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Leica M10 versus Nikon D7500

The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Nikon D7500 are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and April 2017. The M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the D7500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M10) and an APS-C (D7500) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.8 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica M10 vs Nikon D7500

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica M10 and the Nikon D7500. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M10 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica M10 vs Nikon D7500
Compare M10 versus D7500 top
Compare M10 and D7500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7500 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Leica M10. Moreover, the D7500 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the M10. It is noteworthy in this context that the D7500 is splash and dust-proof, while the M10 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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Leica M Lens Catalog (M10) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D7500).

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica M10» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Nikon D7500« 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Leica TL2« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 14.1 oz 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7200« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199- i
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D7500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the M10, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica M10 vs Nikon D7500

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D7500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D7500 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M10 and Nikon D7500 sensor measures

With 23.8MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the D7500 (20.7MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.22μm for the D7500) due to its larger sensor. 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 the M10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

M10 versus D7500 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica M10» Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386
Nikon D7500« APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
Nikon D7200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D7500 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the D7500 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M10 vs Nikon D7500

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10 and the D7500 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica M10 and Nikon D7500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica M10»optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n
Nikon D7500«optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n
Nikon D7200« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n

Both the M10 and the D7500 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The M10 replaced the earlier Leica M Typ 262, while the D7500 followed on from the Nikon D7200.

Review summary: Leica M10 vs Nikon D7500

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica M10 better than the Nikon D7500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.8 vs 20.7MP) with a 7% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 136x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D7500:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (950 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D7500 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

M10 06:13 D7500

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the M10 and the D7500 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica M10»--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Nikon D7500«HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i
Leica M8« »-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i
Nikon D3400« »Rec76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i i
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D7200« »HiRec84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199- i
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 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.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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