Regular readers will know how much I liked the Leica T (Typ 601) So much, I have two. So there is no surprise that I had my pre-order in for the TL2 before the end of yesterday. For me Leica have kept what is really good about the T - Design, View Screen, Image Quality, Software video stabilisation, Built-in memory and added what was needed - 4K Video with focus peaking, 24MP sensor plus faster everything.
There are the usual Leica 'critiques' - overpriced, underspecified etc. but it should be remembered that the T, TL and TL2 are examples of what mirrorless promised to be when it first arrived, small, light and high quality. People who have never seen one in reality would be surprised just how small these cameras bodies are. This is a 400g camera despite being made of metal. In terms of specification it will suit me fine. For most uses the original T was fast enough for me. Though I have to say the idea of a 40,000th. sec. top shutter speed is somewhat appealing. That means that you can use wide apertures, such as the f/0.95 that Leica can offer in bright sunlight without any need for a ND filter.
I will of course be reporting back on how the camera works in practice and to be honest I can't wait to get my hands on one. My Leica SL (Typ 701) is a wonderful camera, but it's certainly not light or small and to be able to get 24MP resolution and 4K video in a less bulky and lighter package is very appealing.
I'm also glad that Leica have kept the radical design of the original T. Large view screen, touch screen control and minimalist styling. The T series are very different cameras to what many are used to and while I love it, I can see that some may find it too different. See Dpreview. Some people have mistakenly called it a smartphone type camera, but it's not that. Leica have always been keen to keep their digital cameras as uncluttered as possible. And that is something I appreciate. Firstly there are far less controls to accidentally hit and change things and secondly who wants to be constantly fiddling with the knobs and buttons apart from camera reviewers.
Leica have taken a totally different approach to mirrorless APS-C than other manufacturers with the T/TL series. It's interesting that a lot of the other manufacturers seem over keen to copy old Leicas whereas the company that invented the M series has no desire to emulate that with the TL2. It is of course difficult to convey just how classy the T series is in the hand. That brushed aluminium is great to hold and is also very hardwearing. I've had my T's for some time now and they both look like new.
And so to the question of price. £1700 here in the UK. And yes it's more expensive than what other companies have to offer. Though Sony's A9 at £4500 is certainly no bargain. I won't be able to comment on how fast the TL2 is until I receive mine, but some photographers I trust who have been trialling it seem to indicate it's pretty speedy. But ultimately that's not the point. What's important is how the camera performs and how it does in producing images. If you want to see some raw files you can find them here at Dpreview. Pretty Impressive and pretty decent high ISO as well.
Ultimately any review or opinion is unlikely to change peoples perception of Leica cameras. Some have a built in prejudice against them with comments like 'More money than sense' and 'Rich peoples toys' which is surprising since many of the worlds great photographers have used Leicas and Leica use only upmarket components are are committed to provide the best image quality they can. 'Tell me lies about Leica' has been commonplace in the forums for many years. However, I always come up with the same answer every time. I get to use Leica cameras and their detractors don't. And that's very much their loss.