Fujifilm XQ1 vs Leica M8
The Fujifilm XQ1 and the Leica M8 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2013 and September 2006. The XQ1 is a fixed lens compact, while the M8 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (XQ1) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 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.
|Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Rangefinder camera|
|25-100mm f/1.8-4.9||Leica M mount lenses|
|12 MP, Two Thirds Sensor||10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-12,800||ISO 160-2,500|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||2.5 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|12 shutter flaps per second||2 shutter flaps per second|
|100 x 59 x 33 mm, 206 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 XQ1 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.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm XQ1 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).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M8 is considerably larger (88 percent) than the Fujifilm XQ1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XQ1 nor the M8 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XQ1 has a lens built in, whereas the M8 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 M8 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.
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, 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.
|Fujifilm XQ1||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.3 in||7.3 oz||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|Leica M8||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.8 oz||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499|
|Canon SX60||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.1 in||7.7 oz||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon XTi||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Fujifilm XQ2||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.3 in||7.3 oz||240||n||Jan 2015||399|
|Fujifilm X30||4.7 in||2.8 in||2.4 in||14.9 oz||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica M10||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica M9||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|Nikon D80||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Panasonic LF1||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.1 in||6.8 oz||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic L10||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
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.
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 XQ1 was launched at a lower price than the M8, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm XQ1 features a 2/3 sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 738 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 1.3. The sensor in the XQ1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M8 offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Fujifilm XQ1 offers a higher resolution of 12 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 2.20μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the XQ1 is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) 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 XQ1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XQ1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 XQ1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm XQ1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The XQ1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the XQ1 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M8 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XQ1 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 XQ1, the Leica M8, and comparable cameras.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The XQ1 has one, while the M8 does not. While the built-in flash of the XQ1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XQ1 and the M8 write their files to SDXC cards. The XQ1 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.
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 XQ1 and Leica M8 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the XQ1 offers wifi support, while the M8 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the XQ1 and the M8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the XQ1 was followed by the Fujifilm XQ2. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Leica M8? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm XQ1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10.4MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
- 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.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M8 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (100x59mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M8).
- 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.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the M8 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Leica M8:
- 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 framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- 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 relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the XQ1 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 10 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 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XQ1 or the M8 perform in practice. 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 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 (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.
|Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|Leica M8||..||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2006||5,499|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||+ +||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon XTi||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Fujifilm XQ2||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2015||399|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica M10||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica M9||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Panasonic LF1||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 XQ1 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 Model||Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Rangefinder camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/1.8-4.9||Leica M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2013||September 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 5,499|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||APS-H Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||27.0 x 18.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||486 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||32.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3936 x 2630 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||6.84 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||2.13 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||160 - 2,500 ISO|
|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 XQ1||Leica M8|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Manual Focus|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||2 shutter flaps/s|
|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||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Leica M8|
100 x 59 x 33 mm
(3.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 in)
139 x 80 x 37 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||206 g (7.3 oz)||591 g (20.8 oz)|
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