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Leica M10 vs M10-R

The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica M10-R are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2017 and July 2020. Both the M10 and the M10-R are rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The M10 has a resolution of 23.8 megapixels, whereas the M10-R provides 40.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica M10 versus Leica M10-R
Leica M10 Leica M10-R
Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor 40.9 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-50,000 ISO 100-50,000
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 4.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
210 shots per battery charge210 shots per battery charge
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g 139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica M10-R? 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 and the Leica M10-R are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 vs Leica M10-R
Compare M10 versus M10-R top
Comparison M10 or M10-R rear

In this particular case, the Leica M10 and the Leica M10-R have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
2.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
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-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
10.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
11.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
12.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
13.
 
Nikon D5 160 mm 159 mm 92 mm 1415 g 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The M10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the M10-R, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M10 and Leica M10-R sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the M10-R offers a higher resolution of 40.9 megapixels, compared with 23.8 MP of the M10. This megapixels advantage translates into a 32 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the M10-R has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.57μm versus 6.00μm for the M10). However, it should be noted that the M10-R is much more recent (by 3 years and 5 months) than the M10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 M10 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 (Typ 3656) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The Leica M10-R offers exactly the same ISO settings.

M10 versus M10-R MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 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 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
2.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
5.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
7.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
10.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
11.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
12.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
13.
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
Both the M10 and the M10-R offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. 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 variety of features. The M10 and the M10-R 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.73x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica M10 and Leica M10-R 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 M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
2.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIoptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 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 M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 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 M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
12.
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
13.
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n

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

The Leica M10 and the Leica M10-R both have 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 and the M10-R 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.

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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 (Typ 3656) and Leica M10-R 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 M10Y------Y--
2.
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
6.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
7.
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
11.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---

Both the M10 and the M10-R are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The M10 replaced the earlier Leica M Typ 262, while the M10-R does not have a direct predecessor. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M10 and the Leica M10-R? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2017).


Arguments in favor of the Leica M10-R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (40.9 vs 23.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the M10 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10-R comes out slightly ahead of the M10 (3 : 2 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 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.

M10 02:03 M10-R

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M10 or the M10-R. 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 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 M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
2.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5......4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
3.
 
Canon 6D Mark II4/5+80/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i
4.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....89/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
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 M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
10.
 
Leica SL4/5..84/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
11.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5....4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
12.
 
Leica M8....+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499i
13.
 
Nikon D5....89/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica M10:
Check Amazon price
Leica M10-R:
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 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.

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    Specifications: Leica M10 vs Leica M10-R

    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 Leica M10-R
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2017 July 2020
    Launch Price USD 6,595 USD 8,295
    Sensor Specs Leica M10 Leica M10-R
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.8 Megapixels 40.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3992 pixels 7864 x 5200 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 4.57 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 4.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 50,000 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II Maestro II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 86 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.2 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2133 ..
    Screen Specs Leica M10 Leica M10-R
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x 0.73x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica M10 Leica M10-R
    Focus System Manual Focus Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 4.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer 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 M10 Leica M10-R
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector no USB no USB
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Leica M10 Leica M10-R
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 BP-SCL5
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge210 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)

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