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Leica M Typ 262 vs X Vario

The Leica M (Typ 262) and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2015 and June 2013. The M Typ 262 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the X Vario is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (M Typ 262) and an APS-C (X Vario) sensor. The M Typ 262 has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the X Vario 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
Leica M Typ 262 versus Leica X Vario
Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica M mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-6,400 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M (Typ 262) 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

The physical size and weight of the Leica M Typ 262 and the Leica X Vario 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).

Size Leica M Typ 262 vs Leica X Vario
Compare M Typ 262 versus X Vario top
Comparison M Typ 262 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 smaller (13 percent) than the Leica M Typ 262. Yet, the two cameras share the same weight. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M Typ 262 is splash and dust resistant, while the X Vario does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 M Typ 262 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 M Typ 262 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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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
 
Leica M Typ 262 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Leica X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Leica M10-R 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
 
Leica Q2 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.6 in 25.3 oz 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10-P 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica X Typ 113 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica M Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica X2 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Nikon D750 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon Coolpix A 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Ricoh GR 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X Vario was launched at a lower price than the M Typ 262, 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.

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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. 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. 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 Leica M Typ 262 features a full frame sensor and the Leica X Vario an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X Vario is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 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.

Leica M Typ 262 and Leica X Vario sensor measures

With 23.7MP, the M Typ 262 offers a higher resolution than the X Vario (16.1MP), but the M Typ 262 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 4.80μm for the X Vario) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M Typ 262 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 5 months) than the X Vario, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M Typ 262 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M Typ 262 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M Typ 262 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X Vario are 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.6 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M (Typ 262) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

M Typ 262 versus X Vario MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.

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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
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X Vario indeed provides for movie recording, while the M Typ 262 does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M Typ 262 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica M Typ 262 and Leica X Vario along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X Vario has one, while the M Typ 262 does not. While the built-in flash of the X Vario is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M Typ 262 and the X Vario write their files to SDXC cards. The M Typ 262 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.

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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 Leica M (Typ 262) 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
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---

Both the M Typ 262 and the X Vario have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M Typ 262 was replaced by the Leica M10, while the X Vario does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica M Typ 262 better than the Leica X Vario or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica M (Typ 262):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 16.1MP) with a 21% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the X Vario launch.


Arguments in favor of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M Typ 262 necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x73mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 262 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 8 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M Typ 262 12:08 X Vario

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 M Typ 262 and the X Vario in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Leica M10-R........4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
 
Leica Q2..84/1004.5/5..4/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.

Leica M Typ 262:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. 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: Leica M Typ 262 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 Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date November 2015 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 5,195 USD 2,850
    Sensor Specs Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 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 Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    Focus System Manual Focus Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board 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 Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M Typ 262 Leica X Vario
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 BP-DC8
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

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