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Canon SX610 vs Leica X2

The Canon PowerShot SX610 HS and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2015 and May 2012. Both the SX610 and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX610) and an APS-C (X2) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 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.

Headline Specifications
Canon SX610
versus
Leica X2
Canon SX610   Leica X2
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 16.1 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 80-3,200 ISO 100-12,500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 922k dots 3.0" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
105 x 61 x 27 mm, 191 g 124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g
Canon SX610:
Check current offers at
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Leica X2:
Check current offers at
i

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX610 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX610 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 SX610 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the X2 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Canon SX610 vs Leica X2
Compare SX610 versus X2 top
Comparison SX610 or X2 rear

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 larger (34 percent) than the Canon SX610. Moreover, the X2 is substantially heavier (81 percent) than the SX610. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX610 nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the SX610 gets 270 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X2 can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

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

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX610 105 mm 61 mm 27 mm 191 g 270 n Jan 2015 249i
2.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon SX540 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 205 n Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
6.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
7.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
8.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
9.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX600 104 mm 61 mm 26 mm 188 g 290 n Jan 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX400 104 mm 69 mm 80 mm 313 g 190 n Jul 2014 249i
12.
 
Fujifilm X100S 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 n Jan 2013 1,299i
13.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999i
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
15.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
17.
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Note: 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 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 SX610 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 88 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 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 SX610 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X2 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX610 and Leica X2 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX610 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the Leica X2. 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 4.79μm for the X2). However, it should be noted that the SX610 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the X2, 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 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X2 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 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 X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

SX610 versus X2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.211.671247
2.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
3.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p20.311.780648
4.
 
Canon SX540 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.780648
5.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p20.411.883849
6.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.311.881748
7.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
8.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.211.672047
9.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.211.671247
10.
 
Canon SX600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.011.462045
11.
 
Canon SX400 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p20.111.567246
12.
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.312.5132975
13.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.412.6140077
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
15.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
17.
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p20.111.463045
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX610 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX610 can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The SX610 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 SX610 and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon SX610none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5/s Y Y
2.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon SX420none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX540none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 5.9/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX620none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX720none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX410none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5/s Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX710none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX600none n3.0 / 461 fixed n 1/2000s 3.9/s Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX400none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8/s Y Y
12.
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony H300none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The SX610 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a built-in prime. The SX610 has a 25-450mm f/3.8-6.9 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 SX610 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 SX610 HS and Leica X2 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon SX610-- / ---micro2.0YY-
2.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX420-mono / mono---2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX540-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon SX620-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon SX720-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon G9 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX410-stereo / mono---2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX710-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX600-mono / mono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX400-stereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereo / mono--micro2.0---
13.
 
Fujifilm X-E2Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereo / mono---2.0---
17.
 
Sony H300-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX610 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 SX610 and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX610 was replaced by the Canon SX620, 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX610 better than the Leica X2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 16.1MP) with a 10% 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 124x69mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 154g or 45 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 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the X2 launch.

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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 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).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 270) 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 number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX610 comes out slightly ahead of the X2 (13 : 12 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX610 13:12 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX610 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX610 and the X2 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX610........4/54/5 Jan 2015 249i
2.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon SX420..........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
4.
 
Canon SX540............ Jan 2016 399 i
5.
 
Canon SX620..........4/5 May 2016 279 i
6.
 
Canon SX720..+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
7.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
8.
 
Canon SX410..o........ Feb 2015 279i
9.
 
Canon SX710..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
10.
 
Canon SX600..+....4/54/5 Jan 2014 249i
11.
 
Canon SX400..+........ Jul 2014 249i
12.
 
Fujifilm X100S5/5+ +..81/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299i
13.
 
Fujifilm X-E24/5....80/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2013 999i
14.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
15.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
16.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+..75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
17.
 
Sony H300..+....4.5/54/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon SX610:
Check current offers at
i
Leica X2:
Check current offers at
i

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. 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 SX610 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon SX610 Leica X2
    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 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 249 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon SX610 Leica X2
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    Screen Specs Canon SX610 Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX610 Leica X2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-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 X2
    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 X2
    Battery Type NB-6LH BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 105 x 61 x 27 mm
    (4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 191 g (6.7 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)
    Canon SX610:
    Check current offers at
    i
    Leica X2:
    Check current offers at
    i

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