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Leica S3 vs Sony A6500

The Leica S3 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2018 and October 2016. The S3 is a DSLR, while the A6500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a medium format (S3) and an APS-C (A6500) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 64 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica S3   Sony A6500
Leica S3 Sony A6500
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Leica S mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
64 MP, Medium Format Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/24p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-50000 ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
No shake reductionIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 120 x 67 x 53 mm, 453 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S3 and the Sony Alpha A6500? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica S3 and the Sony A6500. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica S3 vs Sony A6500
Compare S3 versus A6500 top
Comparison S3 or A6500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6500 is considerably smaller (58 percent) than the Leica S3. Moreover, the A6500 is substantially lighter (64 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 power pack in the A6500 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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 S3» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Sony A6500« 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 16.0 oz 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399- i Sony A6500
 
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
 
Panasonic GH5s« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 23.3 oz 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Sony A6600« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.7 in 17.7 oz 810 Y Aug 2019 1,399 i i Sony A6600
 
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
 
Sony A6300« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 14.3 oz 400 Y Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony A77« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A6500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 94 percent) than the S3, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica S3 features a medium format sensor and the Sony A6500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6500 is 73 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.8 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Leica S3 and Sony A6500 sensor measures

With 64MP, the S3 offers a higher resolution than the A6500 (24MP), but the S3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.59μm versus 3.91μm for the A6500) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the S3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the A6500, and its sensor might 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 the S3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 Sony A6500 are 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The A6500 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 Sony Alpha A6500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

S3 versus A6500 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 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
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
 
Sony A6500« APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500
 
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
 
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Sony A6600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Sony A6600
 
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony A6300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785Sony A6300
 
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A6500 provides a faster frame rate than the S3. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 4K/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A6500 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 A6500 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 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica S3, the Sony A6500, and comparable cameras.

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
 
Sony A6500«2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500
 
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
 
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Sony A6600« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y Sony A6600
 
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony A6300« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6300
 
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7

One feature that is present on the S3, but is missing on the A6500 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 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, the A6500 is one of those camera that have an additional 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 S3 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the A6500 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The S3 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A6500 only has one slot. The S3 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the A6500 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 Sony Alpha A6500 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
 
Sony A6500«YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500
 
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
 
Panasonic GH5s« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Sony A6600« »YstereomonoYYYES2.0YYYSony A6600
 
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony A6300« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6300
 
Sony A77« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-7« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7

It is notable that the S3 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the A6500 This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S3 (unlike the A6500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

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 A6500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A6500 was succeeded by the Sony A6600. 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.


Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica S3 or the Sony A6500 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica S3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (64 vs 24MP) with a 63% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • 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 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 0.70x).
  • 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).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • 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: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the A6500).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6500:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/30p versus 4K/24p).
  • 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 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 burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 807g or 64 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • 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.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (94 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2016).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (17 points each). 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

S3 17:17 A6500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S3 and the Sony A6500 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the S3 or the A6500. 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 expert reviews 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
 
Sony A6500«+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399- i Sony A6500
 
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
 
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Sony A6600« »+---- Aug 2019 1,399 i i Sony A6600
 
Sony RX10 IV« »+84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
 
Sony A6300« »+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999- i Sony A6300
 
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-7« »+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica S3:
Check Amazon price
Sony A6500:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica S3 vs Sony A6500

    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 Sony A6500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2018 October 2016
    Launch Price USD 24490 USD 1399
    Sensor Specs Leica S3 Sony A6500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 64 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 9800 x 6533 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.59 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 4.74 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-50000 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-51200 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) - 85
    DXO Color Depth (bits) - 24.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) - 13.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) - 1405
    Screen Specs Leica S3 Sony A6500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k 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 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica S3 Sony A6500
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Image StabilizationNo shake reductionIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica S3 Sony A6500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    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
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Leica S3 Sony A6500
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 NP-FW50
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    120 x 67 x 53 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz) 453 g (16.0 oz)

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