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Leica CL vs M10

The Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2017 and January 2017. The CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-C (CL) and a full frame (M10) sensor. The CL has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the M10 provides 23.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica CL versus Leica M10
Leica CL Leica M10
Mirrorless system camera Rangefinder camera
Leica T mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-50,000
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
220 shots per battery charge210 shots per battery charge
131 x 78 x 45 mm, 403 g 139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Leica M10 (Typ 3656)? 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 Leica CL and the Leica M10. 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.

The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the CL is only available in black.

Size Leica CL vs Leica M10
Compare CL versus M10 top
Comparison CL or M10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M10 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Leica CL. Moreover, the M10 is substantially heavier (64 percent) than the CL. It is noteworthy in this context that the M10 is splash and dust-proof, while the CL 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 and compare 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.

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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
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Canon 2000D 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Fujifilm X-A5 117 mm 68 mm 40 mm 361 g 450 n Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
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.

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 CL was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the M10, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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. 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica CL features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M10 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M10 is 131 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica CL and Leica M10 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica CL offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixels, compared with 23.8 MP of the Leica M10. 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 3.92μm versus 6.00μm for the M10). However, it should be noted that the CL is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the M10, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. 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 Leica CL (Typ 7323) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) offers exactly the same ISO settings.

CL versus M10 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. 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
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Canon 2000D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Fujifilm X-A5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p........
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
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

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The CL indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the CL can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the M10 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the M10 has a higher magnification than the one of the CL (0.73x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica CL, the Leica M10, 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
 
Leica CL2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 2000Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-A5none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica TL2optional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
 
Leica TLoptional n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 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

One feature that is present on the CL, but is missing on the M10 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the CL is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Leica CL and the Leica M10 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the CL and the M10 write their files to SDXC cards. The CL supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the M10 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

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 Leica CL (Typ 7323) and Leica M10 (Typ 3656) 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
 
Leica CLYstereomono----Y--
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Canon 2000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-A5YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
 
Leica TL2Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--
 
Leica TLYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---

Both the CL and the M10 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The M10 replaced the earlier Leica M Typ 262, while the CL does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica CL or the Leica M10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Leica CL (Typ 7323):

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 257g or 39 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the M10).


Arguments in favor of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • 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.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.49x).
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2017).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the CL emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 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. 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.

CL 11:08 M10

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 CL or the M10 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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
 
Leica CL........4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Canon 2000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M6..80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Fujifilm X-A5+..4/54/53.5/5 Jan 2018 399i
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Leica C-LUX....4.5/5..4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica TL2....4/5..4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
 
Leica TL........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
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
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.

Leica CL:
Check Amazon price
Leica M10:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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: Leica CL vs Leica M10

    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 Leica CL Leica M10
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2017 January 2017
    Launch Price USD 2,795 USD 6,595
    Sensor Specs Leica CL Leica M10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.1 Megapixels 23.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6014 x 4014 pixels 5952 x 3992 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.92 μm 6.00 μm
    Pixel Density 6.52 MP/cm2 2.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II Maestro II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 2133
    Screen Specs Leica CL Leica M10
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica CL Leica M10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/25000sno E-Shutter
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica CL Leica M10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector no USB no USB
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Leica CL Leica M10
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-DC12 BP-SCL5
    Battery Life (CIPA)220 shots per charge210 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 131 x 78 x 45 mm
    (5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
    139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 403 g (14.2 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)

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