Leica X1 compared to Olympus E-PL1 - noise and colour - rough test

This is a rough comparison between the Leica X1 and the Olympus E-PL1 shot under low light conditions in a "real world" situation. i.e. Cameras used hand held, wide open at 1600 and 3200 ISO. The Olympus is fitted with the 20mm f1.7 pancake and the X1 with its fixed length 24mm f2.8. IS is enabled on both cameras.

This is the Olympus full file

This is a blow up at 1600ISO


This is a blow up at 3200 ISO


This is the X1 full file


This is a blow up at 1600 ISO


This is a blow up at 3200 ISO


As can be seen the X1 examples are warmer in terms of colour balance, and incidentally more accurate as there was a mixture of daylight and tungsten light.

The X1 files are also very "clean" in terms of noise. This low noise performance in a very small camera with inaudible focusing and no shutter noise is a very useful tool in many situations that require discretion and the ability to work unnoticed. For us its the interior of churches during weddings.

Many ministers are somewhat "unimpressed" by the behaviour of previous photographers and often impose very restrictive conditions on what we can and can't do. A quick demonstration of the X1's capabilities usually reassures them.