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Leica M8 versus Fujifilm X-H1

The Leica M8 and the Fujifilm X-H1 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2006 and February 2018. The M8 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-H1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-H (M8) and an APS-C (X-H1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10.4 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 24 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 M8 vs Fujifilm X-H1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica M8 and the Fujifilm X-H1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the M8 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica M8 vs Fujifilm X-H1
Compare M8 versus X-H1 top
Compare M8 and X-H1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-H1 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Leica M8. Moreover, the X-H1 is markedly heavier (14 percent) than the M8. It is noteworthy in this context that the X-H1 is splash and dust-proof, while the M8 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Leica M Lens Catalog (M8) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-H1).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 M8» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Fujifilm X-H1« 5.5 in 3.8 in 3.4 in 23.7 oz 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
Panasonic G9« » 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Pentax KP« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 390 Y Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A77« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 X-H1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the M8, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica M8 vs Fujifilm X-H1

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M8 features an APS-H sensor and the Fujifilm X-H1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-H1 is 24 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M8 and Fujifilm X-H1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the X-H1 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 10.4 MP of the M8. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the X-H1 is much more recent (by 11 years and 5 months) 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 X-H1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

M8 versus X-H1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 M8» APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8
Fujifilm X-H1« APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-H1
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----Leica M Typ 262
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
Nikon D3000« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.311.156362Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10
Pentax KP« » APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/60i----Pentax KP
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-H1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-H1 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M8 vs Fujifilm X-H1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-H1 has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the M8 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M8, the Fujifilm X-H1, 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 M8»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n Leica M8
Fujifilm X-H1«3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 8000 14.0 n Y Fujifilm X-H1
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XTi
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n Leica M9
Nikon D3000« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 4000 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10
Pentax KP« »optical n 3.0 921 tilting n 6000 7.0 Y Y Pentax KP
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y Sony A77

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-H1 has a touchscreen, while the M8 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the X-H1 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the M8 and the X-H1 write their imaging data to SDXC cards. The X-H1 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M8 only has one slot.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Leica M8»Y-----2.0---Leica M8
Fujifilm X-H1«YstereomonoY-micro3.0Y--Fujifilm X-H1
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Canon XTi« »Y-----2.0---Canon XTi
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »Y-----2.0---Leica M Typ 262
Leica M9« »Y-----2.0---Leica M9
Nikon D3000« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X
Nikon D80« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D80
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Panasonic L10« »Y-----2.0---Panasonic L10
Pentax KP« »YstereomonoY--2.0Y--Pentax KP
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Sony A77« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77

The X-H1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the M8 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M8 was succeeded by the Leica M9.

Review summary: Leica M8 vs Fujifilm X-H1

So how do things add up? Is the Leica M8 better than the Fujifilm X-H1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M8:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 140x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 82g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-H1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 10.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 52%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 5 months of technical progress since the M8 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-H1 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 5 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.

M8 05:18 X-H1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M8 or the X-H1. 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 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 M8»-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Fujifilm X-H1«Rec86/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Nikon D3000« »Rec72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599- i Nikon D3000
Nikon D5000« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
Nikon D40X« »79/100HiRec4/5rev4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
Nikon D80« »RecHiRecrev4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
Panasonic G9« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic L10« »85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Pentax KP« »-82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,099 i i Pentax KP
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i Sony A77

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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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