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Canon 50D vs Leica X Vario

The Canon EOS 50D and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and June 2013. The 50D is a DSLR, while the X Vario 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 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 50D versus Leica X Vario
Canon 50D Leica X Vario
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
15.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 50D and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107)? 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 50D and the Leica X Vario. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 50D is only available in black.

Size Canon 50D vs Leica X Vario
Compare 50D versus X Vario top
Comparison 50D or X Vario rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X Vario is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Canon 50D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 50D is splash and dust resistant, while the X Vario does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens built in, whereas the 50D 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 50D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 50D gets 800 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the X Vario 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
2.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
3.
 
Canon 90D 141 mm 105 mm 77 mm 701 g 1300 Y Aug 2019 1,199 i
4.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
5.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
6.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
8.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
9.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
12.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
13.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
15.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
17.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 X Vario is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (50D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon 50D and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the 50D (15.1MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.69μm for the 50D) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X Vario is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 9 months) than the 50D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon EOS 50D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

50D versus X Vario 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the X Vario offers substantially better image quality than the 50D (overall score 15 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
2.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
3.
 
Canon 90D APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
4.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
5.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
6.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
7.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
8.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
9.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
12.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
13.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
15.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
17.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The X Vario indeed provides for movie recording, while the 50D does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 50D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 50D and Leica X Vario along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
2.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 90Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 11.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
8.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 50D, but is missing on the X Vario 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 50D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the X Vario uses SDXC cards.

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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 50D and Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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
1.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 90DYstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereomonoYYmini3.0---
6.
 
Canon 70DYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 7DYmono-Y-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
17.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 50D (unlike the X Vario) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 50D and the X Vario have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 50D was replaced by the Canon 60D, while the X Vario 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 50D and the Leica X Vario? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 50D:

  • 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 (6.3 vs 5 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 (800 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.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2008).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 50D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x73mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 50D).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 9 months of technical progress since the 50D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X Vario comes out slightly ahead of the 50D (10 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

50D 09:10 X Vario

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 50D and the Leica X Vario place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 50D or the X Vario. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
2.
 
Leica X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
3.
 
Canon 90D4/5+85/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2019 1,199 i
4.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
5.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+84/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
6.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
8.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
9.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
12.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
13.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
14.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
15.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
17.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 50D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X Vario:
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 50D vs Leica X Vario

    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 50D Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date August 2008 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 2,850
    Sensor Specs Canon 50D Leica X Vario
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4752 x 3168 pixels 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.69 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 4.53 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 696 1320
    Screen Specs Canon 50D Leica X Vario
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 50D Leica X Vario
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 50D Leica X Vario
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 50D Leica X Vario
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-511A BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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