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Leica X1 vs 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 megapixels, whereas the X2 provides 16.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica X1   Leica X2
Leica X1 Leica X2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
36mm f/2.8 36mm f/2.8
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3200 ISO 100-12500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.7" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
260 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
124 x 60 x 32 mm, 306 g 124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X1 and the Leica X2? 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: Leica X1 vs 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.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Leica X1 vs Leica X2
Compare X1 versus X2 top
Comparison X1 or 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-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
 
Nikon Coolpix A« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 230 n Mar 2013 1,099- i Nikon Coolpix A
 
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
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision 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 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 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the X1. This megapixels 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.

The resolution advantage of the Leica X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inch or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inch or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inch or 36.2 x 24.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica X1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica X2 are ISO 100 to ISO 12500 (no boost).

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-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
 
Nikon Coolpix A« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480Nikon Coolpix A
 
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 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.

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
Camera
Model
 
Leica X1»- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n Leica X1
 
Leica X2«- n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X2
 
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2
 
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica D-LUX 5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y Leica D-LUX 5
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 2
 
Nikon Coolpix A« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n Nikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5
 
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

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

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X1 and the X2 write their files to SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Leica X1 vs X2

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 X1 and Leica X2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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-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
 
Nikon Coolpix A« »Ystereomono---2.0---Nikon Coolpix A
 
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. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.


Review summary: Leica X1 vs X2

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X1 and the Leica X2? Which camera is better? 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. 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.

X1 03:05 X2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X1 and the Leica X2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

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 shooting 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.

Expert reviews: Leica X1 vs X2

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 (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.

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»-+--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i Leica X1
 
Leica X2«--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
 
Canon G16« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Fujifilm X100S« »+ +81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
 
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
 
Nikon Coolpix A« »+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099- i Nikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic LX5« »+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 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« »+ +71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
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 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.

Leica X1:
Check Ebay offers
Leica X2:
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 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.

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    Specifications: Leica X1 vs Leica X2

    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 X1 Leica X2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 36mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2009 May 2012
    Launch Price USD 1995 USD 1995
    Sensor Specs Leica X1 Leica X2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2856 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.51 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 3.30 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO 100-12500 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica X1 Leica X2
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X1 Leica X2
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X1 Leica X2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X1 Leica X2
    Battery Type BP-DC8 power pack BP-DC8 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)260 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 60 x 32 mm
    (4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 306 g (10.8 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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