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Leica M10-R vs M8

The Leica M10-R and the Leica M8 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2020 and September 2006. Both the M10-R and the M8 are rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras that are based on a full frame (M10-R) and an APS-H (M8) sensor. The M10-R has a resolution of 40.9 megapixels, whereas the M8 provides 10.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica M10-R
versus
Leica M8
Leica M10-R Leica M8
Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
40.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor 10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 160-2,500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.5 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 591 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10-R and the Leica M8? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M10-R and the Leica M8 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

Size Leica M10-R vs Leica M8
Compare M10-R versus M8 top
Comparison M10-R or M8 rear

In this particular case, the Leica M10-R and the Leica M8 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the M8 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the M10-R. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M10-R is splash and dust resistant, while the M8 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 (as in the M10-R) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (M8). You can compare the optics available in the Leica M 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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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-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
2.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon R5 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 738 g 320 Y Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
5.
 
Leica SL2 146 mm 107 mm 42 mm 953 g 370 Y Nov 2019 5,999 i
6.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
7.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
8.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
9.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
10.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195 i
11.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950 i
13.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999 i
14.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
15.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 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 M8 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 34 percent) than the M10-R, 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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-R features a full frame sensor and the Leica M8 an APS-H sensor. The sensor area in the M8 is 43 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.3. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M10-R and Leica M8 sensor measures

With 40.9MP, the M10-R offers a higher resolution than the M8 (10.4MP), but the M10-R has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.57μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, the M10-R is a much more recent model (by 13 years and 10 months) than the M8, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 M10-R implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M10-R for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 39.3 x 26 inches or 99.9 x 66 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 31.5 x 20.8 inches or 79.9 x 52.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 26.2 x 17.3 inches or 66.6 x 44 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M8 are 19.7 x 13.2 inches or 50 x 33.4 cm for good quality, 15.7 x 10.5 inches or 40 x 26.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.1 x 8.8 inches or 33.3 x 22.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M10-R has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M8 are ISO 160 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

M10-R versus M8 MP

For many 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none...... ..
2.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.3663 59
3.
 
Canon R5 Full Frame 44.8 8192 54648k/30p25.314.63042 95
4.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
5.
 
Leica SL2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/60p...... ..
6.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.52491 96
7.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p...... ..
8.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none...... ..
9.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.22133 86
10.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none...... ..
11.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.41821 88
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.31860 84
13.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.7884 69
14.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
15.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
The M10-R offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The M8 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10-R and the M8 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M10-R, the Leica M8, and comparable 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
1.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
2.
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon R55760 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
4.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Leica SL25760 Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
6.
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
7.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
8.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
9.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
10.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
11.
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
13.
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
14.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10-R has a touchscreen, while the M8 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Leica M10-R 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 M10-R and the M8 write their files to SDXC cards. The M10-R supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M8 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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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-R and Leica M8 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-RY------Y--
2.
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon R5YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
5.
 
Leica SL2YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
6.
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
7.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
8.
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
9.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
10.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
13.
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

It is notable that the M10-R offers wifi support, while the M8 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The M10-R is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the M8 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M8 was succeeded by the Leica M9. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Leica M10-R better than the Leica M8 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Leica M10-R:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (40.9 vs 10.4MP) with a 99% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging 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.
  • 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 (1037k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.5 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 13 years and 10 months of technical progress since the M8 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Leica M8:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (34 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10-R is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 3 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M10-R 14:03 M8

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M10-R or the M8. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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-R4.5/5......4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
2.
 
Leica M8....+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499 i
3.
 
Canon R54.5/5..91/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
5.
 
Leica SL24/5....4.5/54/5 Nov 2019 5,999 i
6.
 
Leica Q2....84/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
7.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
8.
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
9.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
10.
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195 i
11.
 
Leica SL4/5..84/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5....4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950 i
13.
 
Leica M9......4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999 i
14.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
15.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica M10-R:
Check Amazon price
Leica M8:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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 M10-R vs Leica M8

    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-R Leica M8
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2020 September 2006
    Launch Price USD 8,295 USD 5,499
    Sensor Specs Leica M10-R Leica M8
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-H Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 27.0 x 18.0 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 486 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 32.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.3x
    Sensor Resolution 40.9 Megapixels 10.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7864 x 5200 pixels 3936 x 2630 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.57 μm 6.84 μm
    Pixel Density 4.78 MP/cm2 2.13 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 160 - 2,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 663
    Screen Specs Leica M10-R Leica M8
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica M10-R Leica M8
    Focus System Manual Focus Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 4.5 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Leica M10-R Leica M8
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector no USB USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M10-R Leica M8
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 591 g (20.8 oz)

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