Fuji X100 vs. Leica X1: the gloves are off

The first set of comparisons between the Fuji X100 and the Leica X1 is already available on flickr:

Sample 1: X100 vs. X1
Sample 2: X100 vs. X1
Sample 3: X100 vs. X1
Sample 4: X100 vs. X1
Sample 5: X100 vs. X1
Sample 6: X100 vs. X1

Update: you can get the EXIF data from the above images on this website.

Update #2: another X100 vs. X1 comparison including RAW conversions.

In the next two weeks I will be getting both cameras and will be able to do my own comparison, stay tuned.

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  • Nobody Special

    Just assuming there was minimal, or no post processing, the Leica X1 images look flat compared to the X100. Not a pretty start for Leica in this comparison at least.

    It also doesn’t necassarily mean much either…….in camera software settings etc. can all affect the outcome. But again, assuming the settings are similar, then the X100 definitwely look better. To me at least.

    • Exactly. The X1 looks like the color was boosted. To my eye (on my non calibrated laptop monitor) it looks like the X100 might be a tad sharper.

      Aside from that, the Leica looks like a Barnack, and the Fuji looks like an M4. What does that say?

      • regular

        Wrong : X100 colors are definitely boosted. I presume someone used a Velvia color profile…
        The X1 picture looks sharper (eg. the inner circles of the tree trunks).

  • D

    X1 actually seems to have more shadow details. But these small jpegs are pretty useless…

  • commissioneranthony

    These pictures look so edited. It’s almost like every x1 image is dim and every x100 image is perfect. totally bias. Not to say that the x1 is a perfect camera…but the difference should not be that dramatic.

  • suddenly here

    Tell me that’s not x100, it’s so overthetop, so much MSGs in the images.

  • TaoTeJared

    Looks like a good start. Any way to dial back the color settings to match the X1? The high contrast and color of the X100 appears to be over showing some detail. I have seen it has Provia, Velvia and Astia – maybe Provia setting would be the most neutral?

    • TaoTeJared

      Oh and thank you for sharing!!!!!

  • M!!

    wow. that cannot be a real comparison. the pictures from the X1 seemed totally out of wack.
    my old iphone can take better pictures than those ‘X1’ pictures. the X100 ones seemed to be so boosted up.

  • Mark

    lol… die x100 in velvia mode and the x1 in dull mode… great compared

  • Dan

    I guess anyone who is really into photography (someone who’d drop $1k on a camera) would shoot raw, completely negating these kinds of comparissions. Out of camera jpgs are by and large sucky anyway.

  • These are useless comparisons without full size, out of camera samples, or RAW files. The X1 files do not look like that out of camera. Any one who draws half a conclusion from this is believing what they want to believe. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the X100 will wipe the floor in almost all categories with the X1, but this comparison is flawed.

  • Darius

    Tha flatness of th x1 is exactly what my copy of x1 did. (one of the reasons i was totaly disapointed and sold it.) maybe a bad copy too but for 1550 Euro you should expect a quality-check by the manufacture that this shouldnt happen. (i know… people with good copys never believe it an dont want to read any leica-critics.)

    • Tom Joseph

      Darius – I had the same experience. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong and sold the X1. And I love Leica BTW – Had 4 of them.


  • With all do respect to Leica, X100 is actually a perfect example what the X1 should have look like. Shape, controls, options, and specially that viewfinder. Everything.

  • aadb

    I can even compare my own X1 vs. my own X1 this way and make it look bad… two of the five different color setting in the X1 menu:

    natural setting: http://flic.kr/p/9odLVW


    vivid setting: http://flic.kr/p/9odLUs

    • M!

      thanks for the comparison. whoever did the X100 vs X1 comparison should use X1 in vivid setting for a better comparison with the X100, presumably in velvia mode. my question is, why leica bother with the ‘natural setting’? it does not look natural at all….

  • Mathias

    Well this comparison tells me, that if I want oversaturated pics right out of the cam, then I should go for the Fuji. But if I want sharpness and resolution and high DR, then the Leica would be the right choice for me. Thanks! 🙂

  • Jei

    I’m leaning towards the X1. I know with my M8 the images can come out of camera a but flat and dull but once you get them in post the DNG files are so flexible you can make them outstanding quite easily . The DNG files really holds together no matter how extreme you push them.

    • X1 v X100

      Jei, are these the first X100 samples you have seen?

      The web has been alight with debate over the early samples because most of the pre-production models were shot with the “Provia” or standard preset as opposed to the “Velvia” setting used for this comparison. Most people have criticized the X100 images for being too dull and flat, which as you correctly pointed out, makes for excellent, flexible editing!

      These “Velvia” shots are some of the first I’ve seen from the X100 and I think they are great IF you want that hyper saturated look but obviously they were not a smart match for this comparison, especially since the X1 was set to low contrast.

