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Canon G1 X vs Leica X2

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and May 2012. Both the G1X and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and an APS-C (X2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon G1 X versus Leica X2
Canon G1 X Leica X2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 36mm f/2.8
14.2 MP, 1.5" Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
no rear screen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.9 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
250 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
117 x 81 x 65 mm, 534 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 PowerShot G1 X 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 physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Leica X2 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the G1X is only available in black.

Size Canon G1 X vs Leica X2
Compare G1X versus X2 top
Comparison G1X 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 (10 percent) than the Canon G1 X. Moreover, the X2 is substantially lighter (35 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L 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 would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Fujifilm X100S 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 n Jan 2013 1,299i
12.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
16.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
17.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
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. The G1X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the X2, 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.

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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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Leica X2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X2 is 41 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 1.5. The sensor in the G1X has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon G1 X and Leica X2 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the G1X (14.2MP), but the X2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the G1X, 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 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 G1 X are 21.8 x 16.3 inches or 55.3 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 17.4 x 13.1 inches or 44.2 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 14.5 x 10.9 inches or 36.8 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

G1X 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 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 G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
2.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
5.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
9.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
12.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
16.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
17.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The G1X indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the G1X can use is 1080/24p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G1X 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon G1 X, the Leica X2, and comparable cameras.

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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 G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
2.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
12.
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
16.
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
The G1X has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the X2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The G1X is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a built-in prime. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the X2 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The G1X writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 PowerShot G1 X and Leica X2 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 G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereomono--micro2.0---
12.
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
13.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
16.
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
17.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---

Both the G1X and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X 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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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 189g or 35 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). 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.

G1X 10:10 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon G1 X and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1X or the X2. 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

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 (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 G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
2.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
9.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Fujifilm X100S5/5+ +81/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299i
12.
 
Fujifilm X-E24/5..80/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2013 999i
13.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
14.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
15.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
16.
 
Leica X13/5..+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
17.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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 G1 X:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon G1 X 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 G1 X Leica X2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date January 2012 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon G1 X Leica X2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1.5" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 18.7 x 14.0 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 261.8 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 23.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.85x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4352 x 3264 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 5.43 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 644 ..
    Screen Specs Canon G1 X Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 74%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon G1 X Leica X2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.9 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon G1 X Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon G1 X Leica X2
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)250 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 81 x 65 mm
    (4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 534 g (18.8 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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