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Leica X2 vs Nikon D2H

The Leica X2 and the Nikon D2H are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2012 and July 2003. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the D2H 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 4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X2
versus
Nikon D2H
Leica X2   Nikon D2H
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
36mm f/2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
16.1 MP – APS-C sensor 4 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 6,400)
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 2.7" LCD – 211k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
450 shots per battery charge2900 shots per battery charge
124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1070 g
Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2H:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X2 and the Nikon D2H? 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 physical size and weight of the Leica X2 and the Nikon D2H are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D2H is only available in black.

Size Leica X2 vs Nikon D2H
Compare X2 versus D2H top
Comparison X2 or D2H rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2H is considerably larger (177 percent) than the Leica X2. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2H 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 D2H 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 D2H and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

As can be seen in the images above, the D2H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
2.
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 n Jan 2013 1,299i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 n Sep 2013 399i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 n Oct 2013 999i
6.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
7.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
9.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
10.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
12.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
13.
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
14.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
15.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
16.
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499i
17.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
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. The X2 was launched at a lower price than the D2H, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D2H is 2 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 Nikon D2H sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the D2H (4MP), but the X2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 9.50μm for the D2H). However, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 9 months) than the D2H, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

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 D2H are 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.3 x 20.7 cm for good quality, 9.9 x 6.5 inches or 25 x 16.6 cm for very good quality, and 8.2 x 5.4 inches or 20.9 x 13.8 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 D2H are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

X2 versus D2H MP

For many 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none23.212.4127574
2.
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.312.5132975
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p23.412.6139076
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p23.412.6140077
6.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.913.2169081
7.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
9.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
10.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
12.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
13.
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
14.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
15.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
16.
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
17.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the X2 nor the D2H 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. For example, the D2H 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X2 and Nikon D2H along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y2.5 / 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0/s n n
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6/s Y n
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
6.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D700optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0/s n n
17.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n3.0 / 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 D2H 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 D2H uses Compact Flash 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 X2 and Nikon D2H and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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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 X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D2HY- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereo / mono--micro2.0---
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E2Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereo / mono---2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D300SYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D700Y- / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D1HY- / ----FW---
17.
 
Ricoh GRYmono / mono--micro2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D2H (unlike the X2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the X2 and the D2H have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2H was replaced by the Nikon D2Hs, 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica X2 and the Nikon D2H? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica X2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 4MP) with a 100% higher linear resolution.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D2H requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D2H).
  • 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 8 years and 9 months of technical progress since the D2H launch.

ilogo

Advantages of the Nikon D2H:

  • 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 (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • 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 (2900 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 July 2003).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D2H comes out slightly ahead of the X2 (10 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.

X2 09:10 D2H

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X2 and the Nikon D2H 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X2 and the D2H in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.

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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 X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
2.
 
Nikon D2H......+ +.... Jul 2003 3,499i
3.
 
Fujifilm X100S5/5+ +..81/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-A1........4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 399i
5.
 
Fujifilm X-E24/5....80/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2013 999i
6.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
7.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
8.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
9.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
10.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
11.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+..75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
12.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +..82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
13.
 
Nikon D700..89/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
14.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
15.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
16.
 
Nikon D1H......+ +.... Feb 2001 4,499i
17.
 
Ricoh GR5/5....79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2H:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Leica X2 vs Nikon D2H

    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 X2 Nikon D2H
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2012 July 2003
    Launch Price USD 1,995 USD 3,499
    Sensor Specs Leica X2 Nikon D2H
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.3 x 15.5 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 361.15 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 2464 x 1632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 9.50 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 1.11 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 40
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 18.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 352
    Screen Specs Leica X2 Nikon D2H
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 211k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X2 Nikon D2H
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Leica X2 Nikon D2H
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X2 Nikon D2H
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-DC8 EN-EL4
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge2900 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 1070 g (37.7 oz)
    Leica X2:
    Check Ebay offers
    Nikon D2H:
    Check Ebay offers

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