Leica M10 vs Q2
The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica Q2 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and March 2019. The M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the Q2 is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with a full frame sensor. The M10 has a resolution of 23.8 megapixels, whereas the Q2 provides 46.7 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Rangefinder camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Leica M mount lenses||28mm f/1.7|
|23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor||46.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-50000||ISO 50-50000|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (3680k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1037k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||20 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|210 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g||130 x 80 x 92 mm, 718 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica Q2? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M10 and the Leica Q2 is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the Q2 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica Q2 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Leica M10. 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 and possibly misleading, as the Q2 has a lens built in, whereas the M10 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the M10 and their specifications 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 would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Leica M10»||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica Q2«||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995||Leica Q2|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D« »||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R« »||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Hasselblad X1D II« »||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750||Hasselblad X1D II|
|Leica M-E Typ 240« »||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999||Leica M-E Typ 240|
|Leica M10-P« »||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica SL« »||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M9« »||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999||Leica M9|
|Leica M8« »||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499||Leica M8|
|Nikon D5« »||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Q2 was launched at a lower price than the M10, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Q2 is 1 percent bigger. 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.
With 46.7MP, the Q2 offers a higher resolution than the M10 (23.8MP), but the Q2 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 6.00μm for the M10). Yet, the Q2 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the M10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Q2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Q2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.8 x 27.9 inch or 106.3 x 70.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33.5 x 22.3 inch or 85 x 56.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.9 x 18.6 inch or 70.8 x 47.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M10 are 29.8 x 20 inch or 75.6 x 50.7 cm for good quality, 23.8 x 16 inch or 60.5 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 19.8 x 13.3 inch 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 corresponding ISO settings for the Leica Q2 are ISO 50 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the Q2 has a markedly higher DXO score than the M10 (overall score 10 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86||Leica M10|
|Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96||Leica Q2|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..||Hasselblad X1D II|
|Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||..||..||..||..||Leica M-E Typ 240|
|Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||..||..||..||..||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88||Leica SL|
|Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69||Leica M9|
|Leica M8||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||none||21.1||11.3||663||59||Leica M8|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Q2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the Q2 can use is 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Q2 has an electronic viewfinder (3680k dots), while the M10 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the Q2 has a higher magnification than the one of the M10 (0.76x vs 0.73x), 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 M10 and Leica Q2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica M10||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n||Leica M10|
|Leica Q2||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||20.0||n||Y||Leica Q2|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n||Hasselblad X1D II|
|Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Leica M-E Typ 240|
|Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||n||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Leica SL|
|Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M9||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.0||n||n||Leica M9|
|Leica M8||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||2.0||n||n||Leica M8|
|Nikon D5||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Q2 has a touchscreen, while the M10 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the Q2 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica M10 and the Leica Q2 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 Q2 write their files to SDXC cards. The Q2 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the M10 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
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 Q2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica M10||Y||none||none||-||-||none||none||Y||-||-||Leica M10|
|Leica Q2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||none||Y||-||Y||Leica Q2|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 80D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||none||3.0||Y||-||-||Hasselblad X1D II|
|Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M-E Typ 240|
|Leica M10-P||Y||none||none||-||-||none||none||Y||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica SL||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica SL|
|Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M9||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M9|
|Leica M8||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M8|
|Nikon D5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
Both the M10 and the Q2 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The M10 replaced the earlier Leica M Typ 262, while the Q2 followed on from the Leica Q Typ 116. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M10 or the Leica Q2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2017).
Advantages of the Leica Q2:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (46.7 vs 23.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.73x).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M10 necessitates an extra lens.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the M10 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Q2 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 4 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.
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 M10 or the Q2 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
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 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.
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Leica M10 vs Leica Q2
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 Model||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||28mm f/1.7|
|Launch Date||January 2017||March 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 6595||USD 4995|
|Sensor Specs||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.9 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||23.8 Megapixels||46.7 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5952 x 3992 pixels||8368 x 5584 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||4.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||5.41 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-50000 ISO||50-50000 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||86||96|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.4||26.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.2||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2133||2491|
|Screen Specs||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3680k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/2000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||20 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/40000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer 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-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|USB Connector||USB no||USB no|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica M10||Leica Q2|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
139 x 80 x 39 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
130 x 80 x 92 mm
(5.1 x 3.1 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||660 g (23.3 oz)||718 g (25.3 oz)|
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