Fujifilm X-A7 vs Leica SL2-S
The Fujifilm X-A7 and the Leica SL2-S are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2019 and December 2020. Both the X-A7 and the SL2-S are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-A7) and a full frame (SL2-S) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
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-A7 and the Leica SL2-S? 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-A7 and the Leica SL2-S. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A7 can be obtained in four different colors (silver, graphite, brown, green), while the SL2-S 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 SL2-S is considerably larger (93 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A7. Moreover, the SL2-S is substantially heavier (191 percent) than the X-A7. It is noteworthy in this context that the SL2-S is splash and dust-proof, while the X-A7 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 battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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-A7||119 mm||68 mm||41 mm||320 g||440||n||Sep 2019||499|
|2.||Leica SL2-S||146 mm||107 mm||83 mm||931 g||510||Y||Dec 2020||4,895|
|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-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T100||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|11.||Leica SL2||146 mm||107 mm||42 mm||953 g||370||Y||Nov 2019||5,999|
|12.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Nikon D3500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||365 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Olympus E-M1X||144 mm||147 mm||75 mm||997 g||870||Y||Jan 2019||2,999|
|15.||Panasonic S1||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499|
|16.||Panasonic TZ95||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|17.||Panasonic S1H||151 mm||114 mm||110 mm||1052 g||400||Y||May 2019||3,999|
|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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X-A7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 90 percent) than the SL2-S, 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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-A7 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica SL2-S a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the SL2-S is 134 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the SL2-S has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the SL2-S has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 3.92μm for the X-A7), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the SL2-S is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the X-A7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SL2-S has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Unlike the X-A7, the SL2-S has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (96MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Fujifilm X-A7 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 SL2-S are ISO 100 to ISO 50000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-100000.
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.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica SL2-S||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Leica SL2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|14.||Olympus E-M1X||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95|
|17.||Panasonic S1H||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||..||..||..||..|
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 SL2-S provides a faster frame rate than the X-A7. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SL2-S has an electronic viewfinder (5760k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A7 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-A7 and Leica SL2-S along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-A7 has one, while the SL2-S does not. While the built-in flash of the X-A7 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The X-A7 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 SL2-S 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-A7 and the Leica SL2-S 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-A7 and the SL2-S write their files to SDXC cards. The SL2-S features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-A7 only has one slot. The SL2-S supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the X-A7 can use UHS-I cards.
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-A7 and Leica SL2-S and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the SL2-S has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The X-A7 lacks such a headphone port.
Both the X-A7 and the SL2-S are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The X-A7 replaced the earlier Fujifilm X-A5, while the SL2-S does not have a direct predecessor. 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 how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A7 or the Leica SL2-S – 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.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-A7:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.5" vs 3.2") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2760k vs 2100k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (119x68mm vs 146x107mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 611g or 66 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (90 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2019).
Advantages of the Leica SL2-S:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- 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 movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- 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 (20 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (510 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 2.0).
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- 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 (1 year and 2 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2-S is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 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 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-A7 and the Leica SL2-S 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 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-A7 and the SL2-S in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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-A7||3/5||..||81/100||4/5||3.5/5||Sep 2019||499|
|2.||Leica SL2-S||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||Dec 2020||4,895|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||3.5/5||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|6.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|7.||Fujifilm X-T100||4/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2018||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|9.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|11.||Leica SL2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2019||5,999|
|12.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|13.||Nikon D3500||..||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Olympus E-M1X||4.5/5||o||..||4.5/5||..||Jan 2019||2,999|
|15.||Panasonic S1||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||2,499|
|16.||Panasonic TZ95||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|17.||Panasonic S1H||..||..||90/100||..||..||May 2019||3,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A7 vs Leica SL2-S
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-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Leica L mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2019||December 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 4,895|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.50 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||200 - 51,200 ISO||50 - 100,000 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5760k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.5inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||2760k dots||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|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||20 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||full HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A7||Leica SL2-S|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||510 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
119 x 68 x 41 mm
(4.7 x 2.7 x 1.6 in)
146 x 107 x 83 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||320 g (11.3 oz)||931 g (32.8 oz)|
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