      Hypothetically, if the IQ turns out to be equal between the X1 and X100, which based on what I’ve seen, it may, why would you choose the X1?

      • Jei

        They are the first pictures I have seen actually.

  • I think this comparaison is not fair for Fuji or for Leica.

  • broxibear

    Comparing the Fuji X100 to the Leica X1 doesn’t make much sense to me…Leica buyers are not just buying the camera, they’re buying into the brand.
    Leica, their cameras and Leica owners are a group that’s very different and seperate from every other.
    It seems the only reason some sites/forums are comparing them is because of their styling and design.

    • X1 v X100

      Actually, I think it is a very fair and relevant comparison. They are both high-end (and priced) compacts with APS-C sensors and a fixed 35mm lens.

      Why wouldn’t you compare them?

      • broxibear

        The obvious thing would be price, they’re not in the same price bracket… the leica is way more expensive than the Fuji.
        £900 compared to £1400…big difference.
        Anmd as I said Leica buyers are buying into the brand not just the camera, hence all the Special Editions.

    • M!

      i think it is a fair for buyers to compare a X1 and X100. fixed single focal length lens in a small compact body with APS-C size sensor. the price is like comparing a GT-R with a 911 Turbo S, very similar performance but the Japanese counterpart is 1/2 the price.

  • polpaulin

    without RAW it is impossible to compare

  • Dan

    I love Leica, but frankly, I regret having bought the X1. So slow… Incredibly slow… I read about the problem before, but I could not imagine it was so bad !
    I don’t even use it… I’am back with my small C Lux 2 in my pocket…
    I am waiting the X1 firmware update…
    Would The X100 be faster ? Sure… Worse is not possible.
    Please Mister Leica, put some nitrous in the update !!!
    The X1 is so sexy !!!
    Mister Leica, I love you, but please… don’t do that again !!!

    • Dan, I am sure that Leica will release the new X1 firmware in the next 2-3 weeks.

  • At the first time I was willing to say that comparsion just isn’t fair but suddenly a liquid idea came into my head… Do you remember Fuji S5 sensor? Its colors were wonderful and Fuji had lot of time to even improve color rendering of its sensors. If those images are not Photoshop magic and are really colors straight out of the camera, this X100 is a megablast for film lovers. I have never seen something better over slides (both Kodak and Fuji) and dreamt many times that one day digital technology would bring something with dynamic range so wide as negative black and white film, colors so juicy and clear as colors from Provia, Velvia and Ektachrome VS and warm/cold-tone balance as it is at slide film.

    Personally, I would not bother with X100, just because it’s not my type of a camera. But if Fuji is going to release a DSLR with such a colorful sensor, this would be awesome.

    * But one more time, if those images ARE NOT “Fuji is best, Leica go west” unfair renderings.

    • X1 v X100

      I don’t think there is anything unique about the Fuji or Leica sensors in these specific models that affect some wondrous color. They are just jpeg presets. Some companies do a better preset than others.

      Certainly the S5 was a different breed but they are not using that same tech in the X100 and it has been reported by Fuji reps that it has a Sony sensor.

  • cr

    I hardly understand all the moaning:
    – leica x1 is slow (well, that maybe, then, very sad)
    – pix-comparison (leica shows sharp, clear details, yeah a bit dull, but overexpose it a little, it’d work)
    – pix-compare 2 (fuji shoots brighter but with wrong colour, no sharpness, glare, etc.) it’s just a bad picture, only brighter than the X1

    To me it’s clear, wait for X2 or get a cheap X1 from all those fuji nutters above and smile.

    • cr

      I’m not in Leica, I’m a old minolta and current Nikonist. No plan in buying a Leica, because Nikon will show up with a competitor, soon. But optically I’d prefer slightly brightened Leica X1 pictures, and as you say – a speedier version.

      • As a Leica and Nikon user, I’m not convinced Nikon gets it either. They sell a lot of coolpix’ to consumers, and make good money at it, but I think they are falling way short in providing a comprehensive system to pros. They are being too cute about what they are willing to dole out, and I can’t imagine they would give us an X-100 class camera. I hope I’m wrong.

    • X1 v X100

      The X100 has amazing sharpness. I’m looking at full res samples that are as sharp as any from my X1 images. Not sure where this fallacy is sprouting from…

  • Herman Gordon

    While there are many issues related to image processing, these comparisons do reveal some important differences in the optics.

    In particular, bokeh is superior on the Leica (e.g., http://www.flickr.com/photos/robzo1/5501300931/in/set-72157626206019716/ – notice both the bright spots in the background as well as the out of focus objects in the foreground).

    The Fuji also suffers from flare whereas the Leica does not in comparable images (e.g., .

    Looking forward to the LR review!

