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Leica D-LUX Typ 109 versus Sony A7R III

The Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) and the Sony Alpha A7R III are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and October 2017. The D-LUX Typ 109 is a fixed lens compact, while the A7R III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (D-LUX Typ 109) and a full frame sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 42.2 MP.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and the Sony A7R III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D-LUX Typ 109 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Sony A7R III front
D-LUX Typ 109 versus A7R III top view
D-LUX Typ 109 and A7R III rear side
Body view (D-LUX Typ 109 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7R III is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7R III is splash and dust-proof, while the D-LUX Typ 109 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX Typ 109 has a lens build in, whereas the A7R III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the A7R III and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ rgt) 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 no 2014 1,195 latest check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 YES 2017 3,199 latest check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 no 2013 549 latest check
Fujifilm X100T (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 74 mm 52 mm 440 g 330 no 2014 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 no 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 no 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 no 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 no 2010 1,199discont. check
Leica Q Typ 116 (⇒ lft | rgt) 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g .. no 2015 4,249 latest check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 no 2014 2,295 latest check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 no 2014 899 latest check
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 143 mm 104 mm 76 mm 849 g 490 YES 2016 3,199 latest check
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 YES 2015 3,199discont. check
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 YES 2015 2,999 latest check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 no 2015 999discont. check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 YES 2014 1,999 latest check
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 94 mm 48 mm 465 g 340 YES 2013 2,299discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D-LUX Typ 109 was launched at a lower price than the A7R III, despite having a lens build 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A7R III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7R III is 283 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the D-LUX Typ 109 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A7R III offers a 3:2 aspect.

Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and Sony A7R III sensor measures
Sensor size

With 42.2MP, the A7R III offers a higher resolution than the D-LUX Typ 109 (12.7MP), but the A7R III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 4.21μm for the D-LUX Typ 109) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A7R III is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 1 month) than the D-LUX Typ 109, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the A7R III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the D-LUX Typ 109, the A7R III has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

D-LUX Typ 109 versus A7R III MP
Sensor resolution

For most 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p - - - -
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 26.0 14.7 3523 100
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 21.0 11.7 230 54
Fujifilm X100T (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2/3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4288 2848 720/30p 22.9 12.4 1001 73
Leica Q Typ 116 (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24.3 12.7 2221 85
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.7 4112 3088 4K/30p 22.3 12.5 553 67
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 25.4 13.4 2317 92
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 42.2 7952 5304 4K/30p 26.0 13.9 3434 98
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 12.0 4240 2832 4K/30p 23.6 13.3 2993 85
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.8 12.6 591 70
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 24.9 13.6 2449 90
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 36.2 7360 4912 1080/60p 25.6 14.1 2746 95

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

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 A7R III offers a higher resolution than the one in the D-LUX Typ 109 (3686k vs 2764k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109, the Sony A7R III, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 no YES
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) 3686 no 3.0 1440 tilting YES 8000 10.0 no YES
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 fixed no 4000 2.2 7 YES
Fujifilm X100T (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 6.0 9 no
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 12.0 7 ..
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 9 no
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 12.0 7 YES
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 5.0 9 no
Leica Q Typ 116 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3680 no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 10.0 no no
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 2000 5.0 YES no
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2764 no 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 11.0 7 YES
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 YES 3.0 1229 tilting no 8000 12.0 no YES
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1229 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1229 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1228 tilting no 2000 16.0 10.2 YES
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1230 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1230 tilting no 8000 4.0 no no

Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the A7R III are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The D-LUX Typ 109 replaced the earlier Leica D-LUX 6, while the A7R III followed on from the Sony A7R II.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 or the Sony A7R III – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


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Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the A7R III requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the A7R III).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2014).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7R III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 86%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 2764k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D-LUX Typ 109 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A7R III is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 7 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.

D-LUX Typ 109 07:14 A7R III

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 D-LUX Typ 109 or the A7R III handle or 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica D-LUX Typ 109 (⇒ rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2014 1,195 latest check
Sony A7R III (⇒ lft) HiRec 90/100 Gold .. .. .. 2017 3,199 latest check
Canon G16 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 549 latest check
Fujifilm X100T (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 81/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2014 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X30 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 599 latest check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 5/5 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X20 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 - 5/5 2013 599discont. check
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 5/5 2010 1,199discont. check
Leica Q Typ 116 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Silver 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2015 4,249 latest check
Leica X Typ 113 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 3.5/5 - 4/5 2014 2,295 latest check
Panasonic LX100 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 4/5 5/5 2014 899 latest check
Sony A99 II (⇒ lft | rgt) - 85/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 3,199 latest check
Sony A7R II (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 90/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2015 3,199discont. check
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2015 2,999 latest check
Sony RX100 IV (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 999discont. check
Sony A7 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,999 latest check
Sony A7R (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2013 2,299discont. check

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. 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.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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