Leica TL mirrorless camera announced

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leica-tl-camera

Leica Camera today officially announced their new Leica TL camera and as I already reported, with the exception of few minor upgrades (32GB internal storage, improved AF-C and new iOS app). The UK price of the TL is £1,450 including VAT. The US price is $1,695 (check B&HAdorama, Leica Store San FranciscoLeica Store Miami or PopFlash for pre-order options). Here are the detailed Leica TL specifications:

(not available at the time of this post). Here are the detailed Leica TL specifications:

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Press release:

Boldly different: Leica presents the TL-System

Unique design in titanium, silver or black finish, combined with precise, high-performance lenses and a host of smart accessories

Leica Camera has today announced the Leica TL. Building on the Leica T camera system, which has been continually enhanced in terms of speed, handling and flexibility since its launch in 2014, the new generation Leica TL now offers further innovative features, improved functionality, and a series of exciting new design elements.

Developments include the doubling of the internal buffer memory to 32GB, improved autofocus, particularly in AF-C mode, and optimised compatibility with lenses from other camera systems in the Leica range.  For example, the Leica TL now supports SL-Lenses with OIS and allows the use of Leica R-System lenses in combination with the R-Adapter L. A new Leica TL app with added functionality provides additional options for sharing pictures by email or on social networks, and is now available for the first time for Android, as well as iOS devices.

The Leica TL will in available in three colour options from the date of launch: the silver and black versions share an identical design and construction, while the titanium finish option is distinguished by a bevelled edge detail to the top and bottom plates. A collection of smart camera accessories, such as a new range of high-quality protectors in Nappa leather, which are designed to remain on the camera when changing the battery, and a selection of matching carrying straps in stone grey, black, red and cemento, complete the TL system portfolio.

Combined with its high-performance image processor, the large, APS-C CMOS image sensor of the Leica TL guarantees exceptional imaging quality and delivers brilliant pictures with outstanding contrast, detailed resolution and natural colour rendition – even in unfavourable lighting conditions.

The comprehensive Leica TL lens portfolio offers a wide choice of focal lengths for all photographic situations and genres. The TL-System currently comprises six lenses – three prime lenses and three zooms. The two fast prime lenses, the Leica Summicron-TL 23mm f/2 ASPH. and Summilux-TL 35mm f/1.4 ASPH., are classic focal lengths for reportage photography, and the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm f/2.8 ASPH. is perfect for finely detailed close-up photography. The three compact zoom lenses, the Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11–23mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., Vario-Elmar-TL 18–56mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH. and APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55–135mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., cover an entire range of focal lengths equivalent to 17 to 200mm in 35mm format and deliver outstanding images with rich contrast from corner to corner of the frame.

Developed by Leica’s optical design specialists in Wetzlar, all Leica TL-Lenses deliver exceptional imaging performance at all distances from their close focusing limits to infinity, resulting in pictures with the inimitable ‘Leica look’ and unique bokeh. The combination of expert optical and precision engineering, and the use of the finest materials in their construction, ensures the consistent high quality and reliability of the lenses.

Thanks to the L-Bayonet mount shared by the Leica TL and SL cameras, SL-Lenses can also be used without an adapter on the Leica TL, once again highlighting Leica’s commitment to system compatibility and sustainability. Furthermore, adapters are available to enable the use of Leica M and R lenses on the camera.

A particular highlight of the Leica TL is the unusual, compact design of its body, which is precisely machined from a single block of aluminium at the Leica factory. Meticulous construction from the most premium materials gives the Leica TL its unique, unmistakeable look and solid, high quality feel.

Offering concise, intuitive handling, and a focus on the most relevant functions, the Leica TL ‘control centre’ is clearly laid out on the 3.7” touchscreen display, which delivers a clear, bright image for precise and reliable subject composition and review.

Numerous functions in capture and playback mode can be controlled simply by touching the screen. Four ergonomically-positioned haptic controls, which are highly intuitive in operation, ensure that photographers can concentrate fully on composing their images – with no unnecessary distractions. The configurable MyCamera menu offers further flexibility, even in spontaneous shooting situations, giving the user the quickest access to the most frequently used features and personalised pre-sets.

Thanks to its integrated WiFi module and mobile hotspot feature, the Leica TL can conveniently transfer still images and videos by WLAN to smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop PCs from almost anywhere, and allows users to share their pictures and movies by email, on Facebook or on other social networks.

The free Leica TL app for iOS and Android devices is available with the release of the camera. A particularly useful feature of this app is the remote control function, which enables the user to connect a smartphone or tablet to the camera by WLAN as an electronic viewfinder for the Leica TL, and provides remote control of shutter speed and aperture settings – ideal for shots taken at unusual angles, or for use with the self-timer.

Pricing and availability

The Leica TL in black, silver or titanium anodised finish is scheduled to be available from mid-November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £1,450 including VAT.

New accessory prices:

Leica TL leather protector – stone grey, black, cemento or red - £105
Leica TL neck strap – stone grey, black, cemento or red - £70

Additional pictures:

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  • It seems that Leica dropped the “Typ xxx” naming from the new Leica TL model, so a Leica M10 is actually a possibility

  • Les

    Is video really only 30fps? I would have expected 24 and 25 fps as well.

    Other than that, it’s more of a firmware update than a new model. The only hardware difference is the bigger internal memory.

    • Enche Tjin

      Yes, It is basically the same camera with a different name, plus internal storage expansion and titanium color choice.

  • sperdynamite

    I had forgotten that you could get a 60/2.8 Macro for this camera, and I forgot that it’s $3000.00 dollars. What a joke.

