Canon SX50 vs Leica D-LUX 5
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica D-LUX 5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2010. Both the SX50 and the D-LUX 5 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) and a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica D-LUX 5? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Leica D-LUX 5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica D-LUX 5 is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Canon SX50. Moreover, the D-LUX 5 is substantially lighter (54 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the D-LUX 5 are weather-sealed.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|9.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|10.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399|
|11.||Canon SX10||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Sep 2008||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|13.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|14.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|15.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX50 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 39 percent) than the D-LUX 5, 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX50 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica D-LUX 5 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the D-LUX 5 is 64 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 4.4. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The D-LUX 5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX50 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Leica D-LUX 5. 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 1.53μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5). However, it should be noted that the SX50 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the D-LUX 5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX50 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX50 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica D-LUX 5 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica D-LUX 5 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|13.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the SX50 provides a higher video resolution than the D-LUX 5. It can shoot video footage at 1080/24p, while the Leica is limited to 720/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX50, the Leica D-LUX 5, and comparable cameras.
|2.||Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|13.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
Both the SX50 and the D-LUX 5 have zoom lenses built in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the D-LUX 5 offers a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon and Leica provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Leica has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The D-LUX 5 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the D-LUX 5 write their files to SDXC cards.
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 SX50 HS and Leica D-LUX 5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the SX50 and the D-LUX 5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D-LUX 5 was replaced by the Leica D-LUX 6, while the SX50 was followed by the Canon SX60. 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.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX50 better than the Leica D-LUX 5 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/24p vs 720/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (39 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the D-LUX 5).
Reasons to prefer the Leica D-LUX 5:
- 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.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 123x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 324g or 54 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX 5 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 8 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Leica D-LUX 5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX50 and the D-LUX 5 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
|1.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|2.||Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|7.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|8.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|9.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|10.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399|
|11.||Canon SX10||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||Sep 2008||399|
|12.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|13.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|14.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|15.||Leica X1||3/5||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Leica D-LUX 5
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 SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3|
|Launch Date||September 2012||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||7.85 x 5.89 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||46.2365 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||9.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||2.14 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||21.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||720/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||47||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.3||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.2||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||179||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.2 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon SX50||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||315 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||595 g (21.0 oz)||271 g (9.6 oz)|
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