Leica M10 vs S Typ 006
The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica S (Typ 006) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and September 2012. The M10 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the S Typ 006 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M10) and a medium format (S Typ 006) sensor. The M10 has a resolution of 23.8 megapixels, whereas the S Typ 006 provides 37.5 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Leica S (Typ 006)? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica M10 and the Leica S Typ 006. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S Typ 006 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 S Typ 006 is considerably larger (73 percent) than the Leica M10. Moreover, the S Typ 006 is substantially heavier (91 percent) than the 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 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|1.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Leica M11||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||640 g||700||Y||Jan 2022||8,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||ebay.com|
|15.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 markedly lower price (by 70 percent) than the S Typ 006, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M10 features a full frame sensor and the Leica S Typ 006 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S Typ 006 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.
With 37.5MP, the S Typ 006 offers a higher resolution than the M10 (23.8MP), but the S Typ 006 nevertheless has the same individual pixel size (pixel pitch of 6.00μm) as the M10 due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 4 months) than the S Typ 006, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 S Typ 006 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S Typ 006 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 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 corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S (Typ 006) are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
In terms of underlying technology, the M10 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the S Typ 006 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
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. Of the two cameras under review, the M10 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the S Typ 006 (overall score 10 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|2.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|5.||Leica M11||Full Frame||60.3||9528||6328||none||26.3||14.8||3376||100|
|6.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||25.2||14.2||2821||94|
|7.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||25.6||14.4||3143||98|
|8.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||25.1||14.1||2739||93|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||24.8||13.7||2478||90|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|11.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|12.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|13.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|14.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|15.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.5||2224||82|
|16.||Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10 and the S Typ 006 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 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the S Typ 006 (98%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the S Typ 006 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M10 and Leica S Typ 006 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica M10||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2 / 1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Leica M11||optical||n||3.0 / 2333||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5/s||n||n|
|6.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|12.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|13.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||n||n|
|14.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|15.||Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|16.||Nikon D5||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||fixed||Y||1/8000s||14.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that is present on the S Typ 006, but is missing on the M10 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 Leica M10 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 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S Typ 006 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. The S Typ 006 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M10 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of 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 S (Typ 006) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica M10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|2.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Leica M11||Y||- / -||-||-||-||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica S3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica M10-P||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Leica S2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support, while the S Typ 006 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S Typ 006 (unlike the M10) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the M10 and the S Typ 006 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The S Typ 006 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 007, while the M10 was followed by the Leica M11. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica M10 better than the Leica S Typ 006 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (10 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
- 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).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.5 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.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 4 months of technical progress since the S Typ 006 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 006):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (37.5 vs 23.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- 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.
- 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.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 6 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M10 or the S Typ 006 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.
|1.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|2.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon 6D Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 1D X Mark II||..||..||4.5/5||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Leica M11||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2022||8,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica M10-P||..||..||3/5||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|13.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|14.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950||ebay.com|
|15.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D5||..||..||4/5||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1Ds vs Leica S Typ 006
- Canon XT vs Leica M10
- Fujifilm X-A1 vs Leica S Typ 006
- Leica M10 vs Nikon D50
- Leica M10 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Leica M10 vs Panasonic GX85
- Leica M10 vs Panasonic LX15
- Leica M10 vs Pentax K-3 II
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Nikon D700
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Sony A5100
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Sony A7S
Specifications: Leica M10 vs Leica S Typ 006
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 S Typ 006|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Leica S mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 6,595||USD 21,950|
|Sensor Specs||Leica M10||Leica S Typ 006|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||23.8 Megapixels||37.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5952 x 3992 pixels||7500 x 5000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 50,000 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||86||76|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.4||23.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.2||12.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2133||824|
|Screen Specs||Leica M10||Leica S Typ 006|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica M10||Leica S Typ 006|
|Focus System||Manual Focus||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no 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-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica M10||Leica S Typ 006|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||no USB||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica M10||Leica S Typ 006|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
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)|
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