Canon SX530 vs Leica X2
The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and May 2012. Both the SX530 and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX530) and an APS-C (X2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX530 and the Leica X2 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX530 is only available in black.
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 (13 percent) than the Canon SX530. Moreover, the X2 is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the SX530. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX530 nor the X2 are weather-sealed.
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.
|1.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|2.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|3.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|4.||Canon SX540||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||205||n||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|7.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|12.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|13.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|14.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|15.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|16.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|17.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 SX530 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 78 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.
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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 SX530 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica X2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X2 is 1221 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX530 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X2 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the SX530 (15.9MP), but the X2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.33μm for the SX530) due to its larger sensor. However, the SX530 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the X2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX530 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Canon PowerShot SX530 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|12.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX530 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX530 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX530 and the X2 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the X2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX530 and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|12.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
The SX530 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a built-in prime. The SX530 has a 24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5 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. The X2 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX530 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 SX530 HS and Leica X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|12.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the SX530 offers wifi support, while the X2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the SX530 and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX530 was replaced by the Canon SX540, 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.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX530 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.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- 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 (461k vs 230k dots).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (78 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the X2 launch.
Advantages of the Leica X2:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.6 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).
- More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 120x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 97g or 22 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2012).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X2 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX530 and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 SX530 and the X2 in practical situations. 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
|1.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|2.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|3.||Canon T6||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|4.||Canon SX540||..||..||..||..||..||Jan 2016||399|
|5.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|6.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|7.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|8.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|9.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|10.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|12.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|13.||Leica X1||3/5||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|14.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|15.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|16.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|17.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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.
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.
Specifications: Canon SX530 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 Model||Canon SX530||Leica X2|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||January 2015||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 1,995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX530||Leica X2|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,500 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX530||Leica X2|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||461k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX530||Leica X2|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.6 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 SX530||Leica X2|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX530||Leica X2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
120 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
124 x 69 x 52 mm
(4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||442 g (15.6 oz)||345 g (12.2 oz)|
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