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Leica X2 vs Nikon D5000

The Leica X2 and the Nikon D5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2012 and April 2009. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the D5000 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 12.2 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 D5000
Leica X2 Nikon D5000
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
36mm f/2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 720/24p Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 200-3,200 (200 - 6,400)
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fully flexible screen (no touchscreen)
5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge510 shots per battery charge
124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g 127 x 104 x 80 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X2 and the Nikon D5000? 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 D5000 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X2 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D5000 is only available in black.

Size Leica X2 vs Nikon D5000
Compare X2 versus D5000 top
Comparison X2 or D5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5000 is considerably larger (54 percent) than the Leica X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the D5000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X2 has a lens built in, whereas the D5000 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 D5000 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the D5000 can take 510 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9a power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
3.
 
Canon SX510 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249i
4.
 
Canon SX500 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329i
5.
 
Leica D-LUX 7 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Nov 2018 1,195 i
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 D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
11.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
12.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
13.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749i
14.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599i
15.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
16.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
17.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D5000 is 1 percent bigger. 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 D5000 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Leica X2 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Nikon D5000. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.53μm for the D5000). However, it should be noted that the X2 is much more recent (by 3 years) than the D5000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

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 D5000 are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 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 D5000 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

X2 versus D5000 MP

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.

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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 3264none........
2.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
3.
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........
4.
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........
5.
 
Leica D-LUX 7 Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p........
6.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
7.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
9.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
11.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
12.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
13.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
14.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
15.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
16.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
17.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D5000 indeed provides for movie recording, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the D5000 can use is 720/24p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D5000 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 D5000, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y
5.
 
Leica D-LUX 72764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
6.
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
11.
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5100optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
The D5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the X2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D5000 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X2 and the D5000 write their files to SDHC cards.

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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 D5000 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon SX500-stereomono---2.0---
5.
 
Leica D-LUX 7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Leica TYstereomono---2.0Y--
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica X1Y----mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono---2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D5100YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---

Both the X2 and the D5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D5000 was replaced by the Nikon D5100, 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.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica X2 or the Nikon D5000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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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 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D5000 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 127x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D5000).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the D5000 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D5000:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/24p video.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (510 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5000 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 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 when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X2 07:09 D5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X2 and the Nikon D5000 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X2 and the D5000 in practical situations. 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.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 
 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 D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
3.
 
Canon SX510..+ +..4.5/54/5 Aug 2013 249i
4.
 
Canon SX500..+ +..4/54/5 Aug 2012 329i
5.
 
Leica D-LUX 7........4.5/5 Nov 2018 1,195 i
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 D-LUX 6......4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
11.
 
Leica X13/5..+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
12.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
13.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749i
14.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
15.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
16.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
17.
 
Nikon D90..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D5000:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Leica X2 vs Nikon D5000

    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 D5000
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2012 April 2009
    Launch Price USD 1,995 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Leica X2 Nikon D5000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 868
    Screen Specs Leica X2 Nikon D5000
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fully flexible screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X2 Nikon D5000
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica X2 Nikon D5000
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X2 Nikon D5000
    Battery Type BP-DC8 EN-EL9a
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge510 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    127 x 104 x 80 mm
    (5.0 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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