Fujifilm X-M1 vs Leica CL
The Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2013 and November 2017. Both the X-M1 and the CL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 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-M1 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica CL. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-M1 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, brown), 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 (30 percent) than the Fujifilm X-M1. Moreover, the CL is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the X-M1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-M1 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.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|2.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899|
|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-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|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 TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|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|
|16.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|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-M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 75 percent) than the CL, 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 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.
With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the X-M1 (16MP), but the CL has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.80μm for the X-M1). Yet, the CL is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 4 months) than the X-M1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Leica CL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the CL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X-M1 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-M1 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 CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
| DXO |
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 better video resolution than the X-M1. 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 CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-M1 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-M1, the Leica CL, and comparable cameras.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X-M1 has one, while the CL does not. While the built-in flash of the X-M1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
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 CL 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 CL 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-M1 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-M1 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-M1 and Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
The CL is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the X-M1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the X-M1 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 how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X-M1 better than the Leica CL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-M1:
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 131x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 73g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (75 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- 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.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- 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.
- 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: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the X-M1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the CL is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 7 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-M1 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 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-M1 or the CL. 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 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], 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-M1||3/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|2.||Leica CL||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899|
|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-A1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|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 TL2||3.5/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|14.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|15.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|16.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Fujifilm X-M1 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-M1||Leica CL|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2013||November 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 2,795|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-M1||Leica CL|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3264 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.80 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.34 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 50,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXR Processor II||Maestro II|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-M1||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||920k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-M1||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||5.6 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/25000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-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-M1||Leica CL|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||no USB|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-M1||Leica CL|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
117 x 67 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||330 g (11.6 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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