Everybody knows that Leica is not the brand for the budget conscious. As a bit of fun, we’ve had a look at what you can buy for the same price as the brand new Leica TL2, the company’s latest mirrorless camera.
The benchmark here is the body only price of the TL2, which is £1700, plus at least one lens starting at £1300. So, that gives us £3,000 to play with on our fantasy shopping list. Which would you go for?
For the same price as the Leica TL2, you could pick up Fuji’s excellent high-end X-T2 camera, along with the fantastic 18-55m f/2.8-4 kit lens and have some cash left over to buy a prime 35mm f/1.4.
Although you don’t have that much-revered red dot on the front of a Fuji, you do have something with similar retro appeal. You also get an electronic viewfinder, a tilting screen and a whole host of buttons and dials to get your mitts around.
There are some other areas that the TL2 beats the X-T2 though. The TL2 has a faster frame rate (20fps), a faster top shutter speed (1/40,000 – electronic shutter), and a 32GB internal memory.
Sony A7R II
Fancy full-frame? For just £16 more than the Leica TL2 and lens combo, you could buy a Sony A7R II plus a 50mm f/1.8 lens.
For your money, you not only get a larger sensor with a higher resolution (42.4 megapixels), but you also get 5-axis image stabilisation, a tilting screen and high resolution electronic viewfinder.
Once again, the TL2 beats the A7R II for its maximum shutter speed, faster frame rate and internal memory.
Panasonic has a long-standing collaboration with Leica, so if you own one its Micro Four Thirds cameras, you may already own a piece of Leica glass. While the collaboration means you get some great Leica glass, you can get it for a fraction of the price of standard Leica hardware. As such, you can get something like the Panasonic GX80 and a whole kit bag full of lenses for the same price as a TL2.
Looking today, you could buy the GX80 with a kit 12-32mm lens, a 25mm f/1.4 Leica prime lens, a 30mm f/2.8 macro lens, a 42.5mm f/1.2 Leica Noctitron and a 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lumix G Vario Power OIS Lens and still have more than £250 left over to spend on something else. Now that’s value if nothing else.
With the GX80, you’ll be getting a smaller sensor (Four Thirds), but you do get 4K Video and Photo modes, a viewfinder and a tilting screen. With 4K Photo you can shoot at 30fps, compared with the 20fps shooting of the Leica TL2.
The Sony A6500 represents a more natural competitor for the Leica TL2, as it also features an APS-C sized 24 megapixel sensor. It sits at the top of Sony’s line of APS-C E-Mount cameras, but it’s much more affordable than the TL2.
Currently, you can buy a Sony A6500 for around £2,049 as part of a package with the excellent 16-70mm f/4.0 Zeiss lens. To bring it up to the same price as the Leica TL2, you could also purchase a 35mm f/1.8 prime lens, a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and a 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 zoom lens – and you’d still have just over £100 left over.
For your cash, you get 4K Video recording, a high resolution electronic viewfinder and a tilting touch-sensitive screen. You miss out on (compared with the TL2) a fast frame rate, super fast shutter speeds and a generous internal memory.
So what should I buy?
It’s clear from having a quick look around that you can get a lot more for your money by choosing a different brand from Leica. However, that’s not to say that all you’re getting for your hard-earned cash is a shiny red badge. Leica has placed some very appealing specs in its TL2 body, including, but not limited to, 4K video recording, super fast shutter speeds, a fast frame rate and a handling system that’s very intuitive.
Now, where can we get a spare £3k from?