Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?

Started Jan 8, 2012 | Discussions
Len_Gee
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Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
Jan 8, 2012

Greetings,

Apologies for this question that has been asked many times before.

Looking at getting a new pocket sized cam for travel, family type pics, candid street photography with excellent IQ.

So, thinking of either the APS-C sensor Leica X1, and Fuji X100. Moderately wide angle fixed lens is fine. My first choice would be the Leica for the Elmarit lens but really dunno if the IQ quality is "Leica" standard.

It's been some time since looking at the Leica X1, and have not yet seen or handled the Fuji X100 but read rave online reviews for both. I recall the X1 had issues with slow focusing, and general QC ie. battery door not closing properly, pop up flash. Don't know about the problems with the Fuji 100, other than some issue with the shutter mechanism jamming up.

I usually shoot with Canon 5DMKII and 7D so that is my frame of reference regarding IQ and ISO noise. 75% RAW, 25% JPEG.

Because of the size and weight of the 5DMKII/&7D plus kit lens 24-105L, I don't use them much for trips by airline since getting MFT Panny GF-1/G2 with 20mm f1.7 lens.

Had thought of the NEX5N/7 but think for me , too large and not much of a quality lens selection at this time. Probably a subtle but not significant improvement over my MFT kit? Don't use manual focus lenses due to poor eyesight and need AF to focus.

For those who own either or/both Leica X1 Fuji X100, your comments requested regarding IQ, noise at ISO 400 and above, general handling, ability to set "hyperfocus" setting for quick snapshots, and any annoying quirks (that might be fixed in version II?) would be appreciated to help me decide on which camera is best for me.

Which camera has faster AF?

Best camera with low noise at high ISO's in good and low light?

Fuji X100 is a newer design with OVF/EVF viewfinder that X1 does not have. Is it really that useful? Leica X1 has the Elmarit lens plus can add the clip on OVF for faster handling(?)

I usually print my "keepers" up to 13"19" on home inkjet printer. Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0 to set output sharpness.

Thanks for any help or advice.

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Godfrey
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

Given the choice of the Leica X1 or Fuji X100 only, I'd take the Leica in a heartbeat. I tried to love the X100, but from the moment I picked it up it's control ergonomics and feel just turned me off.

Both cameras can make superb photographs. The X1 isn't the fastest operating camera in the world and you'll want the optical viewfinder to go with it, but to my hands it is the clear winner.

However, I bought the Ricoh GXR when the choice was up for me and I've been 100% delighted by it. Get it with either of the A12 50 or A12 28 camera units and it is a superb, fixed prime lens camera with quality on par with either the Leica or Fuji. Fit and optical viewfinder and be happy. If you have a yen for a compact zoom camera at some point, buy the S10 or P10 image-stabilized camera unit for the same body and controls to get short or ultra zoom, small sensor cameras. Add an EVF if you want an eye-level viewfinder. And if you have Leica M-bayonet lenses, buy the A12 Camera Mount to get the best performing Leica M-bayonet camera this side of an M8 or M9.

I would still love an X1 as I think it's a beautiful design in every way, but I'm delighted with the GXR and it is a far more versatile camera. The GXR has basically replaced my need for SLRs.
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Len_Gee
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Godfrey, Jan 8, 2012

Thanks Godfrey.

Not too sure about Ricoh but will do some research on that.

Want something really pocketable with top IQ hence my first choice being the Leica X1 for it's Elmarit lens.

Regards.

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stevielee
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

Len_Gee wrote:

Greetings,

Apologies for this question that has been asked many times before.

Looking at getting a new pocket sized cam for travel, family type pics, candid street photography with excellent IQ.

So, thinking of either the APS-C sensor Leica X1, and Fuji X100. Moderately wide angle fixed lens is fine. My first choice would be the Leica for the Elmarit lens but really dunno if the IQ quality is "Leica" standard.

It's been some time since looking at the Leica X1, and have not yet seen or handled the Fuji X100 but read rave online reviews for both. I recall the X1 had issues with slow focusing, and general QC ie. battery door not closing properly, pop up flash. Don't know about the problems with the Fuji 100, other than some issue with the shutter mechanism jamming up.

I usually shoot with Canon 5DMKII and 7D so that is my frame of reference regarding IQ and ISO noise. 75% RAW, 25% JPEG.

Because of the size and weight of the 5DMKII/&7D plus kit lens 24-105L, I don't use them much for trips by airline since getting MFT Panny GF-1/G2 with 20mm f1.7 lens.

