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Leica Q Typ 116 versus Sony RX100 IV

The Leica Q (Typ 116) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public in June 2015. Both the Q Typ 116 and the RX100 IV are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a full frame (Q Typ 116) and an one-inch (RX100 IV) 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 IV

The physical size and weight of the Leica Q Typ 116 and the Sony RX100 IV are illustrated 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 side – the Q Typ 116 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

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

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 IV is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Leica Q Typ 116. Moreover, the RX100 IV is substantially lighter (53 percent) than the Q Typ 116. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Q Typ 116 nor the RX100 IV are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the Q Typ 116 gets 300 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the RX100 IV can take 280 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 IV« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- 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
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- 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 IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 76 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 IV

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

With 24MP, the Q Typ 116 offers a higher resolution than the RX100 IV (20MP), but the Q Typ 116 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 2.41μm for the RX100 IV) 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.

Q Typ 116 versus RX100 IV MP

For most 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 Q Typ 116 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX100 IV, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.5 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 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.

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 IV« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
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
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX100 IV 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.

 

Feature comparison: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100 IV

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety 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 RX100 IV (3680k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica Q Typ 116, the Sony RX100 IV, 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 IV«2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 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
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 4000 11.0 Y n
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

The RX100 IV is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Q Typ 116 comes with a build-in prime. The RX100 IV has a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 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 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the RX100 IV has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the RX100 IV was succeeded by the Sony RX100 IV.

Review summary: Leica Q Typ 116 vs Sony RX100 IV

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica Q Typ 116 or the Sony RX100 IV – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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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 (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.5 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.9 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.
  • 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.

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

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1228k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 130x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 342g or 53 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 (76 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX100 IV emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 8 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.

Q Typ 116 08:10 RX100 IV

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 Q Typ 116 or the RX100 IV 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. 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.

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 IV«HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- 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
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony A6000« »Rec80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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