Leica X2 vs Nikon D1X
The Leica X2 and the Nikon D1X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2012 and February 2001. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the D1X is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 5.9 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 X2 and the Nikon D1X? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica X2 and the Nikon D1X. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D1X 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 Nikon D1X is considerably larger (181 percent) than the Leica X2. It is noteworthy in this context that the D1X is splash and dust-proof, while the X2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens built in, whereas the D1X 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 D1X and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the D1X can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-4 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D1X has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
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.
|1.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D1X||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D2X||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D1||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499||ebay.com|
|17.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||ebay.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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X2 was launched at a lower price than the D1X, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the X2 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 5.9 MP of the D1X. This megapixels advantage translates into a 64 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 7.92μm for the D1X). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the X2 is much more recent (by 11 years and 3 months) than the D1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Leica X2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the X2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1X are 15 x 9.8 inches or 38.2 x 24.9 cm for good quality, 12 x 7.8 inches or 30.6 x 19.9 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.5 inches or 25.5 x 16.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica X2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D1X are ISO 125 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-3200.
In terms of underlying technology, the X2 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the D1X uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|8.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||12.8||1491||78|
|9.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|11.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the X2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF 2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica X2, the Nikon D1X, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica X2||optional||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon D1X||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Leica T||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Leica X1||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D300S||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D300||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D200||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D2X||optical||Y||2.5 / 235||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Nikon D1||optical||Y||2.0 / 120||fixed||n||1/16000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|17.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X2 has one, while the D1X does not. While the built-in flash of the X2 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The X2 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D1X uses Compact Flash 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 X2 and Nikon D1X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica X2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D1X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Leica T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica X1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D300S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D300||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D200||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D2X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-|
|17.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D1X (unlike the X2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the X2 and the D1X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the X2 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Nikon D1X? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica X2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 5.9MP) with a 65% higher linear resolution.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D1X requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 157x153mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D1X).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D1X:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2001).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 X2 and the Nikon D1X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best DSLR 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X2 or the D1X. 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 (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.
|1.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995||ebay.com|
|2.||Nikon D1X||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2001||5,999||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica X1||3/5||..||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D300S||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D300||..||+ +||..||+ +||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Nikon D200||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Nov 2005||1,699||ebay.com|
|15.||Nikon D2X||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2004||4,999||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D1||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jun 1999||5,499||ebay.com|
|17.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Leica X2 vs Nikon D1X
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 X2||Nikon D1X|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||36mm f/2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2012||February 2001|
|Launch Price||USD 1,995||USD 5,999|
|Sensor Specs||Leica X2||Nikon D1X|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||5.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||3008 x 1960 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||7.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.35 MP/cm2||1.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,500 ISO||125 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||125 - 3,200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica X2||Nikon D1X|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7inch||2.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||120k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica X2||Nikon D1X|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica X2||Nikon D1X|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||Firewire|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica X2||Nikon D1X|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge||1200 shots per charge|
124 x 69 x 52 mm
(4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
157 x 153 x 85 mm
(6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
|Camera Weight||345 g (12.2 oz)||1100 g (38.8 oz)|
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