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Leica X2 versus Leica X Vario

The Leica X2 and the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2012 and June 2013. Both the X2 and the X Vario are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixel. 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 Leica X Vario

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica X2 and the Leica X Vario is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica X2 vs Leica X Vario
Compare X2 versus X Vario top
Compare X2 and X Vario rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X Vario is notably larger (13 percent) than the Leica X2. Moreover, the X Vario is substantially heavier (97 percent) than the X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the X Vario 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 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)
Camera
Model
Leica X2» 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Leica X Vario« 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Fujifilm X20« » 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Leica Q Typ 116« » 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Leica X1« » 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995- i Leica X1
Nikon Df« » 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX1R« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R

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. The X2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the X Vario, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica X2 vs Leica X Vario

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. 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 Leica X Vario sensor measures

Even though the X Vario has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 16.1 megapixel. This implies that the X Vario has a lower pixel density and marginally larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 4.79μm for the X2), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X Vario 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.

X2 versus X Vario MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 X2» APS-C 16.1 4928 3264-----Leica X2
Leica X Vario« APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X70
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Leica TL« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica TL
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
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 X1« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2856-----Leica X1
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The X Vario indeed provides for movie recording, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica X2 vs Leica X Vario

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X2 and the X Vario 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 Leica X Vario, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica X2»- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X2
Leica X Vario«- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n Leica TL2
Leica TL« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica TL
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica T
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
Leica X1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y n Leica X1
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R

The X Vario is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X2 comes with a build-in prime. The X Vario has a 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 optic and the X2 offers a 36mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the X Vario provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the X2. The X2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The X Vario 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 Leica X Vario

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Leica X Vario? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:

  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 133x73mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 335g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).


Arguments in favor of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107):

  • 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).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (5 points each). 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 05:05 X Vario

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 X2 and the X Vario in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 X2»--3/5-4/5 May 2012 1,995- i Leica X2
Leica X Vario«--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799- i Fujifilm X70
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i Fujifilm X-Pro1
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica TL« »----4/5 Nov 2016 1,695- i Leica TL
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
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 X1« »-Rec--4/5 Sep 2009 1,995- i Leica X1
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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