Leica Digilux 3 versus Olympus E-410
The Leica Digilux 3 and the Olympus E-410 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2006 and March 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 7.4 megapixel, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Olympus E-410
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica Digilux 3 and the Olympus E-410. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative 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 Olympus E-410 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. Moreover, the E-410 is markedly lighter (28 percent) than the Digilux 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Digilux 3 nor the E-410 are weather-sealed.
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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Four Thirds 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 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||-|
|Olympus E-410«||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|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-420« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-|
|Olympus E-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-|
|Olympus E-400« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-|
|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 E-410 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 53 percent) than the Digilux 3, 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 Olympus E-410
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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-410 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixel, compared with 7.4 MP of the Digilux 3. This megapixel advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-410 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.74μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). However, it should be noted that the E-410 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3»||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-410«||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59|
|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-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-400« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-|
|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 Olympus E-410
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Digilux 3 and the E-410 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica Digilux 3 and Olympus E-410 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Leica Digilux 3»||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||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-420« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Olympus E-400« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||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 E-410 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-410 was replaced by the Olympus E-420, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor.
Review summary: Leica Digilux 3 vs Olympus E-410
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica Digilux 3 and the Olympus E-410? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Leica Digilux 3:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2006).
Advantages of the Olympus E-410:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 171g or 28 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (53 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-410 comes out slightly ahead of the Digilux 3 (4 : 3 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.
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 Digilux 3 or the E-410 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica Digilux 3»||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2006||1,499||-|
|Olympus E-410«||86/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-|
|Canon 30D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|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-420« »||85/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||HiRec||3.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||Rec||rev||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-|
|Olympus E-400« »||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-|
|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||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.
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