Leica X Vario versus Leica T
The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Leica T (Typ 701) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and April 2014. The X Vario is a fixed lens compact, while the T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The X Vario has a resolution of 16.1 megapixel, whereas the T Typ 701 provides 16.2 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 Vario vs Leica T
The physical size and weight of the Leica X Vario and the Leica T are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. 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 X Vario – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica T is somewhat smaller (5 percent) than the Leica X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the T Typ 701 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|
|Leica X Vario»||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica T«||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.5 oz||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||-|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||3.5 in||22.4 oz||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950|
|Leica TL« »||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.5 oz||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||-|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica X2« »||4.9 in||2.7 in||2.0 in||12.2 oz||450||n||May 2012||1,995||-|
|Leica M9« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999||-|
|Nikon Df« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.6 in||26.8 oz||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony RX1R« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-|
|Sony RX1« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||-|
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 X Vario vs Leica T
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 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.
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.
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). However, it should be noted 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.
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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica X Vario»||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Canon SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica TL« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica X2« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||-||-||-||-||-|
|Leica M9« »||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||-||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|Nikon Df« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||-||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|Sony RX1« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Feature comparison: Leica X Vario vs Leica T
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X Vario and the T Typ 701 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 X Vario and Leica T 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.
|Leica X Vario»||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||2000||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica TL« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||Y||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|
|Leica M9« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.0||n||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|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX1« »||-||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 X Vario vs Leica T
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica X Vario or the Leica T – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor 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 a lens build-in, whereas the T Typ 701 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).
Advantages 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: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T Typ 701 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 4 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X Vario or the T Typ 701. 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 why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Leica X Vario»||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica T«||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||-|
|Canon SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Leica X-U Typ 113« »||-||-||-||-||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950|
|Leica TL« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||-|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica X2« »||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||May 2012||1,995||-|
|Leica M9« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||Sep 2009||7,999||-|
|Nikon Df« »||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-|
|Sony RX1« »||-||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 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.
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