Final thoughts (for now)
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Final thoughts (for now)

On balance, the Leica CL is a nicely-designed camera that is pleasant to use. It's not perfect, but compared to the T/L and TL2 that came before it, it's more practical for everyday photography and easier to get to grips with. The built-in viewfinder is excellent, and I appreciate the more or less conventional button-and-dial interface, and the straightforward, M10-inspired menu. Less convincing is the touchscreen implementation. While the ability to set focus by touch in some AF modes, and scroll through / zoom into images in playback is really handy, the frequent problem of the AF point being repositioned by my nose, and the 'always on' swipe functionality did frustrate me.

Image quality from the CL's 24MP sensor seems excellent, although I'm not wholly convinced by the 18mm lens. During my time with the CL I've used it almost exclusively with the new 18mm F2.8 pancake, and I can't deny that it's a pretty powerful combination – as well as being truly pocketable. Unfortunately, off-center sharpness isn't as good as I would hope from a $1200+ prime, and the ~F4 equivalent aperture (in 35mm terms) limits its usefulness for low light photography, or anything where you might want a modicum of foreground/background separation.

That said, there are other, very good quality lenses in Leica's T-mount lineup, and the CL will play very well with all of them, albeit at the expense of some pocketability.

What do you think of the new Leica CL? Let us know in the comments.