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Leica Q Typ 116 versus Zeiss ZX1

The Leica Q (Typ 116) and the Zeiss ZX1 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and September 2018. Both the Q Typ 116 and the ZX1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Zeiss provides 37.4 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 Q Typ 116 vs Zeiss ZX1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Zeiss ZX1. 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 size 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 – the Q Typ 116 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica Q Typ 116 vs Zeiss ZX1
Compare Q Typ 116 versus ZX1 top
Compare Q Typ 116 and ZX1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Zeiss ZX1 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Leica Q Typ 116. Moreover, the ZX1 is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the Q Typ 116. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Q Typ 116 nor the ZX1 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 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
Zeiss ZX1« 5.6 in 3.7 in 1.8 in 28.2 oz .. n Sep 2018 .. i i Zeiss ZX1
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Kodak AZ901« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 4.7 in 27.4 oz 400 n Jan 2016 499 i i Kodak AZ901
Leica C-LUX« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
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 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 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
Nikon P1000« » 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Sony RX100 VI« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.7 in 10.6 oz 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX1R II« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.9 oz 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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 Q Typ 116 vs Zeiss ZX1

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica Q Typ 116 and Zeiss ZX1 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the ZX1 offers a higher resolution of 37.4 megapixel, compared with 24 MP of the Q Typ 116. This megapixel advantage translates into a 25 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the ZX1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.81μm versus 6.00μm for the Q Typ 116). However, it should be noted that the ZX1 is much more recent (by 3 years and 3 months) than the Q Typ 116, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

Q Typ 116 versus ZX1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 Q Typ 116» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Zeiss ZX1« Full Frame 37.4 7488 49924K/30p----Zeiss ZX1
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
Kodak AZ901« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p----Kodak AZ901
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
Nikon P1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon P1000
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Sony RX1R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the ZX1 provides a better video resolution than the Q Typ 116. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Zeiss ZX1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the ZX1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the Q Typ 116 (6221k vs 3680k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica Q Typ 116 and Zeiss ZX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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 Q Typ 116»3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Zeiss ZX1«6221 n 4.3 2765 fixed Y 1000 3.0 n n Zeiss ZX1
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
Kodak AZ901« »202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 2000 5.0 Y Y Kodak AZ901
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
Nikon P1000« »2359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Sony RX1R II« »2360 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 4000 5.0 n n Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature 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 Q Typ 116 and the ZX1 have build-in prime lenses. The Q Typ 116 has a 28mm f/1.7 optic and the ZX1 offers a 35mm f/2.8. Hence, the Leica provides a wider angle of view than the Zeiss. The Q Typ 116 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The Q Typ 116 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the ZX1 uses an internal SSD.

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 Q Typ 116»Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
Zeiss ZX1«Ystereomono---3.1YYYZeiss ZX1
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon G7 X« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
Kodak AZ901« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Kodak AZ901
Leica C-LUX« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica C-LUX
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Vario« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
Nikon P1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
Sony RX100 VI« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
Sony RX1R II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

Both the Q Typ 116 and the ZX1 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Leica and Zeiss.

Review summary: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Zeiss ZX1

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica Q Typ 116 better than the Zeiss ZX1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica Q (Typ 116):

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (2000/sec vs 1000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x80mm vs 142x93mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 160g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2015).

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Arguments in favor of the Zeiss ZX1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (37.4 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (6221k vs 3680k dots).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (4.3" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2765k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 3 months of technical progress since the Q Typ 116 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZX1 comes out slightly ahead of the Q Typ 116 (8 : 7 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.

Q Typ 116 07:08 ZX1

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Q Typ 116 or the ZX1 handle or perform in practice. 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed 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 Q Typ 116»-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Zeiss ZX1«----- Sep 2018 .. i i Zeiss ZX1
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i Canon G7 X
Kodak AZ901« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2016 499 i i Kodak AZ901
Leica C-LUX« »----4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Nikon P1000« »Rec73/1003.5/5-3.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Sony RX100 VI« »HiRec83/1004/5-4.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX1R II« »-82/100-rev4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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