Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
The Leica M8 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2006 and January 2014. The M8 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-H (M8) and a Four Thirds (E-M10) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10.4 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 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.
|Leica M8||Olympus E-M10|
|Rangefinder camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Leica M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|10.4 MP, APS-H Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 160-2500||ISO 200-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|2 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|139 x 80 x 37 mm, 591 g||119 x 82 x 46 mm, 396 g|
Body comparison: Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M8 and the Olympus E-M10 is provided 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 is notably smaller (12 percent) than the Leica M8. Moreover, the E-M10 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the M8. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M8 nor the E-M10 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 (M8) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M10).
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.
|Leica M8»||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.8 oz||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10«||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Canon T3« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||17.5 oz||700||n||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon T3|
|Canon XTi« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon XTi|
|Leica M10« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica M9« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D3000« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||n||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40X« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||14.8 oz||330||n||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||May 2013||599||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
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 E-M10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 87 percent) than the M8, 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 M8 vs Olympus E-M10
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M8 features an APS-H sensor and the Olympus E-M10 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 is 54 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 2.0. The sensor in the M8 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M10 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M10 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10.4 MP of the M8. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 6.84μm for the M8). However, it should be noted that the E-M10 is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the M8, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 Leica M8 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 2500 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-M10 offers substantially better image quality than the M8 (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 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.
|Leica M8»||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||-||21.1||11.3||663||59||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10«||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Canon T3« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62||Canon T3|
|Canon XTi« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon XTi|
|Leica M10« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||24.4||13.2||2133||86||Leica M10|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||-||-||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica M9« »||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||-||22.5||11.7||884||69||Leica M9|
|Nikon D3000« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40X« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72||Olympus E-PL5|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-M10 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M8 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-M10 can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M10 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the M8 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M8, the Olympus E-M10, and comparable cameras.
|Leica M8»||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||2.0||n||n||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10«||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Canon T3« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon T3|
|Canon XTi« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon XTi|
|Leica M10« »||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||n||4000||5.0||n||n||Leica M10|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica M9« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.0||n||n||Leica M9|
|Nikon D3000« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40X« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL6|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL5|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-M10 has a touchscreen, while the M8 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M8 and the E-M10 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
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 M8 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica M8»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Canon T3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3|
|Canon XTi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XTi|
|Leica M10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica M9« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D3000« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Panasonic L10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
It is notable that the E-M10 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the M8 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the M8 and the E-M10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M8 was replaced by the Leica M9, while the E-M10 was followed by the Olympus E-M10 II.
Review summary: Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M8 or the Olympus E-M10 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Leica M8:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M10:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 10.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 230k dots).
- 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (119x82mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 195g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- 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 (87 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the M8 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-M10 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M8 or the E-M10 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 M8 vs Olympus E-M10
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica M8»||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2006||5,499||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10«||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Canon T3« »||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon T3|
|Canon XTi« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon XTi|
|Leica M10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||-||-||-||-||-||Nov 2015||5,195||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica M9« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Nikon D3000« »||Rec||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D40X« »||79/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4/5||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||Rec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||-||-||-||-||-||May 2013||599||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||rev||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
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.
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Specifications: Leica M8 vs Olympus E-M10
|Camera Model||Leica M8||Olympus E-M10|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 5499||USD 699|
|Sensor Format||APS-H Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||27.0 x 18.0 mm||17.3 x 18.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||486 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||32.4 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.4 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3936 x 2630 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.84 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.13 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||160-2500 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.1||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||663||884|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BLI-312 power pack||BLS-5 power pack|
139 x 80 x 37 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
119 x 82 x 46 mm
(4.7 x 3.2 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||591 g (20.8 oz)||396 g (14.0 oz)|
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