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Leica X2 vs Olympus E-330

The Leica X2 and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2012 and January 2006. The X2 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-330 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X2) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X2   VS Olympus E-330
Leica X2 Olympus E-330
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
36mm f/2.8 Four Thirds lenses
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-12500 ISO 100-400 (100-1600)
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.5" LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X2 and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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 Olympus E-330 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 E-330 is only available in black.

Size Leica X2 vs Olympus E-330
Compare X2 versus E-330 top
Comparison X2 or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-330 is notably larger (42 percent) than the Leica X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the E-330 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 E-330 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 E-330 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the E-330 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Leica X2» 4.9 in 2.7 in 2.0 in 12.2 oz 450 n May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Olympus E-330« 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999iOlympus E-330
 
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899iCanon XT
 
Fujifilm X100S« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299iFujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-A1« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.6 oz 350 n Sep 2013 399iFujifilm X-A1
 
Fujifilm X-E2« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Oct 2013 999iFujifilm X-E2
 
Leica TL« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 iLeica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica X1« » 4.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.8 oz 260 n Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Leica Digilux 3« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499iLeica Digilux 3
 
Nikon Coolpix A« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 230 n Mar 2013 1,099iNikon Coolpix A
 
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599iOlympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799iOlympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999iPanasonic L1
 
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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.

 

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica X2 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the X2 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica X2 and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

With 16.1MP, the X2 offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the X2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330). However, the X2 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 3 months) than the E-330, 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 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inch or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inch or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inch or 26.6 x 19.9 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 Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

X2 versus E-330 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 3264none........Leica X2
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Olympus E-330
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760Canon XT
 
Fujifilm X100S APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-A1 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/30p........Fujifilm X-A1
 
Fujifilm X-E2 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X-E2
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........Leica TL
 
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 X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........Leica X1
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480Nikon Coolpix A
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........Panasonic L1
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
The E-330 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The X2 lacks this capability. 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 E-330 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 Olympus E-330, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X2
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-330
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon XT
 
Fujifilm X100S2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-A1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.6 Y n Fujifilm X-A1
 
Fujifilm X-E22360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Fujifilm X-E2
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica TL
 
Leica Toptional n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n Leica X1
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n Nikon Coolpix A
 
Olympus E-500optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L1
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR

The X2 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the X2 only has one slot.

 

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 Olympus Evolt E-330 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Leica X2Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X2
 
Olympus E-330Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-330
 
Canon XTYnonenone--none2.0---Canon XT
 
Fujifilm X100SYstereomono--micro2.0---Fujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-A1Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Fujifilm X-A1
 
Fujifilm X-E2YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-E2
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica TL
 
Leica TYstereomono--none2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica X1Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X1
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono--none2.0---Leica Digilux 3
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono--none2.0---Nikon Coolpix A
 
Olympus E-500Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300Ynonenone--none2.0---Olympus E-300
 
Panasonic L1Ynonenone--none2.0---Panasonic L1
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR

Both the X2 and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Leica and Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Leica X2 better than the Olympus E-330 or vice versa? 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 7.4MP) with a 51% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • 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 E-330 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x69mm vs 140x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-330).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-330 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X2 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 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 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 12:07 E-330

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X2 and the Olympus E-330 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 E-330 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica X2....3/5..4/5 May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Olympus E-330..+o3.5/5.. Jan 2006 999iOlympus E-330
 
Canon XT80/100+ +oo.. Feb 2005 899iCanon XT
 
Fujifilm X100S+ +81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299iFujifilm X100S
 
Fujifilm X-A1....4.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2013 399iFujifilm X-A1
 
Fujifilm X-E2..80/1004.5/5..5/5 Oct 2013 999iFujifilm X-E2
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica T....4/5..4/5 Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 iLeica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499iLeica Digilux 3
 
Nikon Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099iNikon Coolpix A
 
Olympus E-50076/100+ +...... Sep 2005 599iOlympus E-500
 
Olympus E-300..+oo4.5/5 Sep 2004 799iOlympus E-300
 
Panasonic L185/100+..o3.5/5 Feb 2006 999iPanasonic L1
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. 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
Olympus E-330:
Check Ebay offers

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica X2 vs Olympus E-330

    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 Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2012 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 1995 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Leica X2 Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-12500 ISO 100-400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-1600 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica X2 Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.465x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X2 Olympus E-330
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Leica X2 Olympus E-330
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X2 Olympus E-330
    Battery Type BP-DC8 BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)

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