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Leica S Typ 006 versus Sony RX10

The Leica S (Typ 006) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and October 2013. The S Typ 006 is a DSLR, while the RX10 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a medium format (S Typ 006) and an one-inch (RX10) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 37.5 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 S Typ 006 vs Sony RX10

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica S Typ 006 and the Sony RX10. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 S Typ 006 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica S Typ 006 vs Sony RX10
Compare S Typ 006 versus RX10 top
Compare S Typ 006 and RX10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX10 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Leica S Typ 006. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 has a lens build in, whereas the S Typ 006 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

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)
Camera
Model
Leica S Typ 006» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
Sony RX10« 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Leica S Typ 007« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
Leica S-E Typ 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
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 S2« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony A7« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.7 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R

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 RX10 was launched at a lower price than the S Typ 006, despite having a lens build in. 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 S Typ 006 vs Sony RX10

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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 S Typ 006 features a medium format sensor and the Sony RX10 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 is 91 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.8 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica S Typ 006 and Sony RX10 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S Typ 006 offers a higher resolution than the RX10 (20MP), but the S Typ 006 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10) due to its larger sensor. However, the RX10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the S Typ 006, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the S Typ 006 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

S Typ 006 versus RX10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 S Typ 006 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the RX10 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.8 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
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica S Typ 006» Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
Sony RX10« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469Sony RX10
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Leica S Typ 007« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p----Leica S Typ 007
Leica S-E Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S-E Typ 006
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
Leica S2« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S2
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683Nikon D7100
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170Sony RX10 II
Sony A7« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.814.2224890Sony A7
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The RX10 indeed provides for movie recording, while the S Typ 006 does not. The highest resolution format that the RX10 can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica S Typ 006 vs Sony RX10

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX10 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the S Typ 006 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 S Typ 006, the Sony RX10, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica S Typ 006»optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S Typ 006
Sony RX10«1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y Sony RX10
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Leica S Typ 007« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 3.5 n n Leica S Typ 007
Leica S-E Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S-E Typ 006
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
Leica S2« »optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S2
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n Nikon D7100
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n Nikon D4
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 1.1 n n Pentax 645D
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y Sony RX10 II
Sony A7« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n n Sony A7
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n Sony A7R

Both the S Typ 006 and the RX10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S Typ 006 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 007, while the RX10 was followed by the Sony RX10 II.

Review summary: Leica S Typ 006 vs Sony RX10

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica S Typ 006 or the Sony RX10 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 006):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 20MP) with a 37% 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 (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 3200/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • 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 September 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10:

  • 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 1080/60p video.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the S Typ 006 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x88mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens build in (unlike the S Typ 006).
  • 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 at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 9 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.

S Typ 006 09:13 RX10

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the S Typ 006 or the RX10. 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 expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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 S Typ 006»----- Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
Sony RX10«Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i Sony RX10
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Leica S Typ 007« »----- Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
Leica S-E Typ 006« »----- Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
Leica S2« »----- Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i Nikon D7100
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i Sony RX10 III
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
Sony A7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/55/5 Oct 2013 1,699- i Sony A7
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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