A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Leica X1 vs Sony A3000

The Leica X1 and the Sony Alpha A3000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2009 and August 2013. The X1 is a fixed lens compact, while the A3000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X1
versus
Sony A3000
Leica X1   Sony A3000
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
36mm f/2.8 Sony E mount lenses
12.2 MP – APS-C sensor 19.8 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-16,000
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 3.0" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
260 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
124 x 60 x 32 mm, 306 g 128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g
logo
Check X1 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check A3000 offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X1 and the Sony Alpha A3000? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica X1 and the Sony A3000. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A3000 is only available in black.

Size Leica X1 vs Sony A3000
Compare X1 versus A3000 top
Comparison X1 or A3000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A3000 is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Leica X1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X1 nor the A3000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X1 has a lens built in, whereas the A3000 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A3000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X1 gets 260 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the A3000 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A3000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
5.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 n Sep 2014 1,195ebay.com
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295ebay.com
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699ebay.com
8.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995ebay.com
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Sony A5000 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 269 g 420 n Jan 2014 449ebay.com
14.
 
Sony A5100 110 mm 63 mm 36 mm 283 g 400 n Aug 2014 549ebay.com
15.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599ebay.com
16.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799ebay.com
17.
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A3000 is 4 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica X1 and Sony A3000 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A3000 offers a higher resolution of 19.8 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 4.25μm versus 5.51μm for the X1). However, it should be noted that the A3000 is much more recent (by 3 years and 11 months) than the X1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A3000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A3000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 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 Sony Alpha A3000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

X1 versus A3000 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.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
2.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
5.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.412.160767
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p19.810.8-30343
8.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.510.4-58339
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.732139
11.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
12.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
13.
 
Sony A5000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
14.
 
Sony A5100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
15.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
16.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
17.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A3000 indeed provides for movie recording, while the X1 does not. The highest resolution format that the A3000 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A3000 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 Sony A3000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 1092764 n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s n Y
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony A5000none n3.0 / 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
14.
 
Sony A5100none n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
15.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y n
16.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
17.
 
Sony RX1optional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The X1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the A3000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Sony Alpha A3000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
5.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
6.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony A5000-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony A5100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the X1 and the A3000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The X1 was replaced by the Leica X2, while the A3000 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the X1 and A3000 can be found, respectively, in the Leica X1 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A3000 Manual.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X1 and the Sony A3000? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica X1:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A3000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 128x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A3000).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).

ilogo

Advantages of the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A3000 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 6 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 06:09 A3000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X1 and the Sony A3000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X1 or the A3000 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.

Expert reviews

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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
5.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109........4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195ebay.com
6.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295ebay.com
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699ebay.com
8.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995ebay.com
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 5........4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699ebay.com
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
13.
 
Sony A50003/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 449ebay.com
14.
 
Sony A51004.5/5+....4.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549ebay.com
15.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599ebay.com
16.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799ebay.com
17.
 
Sony RX15/5....79/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

logo
Check X1 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check A3000 offers at
ebay.com

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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Leica X1 vs Sony A3000

    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 Sony A3000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2009 August 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,995 USD 329
    Sensor Specs Leica X1 Sony A3000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2856 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.51 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 3.30 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 16,000 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1068
    Screen Specs Leica X1 Sony A3000
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X1 Sony A3000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X1 Sony A3000
    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 Sony A3000
    Battery Type BP-DC8 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)260 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 60 x 32 mm
    (4.9 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    Camera Weight 306 g (10.8 oz) 411 g (14.5 oz)
    logo
    Check X1 offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check A3000 offers at
    ebay.com

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Leica X1 vs Sony A3000