    • X1 v X100

      I think you may be peeping too hard. The bright bokeh at the top of the X100 image is cropped out of the X1 version and the extra contrast and saturation, not to mention what looks like a brighter exposure on the X100 photo, could well account for the difference. In general, the OOF areas in all the images look very similar between the two cameras.

      As far as flare goes, it is definitely there in the X100 shot. Did the X1 have a hood on? Did the sun peak out for the X100 shot? No idea…

  • Justseenthis

    Surprising the differences of opinion,mine for what it’s worth puts the leica head and shoulders above the fuji .
    A huge disapointment.

    • X1 v X100

      You sound very sure of yourself.

      • JustseenthiS

        no,not at all,just a comment on whats here ,not on what might be here tomorrow.

  • Can’t believe I’m reading comments by people who actually give weight to this flawed comparison. I think anyone who buys either camera based on this comparison will be surprised either way when using these cameras (in raw). Files just don’t look like this without PP.

    I’m still surprised at how much power the internet has over such purchasing decisions, even with poor samples and comparisons. Be smarter people, and wait and see for yourself.

    • X1 v X100


      I’m even more surprised that people say things like “X1 colors are more real”.

      They are freaking jpeg settings people! I could edit a raw image to look like anything but I can’t change the overall signature of the lens without cheating. And the Fuji and X1 have a very similar lens signature.

  • Leverage

    X100 has a stunning lens brighter than Leica X1. Even if X1 has a somewhat better lens, which I doubt, X100 has lots of other advantange than X1. It has a viewfinder, OVF and EVF. It is much better digitally and electronically in every aspect. The price is much more attractive. That is not only because X1 is one year older than Fuji. Leica is about brand and optics. Their collectors items such as titanium M9 just make it worse. In the digital and electronic domain, they are way behind any other bigger camera manufacturer. It is time to wake up and smell the coffee and time to retire the old farts at Leica who stops striving for excellence in every aspect. People want autofocus and high ISO capabilities. Fujifilm X100 will change the surface of the market with small sized cameras with APS-C and hopefully full-frame sensors. Anyone who are willing to go the extra mile for great optics can achieve it. It’s just physics. Digital image processing and electronics still have lots for improvements and that where the future is.

  • J Shin

    I want to repeat the sentiment that these are not very good pictures for either camera, and certainly not well-designed to do a valid comparison. The technical information (aperture, for one) is not supplied, which makes it hard to know what to say. They are also all lit by clouds or skylight only (i.e., in the shade); a skylight filter would have made them look less “drab” without messing with the software.

    Looking forward to Admin’s comparisons, as they are always well done, I think.

    • I hope I can get the X100 from the first batch delivered to the US.

  • leica

    The X1 looks better.

    • X1 v X100

      Absolutely! No doubt. Incontrovertible. Believe it…

  • James

    I agree with those who’ve stated this particular comparison should hold little weight. There are huge differences in the tone curves and the saturation applied in processing. I’m sure that both cameras are more than competent — the choice between them should come down to how the photographer likes to work.

  • X1 v X100

    It tells you nothing of the sort. They are shot with different presets.

    Most people have been complaining about how flat and wide (DR) the Fuji samples have been. This comparison switched the tables by shooting the X100 in Velvia mode (highest saturation and contrast) and the X1 in low contrast mode.

    And as far as sharpness goes, I’m sitting here looking at downloaded high res X100 files and my own X1 images and I can’t tell the difference. The Fuji is that sharp!

    If anything this little Flickr comparison illustrates one thing…the lens signature of both cameras is almost identical (the real reason you buy the X1). Saturation and contrast are just OOC or Post settings, the signature of the lens is where the magic lies and the Fuji has it, along with faster AF, comparable (if not better) build, hybrid viewfinder and better LCD.

  • These are useless comparisons without full size, out of camera samples, or RAW files.

    These photos were taken with different exposures in different modes of color saturation. For Leica X1 characterized another picture http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=ru&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fleica-world.livejournal.com%2F28774.html

  • Tim

    @LR Admin: another 2-3 week releasing update firmware 2.0?? Nov 2010 it was 6-8 weeks… So that should have been in Jan 2011. Now we are talking about Apr? Well for me this story has become a fairytale a long time ago! Leica just ridiculous!

    • maybe Leica wanted to further improve the firmware, I think they will release it now since the X100 will be shipping in the next few weeks

  • X1 looks off-color and underexposed; X100 has Canon P&S-like vividness. Not a very usefull comparison….especiall since not RAW (for basic color comparisons) nor full size (for sharpness).

    But if I had a Leica X1 I might contemplate making somebody a gift with it.

