Canon SX610 vs Leica X1
The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and September 2009. Both the SX610 and the X1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an APS-C (X1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 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.
|Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|25-450mm f/3.8-6.9||36mm f/2.8|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 80-3200||ISO 100-3200|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||2.7" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|270 shots per battery charge||260 shots per battery charge|
|105 x 61 x 27 mm, 191 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 PowerShot SX610 HS 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX610 and the Leica X1 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 SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the X1 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).
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 larger (16 percent) than the Canon SX610. Moreover, the X1 is substantially heavier (60 percent) than the SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the X1 are weather-sealed.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon SX610»||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.1 in||6.7 oz||270||n||Jan 2015||249||Canon SX610|
|Leica X1«||4.9 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.8 oz||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||Leica X1|
|Canon SX420« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||195||n||Jan 2016||299||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX540« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||15.6 oz||205||n||Jan 2016||399||Canon SX540|
|Canon SX620« »||3.8 in||2.2 in||1.1 in||6.4 oz||295||n||May 2016||279||Canon SX620|
|Canon SX720« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379||Canon SX720|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||Canon G9 X|
|Canon SX410« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.3 in||11.5 oz||185||n||Feb 2015||279||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX710« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX600« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.0 in||6.6 oz||290||n||Jan 2014||249||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX400« »||4.1 in||2.7 in||3.1 in||11.0 oz||190||n||Jul 2014||249||Canon SX400|
|Fujifilm X100« »||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||4.9 in||2.7 in||2.0 in||12.2 oz||450||n||May 2012||1,995||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony H300« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||3.6 in||20.8 oz||350||n||Feb 2014||219||Sony H300|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX610 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 88 percent) than the X1, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX610 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica X1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X1 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 SX610 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 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 1.18μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is much more recent (by 5 years and 3 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SX610 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Canon SX610 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX610 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inch or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon SX610||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX610|
|Leica X1||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||none||..||..||..||..||Leica X1|
|Canon SX420||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX540||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX540|
|Canon SX620||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX620|
|Canon SX720||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX720|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63||Canon G9 X|
|Canon SX410||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX710||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX600||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX400||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX400|
|Fujifilm X100||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/30p||22.9||12.4||1001||73||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||none||..||..||..||..||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony H300||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony H300|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX610 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX610 and the X1 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. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX610 and Leica X1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon SX610||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5||Y||Y||Canon SX610|
|Leica X1||none||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica X1|
|Canon SX420||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX540||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX540|
|Canon SX620||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5||Y||Y||Canon SX620|
|Canon SX720||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX720|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon G9 X|
|Canon SX410||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||0.5||Y||Y||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX710||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX600||none||n||3.0||461||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.9||Y||Y||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX400||none||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/1600s||0.8||Y||Y||Canon SX400|
|Fujifilm X100||1440||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2||optional||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony H300||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y||Sony H300|
The SX610 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X1 comes with a built-in prime. The SX610 has a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 optic and the X1 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 X1 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X1 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 SX610 HS and Leica X1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon SX610||-||none||none||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX610|
|Leica X1||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Canon SX420||-||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX420|
|Canon SX540||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX540|
|Canon SX620||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX620|
|Canon SX720||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX720|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G9 X|
|Canon SX410||-||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX410|
|Canon SX710||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX710|
|Canon SX600||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX600|
|Canon SX400||-||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX400|
|Fujifilm X100||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Panasonic LX5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Sony H300||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony H300|
It is notable that the SX610 offers wifi support, while the X1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the SX610 and the X1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the SX610 was followed by the Canon SX620. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX610 and the Leica X1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 12.2MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
- 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x61mm vs 124x60mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 115g or 38 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- 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 (88 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 3 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Leica X1:
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.8).
- 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 September 2009).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX610 emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 SX610 and the Leica X1 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX610 or the X1 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon SX610 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 Model||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-450mm f/3.8-6.9||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||January 2015||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 249||USD 1995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|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||20.2 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4272 x 2856 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||5.51 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||3.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80-3200 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 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||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX610||Leica X1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||270 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
105 x 61 x 27 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
124 x 60 x 32 mm
(4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||191 g (6.7 oz)||306 g (10.8 oz)|
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