The Mirrorless Leica TL2

Leica today unveiled the TL2, a followup to the original TL mirrorless camera. Compact mirrorless cameras are improving rapidly. The TL2 is a more refined take on the outgoing model of from last year, both inside and out.

Leica is a staunchly traditional company that takes great pride in its legacy and heritage. Over the past few years, however, the company has been modernizing its camera lines and none has embodied this modern focus more than the mirrorless TL line. The new TL2 is a mirrorless system camera with a 24-megapixel sensor, paired with a new Maestro II processor. It’s still APS-C-sized, but it has considerably more resolution than the previous model. There’s a new electronically controlled shutter, for continuous shooting at 20 frames per second (fps) at full resolution. The new shutter also allows silent shooting up to 1/40,000 second. The TL2 has a much broader ISO range, able to go up to 50,000 if you want. The autofocus system is greatly improved, with 49 focus points.

The Leica TL2 impresses not only with its still picture performance, but also with its video capabilities. The camera’s various video recording modes, such as 4K (3840 x 2160p at 30 frames per second), full HD (1920 x 1080p at 60 frames per second), HD (1280 x 720p at 60 frames per second or slow motion [SLOMO] captured at 120 frames per second), leave absolutely nothing to be desired.

The TL2’s back is dominated by the 3.7-inch touchscreen, the function button near the shutter can be customized to a handful of different functions. Leica says the redesigned interface on the TL2 is up to eight times faster to use than the predecessor’s user interface.

The TL uses Leica’s L-mount system and there are three prime lenses (23mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.8 macro) and three zoom lenses (11-23mm f/3.5-4.5, 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6, and 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5) available for it. Leica also offers adapters to mount M-series and R-series lenses to the camera, though they will not have autofocus capabilities when used on the TL2.

Like pretty much every other camera in the Leica range, the TL2 is absolutely beautiful to look at. One of the first things Leica will tell you about the TL2 is how special its physical construction is. Reminiscent of Apple products, the TL2’s camera body is machined from a single block of aluminum, giving it a special look, feel, and solidity.

As one would expect of a Leica camera, the TL2 does not come cheap. The body costs $1,950 without a lens. It is available in black or silver, and there are six lenses compatible with the standard L-mount.