Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica S Typ 007
The Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica S (Typ 007) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2013 and September 2014. The X-A1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the S Typ 007 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-A1) and a medium format (S Typ 007) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 37.5 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 S (Typ 007)? 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 Fujifilm X-A1 and the Leica S Typ 007. 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 S Typ 007 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 S Typ 007 is considerably larger (145 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A1. Moreover, the S Typ 007 is substantially heavier (282 percent) than the X-A1. It is noteworthy in this context that the S Typ 007 is splash and dust-proof, while the X-A1 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 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.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||n||Sep 2012||999|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||n||Jan 2012||1,699|
|13.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995|
|14.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|15.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900|
|16.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|17.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995|
|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. The X-A1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 98 percent) than the S Typ 007, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 S Typ 007 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S Typ 007 is 266 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 0.8. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 37.5MP, the S Typ 007 offers a higher resolution than the X-A1 (16MP), but the S Typ 007 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.80μm for the X-A1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the S Typ 007 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the X-A1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the S Typ 007 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica S Typ 007 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S Typ 007 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 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 S (Typ 007) are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|15.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|17.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
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 S Typ 007 provides a better video resolution than the X-A1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/24p, 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 S Typ 007 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful 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 S Typ 007, and comparable cameras.
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||n||n|
|15.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|16.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A1 has one, while the S Typ 007 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.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 S Typ 007 does not have a selfie-screen.
The X-A1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the S Typ 007 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The S Typ 007 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-A1 only has one slot. The S Typ 007 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the X-A1 can use UHS-I cards (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 S (Typ 007) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the S Typ 007 has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The X-A1 lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S Typ 007 (unlike the X-A1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the S Typ 007 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the X-A1 and the S Typ 007 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X-A1 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A2, while the S Typ 007 was followed by the Leica S3. 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 S Typ 007? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.6 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 930g or 74 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (98 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 007):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (37.5 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 53%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/30p).
- 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.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S Typ 007 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 S Typ 007 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-A1 or the S Typ 007. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 X-A1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490|
|3.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|6.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|10.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E1||4/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|12.||Fujifilm X-Pro1||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||1,699|
|13.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995|
|14.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|15.||Leica S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900|
|16.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|17.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica S Typ 007
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 S Typ 007|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Leica S mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 24,490|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica S Typ 007|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||45.0 x 30.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||1350 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||54.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||37.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||7500 x 5000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||Maestro II|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica S Typ 007|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica S Typ 007|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.6 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica S Typ 007|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A1||Leica S Typ 007|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||1260 g (44.4 oz)|
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