Had thought of the NEX5N/7 but think for me , too large and not much of a quality lens selection at this time. Probably a subtle but not significant improvement over my MFT kit? Don't use manual focus lenses due to poor eyesight and need AF to focus.

For those who own either or/both Leica X1 Fuji X100, your comments requested regarding IQ, noise at ISO 400 and above, general handling, ability to set "hyperfocus" setting for quick snapshots, and any annoying quirks (that might be fixed in version II?) would be appreciated to help me decide on which camera is best for me.

Which camera has faster AF?

Best camera with low noise at high ISO's in good and low light?

Fuji X100 is a newer design with OVF/EVF viewfinder that X1 does not have. Is it really that useful? Leica X1 has the Elmarit lens plus can add the clip on OVF for faster handling(?)

I usually print my "keepers" up to 13"19" on home inkjet printer. Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0 to set output sharpness.

Thanks for any help or advice.

If you can hold off for a couple of month before purchasing one or the other, I'd advise you to wait for the New Xi Pro by FujiFilm that will probably rival the M9 in overall everything, and will also eventually be able to mount M-lenses as well. And with all of the money you'd save purchasing the Fuji option,, you could afford to pick-up a very nice m-mount lens, or two.

If however, you want, or need something right away, then it's a no brainer with going for the X100 over the X1. You'll not only save 5-700.00 smackaroos, but you'll get a superior camera is every parameter that matters - especially in low light, higher ISO (over 800) conditions - where the X100 take the X1 to the woodshed.And the EVF is a revelation - as compared to the X1's tiny OVF, and lack of other basic, modern features. With the recent announcement of the X1 Pro from Fuji, you can proably get a new, or used X100 for a little over a grand. Just my two cents!

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Len_Gee
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to stevielee, Jan 8, 2012

Thanks.

I can wait for the new Fuji.

I can't focus MF lenses as my eyesight at 86 is not that good now. But thinking MF or AF lenses used in hyperfocus mode is ok for candid street photography.

Regards.

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Godfrey
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

Len_Gee wrote:

Not too sure about Ricoh but will do some research on that.

Want something really pocketable with top IQ hence my first choice being the Leica X1 for it's Elmarit lens.

The X100 is off my list ... I'd much rather have an X1 than that as I said before. I know you're looking for something that can AF, so the GXR's ability to be configured for M-bayonet lenses wouldn't likely be your best bet as that's entirely manual focus. But the A12 28mm and 50mm Macro camera units are quite compact and handy. I worked with the GXR using just these camera units for several months and found the image quality on par with my SLR (Olympus E-5 and Olympus pro-grade lenses).

GXR + A12 28mm + GV2 finder:

GXR + A12 50mm Macro + Leitz 50mm finder:

(Note that the focal lengths on these camera units are rated in equivalent 35mm ... optical focal lengths are 18mm and 33.5mm for the 16x24mm sensor.)

It's on the same order of size as the X1/X100. The camera plus 28mm, without the hood fitted, is easily pocketable in my jeans pocket. The 50mm doesn't retract much and is deeper as it is a macro lens with 1:2 magnification macro capabilities. Both lenses are terrific quality and f/2.5 maximum aperture.

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Len_Gee
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Godfrey, Jan 8, 2012

Godfrey,

I checked out a view reviews ie. Luminous Landscape, other review sights, and see that the Ricoh modules some use APS-C and some small sensors ie. P&S sensors.

I would probably prefer a wide/normal focal length module that is APS-C for it's better IQ.

Also, is it easy to set a "snap" or "hyperfocal" setting with any of the Ricoh APS-C wide/normal lenses? Because of bad eyesight, I can't focus MF lenses at all.

Thanks again. Where did you get the Ricoh?

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jpmac55
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Godfrey, Jan 8, 2012

Len - I owned a X1 before selling it to purchase a X100.

Nothing really wrong with the Leica except I pined for the viewfinder and something better in low light. I also thought the X100 had the better manual controls and frankly looked more like a Leica than the X1 did. I'd still opt for the X100 because of the view finder and low light performance but read on:

In practice, the X100 user interface is astonishing at times, the manual controls aren't worth bothering with and low light aside, not much difference in image quality but your results may vary. Both have focus issues although the X1 is mostly speed related whereas the X100 requires a hired guide at times. My X100 copy works okay but some still have focus issues while others have the sticky aperture blades issue you mentioned.

Neither are all that pocketable but Leica gets the nod here.

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=leica_x1&products=fujifilm_x100--

Quirks asides, I suppose it all comes down to image quality for which both cameras are big time winners.

