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Canon SX60 vs Leica M8

The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS and the Leica M8 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and September 2006. The SX60 is a fixed lens compact, while the M8 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX60) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 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 SX60 versus Leica M8
Canon SX60 Leica M8
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 Leica M mount lenses
14.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400) ISO 160-2,500
Electronic viewfinder (922k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.4 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
128 x 93 x 114 mm, 650 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 PowerShot SX60 HS 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX60 and the Leica M8. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M8 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the SX60 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX60 vs Leica M8
Compare SX60 versus M8 top
Comparison SX60 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 SX60. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX60 nor the M8 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX60 has a lens built in, whereas the M8 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 M8 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
 
Canon SX70 127 mm 91 mm 117 mm 608 g 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon XC10 125 mm 102 mm 122 mm 1040 g .. n Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Panasonic FZ330 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 SX60 was launched at a lower price than the M8, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 SX60 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 1636 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.3. The sensor in the SX60 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M8 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX60 and Leica M8 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX60 offers a higher resolution of 14.2 megapixels, compared with 10.4 MP of the Leica M8. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.40μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the SX60 is much more recent (by 8 years) than the M8, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 Canon SX60 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the SX60 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M8 are 19.7 x 13.2 inches or 50 x 33.4 cm for good quality, 15.7 x 10.5 inches or 40 x 26.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.1 x 8.8 inches or 33.3 x 22.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

SX60 versus M8 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M8 offers substantially better image quality than the SX60 (overall score 20 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.9 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.4 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.

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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 SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
 
Canon XC10 1-inch 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Panasonic FZ330 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The SX60 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX60 can use is 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX60 has an electronic viewfinder (922k dots), while the M8 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 SX60, the Leica M8, and comparable 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
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon XC10none n 3.0 1030 tilting Y 1/2000s 3.8 n Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ3301440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
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 SX60 has one, while the M8 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX60 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The SX60 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the M8 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX60 and the M8 write their files to 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 PowerShot SX60 HS 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
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon XC10YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ330YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

It is notable that the SX60 offers wifi support, while the M8 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX60 and the M8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the SX60 was followed by the Canon SX70. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX60 or the Leica M8 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 10.4MP) with a 17% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.4 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M8 requires a separate lens.
  • 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.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years of technical progress since the M8 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica M8:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (20 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.9 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SX60 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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.

SX60 15:08 M8

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 SX60 or the M8 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Leica M8..+ +...... Sep 2006 5,499i
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon G9 X+ +..4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529i
 
Canon XC10..80/100...... Apr 2015 2,499i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G16+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
 
Canon G15+76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Fujifilm X20+ +77/1004.5/5..5/5 Jan 2013 599i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica M9....4.5/54.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Panasonic FZ330+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
 
Panasonic FZ200+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX60:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M8:
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 SX60 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 SX60 Leica M8
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 21-1365mm f/3.4-6.5 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Canon SX60 Leica M8
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 27.0 x 18.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 486 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 32.4 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 10.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3072 pixels 3936 x 2630 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.40 μm 6.84 μm
    Pixel Density 50.42 MP/cm2 2.13 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 160 - 2,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 39 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 19.2 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 127 663
    Screen Specs Canon SX60 Leica M8
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX60 Leica M8
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 6.4 shutter flaps/s 2 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 no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX60 Leica M8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Canon SX60 Leica M8
    Battery Type NB-10L BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 128 x 93 x 114 mm
    (5.0 x 3.7 x 4.5 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 650 g (22.9 oz) 591 g (20.8 oz)

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