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Leica S2 vs X-U Typ 113

The Leica S2 and the Leica X-U (Typ 113) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2008 and January 2016. The S2 is a DSLR, while the X-U Typ 113 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a medium format (S2) and an APS-C (X-U Typ 113) sensor. The S2 has a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, whereas the X-U Typ 113 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 S2 versus Leica X-U Typ 113
Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Leica S mount lenses 35mm f/1.7
37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-1,250 ISO 100-12,500
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWaterproof body (3m)
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1410 g 140 x 79 x 88 mm, 635 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S2 and the Leica X-U (Typ 113)? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica S2 and the Leica X-U Typ 113. 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.

Size Leica S2 vs Leica X-U Typ 113
Compare S2 versus X-U Typ 113 top
Comparison S2 or X-U Typ 113 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X-U Typ 113 is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Leica S2. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments. More than that, the X-U Typ 113 is water-proof up to 3m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X-U Typ 113 has a lens built in, whereas the S2 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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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 S2 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 5.5 in 3.1 in 3.5 in 22.4 oz 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Canon G1 X Mark III 4.5 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon G3 X 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III 5.9 in 6.3 in 3.1 in 48.9 oz 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Leica S3 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 16,900i
 
Leica S Typ 007 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i
 
Leica X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica S Typ 006 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950i
 
Leica S1 13.3 in 8.4 in 4.7 in 88.2 oz .. n Aug 1996 21,490i
 
Nikon Df 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D3S 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D3X 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999i
 
Nikon D3 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 45.9 oz 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
 
Pentax 645D 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995i
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 obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X-U Typ 113 was launched at a lower price than the S2, despite having a lens built in. 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

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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica S2 features a medium format sensor and the Leica X-U Typ 113 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-U Typ 113 is 73 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.8 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica S2 and Leica X-U Typ 113 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S2 offers a higher resolution than the X-U Typ 113 (16.1MP), but the S2 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.80μm for the X-U Typ 113) due to its larger sensor. However, the X-U Typ 113 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 3 months) than the S2, 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 S2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica S2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X-U Typ 113 are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 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 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica S2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 1250. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X-U (Typ 113) are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

S2 versus X-U Typ 113 MP

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

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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 S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Canon G1 X Mark III APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744none24.012.0166380
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p........
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.282476
 
Leica S1 Medium Format 26.4 5140 5140none........
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
 
Nikon D3X Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none24.713.7199288
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081
 
Pentax 645D Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440none24.612.6126282

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The X-U Typ 113 indeed provides for movie recording, while the S2 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-U Typ 113 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the S2 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-U Typ 113 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X-U Typ 113 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica S2 and Leica X-U Typ 113 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 S2optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 9.0 Y Y
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIoptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica S3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Leica S1optical n none none none n .. 0.01 n n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D3Xoptical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Pentax 645Doptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n

One feature that is present on the S2, but is missing on the X-U Typ 113 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The S2 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDHC cards, while the X-U Typ 113 uses SDXC cards. The S2 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X-U Typ 113 only has one slot. The X-U Typ 113 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the S2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 S2 and Leica X-U (Typ 113) 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 S2Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIIYstereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon G3 XYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1Ds Mark IIIY-----2.0---
 
Leica S3YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica S Typ 007YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica S Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica S1----------
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3XY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---
 
Pentax 645DYstereo----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S2 (unlike the X-U Typ 113) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the S2 and the X-U Typ 113 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S2 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 006, while the X-U Typ 113 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica S2 or the Leica X-U Typ 113 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Leica S2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 16.1MP) with a 52% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).


Advantages of the Leica X-U (Typ 113):

  • 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.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the S2 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (140x79mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the S2).
  • Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 3m).
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 3 months of technical progress since the S2 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-U Typ 113 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 9 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. 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.

S2 09:12 X-U Typ 113

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S2 and the Leica X-U Typ 113 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

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 shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the S2 or the X-U Typ 113. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 S2.......... Sep 2008 22,995i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Canon G1 X Mark III+79/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon G3 X+..4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
 
Canon 1Ds Mark III..+ +4.5/5.... Aug 2007 7,999i
 
Leica S3.......... Sep 2018 18,995 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica S-E Typ 006.......... Sep 2014 16,900i
 
Leica S Typ 007.......... Sep 2014 24,490 i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica S Typ 006.......... Sep 2012 21,950i
 
Leica S1.......... Aug 1996 21,490i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon D3S..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D3X..86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999i
 
Nikon D3..+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
 
Pentax 645D......4.5/5.. Mar 2010 9,995i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica S2:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X-U Typ 113:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica S2 vs Leica X-U Typ 113

    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 S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses 35mm f/1.7
    Launch Date September 2008 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 22,995 USD 2,950
    Sensor Specs Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 37.5 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7500 x 5000 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 4.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 1,250 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.86x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica S2 Leica X-U Typ 113
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWaterproof body (3m)
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 BP-DC8
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    140 x 79 x 88 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 3.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1410 g (49.7 oz) 635 g (22.4 oz)

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