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Leica Q Typ 116 versus Sony RX100

The Leica Q (Typ 116) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in June 2015 and June 2012. Both the Q Typ 116 and the RX100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a full frame (Q Typ 116) and an one-inch (RX100) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 20 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 Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Sony RX100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 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 – the Q Typ 116 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100
Compare Q Typ 116 versus RX100 top
Compare Q Typ 116 and RX100 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Leica Q Typ 116. Moreover, the RX100 is substantially lighter (63 percent) than the Q Typ 116. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Q Typ 116 nor the RX100 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the Q Typ 116 gets 300 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the RX100 can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

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 Q Typ 116» 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Sony RX100« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Kodak AZ901« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 4.7 in 27.4 oz 400 n Jan 2016 499 i i
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-5R« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749- i
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- 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 RX100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 85 percent) than the Q Typ 116, 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 Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100

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. 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 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 RX100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 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.

Leica Q Typ 116 and Sony RX100 sensor measures

With 24MP, the Q Typ 116 offers a higher resolution than the RX100 (20MP), but the Q Typ 116 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 2.41μm for the RX100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Q Typ 116 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 years) than the RX100, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

Q Typ 116 versus RX100 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the Q Typ 116 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX100, with an overall score that is 19 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica Q Typ 116» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Sony RX100« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Kodak AZ901« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p----
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Q Typ 116 has an electronic viewfinder (3680k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 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 Q Typ 116, the Sony RX100, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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 Q Typ 116»3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Sony RX100«- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Kodak AZ901« »202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 2000 5.0 Y Y
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n

The RX100 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Q Typ 116 comes with a build-in prime. The RX100 has a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 optic and the Q Typ 116 offers a 28mm f/1.7 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The Q Typ 116 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The Q Typ 116 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 was succeeded by the Sony RX100 II.

Review summary: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Sony RX100? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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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 (19 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.7 vs f/1.8).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the RX100 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 130x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 400g or 62 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (85 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Q Typ 116 emerges as the winner of the contest (9 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

Q Typ 116 09:07 RX100

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the Q Typ 116 and the RX100 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 Q Typ 116»-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Sony RX100«HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Kodak AZ901« »----3/5 Jan 2016 499 i i
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i
Sony NEX-5N« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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