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Fujifilm X-E1 vs Leica M8

The Fujifilm X-E1 and the Leica M8 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2006. The X-E1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the M8 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-E1) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 10.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm X-E1
versus
Leica M8
Fujifilm X-E1   Leica M8
Mirrorless system camera Rangefinder camera
Fujifilm X mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
16 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor
1080/24p Video no Video
ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600) ISO 160-2,500
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Optical viewfinder
2.8 LCD, 460k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
129 x 75 x 38 mm, 350 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 591 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Leica M8? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E1 and the Leica M8 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Fujifilm X-E1 vs Leica M8
Compare X-E1 versus M8 top
Comparison X-E1 or M8 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M8 is notably larger (15 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E1. Moreover, the M8 is substantially heavier (69 percent) than the X-E1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-E1 nor the M8 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-E1) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M8).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm X-E1 129 mm 75 mm 38 mm 350 g 350 n Sep 2012 999i
2.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
3.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 331 g 410 n Dec 2016 399i
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Sep 2013 399i
10.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999i
11.
 
Fujifilm X-M1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Jun 2013 699i
12.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 n Jan 2012 1,699i
13.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
14.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
15.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-6 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999i
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-E1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 82 percent) than the M8, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

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-E1 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 32 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.3. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-E1 and Leica M8 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Fujifilm X-E1 offers a higher resolution of 16 megapixels, compared with 10.4 MP of the Leica M8. 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 4.80μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the X-E1 is much more recent (by 5 years and 11 months) than the M8, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 X-E1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X-E1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 16.3 inches or 62.2 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 13.1 inches or 49.7 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 10.9 inches or 41.5 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M8 are 19.7 x 13.2 inches or 50 x 33.4 cm for good quality, 15.7 x 10.5 inches or 40 x 26.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.1 x 8.8 inches or 33.3 x 22.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Fujifilm X-E1 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 M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

X-E1 versus M8 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Fujifilm X-E1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
2.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
3.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
4.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T20 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
10.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
11.
 
Fujifilm X-M1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
12.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
13.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
14.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
15.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
17.
 
Sony NEX-6 APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-E1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-E1 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-E1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the M8 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-E1, the Leica M8, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Fujifilm X-E12360 n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica M8optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T202360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
10.
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X-M1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
12.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro11440 n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 n n
13.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony NEX-62359 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-E1 has one, while the M8 does not. While the built-in flash of the X-E1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-E1 and the M8 write their files to SDXC cards. The X-E1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M8 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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-E1 and Leica M8 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Fujifilm X-E1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica M8Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XTiY- / ----2.0---
4.
 
Fujifilm X-E3Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T20Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A10-stereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T10Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
10.
 
Fujifilm X-E2Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Fujifilm X-M1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
14.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--

Both the X-E1 and the M8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the X-E1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-E2. 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-E1 or the Leica M8 – 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.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-E1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16 vs 10.4MP) with a 24% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x75mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 241g or 41 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (82 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the M8 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica M8:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-E1 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 4 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 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.

X-E1 12:04 M8

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-E1 or the M8. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm X-E14/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
2.
 
Leica M8......+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499i
3.
 
Canon XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-E34.5/5+4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T205/5+ +5/582/1005/54.5/5 Jan 2017 899i
6.
 
Fujifilm X-A10........4/54/5 Dec 2016 399i
7.
 
Fujifilm X-A24/5......4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399i
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T104.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 May 2015 799i
9.
 
Fujifilm X-A1........4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 399i
10.
 
Fujifilm X-E24/5....80/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2013 999i
11.
 
Fujifilm X-M13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 699i
12.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro15/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699i
13.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
14.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
15.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Sony NEX-65/5+ +..78/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

Fujifilm X-E1:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M8:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Fujifilm X-E1 vs Leica M8

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Fujifilm X mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.6 mm 27.0 x 18.0 mm
    Sensor Area 368.16 mm2 486 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 32.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 16 Megapixels 10.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4896 x 3264 pixels 3936 x 2630 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 6.84 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 2.13 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 2,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 663
    Screen Specs Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm X-E1 Leica M8
    Battery Type NP-W126 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 129 x 75 x 38 mm
    (5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 350 g (12.3 oz) 591 g (20.8 oz)

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