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Canon 350D vs Leica M8

The Canon EOS 350D (called Canon XT in some regions) and the Leica M8 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2005 and September 2006. The 350D is a DSLR, while the M8 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (350D) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 10.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 350D versus Leica M8
Canon 350D Leica M8
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
8 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 160-2,500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 115k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
127 x 94 x 64 mm, 540 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 591 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 350D and the Leica M8? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 350D and the Leica M8 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Canon 350D vs Leica M8
Compare 350D versus M8 top
Comparison 350D or M8 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M8 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon 350D. However, the M8 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the 350D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 350D nor the M8 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (350D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M8).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 350D 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
2.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
8.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
9.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399 i
10.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
12.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
13.
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
14.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
15.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999 i
16.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 350D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 84 percent) than the M8, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 350D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 48 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.3. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 350D and Leica M8 sensor measures

With 10.4MP, the M8 offers a higher resolution than the 350D (8MP), but the M8 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.84μm versus 6.41μm for the 350D) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M8 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the 350D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M8 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M8 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M8 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.7 x 13.2 inches or 50 x 33.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.7 x 10.5 inches or 40 x 26.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.1 x 8.8 inches or 33.3 x 22.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 350D are 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm for good quality, 13.8 x 9.2 inches or 35.1 x 23.4 cm for very good quality, and 11.5 x 7.7 inches or 29.3 x 19.5 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 350D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

350D versus M8 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 350D APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
2.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.3663 59
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.3971 78
4.
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
5.
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
6.
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
8.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
9.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.8736 59
10.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
11.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
12.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
13.
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
14.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.22133 86
15.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.7884 69
16.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
Neither the 350D nor the M8 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 350D and the M8 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 350D and Leica M8 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 350Doptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
8.
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
9.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
14.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
15.
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 350D has one, while the M8 does not. While the built-in flash of the 350D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 350D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the M8 uses SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 350D and Leica M8 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 350DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
13.
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
14.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
15.
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the 350D and the M8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 350D was replaced by the Canon 400D, while the M8 was followed by the Leica M9. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 350D and the Leica M8? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 350D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (84 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2005).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica M8:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10.4 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 115k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M8 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

350D 05:07 M8

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 350D or the M8 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 350D..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
2.
 
Leica M8....+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
4.
 
Canon 750D5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon 760D5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon 650D4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon 500D..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
8.
 
Canon 450D..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
9.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399 i
10.
 
Canon 400D..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
11.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
12.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
13.
 
Canon 300D....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
14.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
15.
 
Leica M9......4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999 i
16.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 350D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M8:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 350D vs Leica M8

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 350D Leica M8
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2005 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Canon 350D Leica M8
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 27.0 x 18.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 486 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 32.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 8 Megapixels 10.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3456 x 2304 pixels 3936 x 2630 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.41 μm 6.84 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 2.13 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 160 - 2,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 60 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 637 663
    Screen Specs Canon 350D Leica M8
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 115k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 350D Leica M8
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 350D Leica M8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 350D Leica M8
    Battery Type NB-2LH BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 127 x 94 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 540 g (19.0 oz) 591 g (20.8 oz)

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