL2« APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-A2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Leica CL« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----
Leica X1« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2856-----
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for 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: Leica TL vs Leica TL2

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. 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. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica TL»- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica TL2«- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Leica CL« »2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 10.0 n n
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica X2« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica X1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n

The TL2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. 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.

Review summary: Leica TL vs Leica TL2

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica TL 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 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).


Advantages 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.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (4 points each). 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.

TL 04:04 TL2

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the TL 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica TL»----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica TL2«--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i
Leica C-LUX« »----- Jun 2018 1,049 i i
Leica CL« »----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i
Leica X1« »-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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.

 

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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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