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Canon 400D vs Leica X2

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and May 2012. The 400D 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 10.1 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 400D   VS Leica X2
Canon 400D Leica X2
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-12500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 2.7" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 g 124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 400D 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Leica X2. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 400D is only available in black.

Size Canon 400D vs Leica X2
Compare 400D versus X2 top
Comparison 400D or X2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X2 is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Canon 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D 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 400D 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 400D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the X2 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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400D» 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799iCanon 400D
 
Leica X2« 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon 650D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 550D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Canon 500D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Canon 450D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799iCanon 450D
 
Canon 40D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Canon 350D« » 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899iCanon 350D
 
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 iLeica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« » 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica X1« » 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Nikon D40X« » 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729iNikon D40X
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (400D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 400D and Leica X2 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the 400D (10.1MP), but the X2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D). Yet, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 8 months) than the 400D, 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 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 400D are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inch or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inch or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 400D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

400D versus X2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........Leica X2
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........Leica TL
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........Leica X1
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663Nikon D40X
Neither the 400D nor the X2 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 400D 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 400D and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X2
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica TL
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n Leica X1
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X

The 400D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 400D and Leica X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 400D
 
Leica X2Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X2
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 550DYstereononeY-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---Canon 500D
 
Canon 450DYnonenone--mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 40DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 350DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 350D
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
 
Leica TYstereomono--none2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X1
 
Nikon D40XYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D40X

Both the 400D and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 400D or the Leica X2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 400D:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • 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.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • 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 400D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 127x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 400D).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 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 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.

400D 04:09 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 400D 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 400D or the X2. 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799iCanon 400D
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749iCanon 750D
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649iCanon 760D
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849iCanon 650D
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699iCanon 550D
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799iCanon 500D
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799iCanon 450D
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Canon 350D80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899iCanon 350D
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 iLeica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729iNikon D40X
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 400D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X2:
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 400D 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 400D 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 2006 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1995
    Sensor Specs Canon 400D Leica X2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-12500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 400D Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 400D Leica X2
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 400D Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 400D Leica X2
    Battery Type NB-2LH BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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