Canon 1D vs Leica CL
The Canon EOS-1D and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2001 and November 2017. The 1D is a DSLR, while the CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-H (1D) and an APS-C (CL) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 4.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24.1 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 and the Leica CL (Typ 7323)? 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 1D and the Leica CL is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica CL is considerably smaller (59 percent) than the Canon 1D. Moreover, the CL is substantially lighter (75 percent) than the 1D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 1D is splash and dust resistant, while the CL does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the 1D gets 500 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the CL can take 220 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1D has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 1D||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1585 g||500||Y||Sep 2001||6,499|
|2.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1440 g||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499|
|4.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|6.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|7.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|8.||Canon 1D C||158 mm||164 mm||83 mm||1545 g||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999|
|9.||Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1565 g||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1535 g||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds||156 mm||158 mm||80 mm||1265 g||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999|
|14.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|15.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|16.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|17.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 CL was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the 1D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D features an APS-H sensor and the Leica CL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the CL 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 CL offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 4.1 MP of the 1D. 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 3.92μm versus 11.56μm for the 1D). However, it should be noted that the CL is much more recent (by 16 years and 2 months) than the 1D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the CL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica CL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the CL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 1D are 12.5 x 8.3 inches or 31.7 x 21.1 cm for good quality, 10 x 6.6 inches or 25.4 x 16.9 cm for very good quality, and 8.3 x 5.5 inches or 21.1 x 14.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-1D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|5.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|6.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|7.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|8.||Canon 1D C||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||none||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|13.||Canon 1Ds||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||none||21.8||11.0||954||63|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The CL indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D does not. The highest resolution format that the CL can use is 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 1D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the 1D has a higher magnification than the one of the CL (0.55x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D, the Leica CL, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon 1D||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||8.0||n||n|
|2.||Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2 / 2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n|
|4.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|6.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon 5DS||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|8.||Canon 1D C||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|9.||Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.5||n||n|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||optical||Y||2.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||n||n|
|13.||Canon 1Ds||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||n||n|
|14.||Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|15.||Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
|17.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The CL has a touchscreen, while the 1D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the CL is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica CL has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 1D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the CL uses SDXC 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-1D and Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 1D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica CL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon 5DS||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 1D C||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 1D X||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon 1Ds||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|14.||Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Leica C-LUX||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Leica TL2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the CL offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 1D does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 1D (unlike the CL) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The CL is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the 1D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1D was succeeded by the Canon 1D Mark II. 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 how do things add up? Is the Canon 1D better than the Leica CL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.49x).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 220) 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2001).
Arguments in favor of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 4.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 141%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 120k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (131x78mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 1182g or 75 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 16 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 1D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the CL is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 9 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 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 1D and the Leica CL place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1D or the CL perform in practice. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2001||6,499|
|2.||Leica CL||..||..||4.2/5||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Canon 1D X Mark III||..||+ +||5/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2020||6,499|
|4.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|6.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||4/5||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|7.||Canon 5DS||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|8.||Canon 1D C||..||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2012||14,999|
|9.||Canon 1D X||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|10.||Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||..||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|11.||Canon 1D Mark II N||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2005||3,999|
|12.||Canon 1D Mark II||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||4,499|
|13.||Canon 1Ds||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2002||8,999|
|14.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|15.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|16.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|17.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon 1D vs Leica CL
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||Leica CL|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2001||November 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 6,499||USD 2,795|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D||Leica CL|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||28.7 x 19.1 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||548.17 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||34.5 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||4.1 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||2496 x 1662 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||11.56 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||0.76 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC||Maestro II|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D||Leica CL|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D||Leica CL|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/16000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/25000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D||Leica CL|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||Firewire||no USB|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D||Leica CL|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
156 x 158 x 80 mm
(6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||1585 g (55.9 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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