Canon 1D Mark II N vs Leica X2
The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2005 and May 2012. The 1D Mark II N is a DSLR, while the X2 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D Mark II N) and an APS-C (X2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8.2 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-1D Mark II N 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D Mark II N and the Leica X2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 1D Mark II N 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 (65 percent) than the Canon 1D Mark II N. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D Mark II N is splash and dust resistant, while the X2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens built in, whereas the 1D Mark II N 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 1D Mark II N and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1D Mark II N gets 1200 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the X2 can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D Mark II N has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||152 mm||114 mm||75 mm||850 g||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1155 g||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 5D||152 mm||113 mm||75 mm||895 g||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1215 g||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|15.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|16.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|17.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X2 was launched at a lower price than the 1D Mark II N, 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D Mark II N features an APS-H sensor and the Leica X2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X2 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the X2 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 1D Mark II N. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 8.17μm for the 1D Mark II N). However, it should be noted that the X2 is much more recent (by 6 years and 8 months) than the 1D Mark II N, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
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 1D Mark II N are 17.5 x 11.7 inches or 44.5 x 29.7 cm for good quality, 14 x 9.3 inches or 35.6 x 23.7 cm for very good quality, and 11.7 x 7.8 inches or 29.7 x 19.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|5.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||none||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|10.||Canon 5D||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||none||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||none||23.3||11.3||1480||74|
|15.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||12.8||1491||78|
|16.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1D Mark II N 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1D Mark II N and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5/s||n||n|
|2.||Leica X2||optional||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5DS||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9/s||n||n|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Canon 5D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||n||n|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Leica T||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Leica X1||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the 1D Mark II N, 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 1D Mark II N writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SD cards, while the X2 uses SDHC cards. The 1D Mark II N features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X2 only has one slot.
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-1D Mark II N and Leica X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica X2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 5DS||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 5D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Leica T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Leica X1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D Mark II N (unlike the X2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 1D Mark II N and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The 1D Mark II N was replaced by the Canon 1D Mark III, 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 the Canon 1D Mark II N better than the Leica X2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N:
- 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 (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.5 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2005).
Advantages of the Leica X2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 1D Mark II N requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 1D Mark II N).
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- 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 6 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 1D Mark II N launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1D Mark II N comes out slightly ahead of the X2 (11 : 10 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 1D Mark II N 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1D Mark II N and the X2 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||4/5||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||amazon.com|
|5.||Canon 5DS||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|6.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|7.||Canon 5D Mark II||4/5||91/100||..||79/100||4/5||..||Sep 2008||3,499||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon 1D Mark III||..||..||..||..||..||..||Feb 2007||4,499||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon 5D||..||88/100||..||+ +||o||..||Aug 2005||3,299||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon 1Ds Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||7,999||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|15.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|16.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|17.||Leica X1||3/5||..||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Canon 300D
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Canon R5
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon 1 J5
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Pentax K-70
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Sony A7 IV
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Sony RX10 II
- Canon 6D vs Leica X2
- Fujifilm XP120 vs Leica X2
- Leica X2 vs Nikon D3300
- Leica X2 vs Olympus E-PL7
- Leica X2 vs Sony RX1
- Leica X2 vs Sony RX100 III
Specifications: Canon 1D Mark II N 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 1D Mark II N||Leica X2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2005||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 3,999||USD 1,995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D Mark II N||Leica X2|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||28.7 x 19.1 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||548.17 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||34.5 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.17 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.49 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 12,500 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||975||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D Mark II N||Leica X2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D Mark II N||Leica X2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||8.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SD cards||SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D Mark II N||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 1D Mark II N||Leica X2|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
156 x 158 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
124 x 69 x 52 mm
(4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||1565 g (55.2 oz)||345 g (12.2 oz)|
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