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Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2017 and January 2014. The M10 is a fixed lens compact, while the A5000 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a full frame (M10) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Leica M10   Sony A5000
Leica M10 Sony A5000
Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
Leica M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-50000 ISO 100-16000
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots 3.0" LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Body comparison: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

The physical size and weight of the Leica M10 and the Sony A5000 are illustrated 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the M10 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica M10 and Sony A5000
Compare M10 versus A5000 top
Compare M10 or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Leica M10. Moreover, the A5000 is substantially lighter (59 percent) than the M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M10 nor the A5000 are weather-sealed.

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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Leica M Lens Catalog (M10) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5000).

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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)
Camera
Model
Leica M10» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Sony A5000« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
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 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
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 Q Typ 116
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 A5000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 93 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 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 Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 58 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.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Leica M10 and Sony A5000 sensor measures

With 23.8MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the A5000 (19.8MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.25μm for the A5000) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 years) than the A5000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.

The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000 The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

M10 versus A5000 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the M10 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the A5000 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica M10» Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
Sony A5000« APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----Leica M Typ 262
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The A5000 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the A5000 can use is 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M10 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5000 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M10, the Sony A5000, and comparable cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica M10»optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
Sony A5000«- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n Leica Q Typ 116
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n Leica M9
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n Leica M8
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n Nikon D5
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 4000 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The A5000 has one, while the M10 does not. While the built-in flash of the A5000 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The A5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the M10 does not have a selfie-screen.

The M10 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Connectivity comparison: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

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 Sony Alpha A5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Leica M10»Y------Y--Leica M10
Sony A5000«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
Leica M Typ 262« »Y-----2.0---Leica M Typ 262
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
Leica M9« »Y-----2.0---Leica M9
Leica M8« »Y-----2.0---Leica M8
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N

It is notable that the M10 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

The M10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the A5000 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A5000 was succeeded by the Sony A5100.


Review summary: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica M10 better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.8 vs 19.8MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 461k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the A5000 launch.

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 391g or 59 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (93 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5000 comes out slightly ahead of the M10 (11 : 10 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 10:11 A5000

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M10 or the A5000 handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

This is why expert reviews 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 full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica M10»--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
Sony A5000«Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i Leica Q Typ 116
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
Leica M8« »-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
Nikon D3300« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N

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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.

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    Specifications: Leica M10 vs Sony A5000

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Leica M10 Sony A5000
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2017 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 6595 USD 449
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 23.2 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0 1.5
    Sensor Resolution 23.8 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3992 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-50000 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II BIONZ X
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder No viewfinder
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB no USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

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