Leica Introduces New Compact 4K Camera With Touchscreen

Leica-TL2_Silver_TABy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Announcing a new 4K camera has gotten pretty common place today, but Leica is doing adding a touch screen and smartphone-like controls the TL2 mirrorless camera could make shooters wonder where your camera ends and your smartphone begins.

Leica-TL2_Silver_TA2This is the second in Leica’s T-series line of mirrorless cameras, but the TL2 has a larger 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a noticeable lack of controls. Leica has designed the TL2 with a barebones set that includes a shutter button, two control knobs, and a program button. That’s it.

The rest of the camera controls can be adjusted through the TL2’s 3.7-inch widescreen touch interface. Using your finger, you can adjust ISO, aperture and shutter speed, and even focus.

The thing I like is that you access the main menu by merely tapping on the screen itself. This brings up settings which give you full control over every function. The TL2 also has a My Camera menu, which enables users to customize specific camera settings for specific situations in order to apply them on the fly.  Leica also says that the touchscreen interface is up to eight times faster than the previous TL1.

Leica-TL2_Silver_TA3For the old school shooters out there who prefer a more tactile interface, once the settings menu is activated, they can be adjusted through the two control knobs on the top of the camera.  But old school shooters will notice no viewfinder, and that’s by design. But Leica has made a provision for that, by offering the optional Visoflex electronic viewfinder, which can be attached to the hot shot on top and plugged in. The Visoflex EVF offers a 2.4 million dot LCD screen with tilt/swivel options and integrated GPS ($575).

The TL2’s APS-C CMOS sensor can shoot in 4K via mp4 at 30 fps, but that’s going to be a challenge when you get into lower light situations considering how small that sensor is. But the ISO range maxes out at 50,000, which seems an update over the previous model. Other modes include full HD 1080p video up to 60fps, 720p at 120fps.

Other features include:

  1. Leica Maestro II image processor
  2. Up to 20 frames per second when using the electronic shutter
  3. 4K UHD video at up to 30 frames per second
  4. Autofocus performance as fast as 165 milliseconds
  5. 3.7-inch touchscreen
  6. Touchscreen user interface
  7. 32GB internal storage
  8. SD card slot with UHS-II supported
  9. Milled from a single block of aluminum
  10. Built-in Wi-Fi
  11. USB 3.0 Type-C port
  12. HDMI Type-D port

Leica also has a TL control app which connects to your camera via WiFi and enables you to adjust settings, transfer your images and then share them online.  But there’s a huge downside that honestly, I’m shocked that Leica chose not to include. There is no external microphone jack. So if you want to record better audio than the TL2’s on board stereo mic, you’re going to have to do it with a separate audio recorder and then sync in post.

Price of the Leica TL2 is $1950 and will be available later this month in black or silver.  All in all, for the vlogger with money to burn, it would have been a nice, but pricey, compact option. But without an external microphone jack, and having to use Leica’s own L mount lenses, and this camera is likely going to have a limited reach with filmmakers.

You can pre-order the silver model here, and the black model here [affiliate links].

Hat Tip – Wired

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.