Leica X2 and Fuji X100 side by side one more time…

Leica X2 and Fuji X100 side by side one more time…

Since I have done a few comparisons lately with the X100 and X2 I still have gotten several emails asking for more. Again, what you will see in the images below is NOT scientific but I had both cameras slung around me and shot the same image with each camera keeping the same ISO and aperture, letting the CAMERA choose exposure. As always it seems the Fuji can tend to overexpose at times. It seems the big question in my mailbox this week is “Which should I buy”…

Well, I can not answer that question for you but I can tell you a few facts about each camera that may help you decide.

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The Fuji X100

Nice size. Not too small, not too big. Nice feel in the hand.

Faster lens at f/2 but wide open it is somewhat soft and lower contrast – pin sharp by f/4

EVF/OVF is fantastic, but I mainly use the EVF as it is accurate – WYSIWYG

AF is faster  than it used to be but still can be a little sluggish compared to newer cameras. Still not an action shooting camera and have had some misses with AF.

Low light and high ISO is about on par with the X2

Colors out of camera can be on the cooler side of neutral at times

Camera is silent in operation if you turn off all sounds

There is some lens barrel distortion

Camera tends to overexpose, so dial back on the Exposure Compensation

Battery life is average

Lens is prone to flare (which can yield creative results if shot into the sun)

Not really a pocketable camera

Macro capability

$1199 Silver – $1699 for the Black kit with accessories

The Leica X2

Nice construction, quality feel

Improved dials are now stiffer

No real distortion from the lens

Warm colors, higher contrast

Sharp at 2.8 but sharper as you stop down

More prone to hand shake than the X100 at same shutter speed

High ISO is great, same as X100

Has the Leica IQ and feel

EVF is extra but swivels so more versatile than a standard EVF

LCD is low res

Simple and Basic. Just about photography.

Made in Germany Leica by Leica

AF is as fast as X100 is now but spot on accurate every time

Can fit in a jacket pocket easily, more compact than an X100

No real flare from the lens

No close focusing capabilities

$1995 for Black or Silver

Basically both are great and can give you great results if you know what you are doing with them. The Leica will have a more pleasing color and higher contrast where the Fuji can have somewhat flat files right out of camera. Both of these cameras will give you a different vibe and feel from most other mirror less cameras. Truth be told, I really like both of these. Problem is, both are 35mm equivalent. The Fuji has the VF and classic RF styling and the Leica has the more modern-day Leica style and more pleasing color and contrast. Both have the same high ISO capabilities and AF speed (just about) and both are capable of superb results. What it comes down to is do you want to pay extra for the Leica or do you prefer the Fuji? Only you can decide 🙂 Below are some more side by sides though, and most are full size so you must click them to see them.



I prefer the Leica rendering of the colors and light in the 1st example. The X100 here looks a little more flat and has a color cast. Both from RAW with zero mods – no sharpening, etc.

This next set you can see the Fuji did overexpose. This is important to know because when you go out with the Fuji you will at times need to take back the EV dial. If you do not you will get an overexposure in certain situations. Both of these are RAW conversions without any modification or sharpening added. I prefer the X2 rendering here again, but they are so close.

Notice the lights on the 1st X2 shot…or UNDER the lights – I prefer the X100 here due to the way the X2 is drawing the light..

Not there on the X100 shot

and a straight from camera ISO 3200 shot from each – both in camera B&W – BOTH JPEG and both set to a HIVGH CONTRAST B&W mode. Seems like the Leica puts out a higher contrast which is why the truck is darker. It is not due to less DR. With that said, I prefer the look of the X2 here again – Look at the back wall and ground. I see more detail in the X2. 

So there you go. Identical snap shots taken with each camera in the same lighting and moment using the same ISO and aperture. The experience shooting both was good and each camera focused just as quickly as the other. The X2 really is accurate with focusing. Since some have questioned my statement of the X2 seemingly (in my experience, with this body) needing faster shutter speeds to get steady shots I have went ahead and ordered a black X2 setup for my personal extended testing and use. The new one coming has the latest firmware and the one I tested here does not. So to be 100% fair and for you, the readers (well, and me of course) I will not be shooting the X2 and X100 as well as my OM-D and M over the next few months so I can get an extended use feel for each of them. At this point I can not say which I prefer as both do a great job. Sometimes I prefer a shot from the X2 and others the X100.

So always check back to the site for more and again, thanks for reading.


  1. hi, Steve I wonder to know what happen with the photo #3 (light on the blue wall, photo from X2),
    Did you set the camera to higher contrast? or those blue light was unusual ‘ultraviolet’ kind that can’t be accepted by X2’s sensor, as I’ve never seen this effect on another X2 sample files

  2. This is all very funny. Quite frankly people buy Leica cameras because they are “Leica” cameras. I’m one of those people. Are there cameras that do just as well as the X2 that are cheaper – of course. Are there cameras that do just as well as the M9 that are cheaper – of course. But there is only one Leica.

  3. I fully agree to Betty’s comment.
    The x100 pictures here are aweful.
    The colors in the 1st pic, brrrr
    Even in the blue pic, the posters at the rear wall are so flat compared to the x2.

    People here seem to talk up their bargain buy, and recomment work arounds,
    eg, reduce over exposure or work on thecolors with fotoshop.

  4. As I expected, the Fuji X100 shots look flat – it just isn’t there for me. Leica X2 does the job perfectly – wish I could afford one. Although – there are some good deals on second-hand X1’s at the moment with people wanting to upgrade – about the same price as a new Fuji X100.

  5. Great article… but it got me thinking about camera selection and criteria… I import all my pics into Lightroom for cataloging and tweaking… I was thinking as I was reading this article that I probably wouldn’t set my exposure compensation lower, or this or that higher in camera, I would just shoot RAW and do a little tweak post processing… I wondered then, why spend $2000 plus just because one camera does something great that a little Lightroom tweak cant fix in a second? Are we moving towards defining great cameras by how few tweaks, or none at all for that matter, one has to do after shooting? I think for me the x100 or even the x10 might just fit the bill… any thoughts?

  6. mirasocalphoto-

    I am not a troll. If you wish to engage in juvenile banter like this, I’m not the one to engage.

