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Leica X2 versus Leica X1

The Leica X2 and the Leica X1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2012 and September 2009. Both the X2 and the X1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The X2 has a resolution of 16.1 megapixel, whereas the X1 provides 12.2 MP.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica X2 and the Leica X1. 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 side – the X2 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Leica X2 vs Leica X1 front
X2 versus X1 top view
X2 and X1 rear side
Body view (X2 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica X1 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Leica X2. Moreover, the X1 is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the X1 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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica X2 (⇒ rgt) 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 no 2012 1,995discont. check
Leica X1 (⇒ lft) 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 no 2009 1,995discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Fujifilm X70 (⇒ lft | rgt) 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 no 2016 799 latest check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 no 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 no 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 no 2017 1,950 latest check
Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 no 2016 1,695discont. check
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 no 2014 1,850discont. check
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 no 2014 1,195 latest check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 no 2014 2,295 latest check
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 no 2013 2,850 latest check
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 no 2008 599discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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

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 tend to be more expensive and 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 X2 and Leica X1 sensor measures
Sensor size

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the X2 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixel, compared with 12.2 MP of the X1. This megapixel 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). In this context, it should be noted, however, 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.

X2 versus X1 MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica X2 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 no - - - -
Leica X1 (⇒ lft) APS-C 12.2 4272 2856 no - - - -
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Fujifilm X70 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.1 6014 4014 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.2 4944 3278 1080/30p 23.0 12.7 1082 75
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p - - - -
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3272 1080/30p 23.4 12.7 1320 78
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000 no 21.1 10.3 463 53
Neither the X2 nor the X1 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X2 and the X1 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica X2 and Leica X1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica X2 (⇒ rgt) no no 2.7 230 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Leica X1 (⇒ lft) no no 2.7 230 fixed no 2000 3.0 YES no
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Fujifilm X70 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.0 7.9 ..
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 12.0 7 YES
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1230 fixed no 4000 6.0 no no
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.7 1230 fixed YES 4000 7.0 no no
Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.7 1230 fixed YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.7 1300 fixed YES 4000 5.0 4.5 no
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 no YES
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4001 3.0 10.5 no

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

Both the X2 and the X1 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.

Summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Leica X2? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 12.2MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the X1 launch.

Advantages of the Leica X1:

  • More compact: Is smaller (124x60mm vs 124x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 39g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 comes out slightly ahead of the X1 (4 : 3 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.

X2 04:03 X1

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 X2 or the X1 handle or perform in practice. 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. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica X2 (⇒ rgt) - - 3/5 - 4/5 2012 1,995discont. check
Leica X1 (⇒ lft) - Rec - - 4/5 2009 1,995discont. check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Fujifilm X70 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2016 799 latest check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 - 5/5 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica TL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. 4/5 .. 4/5 2017 1,950 latest check
Leica TL (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - 4/5 2016 1,695discont. check
Leica T (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - 4/5 2014 1,850discont. check
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2014 1,195 latest check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 3.5/5 - 4/5 2014 2,295 latest check
Leica X Vario (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 2,850 latest check
Panasonic G1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 70/100 HiRec 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2008 599discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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