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Canon 4000D versus Leica SL

The Canon EOS 4000D and the Leica SL (Typ 601) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2018 and October 2015. The 4000D is a DSLR, while the SL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (4000D) and a full frame (SL) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 4000D vs Leica SL

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 4000D and the Leica SL. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 4000D – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 4000D vs Leica SL
Compare 4000D versus SL top
Compare 4000D and SL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica SL is notably larger (16 percent) than the Canon 4000D. Moreover, the SL is substantially heavier (94 percent) than the 4000D. It is noteworthy in this context that the SL is splash and dust-proof, while the 4000D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. Hence, you might want to study the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 4000D» 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Leica SL« 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 800D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon 800D
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon 1300D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 1100D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 550D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 500D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 4000D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 95 percent) than the SL, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 4000D vs Leica SL

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 4000D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica SL a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the SL is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 4000D and Leica SL sensor measures

With 24MP, the SL offers a higher resolution than the 4000D (17.9MP), but the SL nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.31μm for the 4000D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 4000D is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 4 months) than the SL, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the SL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

4000D versus SL MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the SL offers substantially better image quality than the 4000D (overall score 25 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 4000D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Leica SL« Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
Canon 800D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon 800D
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
Canon 1300D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
Canon 500D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon 500D
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL provides a better video resolution than the 4000D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 4000D vs Leica SL

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SL has an electronic viewfinder (4400k dots), while the 4000D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 4000D, the Leica SL, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 4000D»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Leica SL«4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
Canon 800D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 800D
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 3200 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
Canon 1300D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
Canon 500D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon 500D
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n Nikon D5

Both the 4000D and the SL are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Canon and Leica.

Review summary: Canon 4000D vs Leica SL

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 4000D better than the Leica SL or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 4000D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x102mm vs 147x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 411g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (95 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the SL launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica SL (Typ 601):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 8 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.

4000D 08:18 SL

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 4000D or the SL handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 4000D»rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Leica SL«-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 800D« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon 800D
Canon SX730« »Rec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
Canon 1300D« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
Canon 550D« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
Canon 500D« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon 500D
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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