Fujifilm X20 vs Leica S2
The Fujifilm X20 and the Leica S2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2013 and September 2008. The X20 is a fixed lens compact, while the S2 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X20) and a medium format (S2) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 37.5 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 X20 and the Leica S2? 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 X20 and the Leica S2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 X20 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S2 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 S2 is considerably larger (134 percent) than the Fujifilm X20. It is noteworthy in this context that the S2 is splash and dust-proof, while the X20 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X20 has a lens built in, whereas the S2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|10.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica S1||339 mm||214 mm||119 mm||2500 g||..||n||Aug 1996||21,490||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 X20 was launched at a lower price than the S2, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X20 features a 2/3 sensor and the Leica S2 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S2 is 2228 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 0.8. The sensor in the X20 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the S2 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 37.5MP, the S2 offers a higher resolution than the X20 (12MP), but the S2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 2.20μm for the X20) due to its larger sensor. However, the X20 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 3 months) than the S2, 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 S2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Fujifilm X20 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The X20 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X20 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S2 are ISO 80 to ISO 1250 (no boost).
In terms of underlying technology, the X20 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the S2 uses a CCD imager. The X20 uses Fujifilm's X-Trans layout of photosites, while the S2 employs the more common Bayer array.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
|2.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.5||2224||82|
|3.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|9.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||25.6||14.4||3143||98|
|10.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|11.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||19.8||10.8||-303||43|
|13.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|14.||Leica S1||Medium Format||26.4||5140||5140||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X20 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the S2 does not. The highest resolution format that the X20 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X20 and the S2 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X20 and Leica S2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm XQ1||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|11.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||n||n|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|14.||Leica S1||optical||n||none / none||none||n||..||0.01/s||n||n|
|15.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X20 has one, while the S2 does not. While the built-in flash of the X20 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The X20 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S2 uses Compact Flash or SDHC cards. The S2 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X20 only has one slot.
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 X20 and Leica S2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica S2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm XQ1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica S3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Leica S1||-||- / -||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S2 (unlike the X20) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X20 and the S2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The S2 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 006, while the X20 was followed by the Fujifilm X30. Further information on the features and operation of the X20 and S2 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X20 Manual (free pdf) or the online Leica S2 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X20 better than the Leica S2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X20:
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the S2 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the S2).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the S2 launch.
Advantages of the Leica S2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (37.5 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 80%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- 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 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the S2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (13 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 X20 and the Leica S2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 X20 or the S2. 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 expert reviews 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 X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|10.||Leica S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica S1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 1996||21,490||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549||ebay.com|
|16.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 200D vs Leica S2
- Fujifilm X-T4 vs Leica S2
- Fujifilm X20 vs Nikon D50
- Fujifilm X20 vs Nikon D7200
- Fujifilm X20 vs Olympus E-1
- Fujifilm X20 vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Fujifilm X20 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Fujifilm X20 vs Sony NEX-F3
- Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica S2
- Leica S2 vs Leica V-LUX 5
- Leica S2 vs Nikon L840
- Leica S2 vs Sony A5100
Specifications: Fujifilm X20 vs Leica S2
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 X20||Leica S2|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8||Leica S mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2013||September 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 22,995|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X20||Leica S2|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||45.0 x 30.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||1350 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||54.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||37.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||7500 x 5000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 1,250 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X20||Leica S2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||85%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X20||Leica S2|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X20||Leica S2|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X20||Leica S2|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
117 x 70 x 57 mm
(4.6 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||353 g (12.5 oz)||1410 g (49.7 oz)|
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