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Leica M10-P vs S3

The Leica M10-P and the Leica S3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2018 and September 2018. The M10-P is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the S3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M10-P) and a medium format (S3) sensor. The M10-P has a resolution of 23.8 megapixels, whereas the S3 provides 64 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica M10-P
versus
Leica S3
Leica M10-P   Leica S3
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Leica S mount lenses
23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor 64 MP, Medium Format Sensor
no Video 4K/24p Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-50,000
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g 160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10-P and the Leica S3? 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 M10-P and the Leica S3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M10-P can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S3 is only available in black.

Size Leica M10-P vs Leica S3
Compare M10-P versus S3 top
Comparison M10-P or S3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S3 is considerably larger (73 percent) than the Leica M10-P. Moreover, the S3 is substantially heavier (91 percent) than the M10-P. 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. 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
2.
 
Leica S3 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
5.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
7.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195 i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i
10.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i
11.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 16,900 i
12.
 
Leica S Typ 007 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950 i
14.
 
Leica S Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2012 21,950 i
15.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999 i
16.
 
Leica S2 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1410 g .. Y Sep 2008 22,995 i
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 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 M10-P was launched at a markedly lower price (by 58 percent) than the S3, 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.

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. 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 M10-P features a full frame sensor and the Leica S3 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S3 is 58 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.8. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M10-P and Leica S3 sensor measures

With 64MP, the S3 offers a higher resolution than the M10-P (23.8MP), but the S3 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.59μm versus 6.00μm for the M10-P). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica S3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 49 x 32.7 inches or 124.5 x 83 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 39.2 x 26.1 inches or 99.6 x 66.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 32.7 x 21.8 inches or 83 x 55.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M10-P are 29.8 x 20 inches or 75.6 x 50.7 cm for good quality, 23.8 x 16 inches or 60.5 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M10-P has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The Leica S3 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

M10-P versus S3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

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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
1.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none...... ..
2.
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p...... ..
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.92862 85
4.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none...... ..
5.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.52491 96
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p...... ..
7.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.22133 86
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none...... ..
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.72221 85
10.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.41821 88
11.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none...... ..
12.
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p...... ..
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.31860 84
14.
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.2824 76
15.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.7884 69
16.
 
Leica S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none...... ..

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The S3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M10-P does not. The highest resolution format that the S3 can use is 4K/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10-P and the S3 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 M10-P offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the S3 (98%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the S3 has a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.73x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica M10-P and Leica S3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
2.
 
Leica S3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n
4.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
5.
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
7.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
10.
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
11.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
12.
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
14.
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
15.
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
16.
 
Leica S2optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10-P has a touchscreen, while the S3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Leica M10-P 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.

The M10-P writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S3 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The S3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M10-P only has one slot. The S3 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the M10-P can use UHS-I cards (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 M10-P and Leica S3 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
1.
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
2.
 
Leica S3YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
5.
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
7.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
11.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
12.
 
Leica S Typ 007YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
14.
 
Leica S Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Leica S2Y----mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S3 (unlike the M10-P) 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 S3 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the M10-P and the S3 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The M10-P replaced the earlier Leica M9-P, while the S3 followed on from the Leica S Typ 007. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M10-P or the Leica S3 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Leica M10-P:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 98%).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 600g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (58 percent cheaper at launch).


Arguments in favor of the Leica S3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (64 vs 23.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 64%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/24p video.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.73x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • 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: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (8 points each). 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.

M10-P 08:08 S3

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 M10-P or the S3 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
2.
 
Leica S3.......... Sep 2018 18,995 i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II4/5+80/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5......4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
5.
 
Leica Q2....84/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
7.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195 i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i
10.
 
Leica SL4/5..84/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i
11.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006.......... Sep 2014 16,900 i
12.
 
Leica S Typ 0074/5........ Sep 2014 24,490 i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5....4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950 i
14.
 
Leica S Typ 006.......... Sep 2012 21,950 i
15.
 
Leica M9......4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999 i
16.
 
Leica S2.......... Sep 2008 22,995 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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.

Leica M10-P:
Check Amazon price
Leica S3:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica M10-P vs Leica S3

    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 M10-P Leica S3
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica S mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2018 September 2018
    Launch Price USD 7,995 USD 18,995
    Sensor Specs Leica M10-P Leica S3
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 45.0 x 30.0 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 1350 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 54.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 0.8x
    Sensor Resolution 23.8 Megapixels 64 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3992 pixels 9800 x 6533 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 4.59 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 4.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II Maestro II
    Screen Specs Leica M10-P Leica S3
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x 0.87x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica M10-P Leica S3
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board 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 UHS-I UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Leica M10-P Leica S3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector no USB 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 Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Leica M10-P Leica S3
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 BP-PRO1
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 1260 g (44.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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