    I don’t understand the rabid responses to anyone voicing concerns over this SAB issue. I actually just placed an order for an X Pro-1 along with the 35/18 and 60mm lenses. Does that make me a “troll”? I love Fuji. In fact, I just sold all my Nikon D700/D300 and 7 top Nikon lenses (all f/2.8 and under). How about that?

    Forums are full of people that have the SAB “flu”. It’s real. It’s out there. I would have hoped others would be more vocal about it rather than simply play “hear no evil”. Since Fuji apparently listens to concerns, if more people talked about this it makes sense that they would be contributing to Fuji fixing this once and for all and assuaging the concerns of those sitting on the fence. The “big name” reviewers seem to blatantly ignore this obvious issue for some odd reason.

    As for you mirasocalphoto, I couldn’t care less about what you think. Your response reminds me of the old usenet trolls. Always provoking with little in the way of civil discourse.

  7. Thanks Steve for your great reviews and comparisons. I found your site quite accidentally and have found myself on it quite often. I could not decide between the x100, OM-D, or the x2, but have made my choice of the x100 with the help of your photos and message boards. Your site is the only one like it out there. Please keep up the good work. Hopefully you may do a review on the new wide angle lens adapter for the x100 soon…… Thanks again.

  8. Greg Says- I am still hesitating on my purchase of an X100. Really, Betty touched on it but, it’s true no matter how many people think it’s no big deal; the sticky blades issue. It’s the elephant in the room everyone fails to talk about most noticeable….Fuji.

    Greg: the decision then is easy ,,,Don’t buy the X100. End of your dilemma,right? Well it would be if you weren’t another troll on the site.

    Greg says_ Listen, I am in contact with a freind in CO who just sent his X100 on for the 2nd time. He bought his X100 in November 2011 and sent it in within 200 shots (three weeks). He got it back but, just this past week, sent it in for a 2nd time! He’s selling it when it comes back.

    My man, you sure know a lot about your friend’s misery with this particular camera. Your concern is admirable were you not a troll.

  9. Which Leica X2 is tested in those pictures in comparison with X100?
    The 1st one with the problematic firmware or the 2nd new one?

  10. I am still hesitating on my purchase of an X100. Really, Betty touched on it but, it’s true no matter how many people think it’s no big deal; the sticky blades issue. It’s the elephant in the room everyone fails to talk about most noticeable….Fuji.

    Listen, I am in contact with a freind in CO who just sent his X100 on for the 2nd time. He bought his X100 in November 2011 and sent it in within 200 shots (three weeks). He got it back but, just this past week, sent it in for a 2nd time! He’s selling it when it comes back.

    Look, I have used and love the photos the X100 takes. I want it. I always have. But I keep waiting for Fuji to acknowledge this issue and they stubbornly refuse to. I have seen people defend this by saying that this issue (SAB) is in only a smal percentage of the X100’s. Yet, every forum has posts from people sending their X100’s in to Fuji for this repair. Once your warranty runs out, you will pay for this repair yourself and it’ll be some $700 to do so. How many cameras for sale today have issues like this? None that I can see.

    I need my camera to be reliable. This is why I am now leaning towards the Leica X2 alone. Look, I have nothing against Fuji. I have a budget in which I want 2 cameras. I think I could do quite well with the X Pro-1 and the Leica X2. I’d rather have the X100 but, compared to these 2 cameras, I cant rely on it.

    The question I have is why does Fuji repair these X100’s returned for SAB rather than correct them in the manufacturing/assembly process? Imagine if they came out and admitted the problem but, they have now fixed it? I’d buy it. So would others on the fence. Until they do, I would be wise to look somewhere else.

  11. The black and white comparison Steve,…….in the leica shot the column is lighter and the truck is darker while in the fuji shot thecolumn is darker and the truck is lighter.(in case you didnt understand the first time I asked).This sugests a difference in sensitivity or in-camera processing.What was the colour of the truck?..thanks.

  12. to me the X100 seems to hold more details in the highlights and shadows, X2 seems to blow out highlights a bit more (check the blue window light one) but the x2 seems a tad sharper in the carport shot .. still reckon X100 wins this one.

  13. It’s a matter of taste but I am a very happy punter with the Fuji, it is the first digital camera that I have been truly happy with since moving from film. I have not used my DSLR in months and get far more keepers with the Fuji while enjoying the discipline of shooting at a fixed focal length. Steve is right to say that the Fuji files can be a little flat, thankfully small tweaks in Aperture make the files sing, so I will be keeping the X100 for a long time to come for sure.

  14. One thing that nobody seems to mention but I have had huge problems with is lens flare during long exposures at night. During the day you can use the lens flare to creative effect. At night, especially with long exposures, you can get some really ugly and distracting flares that completely ruin your image. This for me, means that I can’t rely on the X100 for a lot of my serious photography and as a result has been relegated to my walk around snapshot camera (albeit, a slow focusing one). I use my M9’s for the bulk of my work and my D700 for things that require fast focus, macro or high iso.

    • If you are making a living in photography, I wouldn’t rely on ANY of these 4/3 cameras just yet.I have the Panny GF1, love it for simple shoots, and used the new Fujifilm rangefinder, liked it but not loved for different reasons, but they in no way beat the big body DSLRs in pro use.Biggest problem for me? Lack of PC flash and remote flash via hotshoe.I use 3 white lightning/alien bees with the cyber remotes and the 4/3rds don’t have a reliable way to sync.

      For general day to day work, my GF1 is great.14mm 2.5, 20 1.7, and 35 2.5.

  15. I would love to see how the X2 handles against the X100 in terms of Skintone and mixed lighting whitebalane

  16. Its just hillarious how many people want to judge a camera on specs rather than as a tool, which is by its very design, meant to be held in the hand and used as an extension of ones own visual perception of the world and used to record that vision.

    I think its very easy to forget that real camera manufacturers rather than technology companies still hold true to this concept, and try to design cameras with this idea in mind. Simple is good.

