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Leica X1 versus Leica D-LUX Typ 109

The Leica X1 and the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2009 and September 2014. Both the X1 and the D-LUX Typ 109 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (X1) and a Four Thirds (D-LUX Typ 109) sensor. The X1 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the D-LUX Typ 109 provides 12.7 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 X1 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica X1 and the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 X1 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica X1 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Compare X1 versus D-LUX Typ 109 top
Compare X1 and D-LUX Typ 109 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Leica X1. Moreover, the D-LUX Typ 109 is markedly heavier (32 percent) than the X1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X1 nor the D-LUX Typ 109 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.

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 X1» 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X100T« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- i
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica TL2« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X2« » 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i
Leica D-LUX 5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Sep 2010 699- i
Leica V-LUX 2« » 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849- i
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- 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 D-LUX Typ 109 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the X1, 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 X1 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 X1 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the D-LUX Typ 109 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 X1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the D-LUX Typ 109 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica X1 and Leica D-LUX Typ 109 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the D-LUX Typ 109 offers a slightly higher resolution of 12.7 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the X1. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.21μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the D-LUX Typ 109 is much more recent (by 5 years) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

X1 versus D-LUX Typ 109 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica X1» APS-C 12.2 4272 2856-----
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Fujifilm X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----
Leica X2« » APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----
Leica D-LUX 5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p----
Leica V-LUX 2« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D-LUX Typ 109 indeed provides for movie recording, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX Typ 109 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica X1 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D-LUX Typ 109 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X1 and Leica D-LUX Typ 109 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 X1»- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX Typ 109«2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Fujifilm X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Leica X2« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX 5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y
Leica V-LUX 2« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n

The D-LUX Typ 109 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X1 comes with a build-in prime. The D-LUX Typ 109 has a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 optic and the X1 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the D-LUX Typ 109 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the X1. The D-LUX Typ 109 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The D-LUX Typ 109 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X1 was succeeded by the Leica X2.

Review summary: Leica X1 vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica X1 or the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica X1:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 99g or 24 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).


Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):

  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • 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 (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (300 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the X1 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX Typ 109 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 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.

X1 03:12 D-LUX Typ 109

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X1 or the D-LUX Typ 109. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available 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 X1»-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109«--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Fujifilm X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- i
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X2« »--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i
Leica D-LUX 5« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2010 699- i
Leica V-LUX 2« »----- Sep 2010 849- i
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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