Leica CL vs Panasonic GH5s
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2017 and January 2018. Both the CL and the GH5s are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (CL) and a Four Thirds (GH5s) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 9.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica CL and the Panasonic GH5s. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH5s is notably larger (33 percent) than the Leica CL. Moreover, the GH5s is substantially heavier (64 percent) than the CL. It is noteworthy in this context that the GH5s 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 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.
|1.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499|
|3.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|6.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|10.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|11.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|12.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|13.||Panasonic G9||137 mm||97 mm||92 mm||658 g||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699|
|14.||Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|16.||Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499|
|17.||Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GH5s was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the CL, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
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 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. 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 Leica CL features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GH5s a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GH5s is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the CL has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GH5s offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the GH5s (9.9MP), but the CL has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.77μm for the GH5s). 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 CL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the CL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH5s are 18.4 x 13.5 inches or 46.7 x 34.3 cm for good quality, 14.7 x 10.8 inches or 37.4 x 27.4 cm for very good quality, and 12.3 x 9 inches or 31.2 x 22.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s are ISO 160 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-204800.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Panasonic G9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|16.||Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|17.||Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
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 GH5s provides a faster frame rate than the CL. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the Leica is limited to 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH5s offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the CL (3680k vs 2360k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica CL, the Panasonic GH5s, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||n|
|3.||Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|10.||Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
|12.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic G9||3680||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y|
|14.||Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|15.||Panasonic FZ330||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic GH4||2359||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic GH3||1746||n||3.0 / 614||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the CL, but is missing on the GH5s 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 GH5s has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the CL does not have a selfie-screen.
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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 Panasonic GH5s 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 GH5s write their files to SDXC cards. The GH5s features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the CL only has one slot. Moreover, both cameras support UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s).
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 Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica CL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon 2000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon 200D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Leica C-LUX||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Leica TL2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic G9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Panasonic FZ330||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic GH4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Panasonic GH3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the GH5s has a headphone jack, which makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process. The CL lacks such a headphone port.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Panasonic GH5s (unlike the CL) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the CL and the GH5s are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Leica and Panasonic. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica CL or the Panasonic GH5s – 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):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 9.9MP) with a 58% higher linear resolution.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More compact: Is smaller (131x78mm vs 139x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 257g or 39 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3680k vs 2360k dots).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.49x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k 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 (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GH5s is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica CL and the Panasonic GH5s place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the CL and the GH5s in practical situations. 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 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Leica CL||..||..||4.2/5||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||..||..||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499|
|3.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|6.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|8.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|9.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|10.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|11.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|12.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|13.||Panasonic G9||..||+ +||5/5||85/100||5/5||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699|
|14.||Panasonic GH5||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|15.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|16.||Panasonic GH4||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499|
|17.||Panasonic GH3||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 200D vs Leica CL
- Canon 250D vs Panasonic GH5s
- Canon 450D vs Leica CL
- Canon M10 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Panasonic GH5s
- Leica CL vs Leica V-LUX 4
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-410
- Leica CL vs Sony A6100
- Leica CL vs Sony NEX-5
- Nikon Z7 II vs Panasonic GH5s
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A5000
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A7R III
Specifications: Leica CL vs Panasonic GH5s
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 Model||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2017||January 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 2,795||USD 2,499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||9.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6014 x 4014 pixels||3680 x 2700 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||4.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.52 MP/cm2||4.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 50,000 ISO||160 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 204,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||Maestro II||Venus 10|
|Screen Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||3680k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/25000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||no USB||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||full HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic GH5s|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||220 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
139 x 98 x 87 mm
(5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||403 g (14.2 oz)||660 g (23.3 oz)|
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