• APS-C 370.5mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • 28.00mm - 70.00mm (35mm eq.)
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

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Differences

Leica X Vario advantages over Olympus E-M1

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.77 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,320 vs 757 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/2000 vs 1/320 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos

Olympus E-M1 advantages over Leica X Vario

  • Less expensive
    $1299 vs $2099*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Fast startup
    ~0.80 vs 1.9 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Thinner
    63 mm vs 95 mm
    Thinner
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.14 vs 0.30 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.9 fps vs 4.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    50 vs 7 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/2000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12500 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • Focus peaking
    Both provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • RAW file ability
    Both provide
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Manual focus
    Both provide
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Leica X Vario

Review Excerpt

  • Outstanding design and build; Exceptionally sharp 28-70mm equivalent zoom lens; Very good still image quality with accurate and realistic colors; Fairly speedy and accurate autofocusing.

  • Expensive, especially for a fixed-lens compact; Relatively slow f/3.5-6.4 lens; Below average video functionality and quality; Not at all pocketable, about as big and heavy as a mirrorless camera with a moderate zoom lens attached.

  • Exceptional rugged, weather-proof, professional build; Lightning fast contrast-detect AF, and phase-detect AF that makes Four Thirds lenses far more responsive; Tons of useful physical controls with immense customizability; Arguably the best image quality of any Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested to date; Large, sharp, high-resolution electronic viewfinder; Advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, including remote control shooting in PASM exposure modes.

  • Bigger and heavier than many other compact system cameras; Most expensive Micro Four Thirds camera on the market to date; Menu system and customization options have a steep learning curve; No optical low-pass filter means greater risk of moire; No built-in flash.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-M5

Leica X Vario
Olympus E-M5
  • $2099
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Eye-level viewfinder
Olympus E-M1
Olympus E-M5
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Fast startup
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner

Compared to Panasonic GH3

Leica X Vario
Panasonic GH3
  • $2099
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $823
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH3
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $823
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Panasonic GH4

Leica X Vario
Panasonic GH4
  • $2099
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $753
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Olympus E-M1
Panasonic GH4
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $753
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Sigma dp2 Quattro

Leica X Vario
Sigma dp2 Quattro
  • $2099
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $899
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger lens aperture
Olympus E-M1
Sigma dp2 Quattro
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $899
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Sigma dp3 Quattro

Leica X Vario
Sigma dp3 Quattro
  • $2099
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $899
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger lens aperture
Olympus E-M1
Sigma dp3 Quattro
  • $1099
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $899
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
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