Leica Digilux 3 vs S Typ 007
The Leica Digilux 3 and the Leica S (Typ 007) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2006 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) and a medium format (S Typ 007) sensor. The Digilux 3 has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the S Typ 007 provides 37.5 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 Digilux 3 and the Leica S (Typ 007)? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica Digilux 3 and the Leica S Typ 007 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions 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 Leica S Typ 007 is considerably larger (51 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. Moreover, the S Typ 007 is substantially heavier (108 percent) than the Digilux 3. It is noteworthy in this context that the S Typ 007 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. 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490|
|3.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|4.||Canon 350D||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|5.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995|
|6.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|7.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|8.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900|
|9.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|10.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995|
|11.||Leica M8||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|13.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|14.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|15.||Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|16.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|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 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 94 percent) than the S Typ 007, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and 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 Leica S Typ 007 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S Typ 007 is 500 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 0.8. The sensor in the Digilux 3 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the S Typ 007 offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 37.5MP, the S Typ 007 offers a higher resolution than the Digilux 3 (7.4MP), but the S Typ 007 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the S Typ 007 is a much more recent model (by 8 years) than the Digilux 3, 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 S Typ 007 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica S Typ 007 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S Typ 007 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica Digilux 3 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica Digilux 3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S (Typ 007) are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|7.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|8.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|10.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The S Typ 007 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Digilux 3 does not. The highest resolution format that the S Typ 007 can use is 4K/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Digilux 3 and the S Typ 007 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 viewfinder in the S Typ 007 offers a wider field of view (98%) than the one in the Digilux 3 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the S Typ 007 has a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica Digilux 3 and Leica S Typ 007 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||n||n|
|3.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 350D||optical||n||1.8 / 115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|6.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|7.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|8.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|9.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|10.||Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|11.||Leica M8||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||2.0||n||n|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0 / 207||tilting||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5 / 215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|15.||Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8 / 134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The Digilux 3 has one, while the S Typ 007 does not. While the built-in flash of the Digilux 3 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Digilux 3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S Typ 007 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The S Typ 007 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Digilux 3 only has one slot. The S Typ 007 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the Digilux 3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 Digilux 3 and Leica S (Typ 007) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 350D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Leica S3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica S2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica M8||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-330||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-500||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-300||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the S Typ 007 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the Digilux 3 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S Typ 007 (unlike the Digilux 3) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the S Typ 007 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the Digilux 3 and the S Typ 007 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S Typ 007 was replaced by the Leica S3, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.
So how do things add up? Is the Leica Digilux 3 better than the Leica S Typ 007 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica Digilux 3:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More compact: Is smaller (146x87mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 654g or 52 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).
Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 007):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (37.5 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 130%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/24p video.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (98% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.47x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- 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 (922k vs 207k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-II standard.
- More modern: Reflects 8 years of technical progress since the Digilux 3 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S Typ 007 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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 Digilux 3 and the Leica S Typ 007 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Digilux 3 and the S Typ 007 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|2.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490|
|3.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|4.||Canon 350D||..||80/100||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|5.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995|
|6.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|7.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|8.||Leica S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900|
|9.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|10.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995|
|11.||Leica M8||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2006||5,499|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|13.||Olympus E-330||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999|
|14.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|15.||Olympus E-300||..||..||..||+||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|16.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||..||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 G9 X vs Leica S Typ 007
- Canon T1i vs Leica S Typ 007
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Leica Digilux 3
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Leica S Typ 007
- Kodak AZ901 vs Leica Digilux 3
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Nikon D2Xs
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Olympus E-PM1
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Pentax 645D
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Sony RX0 II
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5200
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Panasonic G80
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Sony A7R III
Specifications: Leica Digilux 3 vs Leica S Typ 007
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 Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Leica S mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 1,499||USD 24,490|
|Sensor Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||45.0 x 30.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||1350 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||54.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||7.4 Megapixels||37.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3136 x 2352 pixels||7500 x 5000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Leica S Typ 007|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
146 x 87 x 77 mm
(5.7 x 3.4 x 3.0 in)
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||606 g (21.4 oz)||1260 g (44.4 oz)|
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