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Leica X Vario vs Olympus E-410

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Olympus E-410 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2013 and March 2007. The X Vario is a fixed lens compact, while the E-410 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X Vario) and a Four Thirds (E-410) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.

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 Olympus E-410
Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Four Thirds lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-1,600
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g 130 x 91 x 53 mm, 435 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Olympus E-410? 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 Olympus E-410. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-410 is only available in black.

Size Leica X Vario vs Olympus E-410
Compare X Vario versus E-410 top
Comparison X Vario or E-410 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-410 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Leica X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the E-410 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X Vario has a lens built in, whereas the E-410 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-410 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X Vario gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the E-410 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 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.

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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
 
Olympus E-410 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699i
 
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 X2 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 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
 
Olympus E-420 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-520 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-510 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 19.0 oz 750 n Mar 2007 799i
 
Olympus E-400 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Sep 2006 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic L10 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599i
 
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.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. 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.

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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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica X Vario features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-410 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-410 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X Vario has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-410 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica X Vario and Olympus E-410 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X Vario offers a higher resolution than the E-410 (10MP), but the X Vario nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.74μm for the E-410) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X Vario is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 3 months) than the E-410, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X Vario implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X Vario for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-410 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-410 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

X Vario versus E-410 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the X Vario provides substantially higher image quality than the E-410, with an overall score that is 27 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.3 bits higher color depth, 2.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
 
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 X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
 
Olympus E-400 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none........
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
 
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 are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The X Vario indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-410 does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-410 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X Vario relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X Vario can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica X Vario, the Olympus E-410, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 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 X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 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
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-400optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-410 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-410 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X Vario only has one slot.

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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 Olympus E-410 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---
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-400Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony RX1RYstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Both the X Vario and the E-410 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-410 was replaced by the Olympus E-420, while the X Vario does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Leica X Vario better than the Olympus E-410 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 10MP) with a 30% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 215k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-410 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x73mm vs 130x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-410 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-410:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X Vario is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X Vario 13:06 E-410

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X Vario and the Olympus E-410 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X Vario and the E-410 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

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
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
 
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 X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 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
 
Olympus E-42085/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-51089/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
 
Olympus E-40085/100..4/5..4/5 Sep 2006 699i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
 
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.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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 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.

Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-410:
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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Olympus E-410

    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 Olympus E-410
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date June 2013 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 2,850 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3272 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm 4.74 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 4.44 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 51
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320 494
    Screen Specs Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X Vario Olympus E-410
    Battery Type BP-DC8 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    130 x 91 x 53 mm
    (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 435 g (15.3 oz)

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