Btw, I also own a Ricoh GRD-IV and am very impressed with almost everything about the camera. So I wouldn't hesitate to suggest taking a look at the GXR that Godfrey suggested.

John

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stevielee
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

Len_Gee wrote:

Thanks.

I can wait for the new Fuji.

I can't focus MF lenses as my eyesight at 86 is not that good now. But thinking MF or AF lenses used in hyperfocus mode is ok for candid street photography.

Regards.

Then you DEFINITELY want to go the Fuji X1 Pro, or X100 route. Leica is not exactly known for excelling in anything related to a modern AF. Even the X1 is not nearly as good as the X100 in this area, and you can bet that the X1 Pro will be even better than the X100 in the AF area.

Good luck to you whatever way you choose....

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John Roy
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

I LOVE my X1 as a travel camera. Fits right in my pocket even with the accessory viewfinder on top - I got the Voigtlander one. I wish it worked a bit faster.

Image quality is unsurpassed in its class. From what I have read of the X100 - I have never actually seen one, let alone used it - it is no slouch either optically. I think either would please a discerning photographer.

Some X1 photos are at http://johnroy.smugmug.com/Landscapes

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wildeone
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check out Reid Reviews
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

if you want a really in depth review of both cameras you're looking at, i highly recommend checking out http://www.reidreviews.com/ with one caveat: it is a subscription-based site (you have to pay).

hit site is flash-based and a PITA, but it's well worth the money. both when you're trying to decide what to get and, then, user tips after the fact.

(Sean also has a review of the Ricoh GXR too.)

i use Leicas and looked seriously at the X1 when it came out... i didn't get one because it didn't have a built-in viewfinder (an important factor for me) and was less than a fan of the Elmarit lens (stunningly sharp, but not my cup of tea)... still, the small size and stunning simplicity of use almost swayed me.

the X100 ended up meeting my needs better and i don't regret it. the high ISO is simply incredible! that said, it is fiddly to set up and not quite as easy to zone focus as the X1. it's also larger (but not by a huge amount) and i think there is more of a learning curve.

i honestly don't think you could go wrong with either of the cameras but, truly, check out Reid Reviews. you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know (and he even includes updates to his reviews when the firmware has been upgraded).

good luck!

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Godfrey
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

There are two "APS-C" sensor camera units ... The A12 units in the pictures I posted above. The S10 24-72mm and P10 28-300mm have the smaller 10 Mpixel sensors. A new approx. 24-85mm camera unt with an APS-C 16 Mpixel sensor is due out soon.

The GXR has an excellent Snap focus mode, adjustable for a range of preset focus distances. Coupling single point AF with Full Press Snap mode is also possible and (to me) presents a near perfect solution for quick, flexible street work. It also supports manual focus with very clear indication of DoF in both A12 camera units.

I bought mine from Popflash.com. Great people and service.
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steveleicaman
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 8, 2012

I can't speak for the X1. I own the X100 and it has given me some sublime photos. Gorgeous colours. Especially browns and skin stones. No noise issues at 400 whatsoever. Once you have the camera set up (check out Ken Rockwell), It handles beautifully

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ulfie
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to steveleicaman, Jan 8, 2012

Ever consider Sony NEX-7 or 5N? Both APC-S size sensors with high resolution, great low-light capability, small size, ability to use non-Sony lenses, e.g., Leica M, and very reasonably priced. Check out their reviews on this site.

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Godfrey
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In reply to Godfrey, Jan 8, 2012

Godfrey wrote:

There are two "APS-C" sensor camera units ... The A12 units in the pictures I posted above. The S10 24-72mm and P10 28-300mm have the smaller 10 Mpixel sensors. A new approx. 24-85mm camera unt with an APS-C 16 Mpixel sensor is due out soon.

Just for completeness: there are three APS-C camera units at present, not two, but the third is the A12 Camera Mount (technically referred to as an "expansion unit" rather than a camera unit because it does not include the lens) which turns the GXR into a dedicated Leica M-bayonet camera. As such, it is entirely manual focus.

That's why I left it out of my previous response.
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RaajS
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Godfrey, Jan 8, 2012

I don't know anything about the X1 or the Fuji X100 as I've never owned them, so can't comment on them. I'd second taking a serious look at the GXR - it's superb in every way as a camera. Love mine, and with longer focal length lenses, I prefer the GXR over the M9 because I find it very easy to focus critically with the GXR and it's focus peaking/magnification functions. I find it almost impossible to focus critically with lenses longer than 60mm on the M9 - it's my eyesight for sure, others may not have the same problem. The IQ is exceptional in the GXR.

