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Canon 10D vs Leica X Vario

The Canon EOS 10D and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2003 and June 2013. The 10D is a DSLR, while the X Vario is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 10D
versus
Leica X Vario
Canon 10D   Leica X Vario
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 850 g 133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 10D and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107)? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Leica X Vario. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 10D is only available in black.

Size Canon 10D vs Leica X Vario
Compare 10D versus X Vario top
Comparison 10D or X Vario rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X Vario is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 10D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 10D nor the X Vario are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens built in, whereas the 10D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 10D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 10D gets 500 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the X Vario can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999 i
2.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i
3.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
4.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
6.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699 i
7.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
8.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399 i
9.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
10.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
11.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999 i
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i
14.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995 i
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099 i
16.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999 i
17.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X Vario is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (10D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 10D and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the 10D (6.3MP), but the X Vario has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). Yet, the X Vario is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 3 months) than the 10D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X Vario implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X Vario for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 10D are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 10D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

10D versus X Vario MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the X Vario offers substantially better image quality than the 10D (overall score 21 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.3 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.9571 57
2.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.71320 78
3.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
4.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
6.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.7854 66
7.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64
8.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.8736 59
9.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
10.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
11.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none...... ..
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.72221 85
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p...... ..
14.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none...... ..
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.81164 80
16.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none...... ..
17.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.5972 78

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The X Vario indeed provides for movie recording, while the 10D does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 10D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 10D and Leica X Vario in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
8.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D100optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 10D, but is missing on the X Vario is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 10D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the X Vario uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 10D and Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
2.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
8.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
10.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
11.
 
Canon D60Y-----1.1---
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D100Y-----1.1---
17.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 10D (unlike the X Vario) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 10D and the X Vario have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the X Vario does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 10D and the Leica X Vario? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 10D:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2003).

ilogo

Advantages of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 60%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (21 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 10D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x73mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 10D).
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years and 3 months of technical progress since the 10D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X Vario is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

10D 07:15 X Vario

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 10D and the Leica X Vario place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 10D and the X Vario in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999 i
2.
 
Leica X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i
3.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
4.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
6.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699 i
7.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
8.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399 i
9.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
10.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
11.
 
Canon D60....+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999 i
12.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i
14.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995 i
15.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099 i
16.
 
Nikon D100....+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999 i
17.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 10D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 10D vs Leica X Vario

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date February 2003 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,999 USD 2,850
    Sensor Specs Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 57 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.9 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 571 1320
    Screen Specs Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 10D Leica X Vario
    Battery Type BP-511 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 850 g (30.0 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

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