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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.


Headline Specifications
Leica X Vario   Leica TL
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 charge400 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).

Compare Leica X Vario and Leica TL
Compare X Vario versus TL top
Compare X Vario or TL rear

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.

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 X Vario» 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Leica TL« 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
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-A2« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.3 oz 410 n Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
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 TL2« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i 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 i i 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 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica X2« » 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i 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.

Leica X Vario and Leica TL sensor measures

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.

X Vario versus TL 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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 X Vario» APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
Leica TL« APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica TL
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-A10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Leica X-U Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X-U Typ 113
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----Leica X2
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony 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.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
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.

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 X Vario»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
Leica TL«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-A10« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« »Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
Leica X-U Typ 113« »Ystereomono---2.0---Leica X-U Typ 113
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
Leica X2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica X2
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---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.

X Vario 04:08 TL

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.

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 X Vario»--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Leica TL«----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Fujifilm X-A10« »--4/5-4/5 Dec 2016 399- i Fujifilm X-A10
Fujifilm X-A2« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399- i Fujifilm X-A2
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica X-U Typ 113« »----3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950 i i Leica X-U Typ 113
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i 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.

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    Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Leica TL

    Camera Specifications
    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 Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.5 1.5
    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
    Screen Specs
    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
    Shooting Specs
    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
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-DC8 power pack BP-DC13 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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