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Leica TL2 vs Sony A3000

The Leica TL2 and the Sony Alpha A3000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2017 and August 2013. Both the TL2 and the A3000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica TL2 versus Sony A3000
Leica TL2 Sony A3000
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica T mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-16,000
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g 128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL2 and the Sony Alpha A3000? 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

The physical size and weight of the Leica TL2 and the Sony A3000 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A3000 is only available in black.

Size Leica TL2 vs Sony A3000
Compare TL2 versus A3000 top
Comparison TL2 or A3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A3000 is notably larger (26 percent) than the Leica TL2. Moreover, the A3000 is slightly heavier (3 percent) than the TL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL2 nor the A3000 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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Fujifilm X-A5 117 mm 68 mm 40 mm 361 g 450 n Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 A3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the TL2, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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. The sensor area in the A3000 is 4 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.

Leica TL2 and Sony A3000 sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the TL2 offers a higher resolution than the A3000 (19.8MP), but the TL2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.25μm for the A3000). However, the TL2 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 10 months) than the A3000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the TL2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica TL2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TL2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A3000 are 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica TL2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

TL2 versus A3000 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p........
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493

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 TL2 provides a higher video resolution than the A3000. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A3000 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the TL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica TL2 and Sony A3000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Sony A3000202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A5none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony A5000none n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Sony A5100none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Sony RX1optional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL2 has a touchscreen, while the A3000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The TL2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A3000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The TL2 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the A3000 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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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 TL2 and Sony Alpha A3000 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 TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Sony A3000Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Fujifilm X-A5YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Sony A5000-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A5100-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony RX1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the TL2 offers wifi support, while the A3000 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The TL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the A3000 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the A3000 from Sony. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Sony websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica TL2 better than the Sony A3000 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica TL2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 19.8MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • 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 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (134x69mm vs 128x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the A3000 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the TL2 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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.

TL2 13:06 A3000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL2 and the Sony A3000 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the TL2 or the A3000 perform in practice. 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.

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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 TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Sony A3000+..4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Fujifilm X-A5+..4/54/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX....4.5/5..4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Sony A5000+..4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449i
 
Sony A5100+..4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony RX1R....4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
 
Sony RX1..79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price
Sony A3000:
Check Ebay offers

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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica TL2 vs Sony A3000

    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 TL2 Sony A3000
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2017 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,950 USD 329
    Sensor Specs Leica TL2 Sony A3000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24.1 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6014 x 4014 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.92 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 6.52 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1068
    Screen Specs Leica TL2 Sony A3000
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL2 Sony A3000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II no
    Connectivity Specs Leica TL2 Sony A3000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica TL2 Sony A3000
    Battery Type BP-DC13 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge470 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)
    128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 399 g (14.1 oz) 411 g (14.5 oz)

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