Canon 500D vs Leica X1
The Canon EOS 500D (called Canon T1i in some regions) and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and September 2009. The 500D is a DSLR, while the X1 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/20p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)||ISO 100-3200|
|Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||2.7" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.4 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||260 shots per battery charge|
|129 x 98 x 62 mm, 520 g||124 x 60 x 32 mm, 306 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 500D and the Leica X1? 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: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
The physical size and weight of the Canon 500D and the Leica X1 are illustrated 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.
The X1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 500D 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 X1 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Canon 500D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 500D nor the X1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X1 has a lens built in, whereas the 500D 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 500D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 500D»||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon 500D|
|Leica X1«||4.9 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.8 oz||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|Canon 750D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon 1200D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X100« »||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||4.9 in||2.7 in||2.0 in||12.2 oz||450||n||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Jul 2010||499||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be more expensive and 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 X1 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (500D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 500D offers a higher resolution of 15.1 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Leica X1. 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 4.69μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). Moreover, it should be noted that the X1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 500D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 500D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 500D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.8 x 15.8 inch or 60.4 x 40.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19 x 12.7 inch or 48.3 x 32.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.8 x 10.6 inch or 40.2 x 26.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inch or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 500D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
|Canon 500D»||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon 500D|
|Leica X1«||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Canon 750D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Canon 1200D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X100« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/30p||22.9||12.4||1001||73||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||-||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 500D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the 500D can use is 1080/20p.
Feature comparison: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 500D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 500D and Leica X1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 500D»||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon 500D|
|Leica X1«||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica X1|
|Canon 750D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Canon 1200D« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X100« »||1440||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 500D and the X1 write their files to SDHC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
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 500D and Leica X1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 500D»||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 500D|
|Leica X1«||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Canon 750D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon 1200D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X100« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
Both the 500D and the X1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 500D was replaced by the Canon 550D, while the X1 was followed by the Leica X2. 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: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon 500D better than the Leica X1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 500D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.1 vs 12.2MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/20p movies.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Leica X1:
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 500D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 500D).
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 500D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 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 500D and the Leica X1 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 500D or the X1 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.
Expert reviews: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Canon 500D»||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon 500D|
|Leica X1«||-||+||-||-||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|Canon 750D« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon 750D|
|Canon 760D« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon 760D|
|Canon 1200D« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon 700D« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon 700D|
|Canon 650D« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon 600D« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Fujifilm X100« »||-||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2012||699||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2010||699||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||-||Panasonic LX5|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 10D vs Canon 500D
- Canon 500D vs Canon 70D
- Canon 500D vs Nikon D5300
- Canon 500D vs Nikon D5600
- Canon 500D vs Nikon D800
- Canon 5D Mark II vs Leica X1
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Leica X1
- Canon 700D vs Leica X1
- Leica Q Typ 116 vs Leica X1
- Leica X1 vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Leica X1 vs Panasonic GF1
- Leica X1 vs Sony RX10 III
Specifications: Canon 500D vs Leica X1
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 500D||Leica X1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||March 2009||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.1 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4752 x 3168 pixels||4272 x 2856 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.69 μm||5.51 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.53 MP/cm2||3.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/20p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.7||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||663||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.4 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 500D||Leica X1|
|Battery Type||LP-E5 power pack||BP-DC8 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
124 x 60 x 32 mm
(4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||306 g (10.8 oz)|
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