  • mo

    This comparison should not be posted,i shot with X1 and not even one of my pictures look like that,i guess Fuji wants to get some buzz for their very over priced P/S camera

  • Leverage

    I don’t think new firmware for X1 would matter so much. First of all X1 is one year older than X100 and the electronics used in X1 was inferior when it was released. There’s not much Leica can do to make responsivness get so much better. The hardware used has set the limitations already. Unless you think Leica has slowed down X1’s capacity at the release date just to make X1 owners happy one year later. Which by it’s own would be pure evil and very IBM-ish. Or X1 will actually get much more responsive with new firmware, which also is bad since that would be a sign of inferior quality assurance and engineering to begin with. I know I am being a little bit unfair, but I know Leica can do so much better digitally. Go and make a fantastic camera in every aspect. Honour the proud legacy!

    • the expectation is that at least the AF speed will be improved in the next firmware update for the X1

  • Getta2

    If you guys check it from fluidr, you’ll find out these images are titled as X100 (vivid) and X1 (Standard) already….the gloves are certainly not off admin….


    • Thanks for the link, I will update the post. This is the first comparison between those two cameras and I am sure there will be many more to come, that’s why I said that the gloves are off.

  • Leverage

    It won’t. Or the AF speed will improve but the precision will degrade. Leica just started to smell what autofocus and high ISO is. They are also not eager to hire expertise outside Germany to fix that. Too proud, too stupid and too afraid outsiders will rob Leica’s “secrets”. Digital-camera-wise, Leica sucks. Now with Sony opening up their lens protocol and Fuji with the X100, Leica will diminish as a camera maker unless they really make an effort to compete digitally.

    • Jei

      Apart from the M8 and M9. 2 pretty good digital cameras.

  • David Hunter

    Are you sure you don’t have the photos reversed? I own the X1 and the greens in standard mode are very vivid, almost spring like. In fact, the X1 oversaturates the greens. Are your examples here, the X1’s greens look lifeless. There is just something wrong with the X1 files that you posted here.

    • David, those are not my pictures and they can as well be reversed. This was just the first comparison I found online and I posted it here. Today I just received the Leica X1 and once I get the X100 I will upload some RAW files online.

  • This comparison is useless. Why are we even discussing it.

  • These X1 looks like a good, flat file ready for processing. The X100 shots look more impressive but are obviously processed in-camera.

    The X1 files as posted have retained more shadow and highlight detail.

    Looks like we need another comparison to know for sure.

  • Eric Pepin

    everyone who is bothering to compare these is wasting there time, the cameras were set up completely different, in jpeg mode, with wildly different presets. This would be like comparing two film cameras and lenses one with velvia and the other with astia, trix and tmax, etc etc.

  • Looking to your comparison Admin 🙂

  • Glen Barrington

    To be honest, I don’t really care about jpgs straight out of the camera. I shoot raw, show me the things raw delivers! Jpgs are for distribution of finished photos, not capture. I am unlikely to buy a Leica, ever, but I do want something as good or better. The X100 is a likely candidate, somebody show me how it stacks up to that standard!

  • john

    fuji has snipers on deck.

  • Peter Vankman

    the most important thing is the quality of the lens and the leica is much better here, the elmarit i miles ahead of the fuji, in the end the IQ counts, not the age of a camera, thats the good thing with leicas, they get never old. The fuji is also alot bigger and leica x1 is just reduced to the minimum, great legendary sensor and great lens, no more things need! fuji images are disappointing, not so sharp at all. X100 pictures are like candy colors, how can somebody say its better? u can choose candy mode on the x1 too. x1 pictures are better then x100 and x2 will totally dominate it

    • Bob

      Sure, that X1 elmarit at f2 is phenomenal, brilliant… and non-existent. Oh, and the Fuji is actually smaller both in height and depth when you add the optical viewfinder on the X1 and extend the lens to actually shoot–unless you just carry the X1 as a fashion item and compose with your arms out while squinting into the LCD. And stop deluding yourself with the sharpness crap. Leica does not have the corner on sharpness, just people with too much $$ and not enough common sense.

      • Hrundi

        It is pointless to have a discussion with some Leica people – they simply fail to see the shortcomings of any Leica camera.

        In my opinion t
        he x1 is not comparable to the x100 due to: no view finder, mediocre focus system, mediocre LCD, not so good high ISO capability as x100 and a much higher price tag. From the pictures I have seen the x1 lens is not any better than the x100 lens.

  • Tim

    @Peter Vankman: ‘….no more things need!….’ ? Well, EVF and faster AF, update firmware etc. all not needed? Do you own a camera anyway, or are you a person just reading forums and providing us some blabla stories? Like ‘x2 will totally dominate it’. Don’t spoil forumspace with your websh^t please!

  • vipin

    leica’s should know that they need to go in tune with the times; loosing there where it hurts the most for such a good camera (X1) i.e. price wise

  • vipin

    by the way both photos seem to be of same camera ?

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