    I work in the film industry and this is even more true now in the digital age than it ever was on film. Red, as a company, have overturned the film industry AS A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY by making cameras marketed on their amazing specs. But they were, and are, awful to use as a film making tool, and it took a camera company with heritage like Arri, to respond to this technology leap and design their own digital cinema camera the Alexa, which is a simple, reliable, and rugged film making tool (used to shoot the new Bond film “Skyfall”). Its not to say that Red don’t make cameras that can output a great image (it was used to film “Prometheus”), its just that they are not as user freindly and can become so over complicated with all the settings that we all end up on set worrying about all that rather than getting on with the business of making films. The Arri Alexa has fewer settings, and a big green run button.

    The Alexa isn’t as sharp or as high res as the Red camera, but thats why is so good, and the first choice of most cinematographers. Its a more poetic imaging machine, subtler and more pleasing to the eye.

    So I would encourage everyone here who wants to rip any camera apart to use it first and then comment.

    If I had read and believed all the comments online about the X2 i would never have bought one.

    But I went into the Leica shop 3 days running to try it out.

    It felt balanced in the hand, more solid than any thing else in its class.

    Its built around a brilliant modular idea that means for a smaller camera and less weight, you can CHOOSE between no viewfinder, the best OVF around, or the best EVF available. Choice is good. If you add an OVF and leave it on the hotshoe, then its “built in” if thats what you want to call it. And being a brightline finder, better as well.

    The LCD is sharp and bright and the “only 200,000 pixels” specs (or what ever it is) means nothing. Go and look at it and try it. Its does what its meant to do perfectly with a very high refresh rate, and works well in sunlight. If you zoom in 100% to check focus it looks blurry. But you know what? So does my Canon 1D. And every other camera I own. I compared all of them with the same photo. It doesnt matter how many screen pixels there are, if you zoom in too far, it blurs, just as it does on your computer screen.

    Oh and it takes great pictures. But I knew that anyway, because these days, every camera can.

    The ONLY thing that matters is wether or not the camera FEELS right for you. YOU are the one making the images, not the camera.

    I happened to love the Leica and its inspired me to take more photographs. Ifs another camera does it for you then thats also great.

    But all this sharper/ better IQ nonsense that people spend valuable photograph taking time arguing about?

    Just ask yourself, are the specs really that important? Or are you simply just using the debate as a reason to not take photographs. Because you know that deep down its actually YOU thats lacking rather than the camera.

    All Im saying is just choose the tool that feels right for you, and go and make some images.

    (oh and theres a reason why instagram and hipstomatic are so sucessful on the iphone. Its because sharper and better image quality is what people actually like……)

    • That should read :

      (oh and theres a reason why instagram and hipstomatic are so sucessful on the iphone. Its because sharper and better image quality ISNT what people actually like……)

    • The spec. may not be important, but it is completely incomprehensible that there is no built-in viewfinder, a better LCD, faster lens etc. Especially when it is more than double the price of the X100 and can’t even delivery better IQ.

      I would still say that the X100 is a little better in the IQ department and has the great and fast f/2 lens which is one full stop faster than the X2. Also the bookie from the X100 seems to be better than the X2.

      As I said before the only thing that is nicer about the X2 is the design and even that is a matter of taste, but maybe it is comforting for some people to own a luxury article and just live with it’s limitations (at least limitations compared to it’s nearest competitor).

      • I just don’t get this.

        Why would you want a fixed built in viewfinder when you can have a much better quality brightline finder which is also removeable?

        Why do you need a better lcd when the one thats on there already is great?

        Why do you need a faster lens when the one thats on there is perfect given that the high ISO capability is amazing, and it produces wonderful out of focus bokeh already?

        If you have actually tried and used an X2 and don’t like it, just move on and buy something else. Whats the point in complaining? Its just a camera. Just buy something else.

        I’m not defending Leica as a brand. Its just that everything everybody is complaining about here I’ve found either to be untrue (the lcd being bad), or to me is a benefit (a removeable brightline OVF).

        And its not a “I want a luxury brand” issue either. I paid the extra for the build quality. In the same way I bought a Canon 1D instead of a prosumer version.

        If anyone other than steve and myself actually owns one of these cameras then please feel free to comment.

        • Hey Gmac, I’m not questioning anybodys right to buy and love the X2. And I’m sure you can get gorgeous images with this camera. Also I agree that the design is really nice and build quality is probably great.

          But not everybody can pay the premium price for the X2, so I think it is fair to look at alternatives.

          I’m sure that 99% of all photographers would choose the built-in OVF/EVF of the X100 compared to the add on viewfinders available for the X2.

          You see the X100 OVF is not just an OVF it has all information like aperture, shutter time, exposure compensation etc. overlayed in the OVF. The EVF is about the same as the one in the X2 (owned one which is excatly the same for the PEN series).

          Also I’m sure 99% would agree that it is nicer to have a lens that is f/2 instead of f/2.8 because in certain situations that would be the difference between ISO 1600 and ISO3200 or shutter time 1/15s compared to 1/30s.

          The X100 has some features that are just a lot better than what the X2 has to offer.

          But I guess it is not common sense for a Leica fan 🙂 if you can get a camera with at least same IQ, better LCD, buil-in viewfinders and a faster lens for less than half the price of an X2.

    • “The ONLY thing that matters is wether or not the camera FEELS right for you. YOU are the one making the images, not the camera.”


  17. Steve love the articles and appreciate your time and energy you put into bringing them to us. I do get frustrated reading some responses, but hey thats the point of debate I guess. For me neither is better or worse, just one I prefer more than the other.

    Ultimately, I’d buy the camera that could help me make the photos I want to take with the budget I have.

  18. From dpreview here is a troubling post backing Steve Huff’s discovery

    “X2 shutter speed issue for non-blur image

    Just received new X2. AF is much improved over X1. But it is very difficult to get a non-blurred image in shutter speed under 125. 9 out 10 are slightly blurred. I can’t believe there is any image stabilization in effect on this version. I have it activated but can’t shoot under 125 and be sure to get a clean image. Frustrating.”


  19. Wow… As usual here, too many comments of people who actually NEVER hold neither the X100 nor the X100.
    I spent lots of time on Flick searching for images that would convice me buying one or the other. Ming did a great review but his processing helps a lot and he could get the same results with a 4Mpix camera.
    I’ve just ordered the black X100 (1349€ here in France) so I can see for myself. No point buying the X2 as it uses the same Sony sensor as my Nex5n.

