Leica T vs X1
The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2014 and September 2009. The T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the X1 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T Typ 701 has a resolution of 16.2 megapixels, whereas the X1 provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica T||Leica X1|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Leica T mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|16.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-12500||ISO 100-3200|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.7" LCD, 1300k dots||2.7" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|400 shots per battery charge||260 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g||124 x 60 x 32 mm, 306 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica T (Typ 701) and the Leica X1? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Leica T and the Leica X1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X1 is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Leica T. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T Typ 701 nor the X1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X1 has a lens built 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 power pack in the T Typ 701 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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.
|Leica T»||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X1«||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|Canon M3« »||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon 100D« »||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Leica TL2« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Leica X Vario« »||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon D5500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Panasonic G7« »||125 mm||86 mm||77 mm||410 g||350||n||May 2015||649||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic LX5« »||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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. 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.
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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 16.2MP, the T Typ 701 offers a higher resolution than the X1 (12.2MP), but the T Typ 701 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, the T Typ 701 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 7 months) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.
The resolution advantage of the Leica T implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T Typ 701 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.7 x 16.4 inch or 62.8 x 41.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.8 x 13.1 inch or 50.2 x 33.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.5 x 10.9 inch or 41.9 x 27.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inch or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica T (Typ 701) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica T»||APS-C||16.2||4944||3278||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||1082||75||Leica T|
|Leica X1«||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon 100D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon 100D|
|Leica TL2« »||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL|
|Leica X Vario« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||-||-||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||-||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Panasonic G7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic LX5« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The T Typ 701 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the T Typ 701 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T Typ 701 and the X1 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. That said, the T Typ 701 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica T, the Leica X1, and comparable cameras.
|Leica T»||-||n||3.7||1300||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica T|
|Leica X1«||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica X1|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n||Canon M10|
|Canon 100D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n||Canon 100D|
|Leica TL2« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica TL|
|Leica X Vario« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Panasonic G7« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic LX5« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The T Typ 701 has a touchscreen, while the X1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The T Typ 701 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X1 uses SDHC cards.
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 T (Typ 701) and Leica X1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica T»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica T|
|Leica X1«||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon 100D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 100D|
|Leica TL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL|
|Leica X Vario« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Panasonic G7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic LX5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
It is notable that the T Typ 701 offers wifi support, while the X1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the T Typ 701 and the X1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the T Typ 701 was followed by the Leica TL. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica T and the Leica X1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Leica T (Typ 701):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.2 vs 12.2MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1300k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 7 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Leica X1:
- 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.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 134x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the T Typ 701).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T Typ 701 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica T and the Leica X1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T Typ 701 and the X1 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Leica T»||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X1«||-||+||-||-||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||-||Leica X1|
|Canon M3« »||o||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||o||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon 100D« »||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon 100D|
|Leica TL2« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Leica X Vario« »||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2012||699||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica X2« »||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||May 2012||1,995||-||Leica X2|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2010||699||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2010||849||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon D5500« »||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||+ +||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Panasonic G7« »||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||-||Panasonic G7|
|Panasonic LX5« »||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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.
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.
Specifications: Leica T vs Leica X1
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 Model||Leica T||Leica X1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||36mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2014||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 1850||USD 1995|
|Sensor Specs||Leica T||Leica X1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.2 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4944 x 3278 pixels||4272 x 2856 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||5.51 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.37 MP/cm2||3.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12500 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||75||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.0||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1082||..|
|Screen Specs||Leica T||Leica X1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.7 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1300k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica T||Leica X1|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica T||Leica X1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica T||Leica X1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
134 x 69 x 33 mm
(5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
124 x 60 x 32 mm
(4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||384 g (13.5 oz)||306 g (10.8 oz)|
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