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Canon XS vs Leica X2

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2008 and May 2012. The XS 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 10.1 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 XS
versus
Leica X2
Canon XS   Leica X2
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600) ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 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 XS 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XS and the Leica X2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the XS is only available in black.

Size Canon XS vs Leica X2
Compare XS versus X2 top
Comparison XS 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 considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Canon XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS 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 XS 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 XS and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the XS gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the X2 can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

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, 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 XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
14.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
15.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
16.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
17.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
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 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 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 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (XS) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon XS and Leica X2 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the XS (10.1MP), but the X2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). Yet, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 11 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

XS versus X2 MP

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 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 XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.478364
2.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
3.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p23.813.3168481
4.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p19.210.522537
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon SX10 1/2.3 10.0 3648 2736480/30p19.010.314435
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
13.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
14.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
15.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
16.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
17.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The XS offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The X2 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the XS 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 XS 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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon XSoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T100optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon SX20202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon SX10202 n2.5 / 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XS and the X2 write their files to 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 EOS Rebel XS 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 XSY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T100Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon SX20Ystereo / mono--YES2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX10Ystereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
14.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
15.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---

Both the XS and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XS or the Leica X2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • 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 (500 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the XS requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 126x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the XS).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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 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.

XS 05:08 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XS 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 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 XS 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews 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 XS..82/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
2.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
3.
 
Canon T7..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
4.
 
Canon T100..o3/5..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+....4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon SX20..+ +..73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon SX10..+ +......4/5 Sep 2008 399i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
13.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
14.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
15.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
16.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
17.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon XS:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon XS 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 XS Leica X2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date June 2008 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Canon XS Leica X2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 800 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 1,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs Canon XS Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XS Leica X2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon XS Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XS Leica X2
    Battery Type LP-E5 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 502 g (17.7 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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