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Fujifilm X-M1 vs Leica X Vario

The Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public in June 2013. The X-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X Vario is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 16.1 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm X-M1 versus Leica X Vario
Fujifilm X-M1 Leica X Vario
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Fujifilm X mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
16 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-12,500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.6 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
117 x 67 x 39 mm, 330 g 133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107)? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica X Vario is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X-M1 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, brown), while the X Vario is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Fujifilm X-M1 vs Leica X Vario
Compare X-M1 versus X Vario top
Comparison X-M1 or X Vario rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X Vario is notably larger (24 percent) than the Fujifilm X-M1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-M1 nor the X Vario are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens built in, whereas the X-M1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the X-M1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X-M1 gets 350 shots out of its NP-W126 battery, while the X Vario can take 450 images on a single charge of its BP-DC8 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Fujifilm X-M1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Jun 2013 699i
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-A2 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 n Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 n May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Fujifilm X-A1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Sep 2013 399i
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999i
 
Fujifilm X-E1 129 mm 75 mm 38 mm 350 g 350 n Sep 2012 999i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Nikon Df 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 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 X Vario 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.

Fujifilm X-M1 and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the X-M1 (16MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has the same individual pixel size (pixel pitch of 4.80μm) as the X-M1 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 X-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 X Vario (Typ 107) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

X-M1 versus X Vario MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Fujifilm X-M1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-T10 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X-M1 and the X Vario are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-M1 and Leica X Vario in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Fujifilm X-M1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E2S2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A2none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-T102360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-A1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E12360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-M1 and the X Vario write their files to SDXC cards. The X-M1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the X Vario 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-M1 and Leica X Vario (Typ 107) 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Fujifilm X-M1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E2SYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-A2Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-T10YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
 
Fujifilm X-A1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E1YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the X-M1 offers wifi support, while the X Vario does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the X-M1 and the X Vario have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Fujifilm and Leica. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica X Vario? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm X-M1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 133x73mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the X-M1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-M1 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 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 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.

X-M1 08:05 X Vario

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-M1 and the Leica X Vario place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-M1 and the X Vario 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.

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Fujifilm X-M1+77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2013 699i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
 
Fujifilm X-E2S..77/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
Fujifilm X-A2....4.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2015 399i
 
Fujifilm X-T10+ +80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799i
 
Fujifilm X20+ +77/1004.5/5..5/5 Jan 2013 599i
 
Fujifilm X-A1....4.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2013 399i
 
Fujifilm X-E2..80/1004.5/5..5/5 Oct 2013 999i
 
Fujifilm X-E1+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic G5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Sony RX1R....4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Fujifilm X-M1:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Fujifilm X-M1 vs Leica X Vario

    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-M1 Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Fujifilm X mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date June 2013 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 2,850
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm X-M1 Leica X Vario
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4896 x 3264 pixels 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 4.34 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1320
    Screen Specs Fujifilm X-M1 Leica X Vario
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm X-M1 Leica X Vario
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 5.6 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in 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-M1 Leica X Vario
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm X-M1 Leica X Vario
    Battery Type NP-W126 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 67 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 330 g (11.6 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

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