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Canon SX50 vs Leica V-LUX 4

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica V-LUX 4 are two digital cameras that were announced in September 2012. Both the SX50 and the V-LUX 4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX50 VS Leica V-LUX 4
Canon SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 25-600mm f/2.8
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)
3.0" LCD, 461k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.2 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
315 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g 125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Leica V-LUX 4? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX50 and the Leica V-LUX 4 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX50 vs Leica V-LUX 4
Compare SX50 versus V-LUX 4 top
Comparison SX50 or V-LUX 4 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 4 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon SX50. However, the V-LUX 4 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the SX50. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX50 nor the V-LUX 4 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX50 gets 315 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the V-LUX 4 can take 540 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50» 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429iCanon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX 4« 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949iLeica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 iCanon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60« » 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549iCanon SX60
 
Canon G16« » 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 iCanon G16
 
Canon S120« » 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449iCanon S120
 
Canon G1 X« » 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon G15« » 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499iCanon G15
 
Canon SX40« » 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429iCanon SX40
 
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon G12« » 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499iCanon G12
 
Leica X Vario« » 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949iLeica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« » 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849iLeica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic LX7« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499iPanasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499iPanasonic FZ150
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 SX50 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the V-LUX 4, 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.

 

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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon SX50 and Leica V-LUX 4 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the SX50 and the V-LUX 4 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 4 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica V-LUX 4 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX50 versus V-LUX 4 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.924656Canon S120
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........Canon SX40
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147Canon G12
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the V-LUX 4 provides a faster frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the V-LUX 4 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the SX50 (1312k vs 202k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX50, the Leica V-LUX 4, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y Canon S120
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y Canon SX40
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon G12optical n 2.8 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1 Y Y Canon G12
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

Both the SX50 and the V-LUX 4 have zoom lenses built in. The SX50 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 optic and the V-LUX 4 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (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. The V-LUX 4 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX50 and the V-LUX 4 write their files to SDXC cards. The V-LUX 4 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX50 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 PowerShot SX50 HS and Leica V-LUX 4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon S120
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---Canon SX40
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon G12Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G12
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereonone--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereonone--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150

It is notable that the V-LUX 4 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The SX50 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the SX50 and the V-LUX 4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX50 was replaced by the Canon SX60, while the V-LUX 4 was followed by the Leica V-LUX Typ 114. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX50 or the Leica V-LUX 4 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 4:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1312k vs 202k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.4).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 315) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 4 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 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 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.

SX50 04:10 V-LUX 4

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX50 and the Leica V-LUX 4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 V-LUX 4 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.

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 (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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429iCanon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949iLeica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 iCanon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549iCanon SX60
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 iCanon G16
 
Canon S120+ +..4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2013 449iCanon S120
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799iCanon G1 X
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499iCanon G15
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429iCanon SX40
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449iCanon 1100D
 
Canon G12+73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499iCanon G12
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949iLeica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849iLeica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic LX7+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499iPanasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499iPanasonic FZ150
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. 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 SX50:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 4:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Canon SX50 vs Leica V-LUX 4

    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 SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 429 USD 949
    Sensor Specs Canon SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-6400 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 V-LUX 4
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1312k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 461k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.2 shutter flaps/s 12 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon SX50 Leica V-LUX 4
    Battery Type NB-10L BP-DC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)315 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 123 x 87 x 106 mm
    (4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
    125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 595 g (21.0 oz) 588 g (20.7 oz)

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