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Canon SX420 vs Leica M Typ 262

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Leica M (Typ 262) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and November 2015. The SX420 is a fixed lens compact, while the M Typ 262 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX420) and a full frame (M Typ 262) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 23.7 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Canon SX420 versus Leica M Typ 262
Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Leica M mount lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor
720/25p Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 200-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 325 g 139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS and the Leica M (Typ 262)? 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon SX420 and the Leica M Typ 262 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The SX420 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the M Typ 262 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).

Size Canon SX420 vs Leica M Typ 262
Compare SX420 versus M Typ 262 top
Comparison SX420 or M Typ 262 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M Typ 262 is considerably larger (55 percent) than the Canon SX420. It is noteworthy in this context that the M Typ 262 is splash and dust-proof, while the SX420 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX420 has a lens built in, whereas the M Typ 262 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the M Typ 262 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 195 n Jan 2016 299 i
 
Leica M Typ 262 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620 3.8 in 2.2 in 1.1 in 6.4 oz 295 n May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410 4.1 in 2.7 in 3.3 in 11.5 oz 185 n Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica M Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX420 was launched at a lower price than the M Typ 262, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 SX420 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica M Typ 262 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M Typ 262 is 2957 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.0. The sensor in the SX420 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M Typ 262 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX420 and Leica M Typ 262 sensor measures

With 23.7MP, the M Typ 262 offers a higher resolution than the SX420 (19.9MP), but the M Typ 262 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 1.19μm for the SX420) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M Typ 262 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M Typ 262 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX420 are 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M (Typ 262) are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

SX420 versus M Typ 262 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon G5 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX420 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M Typ 262 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX420 can use is 720/25p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M Typ 262 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX420 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX420 and Leica M Typ 262 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon G5 X2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX420 has one, while the M Typ 262 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX420 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX420 and the M Typ 262 write their files to SDXC cards. The M Typ 262 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX420 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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 PowerShot SX420 IS and Leica M (Typ 262) 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
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon G5 XYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
 
Canon SX610-----micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the SX420 offers wifi support, while the M Typ 262 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The SX420 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M Typ 262 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M Typ 262 was succeeded by the Leica M10. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX420 better than the Leica M Typ 262 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/25p movies.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M Typ 262 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M Typ 262).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M (Typ 262):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (23.7 vs 19.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 262 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 9 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX420 09:13 M Typ 262

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX420 or the M Typ 262 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299 i
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon G7 X Mark II+ +81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon G5 X+ +78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799i
 
Canon SX410o........ Feb 2015 279i
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX420:
Check Amazon price
Leica M Typ 262:
Check Ebay offers

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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon SX420 vs Leica M Typ 262

    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 SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 24-1008mm f/3.5-6.6 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 November 2015
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 5,195
    Sensor Specs Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 23.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 5952 x 3976 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 6.01 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 2.77 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ Maestro
    Screen Specs Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX420 Leica M Typ 262
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NB-11LH BP-SCL2
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 325 g (11.5 oz) 680 g (24.0 oz)

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