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Leica TL vs Samsung NX30

The Leica TL and the Samsung NX30 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2016 and January 2014. Both the TL and the NX30 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 20 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica TL versus Samsung NX30
Leica TL Samsung NX30
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica T mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 20 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-25,600
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Fixed touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g 127 x 96 x 58 mm, 375 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL and the Samsung NX30? 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 Samsung NX30 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, titanium), while the NX30 is only available in black.

Size Leica TL vs Samsung NX30
Compare TL versus NX30 top
Comparison TL or NX30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX30 is notably larger (32 percent) than the Leica TL. However, the NX30 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the TL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL nor the NX30 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Samsung NX30 127 mm 96 mm 58 mm 375 g 360 n Jan 2014 999i
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-A2 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 n Jan 2012 1,699i
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 NX30 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the TL, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NX30 is 1 percent smaller. 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica TL and Samsung NX30 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the NX30 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the TL. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 4.80μm for the TL). Moreover, it should be noted that the TL is much more recent (by 2 years and 10 months) than the NX30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Samsung NX30 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX30 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica TL are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The NX30 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Leica TL has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX30 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

TL versus NX30 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
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........
 
Samsung NX30 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.512.4101476
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p........
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the NX30 provides a faster frame rate than the TL. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the NX30 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica TL, the Samsung NX30, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Samsung NX302359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E2S2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G72360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
The NX30 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the TL does not have a selfie-screen.

The Samsung NX30 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 NX30 write their files to SDXC cards. The NX30 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 Samsung NX30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Samsung NX30Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E2SYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G7YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the TL and the NX30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The TL was replaced by the Leica TL2, while the NX30 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Samsung websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica TL or the Samsung NX30 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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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.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1036k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the NX30 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Samsung NX30:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • 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 into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX30 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

TL 06:13 NX30

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL and the Samsung NX30 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 NX30 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Samsung NX30..77/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2014 999i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S..77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-A2....4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1+ +79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic G7+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
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. 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.

Leica TL:
Check Ebay offers
Samsung NX30:
Check Ebay offers

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. 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 Samsung NX30

    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 Samsung NX30
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2016 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 1,695 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Leica TL Samsung NX30
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.30 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 5.41 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 76
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1014
    Screen Specs Leica TL Samsung NX30
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.64x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL Samsung NX30
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 9 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 Samsung NX30
    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 Samsung NX30
    Battery Type BP-DC13 BP1410
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge360 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)
    127 x 96 x 58 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.3 in)
    Camera Weight 384 g (13.5 oz) 375 g (13.2 oz)

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