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Leica X1 versus Leica X2

The Leica X1 and the Leica X2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2009 and May 2012. Both the X1 and the X2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The X1 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the X2 provides 16.1 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 X2

The physical size and weight of the Leica X1 and the Leica X2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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).

Compare Leica X1 vs Leica X2
Compare X1 versus X2 top
Compare X1 and 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 larger (15 percent) than the Leica X1. Moreover, the X2 is markedly heavier (13 percent) than the X1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X1 nor the X2 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
Leica X1» 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i Leica X1
Leica X2« 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X-A1« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Sep 2013 399- i Fujifilm X-A1
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999- i Fujifilm X-E2
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
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 X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Leica D-LUX 5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Sep 2010 699- i Leica D-LUX 5
Leica V-LUX 2« » 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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 X2

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 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.

Leica X1 and Leica X2 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the X2 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the X1. This megapixel advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the X2 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the X2 is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

X1 versus X2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica X1» APS-C 12.2 4272 2856-----Leica X1
Leica X2« APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----Leica X2
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X-A1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----Fujifilm X-A1
Fujifilm X-E2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X-E2
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----Leica D-LUX 6
Leica D-LUX 5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p----Leica D-LUX 5
Leica V-LUX 2« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Leica V-LUX 2
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5
Neither the X1 nor the X2 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Leica X1 vs Leica X2

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X1 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. That said, the X2 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 X1, the Leica X2, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica X1»- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y n Leica X1
Leica X2«- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X2
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X-A1« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A1
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
Leica D-LUX 5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y Leica D-LUX 5
Leica V-LUX 2« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 2
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

Both the X1 and the X2 have build-in prime lenses. Both optics have identical focal length and aperture specifications (24mm f/2.8). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Both the X1 and the X2 write their imaging data to SDHC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Leica X1»Y----mini2.0---Leica X1
Leica X2«Y----mini2.0---Leica X2
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Fujifilm X100S« »Ystereomono--micro2.0---Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X-A1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A1
Fujifilm X-E2« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-E2
Fujifilm X100« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Fujifilm X100
Leica X Typ 113« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica D-LUX 6
Leica D-LUX 5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Leica D-LUX 5
Leica V-LUX 2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 2
Panasonic LX5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5

Both the X1 and the X2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the X2 does not have a direct successor.

Review summary: Leica X1 vs Leica X2

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X1 and the Leica X2? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Leica X1:

  • More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 124x69mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 39g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).


Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (450 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 3 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.

X1 03:05 X2

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 X1 or the X2. 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica X1»-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i Leica X1
Leica X2«--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X-A1« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2013 399- i Fujifilm X-A1
Fujifilm X-E2« »-80/1004.5/5-5/5 Oct 2013 999- i Fujifilm X-E2
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Leica D-LUX 5« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2010 699- i Leica D-LUX 5
Leica V-LUX 2« »----- Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5« »HiRec71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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