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Leica D-LUX Typ 109 versus Leica X Vario

The Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2014 and June 2013. Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the X Vario are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (D-LUX Typ 109) and an APS-C (X Vario) sensor. The D-LUX Typ 109 has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the X Vario provides 16.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica X Vario

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and the Leica X Vario. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D-LUX Typ 109 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica X Vario
Compare D-LUX Typ 109 versus X Vario top
Compare D-LUX Typ 109 and 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 (25 percent) than the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. Moreover, the X Vario is substantially heavier (68 percent) than the D-LUX Typ 109. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX Typ 109 nor the X Vario are weather-sealed.

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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109» 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica X Vario« 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X100T« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R

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 D-LUX Typ 109 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the X Vario, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica X Vario

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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Leica X Vario an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X Vario is 65 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the D-LUX Typ 109 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X Vario offers a 3:2 aspect.

Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the D-LUX Typ 109 (12.7MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.21μm for the D-LUX Typ 109) due to its larger sensor. However, the D-LUX Typ 109 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the X Vario, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

D-LUX Typ 109 versus X Vario MP

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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109» Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica X Vario« APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Fujifilm X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----Leica D-LUX 6
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D-LUX Typ 109 provides a higher video resolution than the X Vario. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the X Vario is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica X Vario

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D-LUX Typ 109 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109, the Leica X Vario, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109»2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica X Vario«- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Fujifilm X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R

Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the X Vario have zoom lenses build in. The D-LUX Typ 109 has a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 optic and the X Vario offers a 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the D-LUX Typ 109 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the X Vario. The D-LUX Typ 109 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the X Vario are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The D-LUX Typ 109 replaced the earlier Leica D-LUX 6, while the X Vario does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica X Vario

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and the Leica X Vario? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/3.5).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm vs 133x73mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 275g or 40 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 3 months after the X Vario).


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

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX Typ 109 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 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.

D-LUX Typ 109 12:05 X Vario

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX Typ 109 or the X Vario. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109»--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica X Vario«--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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