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Leica T vs Nikon B500

The Leica T (Typ 701) and the Nikon Coolpix B500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2014 and January 2016. The T Typ 701 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the B500 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T Typ 701) and a 1/2.3-inch (B500) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 16.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon 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 T
versus
Nikon B500
Leica T   Nikon B500
Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
Leica T mount lenses 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5
16.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-12,500 ISO 80-6,400
Viewfinder optional No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.7 LCD, 1230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge600 shots per battery charge
134 x 69 x 33 mm, 384 g 114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica T (Typ 701) and the Nikon Coolpix B500? 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 T and the Nikon B500 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 T Typ 701 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the B500 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, red).

Size Leica T vs Nikon B500
Compare T Typ 701 versus B500 top
Comparison T Typ 701 or B500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon B500 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Leica T. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T Typ 701 nor the B500 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 has a lens built in, whereas the T Typ 701 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The power pack in the T Typ 701 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica T 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850i
2.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
3.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
4.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
5.
 
Canon 100D 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549i
6.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
7.
 
Leica TL 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Nov 2016 1,695i
8.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica X2 124 mm 69 mm 52 mm 345 g 450 n May 2012 1,995i
10.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
11.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
12.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
13.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
14.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
17.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 B500 was launched at a lower price than the T Typ 701, despite having a lens built 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.

Sensor comparison

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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica T features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon B500 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the B500 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the T Typ 701 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the B500 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica T and Nikon B500 sensor measures

With 16.2MP, the T Typ 701 offers a slightly higher resolution than the B500 (15.9MP), but the T Typ 701 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.33μm for the B500) due to its larger sensor. However, the B500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the T Typ 701, 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 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 T (Typ 701) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix B500 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

T Typ 701 versus B500 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
2.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
3.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
4.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
5.
 
Canon 100D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
6.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p........
7.
 
Leica TL APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
8.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
9.
 
Leica X2 APS-C 16.1 4928 3264none........
10.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
11.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
12.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
13.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
14.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
16.
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p........
17.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the B500 provides a faster frame rate than the T Typ 701. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Leica is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T Typ 701 and the B500 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the T Typ 701 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica T and Nikon B500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Leica Toptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon B500none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
3.
 
Canon M3optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
4.
 
Canon M10none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
5.
 
Canon 100Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
6.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
7.
 
Leica TLoptional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Leica X2optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon B600none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
11.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon P900921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
13.
 
Nikon L840none n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
14.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ821166 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic G72360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
17.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The T Typ 701 has a touchscreen, while the B500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T Typ 701 and the B500 write their files to SDXC 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 T (Typ 701) and Nikon Coolpix B500 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica TYstereo / mono---2.0Y--
2.
 
Nikon B500-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
3.
 
Canon M3Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon M10-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 100DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
7.
 
Leica TLYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X2Y- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon B600-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
11.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Nikon P900-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Nikon L840-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
16.
 
Panasonic G7Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
17.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the T Typ 701 has a hotshoe, while the B500 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the T Typ 701 and the B500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T Typ 701 was replaced by the Leica TL, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica T and the Nikon B500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica T (Typ 701):

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.7" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • 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 April 2014).

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the T Typ 701 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T Typ 701 emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 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.

T Typ 701 13:10 B500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica T and the Nikon B500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T Typ 701 and the B500 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica T3/5......4/54/5 Apr 2014 1,850i
2.
 
Nikon B500..+....4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
3.
 
Canon M34/5o..75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
4.
 
Canon M10..........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
5.
 
Canon 100D4/5+..78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549i
6.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
7.
 
Leica TL..........4/5 Nov 2016 1,695i
8.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica X23/5......3/54/5 May 2012 1,995i
10.
 
Nikon B600..+....3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
11.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
12.
 
Nikon P900......77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
13.
 
Nikon L840..+ +....3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
14.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ82..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
16.
 
Panasonic G74/5+ +..80/1005/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
17.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 349 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica T:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon B500:
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 T vs Nikon B500

    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 T Nikon B500
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Leica T mount lenses 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5
    Launch Date April 2014 January 2016
    Launch Price USD 1,850 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Leica T Nikon B500
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 16.2 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4944 x 3278 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 4.37 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,500 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 75 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1082 ..
    Screen Specs Leica T Nikon B500
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica T Nikon B500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica T Nikon B500
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Leica T Nikon B500
    Battery Type BP-DC13 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge600 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 69 x 33 mm
    (5.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 384 g (13.5 oz) 541 g (19.1 oz)

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