Fujifilm X-A5 vs Leica CL
The Fujifilm X-A5 and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2018 and November 2017. Both the X-A5 and the CL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 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 X-A5 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 X-A5 and the Leica CL is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A5 can be obtained in three different colors (silver, brown, pink), while the CL 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 CL is notably larger (28 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A5. Moreover, the CL is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the X-A5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A5 nor the CL are weather-sealed.
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.
Concerning battery life, the X-A5 gets 450 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the CL can take 220 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 power pack. The power pack in the X-A5 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along 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-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|2.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||121 mm||84 mm||55 mm||370 g||270||n||Jan 2020||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||119 mm||68 mm||41 mm||320 g||440||n||Sep 2019||499|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|13.||Nikon D3500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||415 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|15.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 percent) than the CL, 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. 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. 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 CL is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 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.
With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the X-A5 (24MP), but the CL nevertheless has the same individual pixel size (pixel pitch of 3.92μm) as the X-A5 due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the CL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Fujifilm X-A5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 200-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the CL provides a faster frame rate than the X-A5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 4K/15p.
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 X-A5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-A5 and Leica CL along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||2360||n||3.5 / 2780||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||none||n||3.5 / 2760||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|12.||Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
|13.||Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A5 has one, while the CL does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A5 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A5 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 CL 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, 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 X-A5 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 X-A5 and the CL write their files to SDXC cards. The CL supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the X-A5 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-A5 and Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Leica CL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Leica TL2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D3500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|14.||Nikon D5600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Nikon D3400||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
It is notable that the X-A5 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.
The CL is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the X-A5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the X-A5 from Fujifilm. 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 the Fujifilm X-A5 better than the Leica CL or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- 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.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x68mm vs 131x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 42g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
Advantages of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/30p versus 4K/15p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- 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.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-A5 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 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 X-A5 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-A5 or the CL perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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], 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-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|2.||Leica CL||..||..||4.2/5||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||3.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||3/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||3.5/5||Sep 2019||499|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||4.5/5||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399|
|11.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399|
|12.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|13.||Nikon D3500||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|15.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||4/5||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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Specifications: Fujifilm X-A5 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 X-A5||Leica CL|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2018||November 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 2,795|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Leica CL|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.50 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/15p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||200 - 51,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Leica CL|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||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||6 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||up to 1/25000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Leica CL|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||no USB|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Leica CL|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
117 x 68 x 40 mm
(4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 in)
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||361 g (12.7 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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