Leica X1 vs Leica X Vario

  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Fixed lens
  • 43
    Overall
  • 10
    Imaging
  • 17
    Features
  • 84
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 16 megapixels
  • Fixed lens
  • 43
    Overall
  • 16
    Imaging
  • 25
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Leica X1 vs Leica X Vario: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models from Large Sensor Compact category, introduced by Leica. We are going to take a closer look at the technical and physical characteristics, features, and performance. The models we are going to assess and compare in this review are X1 and X Vario. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. Thus, Leica X1 comes with a 12.0 MP CMOS sensor, while the Leica X Vario features a 16.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario.

Leica X1 Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 2.7″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: No
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 124 x 60 x 32 mm
  • Weight: 306 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Leica X2. Compare

Leica X Vario Key Features:

  • 16.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 12500
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 133 x 73 x 95 mm
  • Weight: 680 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Leica X2. Compare

Since Leica X1 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Leica X2. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Leica X1 vs. X2
Leica X2 vs. Leica X Vario

Why is Leica X1 a better choice than Leica X Vario

Weight 306 g vs 680 g 374 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Leica X Vario over Leica X1

Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP vs 12.0 MP 25% more pixels
Continuous Shooting 5 fps vs 3 fps 2 fps faster
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 3″ vs 2.7″ 0.3" larger screen
Screen Resolution 920k dots vs 230k dots 75% higher resolution screen

Key PROs of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario

Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
External Flash Shoe Yes | Yes Flash Shoe available
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available

Key CONs of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 230k dots | 920k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP | 16.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Timelapse Recording No | No No timelapse recording
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps | 5.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization
Environmental Sealing No | No No environmental sealing

Leica X1 vs Leica X Vario: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario from the front view.

Leica X1
Leica X Vario
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Leica X1
Leica X Vario
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Leica X1 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 374g less than the Leica X Vario. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Thickness values for Large Sensor Compact cameras:
Leica X1 — 32 mm
Leica X Vario — 95 mm
Min: 31 mm
Average: 54 mm
Max: 122 mm
Weight values for Large Sensor Compact cameras:
Leica X1 — 306 g
Leica X Vario — 680 g
Min: 206 g
Average: 393 g
Max: 1040 g

Comparing Leica X1 and Leica X Vario by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Leica X1 and Leica X Vario any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Leica X1 features a 12.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Leica X Vario, in its turn, comes with a 16.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario by the size of their sensors.

Leica X1
Leica X Vario
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Leica X1 and Leica X Vario are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Leica X1 and Leica X Vario Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Leica X1 Leica X Vario
Portrait Photography
65%
71%
Street Photography
26%
63%
Sports Photography
2%
76%
Daily Photography
67%
63%
Landscape Photography
75%
88%

Leica X1 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Leica X Vario for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Leica X1 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Small size (124 x 60 x 32 mm)
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • No Built-in View Finder
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Leica X Vario for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (133 x 73 x 95 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Leica X1 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • No View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/2000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)
  • Small size (124 x 60 x 32 mm)

Leica X Vario for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (133 x 73 x 95 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/2000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12500)
  • Small battery life (450 shots)

Leica X1 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • No Built-in View Finder
  • Video is not available

Leica X Vario for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (680 g)
  • Big size (133 x 73 x 95 mm)

Leica X1 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)

Leica X Vario for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.7)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12500)

Comparison of Leica X1 vs Leica X Vario: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Leica X1 or Leica X Vario, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Leica X1 and Leica X Vario here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Leica X Vario deserves a higher Total Score than the Leica X1. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Leica X1 vs Leica X Vario Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Leica X1 Leica X Vario
General
Brand Leica Leica
Model X1 X Vario
Announced Dec 18, 2009 Jun 11, 2013
Body Type Large sensor compact Large sensor compact
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 372.88 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP 16.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4272 x 2856 4928 x 3272
Max Native ISO 3,200 12,500
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Fixed lens Fixed lens
Number of Lenses n/a n/a
Focal Length Multiplier n/a n/a
Macro Focus Range 30
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous No No
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective No No
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area No No
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection No No
Number of Focus Points 11 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 2.7″ 3″
Screen Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic (optional)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage % %
ViewFinder Magnification
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 s 1/2000 s
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync, Studio Auto, Red-Eye, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync, Studio
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No Yes
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes Yes
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 1920 x 1080
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats n/a MPEG-4
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No No
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 306 g 680 g
Physical Dimensions 124 x 60 x 32 mm 133 x 73 x 95 mm
Battery Life n/a 450 shots
Battery Type n/a Battery Pack
Battery Model n/a BP-DC8
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No No
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC card SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1 1

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