    And about Betty, never read so much crap on this website. Whether she’s deeply stupid or she has some issues with Steve but please Betty, why don’t you buy a tenth X100 and try to U-S-E the camera instead of making money and fooling people ?

    • You will not be disappointed with the X100 the IQ is really very good (I’m tempted to say fantastic) and the lens is also very sharp with very good rendering.

      I’m just looking at my old photos and feel that I’m missing my X100 a lot. Just couldn’t take the incredible bad AF at the time I had it, but now with the new firmware it should be so much better.

      • I’ll make my mind within two weeks.
        I was tempted to buy the X2 but not 100% conviced by the IQ and the grain.
        If it matches the IQ of my beloved Ricoh, I’ll keep it.

  20. While both cameras are similar in features, not so similar in price, we need to look over the numbers.

    I personally vote for the company that treats their employees and products better and offers that extra and shows that they know what a quality product is.

    Enjoy your travels!

  21. What are the chances of anyone being able to separate the two sets of images without the EXIF data, to any degree of statistical significance?

    At f2 or f2.8 the Fuji lens is soft at Macro or near-macro distances where many internet tests are performed. At longer distances however the Fuji is incredibly sharp, even wide open.

    I simply don’t believe anyone has a real chance at telling the two cameras apart in a double-blind test. Even Steve. No way.

    For me the feature that separates them is the OVF. But the X2 is a bit prettier.

    Two lovely cameras – choose the one you like. If you like them both, and can afford it, then get both. 🙂

    • I would gladly participate in a double-blind test and I’m very shure that I can tell the difference 🙂

      You are right that at macro distances the X100 lens may be a little soft at f/2, but usually macro photos are taken with a very high aperture to get better sharpness due to very narrow DOF (for instance at f/2 and 15 cm distance there is only around 0.1 cm DOF).

  22. thanks Steve for an enjoyable read, that is the responses…you know when you do a “A vs B” thingy you are gonna get the gear-heads throwing water bombs at each other.
    …anyhows, me personally, im enjoying the X100….you know the X2 was built for men with small girly hands 🙂

  23. Sigma DP1 DP2 lens & photo output matched M8 with Cron
    upto iso400.
    X1 X2 lens are fine yet nooot that fine.
    I would choose Digilux2 lens over X1 X2 everytime.

    And even though X1 X2 has dials & curved ends it still looks as a Panasonic.

  24. I have the X100, and almost never use the EVF – it’s way too leggy and feels like I am looking through a TV.

    On the other hand, the optical viewfinder is a godsend – it replicates the shooting experience of my Leica M6 with 35mm cron most closely (short of buying a M9 + 35 cron asph), and in some ways, trump it with AF and a finder capable of being customized to show more / less info.

    For us old schoolers, I guess there is no dispute – i will pick a camera with a real optical finder anytime over one that forces you to frame an image at arn’s length using a LCD – especially a circa 2004 one with 230k dots. And try that on a sunny day…..

    The clip on EVF works, but adds bulk and destroys the clean lines of the admittedly sexy X2. You can add an optical finder and shoot it zone focused, of course, but in a dim bar when you will be trying to focus on faces precisely at f2, the dumb window finder will be of limited use.

    The X2 is a nice camera and will no doubt have its rabid fans. I just can’t help wonder if we take away that red dot, and imagine that it’s actually made by Panasonic, or Olympus, or *gasp* Samsung, would it still enjoy the support and various justifications people made to rationalize choosing it over the X2?

    • I agree regarding EVFs and you say it is like looking through a TV, but that is a very bad TV in my opinion. I would prefer an optical viewfinder over the artificial look of an EVF anytime, but many people like it and thinks it is great for some reason (easier to judge exposure maybe?). With the X100 it is of course nice to have when going really close to correct the wrong framing of the OVF.

  25. Luckylly I can comment based on my personal experience and not on reviews. I’ve owned an x100 for 5 months now and I’ve played a lot with an x1, so I know for sure that x1 is not even in the same league as x100. x1 is a crappy camera with very good IQ, while x100 is a pretty and fun camera with equal or better IQ. Simple. Add the price tag to the equation and you do the math. And I don’t expect much from x2.

    • A “crappy camera”. We’re talking about the X2 and I don’ think any of the Leica and Fuji camera’s we’re talking about would be considered crappy. They are fine photographic tools.

      • I beg to differ.
        Lousy rear LCD, painstakingly slow AF, no VF, fiddly buttons (x100 aren’t much better), unusable high ISO. Any Cyber-shot do what x1 don’t do for a small fraction of the price.
        But as I said, and unlike any Cyber-shot, the IQ is great. The point is it doesn’t worth the money.
        But you may buy the camera you like.

  26. Thanks Steve,

    As an X1 owner I really value your review and comparison. I’ve enjoyed my X1 and worked around it’s limitations. But often those limitations are it’s strengths as they make you work the shot more – think more about what you’re taking before firing off a multitude of unnecessary shots. Or simply be more creative rather than grumble about not having a longer lens or my bigger gear.

    I think gear can be quite personal, a little like what clothes you wear. No matter what you choose, you learn to love it, work with it and enjoy using it.

  27. I had enough money to choose between the X100 and the X2, i bought the X100. (if i had much more money, i’d buy the Leica M Monochrome :p ).

    To be honnest, i never had the opportunity to use a Leica but when i have enough money to buy something it’s not about the price but “does it worth it ?”. When i see the capabilities of the X100 and X2, i think that the X2 doesn’t worth the price. (actually, the Leica M Monochrome doesn’t worth it either, but i’m irrational here, i’m dreaming about a B&W Digital Camera since the Canon EOS 300D. I just hope someone will sell a Monochrome camera before i have enough money to buy the Leica MM :p)

    I don’t have the Leica virus, got the X100 🙂

  28. When are you going to compare the X1-2 and X100 to the Canonet QL17. It’s ‘full frame’ and has a faster lens, real rangefinder, and comes in black and chrome. They make this ‘sensor’ called Portra with a native ISO of 400. It can be pushed and pulled from 100-1600 with very little ‘noise.’ Fuji has a version too, with slightly different color and contrast…

  29. im happy with my x100 🙂
    i hope the x2 drives x1 prices down though i still wouldnt mind owning one.. i use zone focus 90% of the time anyways so AF doesnt bother me.

