A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Leica X Vario vs Pentax K-500

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Pentax K-500 are two digital cameras that were announced in June 2013. The X Vario is a fixed lens compact, while the K-500 is a DSLR. Both cameras 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
Pentax K-500
Leica X Vario   Pentax K-500
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Pentax K mount lenses
16.1 MP – APS-C sensor 16.1 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 100-51,200
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
no shake reductionIn-body stabilization
450 shots per battery charge710 shots per battery charge
133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g 130 x 97 x 71 mm, 646 g
Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax K-500:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and the Pentax K-500? 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 physical size and weight of the Leica X Vario and the Pentax K-500 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.

The X Vario can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the K-500 is only available in black.

Size Leica X Vario vs Pentax K-500
Compare X Vario versus K-500 top
Comparison X Vario or K-500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-500 is notably larger (30 percent) than the Leica X Vario. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X Vario nor the K-500 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 K-500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
2.
 
Pentax K-500 130 mm 97 mm 71 mm 646 g 710 n Jun 2013 549i
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 140 mm 79 mm 88 mm 635 g 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950i
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
5.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
7.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
8.
 
Nikon Df 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
11.
 
Pentax K-S1 121 mm 93 mm 70 mm 558 g 410 n Aug 2014 749i
12.
 
Pentax K-50 130 mm 97 mm 71 mm 650 g 410 Y Jun 2013 599i
13.
 
Pentax K-30 130 mm 97 mm 71 mm 650 g 410 Y May 2012 849i
14.
 
Pentax K-5 II 131 mm 97 mm 73 mm 760 g 740 Y Sep 2012 1,099i
15.
 
Pentax K-5 131 mm 97 mm 73 mm 760 g 740 Y Sep 2010 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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.

Sensor comparison

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. The sensor area in the K-500 is 1 percent smaller. 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica X Vario and Pentax K-500 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 4.77μm for the K-500), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. The two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-500 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).

X Vario versus K-500 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
2.
 
Pentax K-500 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.713.1108779
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.813.0161480
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
5.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
7.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
8.
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
11.
 
Pentax K-S1 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.513.0106178
12.
 
Pentax K-50 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.713.0112079
13.
 
Pentax K-30 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.713.0112979
14.
 
Pentax K-5 II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.814.1123582
15.
 
Pentax K-5 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/25p23.714.1116282
16.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
17.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the K-500 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 Pentax K-500, and comparable cameras.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
2.
 
Pentax K-500optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s n Y
5.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y3.2 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5/s n n
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0/s Y n
10.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Pentax K-S1optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 5.4/s Y Y
12.
 
Pentax K-50optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Pentax K-30optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/6000s 6.0/s Y Y
14.
 
Pentax K-5 IIoptical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Pentax K-5optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y Y
16.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The Pentax K-500 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X Vario and the K-500 write their files to SDXC 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 Pentax K-500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Pentax K-500Ymono / mono---2.0---
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 113Ystereo / mono---2.0---
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon DfY- / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereo / mono---2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic FZ1000Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Pentax K-S1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
12.
 
Pentax K-50Ymono / mono--micro2.0---
13.
 
Pentax K-30Ymono / mono---2.0---
14.
 
Pentax K-5 IIYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Pentax K-5Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Ricoh GRYmono / mono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the X Vario and the K-500 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 and Pentax. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X Vario and the Pentax K-500? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the K-500 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x73mm vs 130x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-500:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (710 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-500 is the clear winner of the contest (7 : 3 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.

X Vario 03:07 K-500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X Vario and the Pentax K-500 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 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 X Vario and the K-500 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.

Expert reviews

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
2.
 
Pentax K-500........4.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 549i
3.
 
Leica X-U Typ 1133.5/5........3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950i
4.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
5.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
6.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
7.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
8.
 
Nikon Df4/5....81/1004/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
9.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+..75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
10.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
11.
 
Pentax K-S14/5......4.5/54/5 Aug 2014 749i
12.
 
Pentax K-505/5......5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 599i
13.
 
Pentax K-304/5....78/1004.5/54.5/5 May 2012 849i
14.
 
Pentax K-5 II5/5....80/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,099i
15.
 
Pentax K-54/5....83/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,099i
16.
 
Ricoh GR5/5....79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
17.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 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. 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.

Leica X Vario:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax K-500:
Check Ebay offers

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.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Leica X Vario vs Pentax K-500

    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 Pentax K-500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 Pentax K mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2013 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 2,850 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Leica X Vario Pentax K-500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.2 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 4.77 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 4.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 13.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320 1087
    Screen Specs Leica X Vario Pentax K-500
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.61x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X Vario Pentax K-500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image Stabilizationno shake reductionIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X Vario Pentax K-500
    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 Pentax K-500
    Battery Type BP-DC8 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge710 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    130 x 97 x 71 mm
    (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 646 g (22.8 oz)
    Leica X Vario:
    Check Ebay offers
    Pentax K-500:
    Check Ebay offers

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Leica X Vario vs Pentax K-500