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Leica X Vario vs X2

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and May 2012. Both the X Vario and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica X Vario versus Leica X2
Leica X Vario Leica X2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 36mm f/2.8
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-12,500
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g 124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Leica X2? 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 X Vario and the Leica X2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Leica X Vario vs Leica X2
Compare X Vario versus X2 top
Comparison X Vario or X2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X2 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Leica X Vario. Moreover, the X2 is substantially lighter (49 percent) than the X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

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.

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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 X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica X2 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995i
 
Fujifilm X100S 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E2 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 5.5 in 3.1 in 3.5 in 22.4 oz 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica T 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica X Typ 113 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica X1 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Nikon Df 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon Coolpix A 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Ricoh GR 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799i
 
Sony RX1R 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
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.

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 X2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the X Vario, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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.

Leica X Vario and Leica X2 sensor measures

Even though the X Vario has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16.1 megapixels. This implies that the X Vario has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.79μm for the X2), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X Vario is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the X2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The Leica X2 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

X Vario versus X2 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X Vario indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X Vario and the X2 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. However, optional viewfinders – the EVF 2 for the X Vario and the EVF 2 for the X2 – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X Vario and Leica X2 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 X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony RX1Roptional n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The X Vario is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a built-in prime. The X Vario has a 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 optic and the X2 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the X Vario provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the X2. The X2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The X Vario writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the X2 uses SDHC 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 X Vario (Typ 107) and Leica X2 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 X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereomono--micro2.0---
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the X Vario and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Leica. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica X Vario better than the Leica X2 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the X2).


Advantages of the Leica X2:

  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 133x73mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 335g or 49 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X Vario 05:05 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X Vario and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X Vario or the X2. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995i
 
Fujifilm X100S+ +81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E2..80/1004.5/5..5/5 Oct 2013 999i
 
Leica X-U Typ 113........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Nikon Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
 
Sony RX1R....4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
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. 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.

Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Leica X2

    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 X Vario Leica X2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date June 2013 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 2,850 USD 1,995
    Sensor Specs Leica X Vario Leica X2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3272 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 12,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320 ..
    Screen Specs Leica X Vario Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X Vario Leica X2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 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 X Vario Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X Vario Leica X2
    Battery Type BP-DC8 BP-DC8
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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