  30. Keep going back and forth between the two but this round goes to the X2 with looks to be a superior lens. I was not happy with the latest Leica incarnation but after a couple weeks of seeing the images it produces I’ll put myself in the neutral territory. I still think it should have at least had an optical viewfinder built in even if it was as small as the Canon G series because that screen is not doing you any favors in daylight. I’m done complaining, it is what it is and it takes great photos. I still love my X1 and will continue to use it faults and all.

  31. X2 + evf ovf + F2 = why didnt you do it Leica
    I liked shooting my Digilux 2 thorough its poor evf.

  32. Nice review and now it is possible to see that the X2 can produce very nice pictures 🙂

    Just my opinion:

    1. The X100 is clearly the best in the two first images. Sharper and better color.
    2. In the second set the X2 colors are better – sharpness is about the same – but X100 is more blown out in white areas. Should probably have been exposure compensated.
    3. In the third set those light blobs from the X2 looks pretty strange, maybe the same problem as with the turquoise hair on your son Steve in one of the previous posts.? Doesn’t look very good.
    4. In the fourth set the X2 looks the best due to more contrast, but also with more noise than the X100. The X100 looks as if it was shoot in jpeg?

    • Not sure if you read the text above the B&W but both were in camera B&W – meaning, both were shot JPEG. The images above the B&W were all RAW with no added sharpening or any modification. What you see if what you get.

    • I see no soft or out of focus shots here at all. Both are about on part with each other actually and the X2 shot is sharper at ISO 3200 though more contrasty.

      • Sorry, I responded to the wrong thread yesterday 🙂

        I should have clarified that it was the “candy” shot in particular that looked a bit out of focus to me.

        Just got my X2 yesterday, and so far I’m having trouble getting in-focus shots. The 10 or 15 random shots that I took in the store the other day with an X1 however were all in focus.

        I’ll have to give it another day here to figure out what is going on.

  33. That X2 looks sexy as hell….but if it were me I would buy the X100….which I won’t be since I already own an XPro-1:)

    Either way in practical use both cameras here would probably be quite similar (image quality wise)..which leads to the question, why buy the Leica?

    • I already own a NEX-7, but I just picked up an X100, and it is awesome. It being so flat really makes it feel small. You may still want to pick up an X100.

  34. The actual exposure difference (where given) makes it difficult to compare. Now, complicating this is the considerable variation in gamma and degree of (un) calibration between one monitor and the next. Nevertheless, the X100 in the same scene is using from 1/3 to a full stop more light for it’s exposure than the X2. Thus, it’s not completely clear whether any observations made in these shots would hold for equalized exposures. From past discussions of this I think Steve’s intends to show what the cameras would do for a given scene the way most people are going to shoot them. That’s certainly a valid exercise, but not one which lends itself to IQ comparisons since (as here) it’s often a case of apples vs. oranges.

    Still, I have to say that, except for the blue window scene, I have a distinct preference for the X100 images. In the first mannequin shot the seeming under exposure by the X2 dulls the bright skirt on the left figure while the X100 lets its brightness shine through. Also, as with the B&W shot, the X2 shadows go black in a hurry (at least on my monitor). The B&W is clearly better with the X100. The shadow detail is much greater without blowing the highlights any more than the X2 did and arguably less – look at the smearing of the letters on the column in the X2 image as a result of the blown highlight there.

    The blue window, is however, a curious outlier. The exposure here is within a 1/3 stop and the handling of the pools of light thrown on the display stands by the floor lights is interesting. The X2 feathers the edges and lets one easily read the Republic of Culture signage where the X100 shows sharp edged pools and leaves the signage much less distinct. All things considered, on that shot I definitely prefer the X2.

    In the end, I’ll not buy either of these (unless I win a lottery and can afford all the cool cameras I want), but I’d gladly, happily, even I’ll say gleefully shoot with either of them , should someone see fit to gift me with one…(Santa if you’re reading along the all black special edition X100 would be especially appreciated or the black X2 with the Leica 36 mm optical finder).

  35. Steve, would it be possible to share a photo of the X2 and X100 LCDs showing the same subject for side-by-side comparison? It would help to understand how bad the X2 LCD really is.

    Thanks for the great comparo. I especially like the subjects you pick. The candy stand is a great choice to illustrate colors!

    • Good idea but not sure you would be able to tell anything from a photo of the LCD’s. You notice it in actual use, especially if you zoom in on a photo to check focus or detail.

      • I guess I should clarify 🙂

        The “candy” shot in particular looks softer at full zoom to me.

        Thanks for the comparisons BTW!!!

        I have been eyeing both the X1 and X2 and don’t know which to choose.. I see talk
        of a stronger AA filter in the X2, but I haven’t seen enough shots to really get a feel for it yet.

  36. The black and white comparison Steve,…….in the leica shot the column is lighter and the truck is darker than in the fuji shot.This sugests a difference in sensitivity or in-camera processing.What was the colour of the truck?..thanks.

  37. Why I severley dislke the X100:

    1) It has added distortion, see Huff’s X1 vs X100 pictures fo his son, where his face is distorted. Looks like another person.

    2) It has flat pictures compared to the 3D, see the X1 vs X100 pictures of the Grand Canyon, where Huff shows the effect

    3) Colors are better

    4) I when the X100 ws announced bought and sold 9 X100’s on eBay. Three developed sticky blades, Fuji would not respect warranty for resold equipment. Some X100’s have developed sticky syndrome twice and 3 times

    5) One does not need an OVF with only 35mm. Yes with the X10 110mm, but with 35mm if you look left you see the picture with your eyes!

    6) The X100 is 16 Ounces to 11 ounces of the X1/2, that is 30% lighter and much more pocketable

    The question here is why is Huff continuing to report that instability of pictures below 1/100s. Even with tripod. Ming did not report it and he denies it. Huff defends an instability. Huff says the X2 needs more than 1/100s. That the X1 did not have it. People who have both should take the same 1/30s picture and please post the difference. Maybe Huff got a defect. Maybe he set the IS of the X2 wrongly. Or bad firmware.

