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Canon T3 vs Leica X1

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and September 2009. The T3 is a DSLR, while the X1 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon T3 versus Leica X1
Canon T3 Leica X1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge260 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 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 EOS Rebel T3 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Leica X1 are illustrated 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 X1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon T3 vs Leica X1
Compare T3 versus X1 top
Comparison T3 or X1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X1 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the X1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X1 has a lens built in, whereas the T3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the T3 and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the X1 can take 260 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Fujifilm X100 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 n Sep 2010 1,199i
14.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
15.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
16.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X1 is 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3 and Leica X1 sensor measures

Even though the X1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This implies that the X1 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.51μm versus 5.15μm for the T3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the T3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the X1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

T3 versus X1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
2.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Fujifilm X100 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
14.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
15.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
16.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p........
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T3 and Leica X1 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
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
1.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Fujifilm X1001440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
15.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y

The T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X1 uses SDHC cards.

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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 EOS Rebel T3 and Leica X1 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Fujifilm X100Ystereo---mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
16.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the T3 and the X1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. 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 T3 better than the Leica X1 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 EOS Rebel T3:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the X1).

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Advantages of the Leica X1:

  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T3).
  • 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 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3 comes out slightly ahead of the X1 (6 : 5 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.

T3 06:05 X1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 and the Leica X1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR 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 T3 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.

Expert reviews

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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
2.
 
Leica X13/5..+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Fujifilm X1003/5..75/1004/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199i
14.
 
Leica D-LUX 6......4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
15.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
16.
 
Leica D-LUX 5......4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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 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 T3:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X1:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon T3 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T3 Leica X1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date February 2011 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Leica X1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4272 x 2856 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 3.30 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 ..
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Leica X1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Leica X1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 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 T3 Leica X1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Leica X1
    Battery Type LP-E10 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge260 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    124 x 60 x 32 mm
    (4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 306 g (10.8 oz)

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