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Leica S3 vs Olympus E-M1

The Leica S3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2018 and September 2013. The S3 is a DSLR, while the E-M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a medium format (S3) and a Four Thirds (E-M1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 64 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica S3   Olympus E-M1
Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Leica S mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
64 MP, Medium Format Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-50000 ISO 100-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
No shake reductionIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 130 x 94 x 63 mm, 497 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Leica S3 and the Olympus E-M1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S3 is only available in black.

Size Leica S3 vs Olympus E-M1
Compare S3 versus E-M1 top
Comparison S3 or E-M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Leica S3. Moreover, the E-M1 is substantially lighter (61 percent) than the S3. 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 since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 S3» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Olympus E-M1« 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Leica Q2« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.6 in 25.3 oz 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i i Leica Q2
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i i Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
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 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 Typ 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 23.3 oz 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 E-M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 94 percent) than the S3, 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

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica S3 features a medium format sensor and the Olympus E-M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M1 is 83 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.8 and 2.0. The sensor in the S3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica S3 and Olympus E-M1 sensor measures

With 64MP, the S3 offers a higher resolution than the E-M1 (15.9MP), but the S3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.59μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the S3 is a much more recent model (by 5 years) than the E-M1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 resolution advantage of the Leica S3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 49 x 32.7 inch or 124.5 x 83 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 39.2 x 26.1 inch or 99.6 x 66.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 32.7 x 21.8 inch or 83 x 55.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-M1 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The E-M1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Leica S3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

S3 versus E-M1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 S3» Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p----Leica S3
 
Olympus E-M1« Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Leica Q2« » Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196Leica Q2
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p----Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p----Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S2
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
 
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the S3 provides a higher video resolution than the E-M1. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the S3 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 viewfinder in the E-M1 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the S3 (98%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the S3 has a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.74x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica S3 and Olympus E-M1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica S3»optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica S3
 
Olympus E-M1«2360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Leica Q2« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y Leica Q2
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« »optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S2
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »1440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
 
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV

One feature that is present on the S3, but is missing on the E-M1 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Olympus E-M1 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 S3 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the E-M1 uses SDXC cards. The S3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-M1 only has one slot. The S3 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the E-M1 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

 

Connectivity comparison

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 S3 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica S3»YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S3
 
Olympus E-M1«YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Leica Q2« »Ystereomono----Y-YLeica Q2
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« »Ymono----2.0---Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S2
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
 
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV

It is notable that the S3 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the E-M1 This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the S3 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The S3 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the E-M1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M1 was succeeded by the Olympus E-M1 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica S3 better than the Olympus E-M1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Leica S3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (64 vs 15.9MP) with a 104% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.74x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the E-M1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M1:

  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 98%).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x94mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 763g or 61 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S3 comes out slightly ahead of the E-M1 (16 : 15 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.

S3 16:15 E-M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S3 and the Olympus E-M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 S3 and the E-M1 in practical situations. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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 S3»----- Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Olympus E-M1«+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399- i Olympus E-M1
 
Leica Q2« »-84/1004.5/5-4/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i i Leica Q2
 
Leica M-E Typ 240« »----- Jun 2019 3,999 i i Leica M-E Typ 240
 
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »----- Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »----- Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006« »----- Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« »----- Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Olympus PEN-F« »-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-P5« »+ +78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i Olympus E-P5
 
Olympus E-M5« »+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299- i Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Sony RX10 IV« »+84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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.

Leica S3:
Check Amazon price
Olympus E-M1:
Check Ebay offers

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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Leica S3 vs Olympus E-M1

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2018 September 2013
    Launch Price USD 24490 USD 1399
    Sensor Specs Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 64 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 9800 x 6533 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.59 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 4.74 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-50000 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II TruePIC VII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) - 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) - 23.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) - 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) - 757
    Screen Specs Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x 0.74x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationNo shake reductionIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Leica S3 Olympus E-M1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 BLN-1
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    130 x 94 x 63 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz) 497 g (17.5 oz)

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