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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica X1 and the Leica X2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 side – the X1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
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 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 comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Leica X1 (⇒ rgt)||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||no||2009||1,995||discont.||check|
|Leica X2 (⇒ lft)||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||no||2012||1,995||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||no||2013||549||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||no||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||no||2010||1,199||discont.||check|
|Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||no||2017||1,950||latest||check|
|Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt)||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||no||2016||1,695||discont.||check|
|Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt)||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||no||2014||1,850||discont.||check|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt)||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||no||2014||1,195||latest||check|
|Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||no||2014||2,295||latest||check|
|Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||no||2013||2,850||latest||check|
|Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||no||2008||599||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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.
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.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica X1 (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||no||-||-||-||-|
|Leica X2 (⇒ lft)||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||no||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50|
|Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/30p||22.9||12.4||1001||73|
|Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.2||4944||3278||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||1082||75|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||no||21.1||10.3||463||53|
Apart from 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. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica X1 and Leica X2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Leica X1 (⇒ rgt)||no||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||2000||3.0||YES||no|
|Leica X2 (⇒ lft)||no||no||2.7||230||fixed||no||2000||5.0||YES||no|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||922||fixed||no||4000||2.2||7||YES|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||12.0||7||YES|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||10.0||9||YES|
|Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||2.8||460||fixed||no||4000||5.0||9||no|
|Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.7||1230||fixed||YES||4000||7.0||no||no|
|Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.7||1230||fixed||YES||4000||5.0||YES||no|
|Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.7||1300||fixed||YES||4000||5.0||4.5||no|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2764||no||3.0||921||fixed||no||4000||11.0||no||YES|
|Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||2000||5.0||YES||no|
|Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||fixed||no||2000||5.0||YES||no|
|Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||460||swivel||no||4001||3.0||10.5||no|
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 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.
So how do things add up? Is the Leica X1 better than the Leica X2 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages 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%.
- 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 individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 comes out slightly ahead of the X1 (4 : 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the X1 and the X2 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Leica X1 (⇒ rgt)||-||Rec||-||-||4/5||2009||1,995||discont.||check|
|Leica X2 (⇒ lft)||-||-||3/5||-||4/5||2012||1,995||discont.||check|
|Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||549||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||77/100 Silver||4.5/5||-||5/5||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||76/100 Silver||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||75/100 Silver||4/5||4/5||5/5||2010||1,199||discont.||check|
|Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||2017||1,950||latest||check|
|Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||-||4/5||2016||1,695||discont.||check|
|Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||2014||1,850||discont.||check|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2014||1,195||latest||check|
|Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||2014||2,295||latest||check|
|Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||2013||2,850||latest||check|
|Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||70/100 HiRec||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2008||599||discont.||check|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.
In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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