    • For me – I am going with the X2.

      IQ and simplicity is whats important to me. Plus an added benefit is the fantastic support of Leica. Also its German built not another Japanese camera.

      Also the lens itself on the Leica is worth it. This is not a garbage lens and its been proven by the X1 of IQ on this type of lens. Try and buy a Leica Elmarit 24,, 2.8 lens see what they cost.

      • I did not get burned. I made money reselling them. I also notived the focusing was poor. Often the camera would focus on the background an ignore the subject.

        And the Fuji got sharp at f4, whereas the X1 is sharp at 2.8. The X2 is now the question.

        It amazes me how the X100 with sticky, poor focus, distortion, dull color, heavy, big, has such a huge following.

        • The X100 focuses spot on if you use the focus correctly. What focus setting did you use? The one I shoot never misses. I have sharp images from the Fuji at f/2 (the girl behind the wood panes in the review and update was f/2), distortion is minimal but there even though no one really notices it in real photos and the color can be dull or it can be vibrant, depends on how you make your image. It is also far from heavy or big. It has a following because it is a really great camera for $1200 that has the capability to shoot amazing photos. All depends on the person shooting it. Low light is superb, dynamic range is great, EVF/VF is nice to have, build and feel is classic and solid, fast f/2 35mm equivilant lens that is nice and compact, and with the latest firmware it’s smooth and glitch free. So that is why it has a following. There really is no camera like it for the price. The X2 is not as sharp as the X1 was, at least the one I was sent to test..but I have another on the way with the latest firmware and will see if it differs from the one I have here now.

          • You’re right, Steve. I’ve had the X1 for one and a half years now and recently used the X2 for a couple of hours at a Leica dealer here in The Netherlands and the X1 gives sharper results. I think it’s due to the extra pixels with the same sensor size of the X2. I also own a Pentax K-01 with the same sensor as the X2 and the results, again, are not as sharp as the X1. I must say, however, that both the X2 and K-01 are fine cameras. As is the X100. I don’t have the Fuji, but a friend of mine does and the results are satisfying. When traveling, I bring the X1, K-01 and… Fujifilm X10, which is also a fine little camera. There are no right or wrongs. These days, all APS-C cameras delivery high quality. Like you said, Steve, it’s simply a matter of taste.

        • Complete nonsense. The X100 is a great camera with a very sharp lens. Just looked at some of my X100 photos and they are plenty sharp even at f/2.

      • You are correct. The Leica has the lens, the design, the simplicity and…it is a Leica. Which is why I was so torn. The X2 is a great camera and takes great photos. Same price as the X1 so in reality, nothing to complain about really. It’s like getting a new improved X1 for the same price. X2 or X100 – either are a great choice.

    • You sound like someone who got burned when they tried to flip some early-run X100s on Ebay for a quick profit, so now you’re on a personal vendetta against the camera. Frankly, your reasons just don’t stand up to reality. The X100 is very capable of producing gorgeous images, despite your rant.

    • Wow, you must be a real “photo perzon” to buy nine different X100’s when you think its such a poor camera.

    • Who says I am continuing to report the instability of images at under 1/100th? I mentioned it what, once? You are the only one who has been spreading it around and when I look at your comments, all you have done is come here and spread negativity and talk about how you had NINE X100’s. If it was so bad why did you buy more than one? Also, the X1 is not the X2. My X1/X100 comparisons showed many things. For one, it showed the X100 was sharper (shot of the trees) and that there really was minimal difference between the two IQ wise. So why you keep posting nonsense here is ridiculous. If you can not speak with facts, then do not speak at all. Thank you.

      BTW, IS of the X2? The X2 does not have any kind of real IS, it is just like the X1 which also did not have any kind of real IS.


      • Steve I look up to you and this is my last post unless you give me permission to keep posting.

        I think the work you do is great, fresh and I admire you greatly.

        However, in the article you wrote called “UPDATE: The Fuji X100 still rocks!” you wrote:

        “It also seems to be prone to the teeniest but of hand shake as many of the shots I snapped with the X2 of Shea (the girl in these photos) had some sort of blur or they were not sharp if the shutter speed was lower than 1/100th. I was able to get sharp images with the X100 and OM-D in the same light where the X2 was giving me unsharp images in some situations.”

        In the comments in the same article you wrote:

        “User error when using a tripod? Don’t think so. Maybe Leica sent me a faulty X2? Maybe the firmware loaded on this one is “prototype” like the MM they sent me? I wouldn’t know as I have had no communication from Leica (as in, they have told me nothing). The fact is, when doing side by side with other cameras this X2 in my possession is not as sharp as the other contenders or the X1. It is still very sharp, just not as sharp. Other cameras have pulled ahead of the X2 in this department, according to my tests with the camera I have. Does it mean the X2 is bad? No, it is highly capable of taking beautiful photos and the color beats the X100, as the X1 did. I enjoy the X2 and wish I could buy one because it has a lure about it. Is it the red dot? No, it is the signature of the images which are beautiful when they are “right”.

        I was reporting on my findings of the X2 and while shooting it side by side with the X100, E-M5 and even D800 none of the other cameras gave me any issues under 1/100th, only the X2. Was an observation that I reported on instead of hid. Thanks”

        Then in the article you wrote called “Leica X2 and Fuji X100 side by side one more time…” you wrote:
        “The Leica X2
        Nice construction, quality feel

        More prone to hand shake than the X100 at same shutter speed”

        So that is three times you reported the X2 in trouble under 1/100s

        I used to have an X1 and sold it but now I read those things and it is almost like I did not mind the slow AF in low light.

        I was going to get the X2 but I feel that the X1 is sharper from what you and Ming say

        So what if I had 9 X100’s? I bought the first one, would not focus well at all, it would focus the wall behind the subject. Sold it. Made $ 500! Repeat 8 times, profits came down but managed to sell 9 in total.

        When you compare the X2 with the X100 you see the 100 is a large/medium bag whereas the X1 fits in a small/medium case.

