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Leica M Typ 262 vs Nikon Df

The Leica M (Typ 262) and the Nikon Df are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2015 and November 2013. The M Typ 262 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the Df is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 16.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica M Typ 262 versus Nikon Df
Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-6,400 ISO 100-12,800 (50 - 204,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.2 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 144 x 110 x 67 mm, 760 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M (Typ 262) and the Nikon Df? 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 physical size and weight of the Leica M Typ 262 and the Nikon Df are illustrated 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Leica M Typ 262 vs Nikon Df
Compare M Typ 262 versus Df top
Comparison M Typ 262 or Df rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Df is considerably larger (42 percent) than the Leica M Typ 262. Moreover, the Df is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the M Typ 262. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Leica M Lens Catalog (M Typ 262) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (Df).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica M Typ 262 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Nikon Df 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Leica M10-R 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
 
Leica Q2 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.6 in 25.3 oz 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10-P 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica M Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Nikon D850 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D750 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D610 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D4 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 Df was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the M Typ 262, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica M Typ 262 and Nikon Df sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Leica M Typ 262 offers a higher resolution of 23.7 megapixels, compared with 16.2 MP of the Nikon Df. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 7.29μm for the Df). However, it should be noted that the M Typ 262 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the Df, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M Typ 262 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica M Typ 262 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M Typ 262 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon Df are 24.6 x 16.4 inches or 62.6 x 41.7 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M (Typ 262) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Df are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.

M Typ 262 versus Df MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
Nikon Df Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280none24.613.1327989
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
The Df offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The M Typ 262 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M Typ 262 and the Df 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the Df has a higher magnification than the one of the M Typ 262 (0.70x vs 0.68x), 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 M Typ 262 and Nikon Df in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon Dfoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon D850optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D610optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n

One feature that is present on the Df, but is missing on the M Typ 262 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Nikon Df 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 M Typ 262 and the Df write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 M (Typ 262) and Nikon Df 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
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon DfY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Nikon D850YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon Df (unlike the M Typ 262) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the M Typ 262 and the Df have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M Typ 262 was replaced by the Leica M10, while the Df 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 and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M Typ 262 and the Nikon Df? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica M (Typ 262):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 16.2MP) with a 21% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 144x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 80g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the Df launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon Df:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.68x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2013).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Df emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 6 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M Typ 262 06:09 Df

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M Typ 262 or the Df perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Nikon Df..81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Leica M10-R........4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
 
Leica Q2..84/1004.5/5..4/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Nikon D850+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D610+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D4....4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica M Typ 262:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon Df:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Leica M Typ 262 vs Nikon Df

    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 M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date November 2015 November 2013
    Launch Price USD 5,195 USD 2,749
    Sensor Specs Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 36.0 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 860.4 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 43.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 16.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 4928 x 3280 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 7.29 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 1.88 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 50 - 204,800 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro EXPEED 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 89
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 3279
    Screen Specs Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.70x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M Typ 262 Nikon Df
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 EN-EL14
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    144 x 110 x 67 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 760 g (26.8 oz)

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