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Leica TL vs Ricoh GR II

The Leica TL and the Ricoh GR II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2016 and June 2015. The TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR II is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica TL   Ricoh GR II
Leica TL Ricoh GR II
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica T mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12500 ISO 100-25600
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.7" LCD, 1230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge320 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g 117 x 63 x 35 mm, 251 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL and the Ricoh GR II? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica TL and the Ricoh GR II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the GR II is only available in black.

Size Leica TL vs Ricoh GR II
Compare TL versus GR II top
Comparison TL or GR II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR II is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Leica TL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL nor the GR II are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR II has a lens built 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 battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL» 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
 
Ricoh GR II« 4.6 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 8.9 oz 320 n Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
 
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A10« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.7 oz 410 n Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 1.8 in 14.2 oz 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
 
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica X2« » 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
 
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
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 GR II was launched at a lower price than the TL, despite having a lens built in. 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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, 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 Ricoh GR II sensor measures

Even though the TL has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16.1 megapixels. 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 GR II), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the TL is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the GR II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Leica TL has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

TL versus GR II MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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
 
Ricoh GR II« APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880Ricoh GR II
 
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X70
 
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 TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
 
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
 
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----Leica X2
 
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The TL and the GR II 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 GV-1 for the GR II – are available as accessories. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica TL, the Ricoh GR II, and comparable 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 TL»- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica TL
 
Ricoh GR II«- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
 
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL« »2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n Leica TL2
 
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica X2« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X2
 
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL has a touchscreen, while the GR II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Ricoh GR II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TL and the GR II write their files to SDXC cards. The GR II supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 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 Ricoh GR II 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
 
Ricoh GR II«Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
 
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL« »Ystereomono----Y--Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
 
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica X2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica X2
 
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX100 III« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III

The GR II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. 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 and Ricoh websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica TL better than the Ricoh GR II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica TL:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the GR II).

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR II:

  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the TL necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x63mm vs 134x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the TL).
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR II comes out slightly ahead of the TL (8 : 7 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. 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 07:08 GR II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL and the Ricoh GR II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TL or the GR II. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica TL»----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
 
Ricoh GR II«--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
 
Canon G7 X« »+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
 
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
 
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i Fujifilm X-E2S
 
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
 
Fujifilm X-T10« »+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i Fujifilm X-T10
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »+ +79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i Fujifilm X-Pro1
 
Leica CL« »----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
 
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
 
Panasonic GM5« »+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX100 III« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica TL:
Check Ebay offers
Ricoh GR II:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Leica TL vs Ricoh GR II

    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 Ricoh GR II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date November 2016 June 2015
    Launch Price USD 1695 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Leica TL Ricoh GR II
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12500 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 80
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1078
    Screen Specs Leica TL Ricoh GR II
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL Ricoh GR II
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica TL Ricoh GR II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Leica TL Ricoh GR II
    Battery Type BP-DC13 DB65
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge320 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)
    117 x 63 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 384 g (13.5 oz) 251 g (8.9 oz)

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