        If you want to point out the fault of the Leica 2 I think your message is well received. I don’t want to spend $ 2k and find out the X1 is sharper.

        Back to your X1 vs X100 articles of last year, you did mention many benefits to the X1. Better focus, colors, 3D Leica feel, less face distortion. One also cannot ignore 11 vs 16 ounces and the much larger frame.

        • Steve I look up to you and this is my last post unless you give me permission to keep posting.

          Hopefully Betty, Bernhard, Fritz or whatever your name is, he will deny that request and we will bask in your absence.

        • So what if I had 9 X100′s? I bought the first one, would not focus well at all, it would focus the wall behind the subject. Sold it. Made $ 500! Repeat 8 times, profits came down but managed to sell 9 in total.

          NICE!!! Let me get this right. You bought 9 cameras that don’t work correctly You’re selling cameras that don’t work correctly,knowing they don’t work correctly. You might be doing some interstate fraud activity. Buyer beware doesn’t include malice.

        • How old are you anyway? You’re making such a fuss about a different of 4oz. That’ s way less than can of soda.

          • Why don’t you walk around with a can of soda in your pants pocket. You might just notice the weight!

          • You’re funny a can of soda is just 1oz heavier than the x2, you contradicting yourself. With that statement even the x2 will be a burden for you. Better stick with your $100 p&s, I think it will suit you well.

          • Btw, one advise is to lay off the cookies 😉 it will help with your stamina. And yes, I go out with a 16oz water container to keep me hydrated on long walks aside from my cam.

        • Betty
          It seems that you knew that the the particuliar X 100’s you’ve sold on EBay may have been defective. Did you let the bidders know this? I hope so! Otherwise you’ve done honest resellers a terrible disservice.
          Don ‘t pick at Steve for offering his opinion when maybe you should give pause to your own actions.

    • 1. Why on earth are you complaining about distortion that appears when using a 23mm (35 EFL) lens at a short distance? This was never meant to be a portrait lens and when used as such, the picture can still be used with some slight post processing.

      2. 3D? As good as the leica is, I don’t see much advantage in this area. You want a real 3D pop, go get a Zeiss and use it on the m8/m9/rd1. I call bull on this one.

      3. Subjective. I could say that skin tones are better on the Fuji and shout it all about, but I wouldn’t deny that Leica colors are different. Different, yes. Likeable, yes. Better? That’s a preference. I prefer the fuji’s rendering myself.

      4. That’s your personal beef. Does it affect the images taken by any x100 out there? At best its a comment on how Fujifilm does business, and I don’t think they outright reject repairs of sticky blades. And yes, I had the problem myself. Got it solved, never appeared again.

      5. You must be REAL good to be able to frame 35mm with your eyes alone. I’ve been trying it myself, but I’ve only a good chance doing 50mm on my other cameras. However, I’ve never seen anyone complaining about an OVF thats unneeded. If there’s any complaints, I’d like to say the lack of a built in EVF is a bigger problem on the X2.

      6, Strange, that some would complain about the weight of the x100, which isn’t heavy to begin with, then later, complain about the x-pro 1 being too light and ‘un-leica-like’. Guess weight is something subjective too huh? Sheesh. I do mean to be sarcastic.

      The question is here why do you bother to slam the x100 again and again? From your linguistic structure and subject of complaints, I agree with one of the commentors above. You are probably Photo Perzon, out on a personal vendetta to slam the x100 for whatever reasons only known to yourself.

      • Not just a Leica troll but a general equal opportunity troll. “Betty” is well known DPR laughing stock “Photo Perzon” a so called “collector” of cameras.

        He regularly post silliness in the Fuji forum how about his idol Steve Huff says the X1 is better than the X100 and how the X1 is as good as a $7000 M9 and that alone would be reason to use it over the X100 or in the Sony NEX forums about how bad the skin tones are, or insane post debating the differences in volume and weight down to differences of a gram etc.

        Likewise he just randomly loves to chime in talking about “SAB” and bragging about how he’s owned 9 of them as well.

        He also loves to post some purposely awful images that look like they were taken by a 5 year old up and sit back and watch forum members fight with each other over their feedback on them, such as one person saying “nice job” and another says “nice job ? your crazy, these are crap” and then another says “who are you to judge another persons work” etc etc

        He is a master manipulator who equally will come off as naive one moment and then an all knowing expert the next, as it suits his needs.

        Perhaps having a bit of AS as well since he seems to have the weight and volume spec’s of nearly every camera memorized but at the same time seems to not know that much actual photographic knowledge.

        Sad to see that he’s gotten the attention and response he has here. Most forum’s save for the insanity that is m4/3, don’t even dignify comments like he made here with a response anymore so he’s gotten bored and moved on.

    • How can anyone “severely dislike” an inanimate object?

      I “love” my D700 and several other inanimate objects, like my racing bicycles (using the term loosely), but I will not stoop so low as to “severely dislike” (hate?) an object I don’t even own anymore.

      I try to live a balanced life… 🙂

  38. To my eyes, the X100 wins, rather surprisingly. I mean, I’ve always known that my X100 was very good, but I did expect the X2 to perform better than it did here. Thanks for the comparison.

  39. With a fixed focal length I see no reason for an EVF. I would mount a purely optical viewfinder on the X2 – probably the Zeiss – they are wonderful. Since the X2 has simple dials for shutter speed and aperture you can set what you want and concentrate on composition and “the moment”. I see the X2 as the “photographer’s camera” where the Fuji has more technology.

    • If I was buying the Leica X2 that is the way I would go – I like optical viewfinders, and is more in keeping with the Leica way. That EVF just looks silly on the X2.

      Both the Fuji X100 and Leica X2 are fantastic cameras – we are certainly spoilt for choice these days.

    • That’s an interesting idea. Set the EVF to display settings, and use an optical VF to compose. Small, light, simple and effective. Excellent idea.

  40. One thing is clear from this comparison…both are fantastic cameras. There isn’t a big difference between them so I guess whichever you are most comfortable with will get the best results.

    I have an X100 and love it, the only thing that annoys me is that I find focusing in low light is pretty terrible. Worse than my iPhone!

