Leica X Vario vs TL
The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Leica TL are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and November 2016. The X Vario is a fixed lens compact, while the TL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Leica X Vario||Leica TL|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28-70mm f/3.5-6.4||Leica T mount lenses|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-12500||ISO 100-12500|
|Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.7" LCD, 1230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|450 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g||134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g|
Body comparison: Leica X Vario vs TL
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica X Vario and the Leica TL. 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. 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 – the X Vario – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica TL is somewhat smaller (5 percent) than the Leica X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the TL are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario 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 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 camera comparisons there.
|Leica X Vario»||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica TL«||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.5 oz||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.7 oz||410||n||Dec 2016||399||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.3 oz||410||n||Jan 2015||399||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1« »||5.5 in||3.2 in||1.7 in||15.9 oz||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699||-||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|Leica TL2« »||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||14.1 oz||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||3.5 in||22.4 oz||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950||Leica X-U Typ 113|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica T« »||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.5 oz||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X2« »||4.9 in||2.7 in||2.0 in||12.2 oz||450||n||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Nikon Df« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.
Sensor comparison: Leica X Vario vs TL
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 16.1 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the X Vario and the TL have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the TL is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the X Vario, 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.
The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The Leica TL offers exactly the same ISO settings.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica X Vario»||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica TL«||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|Leica TL2« »||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica X-U Typ 113|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica T« »||APS-C||16.2||4944||3278||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||1082||75||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X2« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91||Sony RX1R|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Feature comparison: Leica X Vario vs TL
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X Vario and the TL 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 EVF 2 for the X Vario and the Visoflex (Typ 020) for the TL – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X Vario and Leica TL along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica X Vario»||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Vario|
|Leica TL«||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Leica TL|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||n||4000||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.6||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1« »||1440||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||6.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|Leica TL2« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||4000||7.0||n||n||Leica TL2|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n||Leica X-U Typ 113|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||n||n||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica T« »||-||n||3.7||1300||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X2« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n||Leica X2|
|Nikon Df« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1R|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TL has a touchscreen, while the X Vario has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X Vario and the TL write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Leica X Vario vs TL
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 X Vario (Typ 107) and Leica TL and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica X Vario»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica TL«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL|
|Canon SX60« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|Leica TL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X-U Typ 113|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica T« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X2« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Nikon Df« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1R|
It is notable that the TL offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the X Vario does not offer wifi capability.
The X Vario is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. 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.
Review summary: Leica X Vario vs TL
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica X Vario better than the Leica TL or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the TL requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2013).
Advantages of the Leica TL:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the X Vario launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the TL is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X Vario or the TL. 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: Leica X Vario vs TL
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica X Vario»||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica TL«||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Canon SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Dec 2016||399||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699||-||Fujifilm X-Pro1|
|Leica TL2« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||-||-||-||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950||Leica X-U Typ 113|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica T« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X2« »||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G7 X vs Panasonic LX10
- Canon M5 vs Nikon D5500
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Canon 5D
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs Panasonic LX15
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Nikon D50
- Leica T vs Nikon D750
- Nikon D3400 vs Canon 6D Mark II
- Nikon D850 vs Sony A7R II
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Panasonic LX7
- Sony A6000 vs Sony NEX-5
- Sony A7 II vs Sony RX10 IV
- Sony A7R vs YI M1
Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Leica TL
|Camera Model||Leica X Vario||Leica TL|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-70mm f/3.5-6.4||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2013||November 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 2850||USD 1695|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3272 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||4.80 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.35 MP/cm2||4.34 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12500 ISO||100-12500 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BP-DC8 power pack||BP-DC13 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
133 x 73 x 95 mm
(5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||680 g (24.0 oz)||384 g (13.5 oz)|
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