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Leica SL vs Nikon D7200

The Leica SL (Typ 601) and the Nikon D7200 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and March 2015. The SL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D7200 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (SL) and an APS-C (D7200) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica SL versus Nikon D7200
Leica SL Nikon D7200
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica L mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 50-50,000 ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 102,400)
Electronic viewfinder (4400k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.2 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
400 shots per battery charge1110 shots per battery charge
147 x 104 x 39 mm, 847 g 136 x 107 x 76 mm, 765 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica SL (Typ 601) and the Nikon D7200? 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 SL and the Nikon D7200. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica SL vs Nikon D7200
Compare SL versus D7200 top
Comparison SL or D7200 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7200 is somewhat smaller (5 percent) than the Leica SL. Moreover, the D7200 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the SL. 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Hasselblad X1D 150 mm 98 mm 71 mm 725 g .. Y Jun 2016 8,995i
 
Leica SL2 146 mm 107 mm 42 mm 953 g 370 Y Nov 2019 5,999 i
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Nikon D7500 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D5 160 mm 159 mm 92 mm 1415 g 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D500 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750 141 mm 113 mm 78 mm 750 g 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 D7200 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 84 percent) than the SL, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica SL features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D7200 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D7200 is 58 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica SL and Nikon D7200 sensor measures

Even though the SL has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the SL has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 3.91μm for the D7200), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the SL is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the D7200, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Leica SL (Typ 601) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D7200 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.

SL versus D7200 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Canon 5D Mark IV Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Hasselblad X1D Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102
 
Leica SL2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/60p........
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the SL provides a higher video resolution than the D7200. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SL has an electronic viewfinder (4400k dots), while the D7200 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the SL has a higher magnification than the one of the D7200 (0.80x vs 0.63x), 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 SL, the Nikon D7200, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 5D Mark IVoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Hasselblad X1D2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/2000s 2.3 n n
 
Leica SL25760 Y 3.2 2100 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL has a touchscreen, while the D7200 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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 SL 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 Leica SL and the Nikon D7200 both have 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.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SL and the D7200 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The SL supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the D7200 can use UHS-I cards.

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 SL (Typ 601) and Nikon D7200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 5D Mark IVYmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Hasselblad X1DYstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Leica SL2YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica SL (unlike the D7200) 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 SL has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the SL and the D7200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D7200 was replaced by the Nikon D7500, while the SL was followed by the Leica SL2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica SL better than the Nikon D7200 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica SL (Typ 601):

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.80x vs 0.63x).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • 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).
  • More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • 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 7 months after the D7200).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D7200:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1110 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • 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 (84 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SL is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 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. 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.

SL 15:09 D7200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica SL and the Nikon D7200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SL and the D7200 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Hasselblad X1Do81/100....4/5 Jun 2016 8,995i
 
Leica SL2....4.5/5..4/5 Nov 2019 5,999 i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D5..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica SL:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D7200:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. 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 SL vs Nikon D7200

    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 SL Nikon D7200
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica L mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2015 March 2015
    Launch Price USD 7,450 USD 1,199
    Sensor Specs Leica SL Nikon D7200
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 50 - 50,000 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 88 87
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.0 24.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.4 14.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1821 1333
    Screen Specs Leica SL Nikon D7200
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.80x 0.63x
    Viewfinder Resolution 4400k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica SL Nikon D7200
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sno E-Shutter
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support Single UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica SL Nikon D7200
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port full HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port 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 SL Nikon D7200
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL4 EN-EL15
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge1110 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 104 x 39 mm
    (5.8 x 4.1 x 1.5 in)
    136 x 107 x 76 mm
    (5.4 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 847 g (29.9 oz) 765 g (27.0 oz)

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