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Leica X2 versus Fujifilm X-M1

The Leica X2 and the Fujifilm X-M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2012 and June 2013. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 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 X2 vs Fujifilm X-M1

The physical size and weight of the Leica X2 and the Fujifilm X-M1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 X2 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica X2 vs Fujifilm X-M1
Compare X2 versus X-M1 top
Compare X2 and X-M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-M1 is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Leica X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the X-M1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens build in, whereas the X-M1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the X-M1 and their specifications in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the X-M1 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-W126 power pack.

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 camera comparisons there.

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)
Leica X2» 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995- i
Fujifilm X-M1« 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Jun 2013 699 i i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X20« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i
Leica TL2« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica TL« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i
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 Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X1« » 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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 X2 vs Fujifilm X-M1

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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X-M1 is 1 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 X2 and Fujifilm X-M1 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a slightly higher resolution than the X-M1 (16MP), but the X2 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 4.80μm for the X-M1). Moreover, the X-M1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the X2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

X2 versus X-M1 MP

For most 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica X2» APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----
Fujifilm X-M1« APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p----
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Leica TL« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----
Leica X1« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2856-----

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-M1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-M1 can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica X2 vs Fujifilm X-M1

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X2 and the X-M1 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica X2, the Fujifilm X-M1, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Leica X2»- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-M1«- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.6 Y n
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X-E2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
Leica TL« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Leica X1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y n

The X-M1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X2 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the X2 from Leica.

Review summary: Leica X2 vs Fujifilm X-M1

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Fujifilm X-M1? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the X-M1 requires a separate lens.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • 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 May 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-M1:

  • 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 1080/30p video.
  • 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 (920k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-M1 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 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.

X2 05:09 X-M1

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 X2 or the X-M1. 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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica X2»--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i
Fujifilm X-M1«Rec77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2013 699 i i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Fujifilm X-E2« »-80/1004.5/5-5/5 Oct 2013 999- i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica TL« »----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i
Leica X1« »-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i

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. 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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