  • tjholowaychuk

    Looks pretty much the same. If they had a pop-up EVF it might be interesting but meh, not for me.

    • Yes, this is basically a firmware update in a new camera.

      • Timothy Rule

        Its a bit of a trick, to release the same camera with a firmware bump, when the previous model is “selling” for 2/3 the price (1099€ against 1650€ for the new TL).

        And, I can get a 32GB SD Card for 12.99€ … OK, not my problem, but there is probably a reason they can’t sell them … increasing the price and changing the paint is not going to help much IMO.

        All these releases … seem more like an effort in creative writing. Still, I saw a T in the shops at Frankfurt Airport, it looked nice, lenses were not that compact … so kind of made no sense. Perhaps if they “Ricoh GR” it, compact camera with compact lens, then people might warm up to it a little?

  • Brennan McKissick

    I hope this is just an in between model till they finish using up the stock of “shells” they have laying around still.

    • Enche Tjin

      It seems like it. Leica T is just 2 years old. To get significant improvement, we may need to wait another 2 years old.

  • I really thought they would have updated the sensor.

  • I REALLY like the low ISO image quality (I had a T for about a month). However, the image quality was not really any better then the image quality of my many year old X-Pro 1, and the user interface is not even in the same league. So, I sold it. Goddam it Leica, why not a modern 24MP sensor?

  • “The free Leica TL app for iOS and Android devices is available with the release of the camera. A particularly useful feature of this app is the remote control function, which enables the user to connect a smartphone or tablet to the camera by WLAN as an electronic viewfinder for the Leica TL, and provides remote control of shutter speed and aperture settings – ideal for shots taken at unusual angles, or for use with the self-timer.”

    That’s great, but with third-party manual focus lenses the iPhone screen stayed black. You could control the camera, but not see an image. Which made the app kind of fraking useless with manual focus older lenses. Why the app behaves this way I have no idea. If that’s fixed on the new updated camera and app, I’d like to know.

    • Josh Lehrer

      Are you using the Leica-branded M-Adapter-L? I’ve found that with third-party adapters like Novoflex, you get black screen when using the iOS app but not with the Leica-branded adapter.

  • Ric Ricard

    The original version of this camera sells for under $1,000, new. Seems like that is a better deal than this updated version for close to 2x that price. Especially if you’re using M lenses, where you won’t benefit from the improved AF performance.

  • Eskimo Micronian

    Wow. I must say I am disappointed but not surprised.
    The one thing this camera really needed is a built in EVF. I shoot a lot of studio-type stuff and the add-on (and amazing) EVF takes up the hot shoe.
    From a marketing standpoint, it needed 24 MP (I actually think 16 MP is perfect). Pretty much every other manufacturer, Fuji included, has moved beyond 16 MP in their APS-C offerings.
    With the original Leica T still kicking around, this iteration really is a non sequitur.

  • Mike McGrath

    Is there any further mention of a firmware update for the current T cameras?

  • Bubble

    I just don’t get this. Why would you wait 2 years to bring out a camera which has no real upgrade? What is going on at Leica….? The sensor world has moved on with better resolution and better light sensitivity and their response is do…. nothing? I was seriously considering buying a TL when it was announced, if it had a better sensor. Love the design and concept but cant bring myself to invest that much in a camera (and lenses) with a sensor which is already out of date.

    • nwcs

      I think this is done to re-set the price point of the camera. Not saying it’ll work, or that it’s a good idea, but I suspect that’s the reason for it. If so, I wouldn’t expect them to do a firmware upgrade to existing users.

  • soundimageplus

    Well as the owner of two Leica T’s I guess I won’t be upgrading to the TL. There seems little point. However I am glad Leica have stuck with the concept. It is very different to most other mirrorless cameras and about as far from a ‘traditional’ Leica as it could be.

    Personally. I love the minimalism, the design and the lenses. I also like the (semi) modular approach. I use my T’s in ‘smartphone mode’ with either the 23mm f/2 or 35mm f/1.4 without the viewfinder and it’s totally inconspicuous, or add the viewfinder and use the zooms.

    I would also point out that I’ve had my black one for 2 1/2 years, it’s had pretty heavy duty use, out in all weathers and I’ve taken 1000’s of images with it. It still looks like it’s come straight out the box brand new. I wonder how many cameras you can say that about.

  • Fernando Acosta

    Hi

    I´m glad for the leica tl.
    I have a Leica T and I´m happy with it.
    I wonder if the Leica TL accesories works on Leica T.

    thanks in advance.
    Fernando.

    • I think they will, it’s basically the same camera.

  • eric

    i think leica has too many camera lines…along with other camera companies. it would be nice if they simplified things. too many models seems to cheapen the brand.

    • I actually have to agree. The Leica S and Leica X are not needed imho.

      • ZMWT

        I wouldn’t say that about the X, though. I would keep the X-E and X113, they really make sense. But XVario can go.

        • I think the TL with a prime lens can easily replace the X. I agree the X-E is unique and they should keep it.

          • ZMWT

            X113 is much like Q, traditionally styled. Lens is fast too. 113 and Q are nicer to use than T/TL. No touch screens and other mumbo jumbo.

  • disqus_kuGKItrkus

    Pretentious? Moi?

  • jojo

    Crinimal to freeze development at 16Mp?

  • Bo Dez

    I would never buy it because I don’t have a need for it, but I quite like it all the same and think it has its place. It seems absolutely ridiculous to bring out a new camera that uses an old sensor though. Oh Leica…

    I agree that Leica has too many cameras. IMO, it should be T, M, SL and S. The S would make much more sense if it were competitive with other flagship Medium Format offerings i.e. 80MP. It’s just a complete joke right now.

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