Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Leica CL
The Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2016 and November 2017. Both the GFX 50S and the CL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a medium format (GFX 50S) and an APS-C (CL) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 51.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Leica CL (Typ 7323)? 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 Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Leica CL is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica CL is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Fujifilm GFX 50S. Moreover, the CL is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the GFX 50S. It is worth mentioning in this context that the GFX 50S is splash and dust resistant, while the CL does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|2.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|6.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||150 mm||104 mm||87 mm||900 g||460||Y||Jan 2021||5,999|
|8.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|9.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|10.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|11.||Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|13.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|14.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|15.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|16.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|17.||Nikon D7500||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299|
|Notes: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The CL was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the GFX 50S, 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 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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm GFX 50S features a medium format sensor and the Leica CL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the CL is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.79 and 1.5. The sensor in the GFX 50S has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the CL offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 51.1MP, the GFX 50S offers a higher resolution than the CL (24.1MP), but the GFX 50S nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.33μm versus 3.92μm for the CL) due to its larger sensor. However, the CL is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the GFX 50S, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm GFX 50S implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GFX 50S for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inches or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inches or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inches or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica CL are 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm for good quality, 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (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.
| DXO |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Medium Format||101.8||11648||8736||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|13.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|16.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the CL provides a better video resolution than the GFX 50S. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GFX 50S relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GFX 50S can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-TL1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Leica CL along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||3690||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|10.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Leica CL both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GFX 50S and the CL write their files to SDXC cards. The GFX 50S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the CL only has one slot. Both cameras support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s.
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 Fujifilm GFX 50S and Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the GFX 50S has a microphone port, which is missing on the CL. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Fujifilm GFX 50S (unlike the CL) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the GFX 50S and the CL are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Fujifilm and Leica. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Leica websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm GFX 50S better than the Leica CL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm GFX 50S:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (51.1 vs 24.1MP) with a 43% higher linear resolution.
- 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.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
Advantages of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (131x78mm vs 148x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 337g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GFX 50S is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 9 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 Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Leica CL place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GFX 50S or the CL. 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 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.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||..||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|2.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|4.||Canon M6||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|5.||Canon 5D Mark IV||4.5/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|6.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||5/5||+ +||90/100||..||5/5||Jan 2021||5,999|
|8.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|9.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|10.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|11.||Hasselblad X1D||..||o||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|13.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|14.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|15.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|16.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|17.||Nikon D7500||4.5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2017||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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.
Specifications: Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Leica CL
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||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm G mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||November 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 6,499||USD 2,795|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||44.0 x 33.0 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||1452 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||55 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.1 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8256 x 6192 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.33 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.52 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||X Processor Pro||Maestro II|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||2360k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fully flexible screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/25000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||no USB|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Leica CL|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
148 x 94 x 91 mm
(5.8 x 3.7 x 3.6 in)
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||740 g (26.1 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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