Canon 10D vs Leica X2
The Canon EOS 10D and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2003 and May 2012. The 10D is a DSLR, while the X2 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 10D and the Leica X2? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Leica X2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 10D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X2 is considerably smaller (47 percent) than the Canon 10D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 10D nor the X2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 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.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|2.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|3.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|4.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|6.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|8.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|9.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|10.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|11.||Canon D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|15.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|16.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|17.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. The X2 was launched at a lower price than the 10D, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 X2 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.
With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the 10D (6.3MP), but the X2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). Yet, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 9 years and 2 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 X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 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 27.6 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 X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|14.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
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 X2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 10D, the Leica X2, and comparable cameras.
|14.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 10D, but is missing on the X2 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 X2 uses SDHC cards.
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 X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|14.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 10D (unlike the X2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 10D and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the X2 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 10D and the Leica X2? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of 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).
Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 60%.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k 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 (124x69mm 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 10D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X2 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 10D and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 10D and the X2 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|1.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|2.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|3.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|4.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|6.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|7.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|8.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|9.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|10.||Canon Rebel||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|11.||Canon D60||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|12.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|13.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|14.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|15.||Leica X1||3/5||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|16.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|17.||Nikon D100||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 10D vs Leica X2
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 Model||Canon 10D||Leica X2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||February 2003||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,999||USD 1,995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 10D||Leica X2|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,500 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||57||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||571||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 10D||Leica X2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 10D||Leica X2|
|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||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 10D||Leica X2|
|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 X2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
124 x 69 x 52 mm
(4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||850 g (30.0 oz)||345 g (12.2 oz)|
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