Zeiss ZX1 Comparison Review
The Zeiss ZX1 is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in September 2018 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 37.4 megapixel.
Is the Zeiss ZX1 a good camera? The ZX1 has a Camera Elo of 2689. This rating puts the ZX1 among the top 20 percent of all prime lens compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the ZX1 ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|37.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 80 - 51 200|
|Electronic viewfinder (6221k dots)|
|4.3 LCD, 2765k dots|
|3 shutter flaps per second|
|250 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 93 x 46 mm, 800 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Zeiss ZX1 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Zeiss ZX1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Zeiss ZX1||142 mm||93 mm||46 mm||800 g||250||n||Sep 2018||5,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995||amazon.com|
|3.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica V-LUX 5||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||812 g||350||n||Jul 2019||1,249||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX1R II||113 mm||65 mm||72 mm||507 g||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299||amazon.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Zeiss ZX1 was launched in the US market at a price of $5,999. 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.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Zeiss ZX1 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Zeiss ZX1 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Zeiss ZX1||Full Frame||37.4||7488||4992||4K/30p||25.2||14.1||2759||94|
|2.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|3.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||25.2||14.2||2821||94|
|4.||Leica V-LUX 5||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||584||65|
|5.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||25.1||14.1||2739||93|
|6.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|7.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|8.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.4||546||65|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||12.3||478||64|
|11.||Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The ZX1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the ZX1 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the ZX1 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 6221k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.74x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Zeiss ZX1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Zeiss ZX1||6221||n||4.3 / 2765||fixed||Y||1/1000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Leica Q2||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Leica V-LUX 5||2360||n||3.0 / 1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|6.||Leica M10||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
It is worthwhile pointing out that the ZX1 has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.
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 Zeiss ZX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Zeiss ZX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Leica Q2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Leica V-LUX 5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Leica M10-P||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica M10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|7.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the ZX1 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The ZX1 has a prime lens built in (35mm f/2.8). The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic of similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the ZX1 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Zeiss ZX1||3/5||..||..||83/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2018||5,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Leica Q2||..||..||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995||amazon.com|
|3.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica V-LUX 5||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2019||1,249||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica M10-P||..||..||3/5||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||..||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899||amazon.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony RX1R II||5/5||..||..||82/100||..||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299||amazon.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.
Zeiss ZX1 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the ZX1.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the ZX1?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the ZX1?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 51200.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Zeiss ZX1?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Does the Zeiss ZX1 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Which battery does the ZX1 use?
The camera gets its power from the DD-PS1A, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, 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.
|Camera Model||Zeiss ZX1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||35mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 5 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||37.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7 488 x 4 992 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.81 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.33 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 51 200 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||6221k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||4.3 inch|
|LCD Resolution||2765k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/1000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SSD cards|
|Second Storage Option||n/a|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||DD-PS1A power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge|
142 x 93 x 46 mm
(5.6 x 3.7 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||800 g (28.2 oz)|
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