  41. still love my X100, Steve 😀
    IMO they’re both quite similar.. I’d hardly tell which’s which in a blind test.. and yes, I guess it just a matter of taste..and fuji still wins my heart for its tone and image character 🙂
    thanks for sharing

  42. Now that you can so easily mount Leica glass on so many other (mirrorless) bodies, seems like Leica may have to ‘up their game’ as far as the sensor and body goes.

  43. For me, it’s just like car comparisons and spins out of control with ‘internet opinion’ ridiculously fast. If cup holders are important to you, buy the car that has them and get on with enjoying it, rather than complaining about the car that doesn’t. These are both good cameras, and both have some limitations. There never will be a camera that ‘has it all’….someone’s going to quickly groan “yeah, but the IQ isn’t the same” “it’s too expensive”, etc. etc. I don’t see a dramatic difference between these in terms of image…Fuji slightly cooler perhaps. But when we’re getting this close – hair splitting really – don’t forget that monitor calibration plays a huge role, so the differences might be close to zero depending on what you’re looking at. And as for Leica’s price…it’s a premium brand, deal with it. They’re not the only one in the camera field and certainly not in the world we live in. Cars, electronics (B&O and McIntosh Stereos come to mind….they’re 3-4 times the price of what you’d pay for a Sony). Stop wishing the X2 was $950…never happening. Fuji is a bigger company too….who makes 3 cameras in the past two years for cheaper – yet that look exactly, and intentionally, like Leicas. Interesting.

    I’m just excited to see all the great images people will make with either camera. I’ve seen some really impressive stuff with both of them when people treat them as the professional creative instruments they can be and not glorified iPhone cameras for casual snapshots. If you read Ming Thien’s excellent quality review of the X2, for example, you’ll see some stunning B/W – gallery quality stuff there – stuff that shows what happens when someone gets a good camera, recognizes the limitations they all have, and moves on, taking photos that blow you away…just in his tests alone…I’d seriously encourage you to check it out.

  44. “More prone to hand shake than the X100 at same shutter speed”

    Please some 1/30s samples, I’d like to see the difference. Thank you.

    • I would guess it is about the weight and body shape – the X100 is heavier and seems to fit hand better than X1 … just a thought …

  45. I count 1 subjective comment about the Fuji and 4 regarding the Lecia if you count being made in Germany. This feeds my belief in the fact that we sell our selves Lecia, just because….

    I don’t mean anything by it, just sayin’…:-)

  46. A no brainer. Why should you spend twice as much (they’ll charge you $575 extra for that EVF) for a camera offering you the same overall quality, minus the OVF?

    • Completely agree. Except for the design the X2 has nothing that that makes it a better buy than the X100. Even in IQ I think the X100 is generally a tiny bit better than the X2. So it is really a no brainer when you count in that the X2 with the EVF is around 2.5 times more expensive than the X100 at least here in Denmark where I live.

      • The X2 fits easily into a pocket and the X100 does not. When traveling light, that alone can be the difference between taking the camera out with you and leaving it at home or in your hotel room.

  47. Lol at the ”trounces” comment. Clearly a Leica guy. Difference is not huge but to me the Fuji colors and contrasts are better; especiallly the levels of details at low iso.

  48. I see a greater dynamic range in the Fuji.

    On the high end
    In the bright light hanging down, I can see the the lower lip of the hood as well as a sharper edge where the hood meets the base.

    On the low end
    The shadow under the truck is just as dark in both images, however the Fuji brings out low/mid tones in the side of the truck, window edge detail, fender and side trim.

    It doesn’t appear to even be CLOSE

  49. “trounces”. OK. Watching too many superman movies?

    X100 appears to be the more capable camera (that’s an overall judgement, in which IQ plays an important but not all deciding role), and once price is factored in… oh dear.

  50. Dynamic range,contrast,colours,3 dimensionality,involving to look at,soul/x factor….the Leica trounces the Fuji in these comparisons.

    • Dynamic range? Please check the pickup on the left of the parking lot shot and tell us how the Leica trounces it on that department. Fuji x100 files tend to be flatter but gives you a bigger latitude when it comes to post processing, which IMO is an advantage.

      I believe when you have a higher contrast image your dynamic range is shorter because the falloff of your gradation is much steeper. Just try exaggerating your contrast slider in your favorite pp program and see what I mean.

    • Dynamic range is clearly worse on the X200. As for “involving to look at” none of these photos are involving to look at. And as for “soul” or “x factor”… that is just consumerist nonsense.

        • Sorry, I meant the X2. And the intention was not to criticize the photos themselves, which are obviously just test shots.

        • The intention was not to criticize the photos or even the cameras but the intense partisanship some people show over two cameras that are almost identical iq wise.

          It’s a camera, not a religion. Buy what you like and enjoy it.

  51. I don’t get it. For the same amount of money I can buy a mint m8(.2) and a Voigtländer lens. This way I get the “real deal” with all upgrade possibilities. Right, no AF…

    • And bad low light, a lot larger, CV lens is probably not as good as the Fuji/Leica glass, M8s are generally unreliable, more expensive to replace, and it’s not the same money…

      Leica X2 with lens $2k
      Fuji X100 with lens $1.2k

      M8 body only $2-2.5k
      CV 28mm f2 (35-e) .6k

      For my part I cannot understand why ANYONE would buy the Leica. The X100 in black is a total package! If you don’t like the colors you shoot raw and use vscofilm! Or process however you want! You get an extra stop, you get a viewfinder that works wonders, and it’s cheaper! If the only argument for an X1 or 2 is that you prefer the dials in a certain place and you like it’s slightly different contrast curve then you probably have A LOT of cash to throw around. If so, please do stimulate the US economy.

      • Ah, someone would buy the Leica if they wanted a true RF experience and better IQ (at least up to ISO 640) … The first point is beyond debate …

      • The pocket convenience and quality are another reasons I choose Leica X2. Besdies, “Buy USA” seems out of place here.

  52. Thanks for the comparison, Steve. Both are good, both don’T give any real reasons for bad images. By one or the other and have a good time. D!RK

  53. I tend to favor the rendering of the X100, while both are great very capable cameras. I don’t much like the external EVF of the X2. Matter of taste I guess.

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