Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX10 III
The Leica Q (Typ 116) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2015 and March 2016. Both the Q Typ 116 and the RX10 III are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a full frame (Q Typ 116) and an one-inch (RX10 III) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 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 Q (Typ 116) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III? 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 physical size and weight of the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Sony RX10 III are illustrated 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Q Typ 116 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the RX10 III 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 Sony RX10 III is notably larger (20 percent) than the Leica Q Typ 116. Moreover, the RX10 III is substantially heavier (64 percent) than the Q Typ 116. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 III is splash and dust-proof, while the Q Typ 116 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
Concerning battery life, the Q Typ 116 gets 300 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the RX10 III can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the RX10 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|2.||Sony RX10 III||133 mm||94 mm||127 mm||1051 g||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499|
|3.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|4.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|5.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|6.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995|
|9.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|10.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Sony RX10 IV||133 mm||94 mm||145 mm||1095 g||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|16.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 RX10 III was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the Q Typ 116, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica Q Typ 116 features a full frame sensor and the Sony RX10 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 III is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the Q Typ 116 offers a higher resolution than the RX10 III (20MP), but the Q Typ 116 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 III) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX10 III is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the Q Typ 116, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Leica Q Typ 116 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Q Typ 116 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony RX10 III are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica Q (Typ 116) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600.
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 Q Typ 116 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX10 III, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|2.||Sony RX10 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
|5.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|6.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|8.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|9.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|10.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|11.||Sony RX10 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX10 III provides a better video resolution than the Q Typ 116. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the Q Typ 116 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the RX10 III (3680k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica Q Typ 116, the Sony RX10 III, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|2.||Sony RX10 III||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||14.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Sony RX10 IV||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The Q Typ 116 has a touchscreen, while the RX10 III 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, both cameras under consideration feature an 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 Q Typ 116 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 RX10 III is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Q Typ 116 comes with a built-in prime. The RX10 III has a 24-600mm f/2.4-4.0 optic and the Q Typ 116 offers a 28mm f/1.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Leica. The Q Typ 116 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The Q Typ 116 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX10 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. 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 Q (Typ 116) and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony RX10 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Sony RX10 IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the RX10 III has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The Q Typ 116 does not feature such a mic input.
The RX10 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the Q Typ 116 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Q Typ 116 was succeeded by the Leica Q2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Sony websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica Q Typ 116 or the Sony RX10 III – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica Q (Typ 116):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3680k vs 2359k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/2.4).
- More compact: Is smaller (130x80mm vs 133x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 411g or 39 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2015).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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 (65 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 III emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 12 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Sony RX10 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Q Typ 116 and the RX10 III in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 Q Typ 116||5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|2.||Sony RX10 III||5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499|
|3.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|4.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|5.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|6.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|7.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|8.||Leica Q2||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995|
|9.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|10.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Sony RX10 IV||5/5||+||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699|
|12.||Sony RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999|
|13.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|16.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX10 III
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 Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/1.7||24-600mm f/2.4-4.0|
|Launch Date||June 2015||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 4,249||USD 1,499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 50,000 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||64 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Maestro II||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||85||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.3||23.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2221||472|
|Screen Specs||Leica Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3680k dots||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica Q Typ 116||Sony RX10 III|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||420 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
130 x 80 x 93 mm
(5.1 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
133 x 94 x 127 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in)
|Camera Weight||640 g (22.6 oz)||1051 g (37.1 oz)|
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