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Canon M50 vs Leica X1

The Canon EOS M50 and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2018 and September 2009. The M50 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X1 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon M50 versus Leica X1
Canon M50 Leica X1
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF-M mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/24p Video no Video
ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200) ISO 100-3,200
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
235 shots per battery charge260 shots per battery charge
116 x 88 x 59 mm, 390 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 M50 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M50 and the Leica X1. 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 M50 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the X1 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon M50 vs Leica X1
Compare M50 versus X1 top
Comparison M50 or X1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X1 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Canon M50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M50 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 M50 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the M50 gets 235 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the X1 can take 260 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 111 mm 61 mm 46 mm 340 g 230 n Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon M6 Mark II 120 mm 70 mm 49 mm 408 g 305 n Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon G5 X 112 mm 76 mm 44 mm 353 g 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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. 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. 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.

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 (M50) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon M50 and Leica X1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon M50 offers a higher resolution of 24 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 3.72μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the M50 is much more recent (by 8 years and 5 months) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon M50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inches or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The M50 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon EOS M50 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

M50 versus X1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Canon M6 Mark II APS-C 32.3 6960 46404K/30p........
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The M50 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the M50 can use is 4K/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M50 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful 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 M50 and Leica X1 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
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon G5 X Mark II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 30 Y Y
 
Canon M6 Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 14.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M50 has a touchscreen, while the X1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The M50 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 X1 does not have a selfie-screen.

The M50 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X1 uses SDHC cards. The M50 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the X1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 M50 and Leica X1 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
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
 
Canon G5 X Mark II-stereomono--micro3.1Y-Y
 
Canon M6 Mark IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X-T20YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the M50 offers wifi support, while the X1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The M50 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the X1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X1 was succeeded 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

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon M50 and the Leica X1? 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 M50:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP) with a 40% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/24p movies.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 5 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X1:

  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M50 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 116x88mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M50).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (260 versus 235) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M50 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 6 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 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.

M50 17:06 X1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M50 and the Leica X1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the M50 and the X1 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Canon G5 X Mark II+82/100....4/5 Jul 2019 899 i
 
Canon M6 Mark II+85/1004/5..4/5 Aug 2019 849 i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Fujifilm X-T20+ +82/1005/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i
 
Leica D-LUX 6....4/5..4/5 Sep 2012 699i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Leica D-LUX 5....4.5/5..4/5 Sep 2010 699i
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Panasonic LX5+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

Canon M50:
Check Amazon price
Leica X1:
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 M50 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M50 Leica X1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date February 2018 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 779 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon M50 Leica X1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 4272 x 2856 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 3.30 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 51,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs Canon M50 Leica X1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M50 Leica X1
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 3 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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon M50 Leica X1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon M50 Leica X1
    Battery Type LP-E12 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)235 shots per charge260 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 88 x 59 mm
    (4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in)
    124 x 60 x 32 mm
    (4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 390 g (13.8 oz) 306 g (10.8 oz)

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