Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica C-LUX
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica C-LUX are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2013 and June 2018. The X-A1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the C-LUX is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-A1) and an one-inch (C-LUX) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 20 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 X-A1 and the Leica C-LUX? 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 physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica C-LUX 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, blue), while the C-LUX is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (gold, blue).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica C-LUX is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A1 nor the C-LUX are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the C-LUX has a lens built in, whereas the X-A1 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 X-A1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.
The power pack in the C-LUX can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|14.||Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|15.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|16.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|17.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|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. 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.
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. 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 Fujifilm X-A1 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica C-LUX an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the C-LUX is 69 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the C-LUX offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the X-A1. 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 2.41μm versus 4.80μm for the X-A1). However, it should be noted that the C-LUX is much more recent (by 4 years and 8 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Leica C-LUX implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the C-LUX for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-A1 are 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm X-A1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica C-LUX are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|14.||Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||22.9||12.8||1002||72|
|15.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||22.8||12.7||979||72|
|16.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|17.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the C-LUX provides a better video resolution than the X-A1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the C-LUX has an electronic viewfinder (2330k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-A1, the Leica C-LUX, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|2.||Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||1440||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||n||n|
|14.||Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|15.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The C-LUX has a touchscreen, while the X-A1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The X-A1 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the C-LUX does not have a selfie-screen.
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, the C-LUX is one of those camera that have an additional 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 Leica C-LUX has 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.
The X-A1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the C-LUX uses SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 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 X-A1 and Leica C-LUX and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Leica C-LUX||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|16.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the X-A1 has a hotshoe, while the C-LUX does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The C-LUX is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the X-A1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-A1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-A2. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica C-LUX? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-A1:
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in 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: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Leica C-LUX:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the X-A1 necessitates an extra lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 8 months of technical progress since the X-A1 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the C-LUX is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica C-LUX place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom 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 X-A1 and the C-LUX 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.
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 (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.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||3.5/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|8.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|11.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|12.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|13.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|14.||Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|15.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||4.2/5||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|16.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|17.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|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. 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. 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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Leica C-LUX
- Canon T6s vs Fujifilm X-A1
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica T
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon D5000
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Nikon D850
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Panasonic LX15
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Sony NEX-6
- Leica C-LUX vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Leica C-LUX vs Olympus Stylus 1s
- Leica C-LUX vs Olympus XZ-1
- Leica C-LUX vs Pentax MX-1
- Leica C-LUX vs Sony A1
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica C-LUX
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 X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||24-360mm f/3.3-6.4|
|Launch Date||September 2013||June 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,049|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2330k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1240k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica C-LUX|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
113 x 67 x 46 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||340 g (12.0 oz)|
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