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Leica X-U Typ 113 versus Panasonic FZ300

The Leica X-U (Typ 113) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and July 2015. Both the X-U Typ 113 and the FZ300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (X-U Typ 113) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 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 X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ300

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica X-U Typ 113 and the Panasonic FZ300 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. You can also use the toggle button 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 X-U Typ 113 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ300
Compare X-U Typ 113 versus FZ300 top
Compare X-U Typ 113 and FZ300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ300 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Leica X-U Typ 113. Moreover, the FZ300 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the X-U Typ 113. 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.

Concerning battery life, the X-U Typ 113 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the FZ300 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

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 X-U Typ 113» 5.5 in 3.1 in 3.5 in 22.4 oz 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950 i i
Panasonic FZ300« 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549 i i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i
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 X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica V-LUX 2« » 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849- i
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- 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. The FZ300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the X-U Typ 113, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ300

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica X-U Typ 113 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the X-U Typ 113 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ300 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica X-U Typ 113 and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X-U Typ 113 offers a higher resolution than the FZ300 (12MP), but the X-U Typ 113 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 1.53μm for the FZ300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X-U Typ 113 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the FZ300, and its sensor might 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 FZ300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X-U Typ 113 versus FZ300 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica X-U Typ 113» APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Panasonic FZ300« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
Leica V-LUX 2« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ300 provides a better video resolution than the X-U Typ 113. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ300

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ300 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-U Typ 113 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica X-U Typ 113, the Panasonic FZ300, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, 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 X-U Typ 113»- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ300«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica V-LUX 2« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y Y
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y

The FZ300 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X-U Typ 113 comes with a build-in prime. The FZ300 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the X-U Typ 113 offers a 35mm f/1.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The X-U Typ 113 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Both the X-U Typ 113 and the FZ300 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ300 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the X-U Typ 113 does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Leica X-U Typ 113 vs Panasonic FZ300

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X-U Typ 113 and the Panasonic FZ300? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X-U (Typ 113):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 12MP) with a 18% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • Water-proof: Can be used in the rain and for underwater photography (up to 3m).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the FZ300).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2015).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ300 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 8 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.

X-U Typ 113 08:12 FZ300

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-U Typ 113 or the FZ300 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 detailed reviews can be accessed 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 X-U Typ 113»----3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950 i i
Panasonic FZ300«HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549 i i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica V-LUX 2« »----- Sep 2010 849- i
Nikon W300« »Rec-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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