Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
The Olympus PEN E-P1 and the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2009 and January 2017. The E-P1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-P1) and a full frame (M10) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 23.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus E-P1||Leica M10|
|Mirrorless system camera||Rangefinder camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Leica M mount lenses|
|12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|720/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 100-50000|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||No shake reduction|
|300 shots per battery charge||210 shots per battery charge|
|121 x 70 x 36 mm, 355 g||139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-P1 and the Leica M10 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the E-P1 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M10 is notably larger (31 percent) than the Olympus E-P1. Moreover, the M10 is substantially heavier (86 percent) than the E-P1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-P1 nor the M10 are weather-sealed.
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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-P1) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M10).
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.
|Olympus E-P1»||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Leica M10«||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Leica M10-P« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Olympus E-P3« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||499||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic G10« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||13.7 oz||380||n||Mar 2010||499||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF1« »||4.7 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||13.6 oz||380||n||Sep 2009||749||-||Panasonic GF1|
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 E-P1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 88 percent) than the M10, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
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 Olympus E-P1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Leica M10 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M10 is 280 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the E-P1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M10 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 23.8MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the E-P1 (12.2MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.29μm for the E-P1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 7 months) than the E-P1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Olympus PEN E-P1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M10 offers substantially better image quality than the E-P1 (overall score 31 points higher). The advantage is based on 3 bits higher color depth, 2.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Olympus E-P1»||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Leica M10«||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||24.4||13.2||2133||86||Leica M10|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Leica M10-P« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||-||-||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||-||-||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84||Leica M Typ 240|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic G10« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF1« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54||Panasonic GF1|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The E-P1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-P1 can use is 720/30p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M10 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-P1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-P1, the Leica M10, and comparable cameras.
|Olympus E-P1»||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P1|
|Leica M10«||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||n||4000||5.0||n||n||Leica M10|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Leica M10-P« »||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||n||n||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||n||n||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 240|
|Olympus E-P3« »||-||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||2000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic G10« »||202||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||2.6||Y||n||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF1« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic GF1|
The E-P1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the M10 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
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 Olympus PEN E-P1 and Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-P1»||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Leica M10«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Leica M10-P« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic G10« »||Y||mono||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF1« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF1|
It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-P1 does not offer wifi capability.
The M10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the E-P1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-P1 was succeeded by the Olympus E-P2.
Review summary: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-P1 or the Leica M10 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-P1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
- More compact: Is smaller (121x70mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 305g or 46 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (88 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2009).
Reasons to prefer the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (23.8 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 42%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (31 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 7 months of technical progress since the E-P1 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 8 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-P1 and the M10 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: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-P1»||Rec||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Leica M10«||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Leica M10-P« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||-||-||-||-||-||Nov 2015||5,195||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||-||-||4/5||-||-||Sep 2012||6,950||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Olympus E-P3« »||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||rev||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Rec||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||HiRec||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Panasonic G10« »||-||70/100||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2010||499||-||Panasonic G10|
|Panasonic GF1« »||85/100||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749||-||Panasonic GF1|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? 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: Olympus E-P1 vs Leica M10
|Camera Model||Olympus E-P1||Leica M10|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Rangefinder camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Leica M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2009||January 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 6595|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||35.8 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||855.62 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||23.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4032 x 3024 pixels||5952 x 3992 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.29 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.42 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-50000 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic V||Maestro II|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||No handshake reduction|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB no|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BLS-1 power pack||BP-SCL5 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||210 shots per charge|
121 x 70 x 36 mm
(4.8 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
139 x 80 x 39 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||355 g (12.5 oz)||660 g (23.3 oz)|
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