I'm not looking to start a debate (and yes, I do own Leicas), just wanted to second Godfrey's suggestion to look at the GXR.

Cheers,
-raaj

Godfrey wrote:

Given the choice of the Leica X1 or Fuji X100 only, I'd take the Leica in a heartbeat. I tried to love the X100, but from the moment I picked it up it's control ergonomics and feel just turned me off.

Both cameras can make superb photographs. The X1 isn't the fastest operating camera in the world and you'll want the optical viewfinder to go with it, but to my hands it is the clear winner.

However, I bought the Ricoh GXR when the choice was up for me and I've been 100% delighted by it. Get it with either of the A12 50 or A12 28 camera units and it is a superb, fixed prime lens camera with quality on par with either the Leica or Fuji. Fit and optical viewfinder and be happy. If you have a yen for a compact zoom camera at some point, buy the S10 or P10 image-stabilized camera unit for the same body and controls to get short or ultra zoom, small sensor cameras. Add an EVF if you want an eye-level viewfinder. And if you have Leica M-bayonet lenses, buy the A12 Camera Mount to get the best performing Leica M-bayonet camera this side of an M8 or M9.

I would still love an X1 as I think it's a beautiful design in every way, but I'm delighted with the GXR and it is a far more versatile camera. The GXR has basically replaced my need for SLRs.
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PJ711
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to RaajS, Jan 9, 2012

If you'll be content to shoot with the 35mm equivalent lens, the X1 is a superb camera. And if I'm reading you right, you're 86 and still at it? Good for you!

I have the X1, it's my only Leica since I sold the M8.2. Image quality is superb. It is small, handle very well, and the twin dials on top make any shutter/aperture change nearly instantaneous. It is a camera for photographers, not gearheads.

The auto focus is slower than the ones in state-of-the-art small cameras. I have the Panasonic GF1, which is almost identical in size, and its AF is nearly instant compared to the somewhat leisurely X1. But you need to decide what's most important for your type of shooting.

If you do decide for one, a viewfinder is very helpful. I use an old Voigtlander mini, which has frame lines that are perfect for the lens. Others use the Leica VF or a Voigtlander 35mm finder. Using one is just about like shooting an M camera, because you can see the whole scene in front of you. Once the AF locks on, a little green light lets you know you have focus and you snap the shutter.

In practice I've had almost no occasion to lose a shot that I would have had with the M8.2. And in reality, the higher sensitivity of the sensor lets me take clean files all the way up to 1600, with 3200 quite nice too. That's 2 stops faster than the M8 could practically manage.

I say all this with full disclosure, that the Fuji X1 that's about to come out looks like it will be the bee's knees.

Good luck with your decision, either one will be a great camera to use.

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decoconnas
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 9, 2012

I looked at Leica x1, fuji x100 an Ricoh gxr 28mm before settling on Leica x1. I switched from a canon dslr with some nice and heavy lenses.

My decision was more based on personal preferences as to handling than any significant dIfferences in image quality. My advice to you is to handle all three cameras, preferably side by side at a store that carries all of them, because they handle so differently. Ricoh is by far the fastest in operation, an a bit faster to focus in af, so it will be best for street work, I think. Downsides to me were That it is an unknown (to me) company, and that operation is button-based, not dial-based. Also, it is 28mm and I prefer 35mm look.

Between Leica and fuji, both are slow, but the operation of Leica is much more polished than of fuji. for fast-paced street work, its really probably ricoh or nothing, though the others are ok for non-fast paced work. Leica can set mf at a specified distance, dont know anout the others. Also, fuji has that hardware bug where aperture gets stuck at widest setting on some cameras.

All three cameras will give you great photos. I think that if you are shooting in raw wih post- noise reduction and printing at 13x19 or smaller, you are unlikely to notice major differences in high ISO among these cameras.

I chose Leica for handling an 35mm view. So far, I like it and it helped that I got it used in mint condition at a great price. If I had to pay $2k for Leica, I probably would have gone with Ricoh. I still might ... But I think that fuji is overhyped for what it is.

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Irakly Shanidze
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Re: Help me decide Leica X1 or Fuji X100?
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 9, 2012

it is brutally easy: if you want better pictures, go with leica x1. if you want "better shooting experience", x100 wins
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HCR21
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The answer is FUJIFILM X-Pro1
In reply to Len_Gee, Jan 9, 2012

Just announced and looks terrific. Not sure about an Leica adaptor, only. 17.7mm flange back distance.....

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