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Leica T versus Leica X Vario

The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2014 and June 2013. The T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X Vario is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T Typ 701 has a resolution of 16.2 megapixel, whereas the X Vario provides 16.1 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 T vs Leica X Vario

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica T and the Leica X Vario is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear 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 – the T Typ 701 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica T vs Leica X Vario
Compare T Typ 701 versus X Vario top
Compare T Typ 701 and 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 somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Leica T. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T Typ 701 nor the X Vario are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens build in, whereas the T Typ 701 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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)
Leica T» 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Vario« 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Canon M10« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 100D« » 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica SL« » 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« » 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica X2« » 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995- i
Nikon Df« » 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM1« » 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX1R« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica T vs Leica X Vario

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 an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica T and Leica X Vario sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the T Typ 701 offers a slightly higher resolution of 16.2 megapixel, compared with 16.1 MP of the X Vario. This megapixel advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the T Typ 701 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.80μm for the X Vario). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the T Typ 701 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the X Vario, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the T Typ 701 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

T Typ 701 versus X Vario MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica T» APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
Leica X Vario« APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Leica TL« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Leica T vs Leica X Vario

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T Typ 701 and the X Vario are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica T and Leica X Vario 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 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
Leica T»- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Vario«- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
Leica TL« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica X2« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n

The X Vario is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the T Typ 701 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T Typ 701 was succeeded by the Leica TL.

Review summary: Leica T vs Leica X Vario

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica T and the Leica X Vario? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Leica T (Typ 701):

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1300k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the X Vario).


Advantages of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the T Typ 701 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T Typ 701 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 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 before making a camera decision.

T Typ 701 07:04 X Vario

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T Typ 701 or the X Vario 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica T»--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Vario«--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica TL« »----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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