PW

Leica TL versus Leica X2

The Leica TL and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2016 and May 2012. The TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X2 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixel. 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 X2

The physical size and weight of the Leica TL and the Leica X2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage 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 X2
Compare TL versus X2 top
Compare TL and X2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X2 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Leica TL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens build in, whereas the TL is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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» 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica X2« 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995- i
Fujifilm X-A10« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 n Dec 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-A2« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399- i
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica CL« » 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Vario« » 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X1« » 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i
Panasonic G7« » 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 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. 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 X2

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica TL and Leica X2 sensor measures

Even though the TL has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16.1 megapixel. This implies that the TL has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.79μm for the X2), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the TL is much more recent (by 4 years and 6 months) than the X2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

TL versus X2 MP

For most 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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 X2« APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----
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 TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/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 D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----
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 can also record movies. The TL indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the TL can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica TL vs Leica X2

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The TL and the X2 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica TL, the Leica X2, and comparable 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 X2«- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 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 TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
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 D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
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

Both the TL and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The TL was replaced by the Leica TL2, while the X2 does not have a direct successor.

Review summary: Leica TL vs Leica X2

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL and the Leica X2? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Leica TL:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 6 months of technical progress since the X2 launch.


Advantages of the Leica X2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the TL necessitates an extra lens.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the TL).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 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.

TL 08:05 X2

In any case, 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 and the X2 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available 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 X2«--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- 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 TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 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 D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X1« »-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

vs

    You are here  »   »