Leica X1 vs Panasonic FZ100
The Leica X1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2009 and July 2010. Both the X1 and the FZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (X1) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ100) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 14 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica X1 and the Panasonic FZ100 is provided 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ100 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ100 is notably larger (37 percent) than the Leica X1. Moreover, the FZ100 is substantially heavier (76 percent) than the X1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X1 nor the FZ100 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429|
|Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 FZ100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 75 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.
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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica X1 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic FZ100 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ100 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the X1 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ100 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ100 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the X1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.41μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the FZ100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the X1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica X1 are 21.4 x 14.3 inches or 54.3 x 36.3 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 29 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The FZ100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the FZ100 can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica X1 and Panasonic FZ100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
The FZ100 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X1 comes with a built-in prime. The FZ100 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the X1 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
The X1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the FZ100 uses SDXC cards.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the X1 and the FZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the FZ100 was followed by the Panasonic FZ150. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica X1 better than the Panasonic FZ100 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica X1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 124x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 234g or 43 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (14 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 5%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition 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 (460k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (75 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ100 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 9 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X1 and the Panasonic FZ100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X1 or the FZ100 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.
|Leica X1||..||+||..||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|Panasonic FZ100||+||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon SX40||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|Canon SX30||+ +||..||3.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X Typ 113||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica X2||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic LX5||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 600D vs Leica X1
- Canon 760D vs Leica X1
- Canon SX70 vs Leica X1
- Canon SX740 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Leica X1 vs Nikon D5300
- Leica X1 vs Nikon D5600
- Leica X1 vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D50 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Samsung NX1
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony A5100
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony A58
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Leica X1 vs Panasonic FZ100
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 Model||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||36mm f/2.8||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||September 2009||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 1,995||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||14 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4272 x 2856 pixels||4320 x 3240 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||1.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.30 MP/cm2||49.86 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica X1||Panasonic FZ100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
124 x 60 x 32 mm
(4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||306 g (10.8 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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