Hasselblad X1D II vs Leica SL
The Hasselblad X1D II 50C and the Leica SL (Typ 601) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2019 and October 2015. Both the X1D II and the SL are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a medium format (X1D II) and a full frame (SL) sensor. The Hasselblad has a resolution of 51.3 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 24 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 Hasselblad X1D II 50C and the Leica SL (Typ 601)? 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 Hasselblad X1D II and the Leica SL 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica SL is notably larger (6 percent) than the Hasselblad X1D II. Moreover, the SL is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the X1D II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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 power pack in the X1D II can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Canon R||139 mm||98 mm||84 mm||660 g||370||Y||Sep 2018||2,299|
|Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950|
|Nikon Z7||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399|
|Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic GH5s||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499|
|Sony A7R IV||129 mm||96 mm||78 mm||665 g||670||Y||Jul 2019||3,499|
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The X1D II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the SL, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Hasselblad X1D II features a medium format sensor and the Leica SL a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the SL is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.79 and 1.0. The sensor in the X1D II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the SL offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 51.3MP, the X1D II offers a higher resolution than the SL (24MP), but the X1D II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 6.00μm for the SL). However, the X1D II is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the SL, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Hasselblad X1D II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X1D II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.4 x 31 inches or 105.1 x 78.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33.1 x 24.8 inches or 84 x 63 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.6 x 20.7 inches or 70 x 52.5 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica SL are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Hasselblad X1D II 50C has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica SL (Typ 601) are ISO 50 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.
|Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|Canon R||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.5||13.5||2742||89|
|Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|Nikon Z7||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.3||14.6||2668||99|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Panasonic GH5s||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony A7R IV||Full Frame||60.2||9504||6336||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SL indeed provides for movie recording, while the X1D II does not. The highest resolution format that the SL can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the SL offers a higher resolution than the one in the X1D II (4400k vs 3690k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Hasselblad X1D II and Leica SL in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
|Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|Sony A7R IV||5760||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the SL, but is missing on the X1D II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 Hasselblad X1D II and the Leica SL both have 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 X1D II and the SL write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Both the X1D II and the SL support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s (the second slot of the SL only offers slower UHS-I transfer rates, though).
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 Hasselblad X1D II 50C and Leica SL (Typ 601) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
|Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|Sony A7R IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that both cameras feature internal geolocalization sensors and can record GPS coordinates in their EXIF data.
The X1D II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Hasselblad. In contrast, the SL has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SL was succeeded by the Leica SL2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Hasselblad and Leica websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Hasselblad X1D II or the Leica SL – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Hasselblad X1D II 50C:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (51.3 vs 24MP) with a 43% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.80x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.6" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 1040k dots).
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 81g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the SL launch.
Advantages of the Leica SL (Typ 601):
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (4400k vs 3690k dots).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 2.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2015).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X1D II is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 6 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Hasselblad X1D II and the Leica SL 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 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 X1D II or the SL perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|Leica SL||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Canon R||o||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Sep 2018||2,299|
|Canon 80D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5DS||+||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS R||+||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|Hasselblad X1D||o||81/100||..||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|Leica Q2||..||84/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|Leica M10||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica M Typ 240||..||..||4/5||..||..||Sep 2012||6,950|
|Nikon Z7||+||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||3,399|
|Nikon D5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D500||+ +||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic GH5s||..||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499|
|Sony A7R IV||+||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2019||3,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Hasselblad X1D II vs Sigma fp
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Sony HX400V
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Sony NEX-3
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Sony RX100
- Leica SL vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Leica SL vs Leica V-LUX 4
- Leica SL vs Nikon D1H
- Leica SL vs Nikon D750
- Leica SL vs Olympus E-PL8
Specifications: Hasselblad X1D II vs Leica SL
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||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Hasselblad X mount lenses||Leica L mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2019||October 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 5,750||USD 7,450|
|Sensor Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||43.8 x 32.9 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||1441.02 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.8 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.3 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8272 x 6200 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.56 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||50 - 50,000 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||88|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1821|
|Screen Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots||4400k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.6inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||2360k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.7 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/10000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||full HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Hasselblad X1D II||Leica SL|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
148 x 97 x 70 mm
(5.8 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
147 x 104 x 39 mm
(5.8 x 4.1 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||766 g (27.0 oz)||847 g (29.9 oz)|
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