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Leica TL2 vs Sony RX1R

The Leica TL2 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2017 and June 2013. The TL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1R is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (TL2) and a full frame (RX1R) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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 RX1R
Leica TL2   Sony RX1R
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica T mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 102,400)
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 399 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica TL2 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? 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 RX1R 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The TL2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the RX1R is only available in black.

Size Leica TL2 vs Sony RX1R
Compare TL2 versus RX1R top
Comparison TL2 or RX1R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Leica TL2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the TL2 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens built in, whereas the TL2 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 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, you can 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
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
2.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
3.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A5 117 mm 68 mm 40 mm 361 g 450 n Jan 2018 399i
7.
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
9.
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
10.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
12.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Sony RX1R II 113 mm 65 mm 72 mm 507 g 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i
16.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
17.
 
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 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. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica TL2 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Leica TL2 and Sony RX1R sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica TL2 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 24 MP of the Sony RX1R. 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 3.92μm versus 5.97μm for the RX1R). However, it should be noted that the TL2 is much more recent (by 4 years) than the RX1R, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 TL2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

TL2 versus RX1R 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
1.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
2.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
3.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p23.813.3168481
4.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p24.013.3180082
7.
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.913.2170481
8.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p23.913.3176482
9.
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.112.348164
10.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p24.013.3178882
11.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
12.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
14.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
15.
 
Sony RX1R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
16.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
17.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the TL2 provides a higher video resolution than the RX1R. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The TL2 and the RX1R 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 TL2 and the FDA-EV1MK for the RX1R – are available as accessories. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica TL2, the Sony RX1R, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
2.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon M502360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 200Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon M6optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A5none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
7.
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
8.
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
9.
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n3.0 / 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
10.
 
Leica CL2360 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
11.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony RX1R II2360 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
16.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1optional n3.0 / 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 RX1R 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 RX1R 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 RX1R 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 TL2 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
2.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon M50Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon 200DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon M6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A5Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Fujifilm X-E3Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
9.
 
Leica C-LUX-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Leica CLYstereo / mono----Y--
11.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Sony RX1R IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the TL2 offers wifi support, while the RX1R 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 RX1R has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX1R was succeeded by the Sony RX1R II. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica TL2 and the Sony RX1R? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica TL2:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • 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 (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • 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 4 years of technical progress since the RX1R launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:

  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the TL2 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 134x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TL2 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 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 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.

TL2 10:05 RX1R

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica TL2 and the Sony RX1R 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TL2 or the RX1R. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
2.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
3.
 
Canon M50..+4/579/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
5.
 
Canon M6......80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A5..+4.1/5..4/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399i
7.
 
Fujifilm X100F5/5+3.9/583/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-E34.5/5+4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
9.
 
Leica C-LUX....3.5/5..4.5/54/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
10.
 
Leica CL....4.2/5....4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
11.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
12.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
15.
 
Sony RX1R II5/5....82/100..4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i
16.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
17.
 
Sony RX15/5....79/1004/54.5/5 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica TL2:
Check Amazon price
Sony RX1R:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica TL2 vs Sony RX1R

    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 RX1R
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date July 2017 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,950 USD 2,799
    Sensor Specs Leica TL2 Sony RX1R
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6014 x 4014 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.92 μm 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 6.52 MP/cm2 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 50 - 102,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 91
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2537
    Screen Specs Leica TL2 Sony RX1R
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica TL2 Sony RX1R
    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 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Built-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 RX1R
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica TL2 Sony RX1R
    Battery Type BP-DC13 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge270 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)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 399 g (14.1 oz) 482 g (17.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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