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Panasonic LX100 versus Leica M10

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and January 2017. The LX100 is a fixed lens compact, while the M10 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (LX100) and a full frame (M10) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 23.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs Leica M10

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX100 and the Leica M10. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures 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 LX100 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic LX100 vs Leica M10
Compare LX100 versus M10 top
Compare LX100 and M10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M10 is considerably larger (47 percent) than the Panasonic LX100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX100 nor the M10 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX100 has a lens build in, whereas the M10 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the M10 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

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, 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)
Panasonic LX100» 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Leica M10« 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i

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 LX100 was launched at a lower price than the M10, despite having a lens build 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs Leica M10

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 Panasonic LX100 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 LX100 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M10 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic LX100 and Leica M10 sensor measures

With 23.8MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the LX100 (12.7MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.21μm for the LX100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 4 months) than the LX100, 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.

LX100 versus M10 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the M10 offers substantially better image quality than the LX100 (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.1 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic LX100» Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Leica M10« Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony RX100 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The LX100 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M10 does not. The highest resolution format that the LX100 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic LX100 vs Leica M10

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LX100 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), while the M10 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX100, the Leica M10, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic LX100»2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Leica M10«optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 II« »- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the LX100 and the M10 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The M10 replaced the earlier Leica M Typ 262, while the LX100 does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Panasonic LX100 vs Leica M10

So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LX100 better than the Leica M10 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100:

  • 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 4K/30p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the M10 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (115x66mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the M10).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2014).

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (23.8 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.1 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the LX100 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 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.

LX100 11:11 M10

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the LX100 or the M10. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic LX100»HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Leica M10«--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i
Nikon D7500« »HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GM1« »Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony RX100 II« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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