The X1 is a lightweight (only 10 oz), compact (1.2 × 2.4 × 4.8″) camera equipped with a 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor in APS-C format (23.6 × 15.8mm) with a sharp, wide-angle 24mm (approximately 35mm equivalent) f2.8 Leica Elmarit lens. Basically you get a form factor a bit smaller than an M9 with a high quality 24mm prime lens (not interchangeable) with 8 elements in 6 groups, including 1 aspherical element. The result is serious camera image quality in a small package.
The 2.7" LCD provides a 100% field of view and has Live View and precision focusing. The camera has a retractable built-in flash most appropriate for fill flash. It records RAW images in Adobe DNG format which can be opened by almost any image editing software. It also will shoot in JPG format, but as has been well documented, there is some loss of image quality with JPG and we recommend shooting RAW images.
The debate is all about the Leica X1 versus the Fuji X100 . They’re both really, really good — as long as your expectations are reasonable. If you’re looking for an SLR quality image from a camera that’s not quite SLR quality ergonomics you’ll be fine. If you’re expecting the equivalent of a 1Ds Mk III or D3x with an $1,800 prime lens in a 10 ounce camera, then you’ll be unhappy.
The Leica X1 has a bit sharper lens and is a bit smaller and more portable. People generally find it a bit easier to use at first, too.
The Fuji X100 has a wider aperture lens, handles high ISO a bit better, and has a really, really awesome optical/electronic viewfinder. On the other hand, it’s menu system is going to require spending a day with the manual and figuring how to do things. It’s one of the least intuitive cameras I’ve shot with. The last time I read a manual. . . . well I don’t remember, but I couldn’t even figure out the viewfinder without it.
For me, the viewfinder is the deal-maker and I bought a Fuji for myself because of it. I just hate shooting at arms-length looking at the LCD. BUT your choice may be different. If you’re more comfortable shooting from the LCD than I am you may consider the image quality of the Leica to be more important. And if you want to just take it out of the box and start taking pictures, the Fuji is not the best choice. It took me quite a while to figure out how to use it.
- We do not stock a spare battery for this camera.
- It uses any SD Memory Card
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