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Leica X2 vs Ricoh GR

The Leica X2 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2012 and April 2013. Both the X2 and the GR are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16.1 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica X2 VS Ricoh GR
Leica X2 Ricoh GR
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
36mm f/2.8 28mm f/2.8
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12500 ISO 100-25600
Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
124 x 69 x 52 mm, 345 g 117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica X2 and the Ricoh GR? 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 Ricoh GR 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 GR is only available in black.

Size Leica X2 vs Ricoh GR
Compare X2 versus GR top
Comparison X2 or GR rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Leica X2. Moreover, the GR is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the X2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X2 nor the GR are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the X2 gets 450 shots out of its BP-DC8 battery, while the GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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» 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995iLeica X2
 
Ricoh GR« 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
 
Canon SX510« » 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 349 g 250 n Aug 2013 249iCanon SX510
 
Canon SX500« » 104 mm 70 mm 80 mm 341 g 195 n Aug 2012 329iCanon SX500
 
Leica D-LUX 7« » 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Nov 2018 1,195 iLeica D-LUX 7
 
Leica TL« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695iLeica TL
 
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850iLeica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 iLeica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« » 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 iLeica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 6« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699iLeica D-LUX 6
 
Leica X1« » 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Nikon Coolpix A« » 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099iNikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic GM5« » 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749iPanasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GM1« » 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749iPanasonic GM1
 
Ricoh GR II« » 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 iRicoh GR II
 
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799iSony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749iSony RX100 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 GR was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the X2, which puts it into a different 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.

 

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. 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. 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 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 Ricoh GR sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 16.1 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the X2 and the GR have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GR is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the X2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Leica X2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

X2 versus GR MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 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
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
 
Canon SX510 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/24p........Canon SX510
 
Canon SX500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 3456720/30p........Canon SX500
 
Leica D-LUX 7 Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p........Leica D-LUX 7
 
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 D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........Leica X1
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480Nikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880Ricoh GR II
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The GR indeed provides for movie recording, while the X2 does not. The highest resolution format that the GR can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X2 and the GR 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. However, optional viewfinders – the EVF 2 for the X2 and the GV-1 for the GR – are available as accessories. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica X2 and Ricoh GR along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR
 
Canon SX510none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 3.8 Y Y Canon SX510
 
Canon SX500none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/1600s 0.8 Y Y Canon SX500
 
Leica D-LUX 72764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y Leica D-LUX 7
 
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 D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica X1none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n Leica X1
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n Nikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II

The Ricoh GR 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.

Both the X2 and the GR have built-in prime lenses. The X2 has a 36mm f/2.8 optic and the GR offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica provides more tele-photo reach than the Ricoh. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The X2 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GR uses SDXC cards. The GR supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the X2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Ricoh GR 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
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
 
Canon SX510-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon SX510
 
Canon SX500-stereomono--none2.0---Canon SX500
 
Leica D-LUX 7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YLeica D-LUX 7
 
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 D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica X1Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica X1
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereomono--none2.0---Nikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II

Both the X2 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GR was replaced by the Ricoh GR II, 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 Ricoh websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica X2 better than the Ricoh GR or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Leica X2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (450 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 230k dots).
  • 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.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x61mm vs 124x69mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 100g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 5 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X2 05:12 GR

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica X2 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listing 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 GR 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 expert reviews 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
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
 
Canon SX510+ +..4.5/5..4/5 Aug 2013 249iCanon SX510
 
Canon SX500+ +..4/5..4/5 Aug 2012 329iCanon SX500
 
Leica D-LUX 7........4.5/5 Nov 2018 1,195 iLeica D-LUX 7
 
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 D-LUX 6....4/5..4/5 Sep 2012 699iLeica D-LUX 6
 
Leica X1..+....4/5 Sep 2009 1,995iLeica X1
 
Nikon Coolpix A+75/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099iNikon Coolpix A
 
Panasonic GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749iPanasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GM1+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749iPanasonic GM1
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 iRicoh GR II
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799iSony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749iSony RX100 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica X2:
Check Ebay offers
Ricoh GR:
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 use the search menu below. 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 Ricoh GR

    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 Ricoh GR
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 36mm f/2.8 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date May 2012 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 1995 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Leica X2 Ricoh GR
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12500 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 972
    Screen Specs Leica X2 Ricoh GR
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Viewfinder optional
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica X2 Ricoh GR
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-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 SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica X2 Ricoh GR
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica X2 Ricoh GR
    Battery Type BP-DC8 DB65
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 69 x 52 mm
    (4.9 x 2.7 x 2.0 in)
    117 x 61 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 245 g (8.6 oz)

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