Leica Digilux 3 versus Canon 5D
The Leica Digilux 3 and the Canon EOS 5D are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2006 and August 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) and a full frame (5D) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 7.4 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 12.7 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 5D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica Digilux 3 and the Canon 5D. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 Digilux 3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 5D is notably larger (35 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. Moreover, the 5D is substantially heavier (48 percent) than the Digilux 3. It is noteworthy in this context that the 5D is splash and dust-proof, while the Digilux 3 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (Digilux 3) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (5D).
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 camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Leica Digilux 3»||5.7 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499||-|
|Canon 5D«||6.0 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||31.6 oz||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||33.5 oz||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.2 oz||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon XT« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||5.6 in||3.4 in||5.6 in||25.9 oz||360||n||Sep 2006||849||-|
|Leica M8« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.8 oz||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499||-|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-|
|Olympus E-500« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-|
|Olympus E-300« »||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799||-|
|Olympus E-1« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||26.0 oz||750||Y||Jun 2003||1,699||-|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-|
|Panasonic L1« »||5.7 in||3.4 in||2.5 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||999||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Digilux 3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 5D
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica Digilux 3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon 5D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 5D is 284 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 Digilux 3 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 5D offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 12.7MP, the 5D offers a higher resolution than the Digilux 3 (7.4MP), but the 5D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 8.25μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3) due to its larger sensor. However, the Digilux 3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the 5D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3»||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 5D«||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|Canon XT« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica M8« »||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||-||21.1||11.3||663||59|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-500« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-300« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-1« »||Four Thirds||4.9||2560||1920||-||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|Panasonic L1« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-|
Feature comparison: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 5D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Digilux 3 and the 5D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica Digilux 3 and Canon 5D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Leica Digilux 3»||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||8.5||n||n|
|Canon XT« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||2000||2.0||Y||Y|
|Leica M8« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||2.0||n||n|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Olympus E-500« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n|
|Olympus E-300« »||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n|
|Olympus E-1« »||optical||Y||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic L1« »||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
Both the Digilux 3 and the 5D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark II, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor.
Review summary: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 5D
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica Digilux 3 or the Canon 5D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica Digilux 3:
- More compact: Is smaller (146x87mm vs 152x113mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 289g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the 5D).
Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.7 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 34%.
- Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
- Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- 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 August 2005).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Digilux 3 comes out slightly ahead of the 5D (7 : 6 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.
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 Digilux 3 or the 5D 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 adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica Digilux 3»||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2006||1,499||-|
|Canon 5D«||88/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-|
|Canon 30D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon XT« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2006||849||-|
|Leica M8« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2006||5,499||-|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||Rec||rev||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-|
|Olympus E-500« »||76/100||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-|
|Olympus E-300« »||-||Rec||rev||rev||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799||-|
|Olympus E-1« »||-||Rec||rev||rev||-||Jun 2003||1,699||-|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||rev||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-|
|Panasonic L1« »||85/100||Rec||-||rev||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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