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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.

Body comparison

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).

Leica TL vs Leica X2 front
TL versus X2 top view
TL and X2 rear side
Body view (TL on the left)

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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica TL (⇒ rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 no 2016 1,695discont. check
Leica X2 (⇒ lft) 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 no 2012 1,995discont. check
Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 no 2016 399 latest check
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 no 2015 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 no 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 no 2017 1,950 latest check
Leica CL (⇒ lft | rgt) 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 no 2017 2,795 latest check
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 no 2014 1,850discont. check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 no 2014 2,295 latest check
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 no 2013 2,850 latest check
Leica X1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 no 2009 1,995discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 no 2015 649discont. check

The listed 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

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
Sensor size

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
Sensor resolution

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
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica TL (⇒ rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Leica X2 (⇒ lft) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 no - - - -
Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.1 6014 4014 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Leica CL (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.1 6014 4014 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.2 4944 3278 1080/30p 23.0 12.7 1082 75
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3272 1080/30p 23.4 12.7 1320 78
Leica X1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2856 no - - - -
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/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

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
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica TL (⇒ rgt) no no 3.7 1230 fixed YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Leica X2 (⇒ lft) no no 2.7 230 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting no 4000 6.0 5 no
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1230 fixed no 4000 6.0 no no
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.7 1230 fixed YES 4000 7.0 no no
Leica CL (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 YES 3.0 1040 fixed YES 8000 10.0 no no
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.7 1300 fixed YES 4000 5.0 4.5 no
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Leica X1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 2.7 230 fixed no 2000 3.0 YES no
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 7.0 9.3 no

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.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL and the Leica TL? 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.

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. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica TL (⇒ rgt) - - - - 4/5 2016 1,695discont. check
Leica X2 (⇒ lft) - - 3/5 - 4/5 2012 1,995discont. check
Fujifilm X-A10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - 4/5 2016 399 latest check
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. 4/5 .. 4/5 2017 1,950 latest check
Leica CL (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. .. .. 4/5 2017 2,795 latest check
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - 4/5 2014 1,850discont. check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 3.5/5 - 4/5 2014 2,295 latest check
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 2,850 latest check
Leica X1 (⇒ lft | rgt) - Rec - - 4/5 2009 1,995discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 649discont. check

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 comparisons

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.

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