Leica M8 versus Fujifilm X-Pro1
The Leica M8 and the Fujifilm X-Pro1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and January 2012. The M8 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-Pro1 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-H (M8) and an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10.4 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 MP.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica M8 and the Fujifilm X-Pro1. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 M8 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Leica M8. However, the X-Pro1 is markedly lighter (24 percent) than the M8. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M8 nor the X-Pro1 are weather-sealed.
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-Pro1).
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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Leica M8 (⇒ rgt)||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||no||2006||5,499||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft)||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||no||2012||1,699||discont.||check|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||no||2007||1,299||discont.||check|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||no||2006||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||YES||2016||1,699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||no||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||no||2013||699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||no||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||75 mm||38 mm||350 g||350||no||2012||999||discont.||check|
|Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||no||2017||6,595||latest||check|
|Leica M Typ 262 (⇒ lft | rgt)||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||YES||2015||5,195||discont.||check|
|Leica M9 (⇒ lft | rgt)||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||no||2009||7,999||discont.||check|
|Leica Digilux 3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||no||2006||1,499||discont.||check|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||no||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||no||2007||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-510 (⇒ lft | rgt)||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||no||2007||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||no||2007||599||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-Pro1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 69 percent) than the M8, 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.
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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M8 features an APS-H sensor and the Fujifilm X-Pro1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-Pro1 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the X-Pro1 offers a higher resolution of 16 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 4.80μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the X-Pro1 is much more recent (by 5 years and 3 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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.
|Leica M8 (⇒ rgt)||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||no||21.1||11.3||663||59|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.3||703||64|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||no||22.1||11.0||664||62|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||no||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|Leica M Typ 262 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||no||-||-||-||-|
|Leica M9 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||no||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|Leica Digilux 3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||no||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.1||11.2||524||61|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-510 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-Pro1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-Pro1 can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-Pro1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica M8 and Fujifilm X-Pro1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Leica M8 (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||8000||2.0||no||no|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft)||1440||no||3.0||1230||fixed||no||4000||6.0||no||no|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||230||fixed||no||8000||6.5||12||no|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||YES||no|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1620||fixed||no||8000||8.0||no||no|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||fixed||no||4000||7.0||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||6.0||YES||no|
|Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||1037||fixed||no||4000||5.0||no||no|
|Leica M Typ 262 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||921||fixed||no||4000||3.0||no||no|
|Leica M9 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||2.0||no||no|
|Leica Digilux 3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||207||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||YES||no|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||215||fixed||no||4000||3.0||10||no|
|Olympus E-510 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||215||fixed||no||4000||3.0||12||YES|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||207||swivel||no||4000||3.0||11||no|
Both the M8 and the X-Pro1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the X-Pro1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-Pro2.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica M8 better than the Fujifilm X-Pro1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica M8:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- 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).
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-Pro1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16 vs 10.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 24%.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- 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 (1230k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 141g or 24 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (69 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 3 months of technical progress since the M8 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-Pro1 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the M8 and the X-Pro1 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Leica M8 (⇒ rgt)||-||HiRec||-||-||-||2006||5,499||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft)||HiRec||79/100 Silver||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||1,699||discont.||check|
|Canon 40D (⇒ lft | rgt)||90/100 HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||1,299||discont.||check|
|Canon 400D (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100 HiRec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4/5||2006||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||83/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2016||1,699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100 Gold||4.5/5||-||5/5||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Gold||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||79/100 Gold||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||999||discont.||check|
|Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||2017||6,595||latest||check|
|Leica M Typ 262 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||-||-||2015||5,195||discont.||check|
|Leica M9 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||2009||7,999||discont.||check|
|Leica Digilux 3 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||-||-||2006||1,499||discont.||check|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100 Rec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4.5/5||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-410 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-510 (⇒ lft | rgt)||89/100||HiRec||3.5/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2007||799||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||reviewed||4/5||2007||599||discont.||check|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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.
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