Canon T3i vs Leica X2
The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 600D in some regions) and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and May 2012. The T3i is a DSLR, while the X2 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.
As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Leica X2 belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon T3i and Leica X2. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon T3i||Leica X2|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)||ISO 100-12500|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||2.7" LCD, 230k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.7 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|440 shots per battery charge||450 shots per battery charge|
|133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g||124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T3i and the Leica X2. 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 T3i 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 considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Canon T3i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3i nor the X2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens built in, whereas the T3i 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 T3i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon T3i»||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Leica X2«||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Canon SL2« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon SL2|
|Canon T6s« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon M« »||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon T4i« »||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3« »||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon T3|
|Canon T2i« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica TL« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Leica T« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica X1« »||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|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. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X2 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T3i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T3i offers a higher resolution of 17.9 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 4.31μm versus 4.79μm for the X2). Moreover, it should be noted that the X2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the T3i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Canon T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X2 are 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS Rebel T3i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. 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 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.
|Canon T3i»||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon T3i|
|Leica X2«||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Canon SL2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon SL2|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Canon T4i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62||Canon T3|
|Canon T2i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Leica TL« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL|
|Leica T« »||APS-C||16.2||4944||3278||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||1082||75||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica X1« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The T3i indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the T3i can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T3i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. 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 T3i and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon T3i»||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T3i|
|Leica X2«||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X2|
|Canon SL2« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL2|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Canon T4i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon T3|
|Canon T2i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Leica TL« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica TL|
|Leica T« »||-||n||3.7||1300||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Vario|
|Leica X1« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica X1|
The T3i 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 EOS Rebel T3i and Leica X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon T3i»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
|Leica X2«||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Canon SL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SL2|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Canon T4i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3|
|Canon T2i« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica TL« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL|
|Leica T« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica X1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X1|
Both the T3i and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3i was replaced by the Canon T4i, 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3i 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.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 16.1MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2011).
Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the T3i requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 133x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T3i).
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T3i is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3i and the Leica X2 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T3i or the X2 perform in practice. 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.
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|Canon T3i»||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Leica X2«||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Canon SL2« »||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||-||Canon SL2|
|Canon T6s« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||-||Canon T6s|
|Canon T5« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon SL1« »||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon M« »||+||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Canon T4i« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3« »||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon T3|
|Canon T2i« »||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica TL« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Leica T« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica X1« »||-||+||-||-||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 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.
Specifications: Canon T3i 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 T3i||Leica X2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||February 2011||May 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 1995|
|Sensor Specs||Canon T3i||Leica X2|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-12500 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||793||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon T3i||Leica X2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon T3i||Leica X2|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 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 T3i||Leica X2|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon T3i||Leica X2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
133 x 100 x 80 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
124 x 69 x 52 mm
(4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||570 g (20.1 oz)||345 g (12.2 oz)|
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