Its therefore a case of what works best for you. I shoot very little at high ISO's but I prefer the Leica rendition, as I like to decide what amount of noise reduction to apply and its easier to noise reduce an OOC jpg. than sharpen it.
The two original ISO 3200 files are available for download HERE from Google Drive.
Part 2 - Sharpness at base ISO
Firstly at 18mm.
Now at 70mm. BE WARNED - f/6.4 alert!!!
These tests were undertaken to check on the image quality that both cameras can produce and nothing else. Operational ease, handling, functions, specifications etc. and especially price, are something else, and since that is very much a personal issue and dependent on what you photograph, and of course how much money you have in your bank account, I'm not really going to go into that in any depth.
It seems, from the tests I shot, that the Leica has slightly better IQ overall than the Fuji, though it is very close. The OOC jpgs. are obviously approached in a different way, but from my comparisons it seems that adding some noise reduction to the Leica files means that high ISO performance is virtually identical, and in both cases, top class. As I said in that post, I prefer to do it the Leica way, but thats my personal choice. The Fuji has more NR applied as a matter of course and the Leica pretty much 'Lets it all hang out'. So different strokes etc.
One thing I haven't mentioned before, but has been obvious throughout, is that the Leica produces much punchier images, both jpg. and raw, in terms of contrast and colour saturation. The Fuji has a reputation for eye-popping images, but next to the Leica its almost dull by comparison.
Both are fine cameras, but then I wouldn't buy a lousy one would I? Both work very well in any photographic situation that doesn't require fast operation and picture gathering. Both will produce images capable of the most demanding of reproduction needs and like all cameras over a certain price these days, image quality variations are minimal.
However, the Leica is the real thing to me, whereas the Fuji is still a wannabee and the boys and girls at Solms have their noses in front fo image quality as far as the ultimate rangefinder mirrorless copy clone is concerned, though it has to be said, not by much.
So having consistently described the Fuji X-Trans sensor as the best image quality, taking everything into consideration (raw, jpgs, high ISO, sharpness, colour etc.) that I've ever used, it seems I'm now going to have to change that. The Leica X Vario now officially, here at Planet Soundimageplus at least, is the producer of the best IQ overall, that I have ever seen in a camera I own. Its taken me pretty much all day to come to that conclusion, but its been an enjoyable and informative process.
Time for tea.
For discussion - join me over at Google+