Leica’s compact system camera has finally arrived, but how will Leica users feel about the 16.3-million-pixel Leica T (Type 701) and its radical design and handling? We put it to the test

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Leica T (Type 701) review


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Leica T (Type 701) review – Our verdict

The Leica T (Type 701) probably wasn’t what most people were expecting when they imagined a Leica CSC. The lack of an M mount, viewfinder and control buttons will no doubt mean that many photographers write this camera off without even picking it up, which would be a shame.

While the control system may be unconventional, it is functional, fairly straightforward and, more importantly, much easier to use than that found on other cameras that have gone down the touchscreen-only route. It is a great piece of design, and while it lacks a few more advanced controls, it certainly isn’t lacking in key features, such as touchscreen AF point selection and Wi-Fi connectivity.

In terms of image quality, the Leica T performs well. It matches some of the best 16-million-pixel DSLRs in terms of resolution, with a good level of noise control.

The Leica T isn’t too expensive, although the major catch is that the two lenses currently available cost as much as the camera itself so the price rises from £1,350 to £2,500.

I like the Leica T and as a travel camera it would be a good companion. However, it doesn’t really do enough to convince me that I should buy it over, say, a Fujifilm X-Pro1, Fujifilm X-T1 or full-frame Sony Alpha 7.

Leica T (Type 701) – Key features

Multi-interface shoe
As well as being compatible with the new Leica SF 26 flashgun, the multi-interface shoe also allows the Visoflex (Typ 020) electronic viewfinder to be used. Interestingly, the EVF also has built-in GPS connectivity.
Movie recording
Video recording can be started or stopped using a dedicated button on the Leica T’s top-plate.
There are a number of dedicated accessories for the Leica T, including carrying straps, leather protection cases, carry cases and colourful T-snap cases. Perhaps most unusual is a leather over-the-shoulder holster that allows quick access to the camera, even if it does look like you are carry a handgun.
Dual control dials
The dual control dials can be customised to control various exposure or shooting settings, but most photographers will want to have the aperture/shutter speed on one dial and exposure compensation or sensitivity on the other, depending on the exposure mode.

  1. 1. Leica T (Type 701) at a glance:
  2. 2. Leica T (Type 701) review - Touchscreen operation
  3. 3. Leica T (Type 701) review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Leica T (Type 701) review - Autofocus
  5. 5. Leica T (Type 701) review - Metering
  6. 6. Leica T (Type 701) review - Dynamic range
  7. 7. Leica T (Type 701) review - White balance and colour
  8. 8. Leica T (Type 701) review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Leica T (Type 701) review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  10. 10. Leica T (Type 701) review - The competition
  11. 11. Leica T (Type 701) review - Our verdict
  12. 12. Hands-on review
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