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Leica D-LUX 6 vs M8

The Leica D-LUX 6 and the Leica M8 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and September 2006. The D-LUX 6 is a fixed lens compact, while the M8 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 6) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The D-LUX 6 has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the M8 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
Leica D-LUX 6
versus
Leica M8
Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 Leica M mount lenses
10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor
1080/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800) ISO 160-2,500
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 591 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 6 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 Leica D-LUX 6 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D-LUX 6 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the M8 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica M8
Compare D-LUX 6 versus M8 top
Comparison D-LUX 6 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 considerably larger (47 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 6 nor the M8 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX 6 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699 i
2.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599 i
7.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i
9.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995 i
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699 i
11.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599 i
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
16.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799 i
17.
 
Sony RX100 II 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 D-LUX 6 was launched at a lower price than the M8, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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 Leica D-LUX 6 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 1057 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 1.3. The sensor in the D-LUX 6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M8 offers a 3:2 aspect. The D-LUX 6 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Leica D-LUX 6 and Leica M8 sensor measures

With 10.4MP, the M8 offers a higher resolution than the D-LUX 6 (10MP), but the M8 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.84μm versus 2.05μm for the D-LUX 6) due to its larger sensor. However, the D-LUX 6 is a much more recent model (by 6 years) than the M8, 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 M8 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Leica D-LUX 6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

D-LUX 6 versus M8 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

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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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p...... ..
2.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.3663 59
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
4.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
5.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
6.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.3245 50
7.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.22133 86
8.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p...... ..
9.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none...... ..
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p...... ..
11.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.7884 69
12.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.8114 37
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.7147 50
15.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
16.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.5972 78
17.
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.4483 67

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D-LUX 6 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX 6 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 M8 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica D-LUX 6, 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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
2.
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
7.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
8.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 1092764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
9.
 
Leica X2optional n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
11.
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
12.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
16.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D-LUX 6 has one, while the M8 does not. While the built-in flash of the D-LUX 6 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Leica D-LUX 6 has 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 D-LUX 6 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 Leica D-LUX 6 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
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
5.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
8.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Leica X2Y----mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---
17.
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

Both the D-LUX 6 and the M8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the D-LUX 6 was followed by the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Leica D-LUX 6 better than the Leica M8 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX 6:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • 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 (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M8 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm 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 M8).
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the M8 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Leica M8:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX 6 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 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 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.

D-LUX 6 14:09 M8

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX 6 or the M8. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 6......4/54/5 Sep 2012 699 i
2.
 
Leica M8....+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
5.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599 i
7.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica D-LUX Typ 109......4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i
9.
 
Leica X23/5....3/54/5 May 2012 1,995 i
10.
 
Leica D-LUX 5......4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699 i
11.
 
Leica M9......4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599 i
14.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
16.
 
Ricoh GR5/5..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799 i
17.
 
Sony RX100 II5/5+ +79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica D-LUX 6:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M8:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica D-LUX 6 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 Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.44 x 5.58 mm 27.0 x 18.0 mm
    Sensor Area 41.5152 mm2 486 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.3 mm 32.4 mm
    Crop Factor 4.65x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3936 x 2630 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.05 μm 6.84 μm
    Pixel Density 24.04 MP/cm2 2.13 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 160 - 2,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 663
    Screen Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-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 Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica D-LUX 6 Leica M8
    Battery Type BP-DC10 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 111 x 68 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 298 g (10.5 oz) 591 g (20.8 oz)

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