DxOMark published their Leica M10 test results

DxOMark published their Leica M10 test results. Here is a comparison with other Leica full frame cameras (click for larger view):

Leica M10 compared with other cameras:

Here is DxOMark's conclusion:

For pure sensor performance, the Leica M10’s 24Mp CMOS chip is in the same ballpark as recent Leica full-frame chips. Its odd behavior for both color and dynamic range is worth looking out for, and it’s fair to say that although sensor quality is good, it could be improved with better implementation. Compared to the top-performing full-frame sensors we’ve tested, the M10 lags a little behind at base ISO and throughout the sensitivity range, with image quality more in line with the best APS-C chips. So better image quality is available and the M10 isn’t cheap, but first-class engineering that meets the Leica standard never is. However, a digital camera with similar proportions to analog M cameras will be hugely appealing to Leica enthusiasts. Add to that compatibility with almost all Leica lenses ever made, as well as its simplicity of operation, and the M10 will be an attractive proposition to those who appreciate the quality of the Leica system.

The Leica M10 is currently in stock in the US at AmazonPopFlash and Leica Store San Francisco.

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  • beach

    … the M10 lags a little behind at base ISO and throughout the sensitivity
    range, with image quality more in line with the best APS-C chips….

    Some accomplishment…

    • Marcus Schouten

      Does a car with 500 hp drive better than a car with 400 hp?

      • RodneyKilo

        Does a $100,000 car get you to supermarket better than a $28,000 car?

        • Tim Rule

          Been there, done that, the answer is yes! Yes it does!

  • Roberto Solari

    Anyone know how the S sensor (007) would score , is it any better than the M10?

  • David V. Kutaliya

    Excuse me, please, but stupidity …
    What do these figures have common with photography?

    M10, SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH., ISO 800, f1.4, t1/30 sec.

  • David V. Kutaliya

    Excuse me, please, but stupidity …

    What do these figures have common with photography?

    M10, SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH., ISO 800, f1.4, t1/30 sec.


    • Nothing, just interesting info.

      • David V. Kutaliya

        Dear Peter, my words in no way concerned you personally!

        • No problem – I did not mean to argue 🙂

          • David V. Kutaliya

            I understand 🙂 You are one of the first M10 owners in the world.

          • I just got lucky, really lucky. It was not planned – I just got a call from my local store minutes after the announcement…

          • David V. Kutaliya

            Of course:))

    • Chris

      The eyes are soft and the color is off, you’re basically proving their point.

    • William Bodie

      which part of the picture is supposed to be in focus? lmao

  • Silvestro Crino

    I accept that this does show that those of us that bought the M10 could have gotten better technical image quality for $6000 less than we paid for the M10… It’s a truth… I accept it and will now go out shooting with my M10….

    • David V. Kutaliya


    • lol.. This is exactly how I feel..

  • nemo295

    It only proves that numbers aren’t everything and that the special “Leica look” can’t be quantified.

    • John-F

      Absolutely agree! And furthermore, since a few years ago many photo related companies have started asking themselves questions about the correlation between DXO ratings and real world image quality.

      Indeed, how can an APS-C Nikon Coopix A possibly get a higher rating than a 39Mp $33,000 Phase One P45 Plus … ?

      How could it be that the 40Mp Phase One P40 Plus is rated at 87, only 1 point higher than the APS-C Nikon D3400 … ?

      What about the 80Mp Phase One IQ 180 (rated 91) vs the Nikon D610 (rated 94). What gives ?

      P.S. I do not work for Phase One

      • Paul

        It boggles the mind. IMHO they appear to be measuring inflated values on cameras which use a lot of software processing in camera (e.g. boosting contrast, noise reduction, etc.) prior to raw output which gives the false impression it’s the sensor they are measuring when in fact there is a lot of software processing being done in camera and that is what they are measuring, those algorithms. If they measured sharpness, colour accuracy, micro contrast and other things I bet it would level the playing field because these would be negatively impacted by said software processing but DXO does not measure these things.
        Companies like Leica and phase one thankfully still do a minimal amount of software processing in camera.
        Some of the best quality images I’ve seen are from medium format CCD’s like the Leica S2 but these rank very poorly by DXO. Go figure. The only valid conclusion is that the DXO testing methods are either incomplete or flawed…

        • David V. Kutaliya

          You are absolutely right!

          Leica M10, Carl Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50 mm f/ 1.5 ZM, ISO 100, f1.5, t1/8 sec.


        • Robert Falconer

          I totally reject this argument every time I hear it. The moment the capture medium became digital, and not film, we entered a realm where the metrics of the entire digital processing chain became valid to the discussion of the final image’s quality. So one cannot talk about in-camera software correction, or lens correction, or any other algorithmic adjustments in dismissive terms, because by definition, the image is a digital representation or expression of the gathered light, requiring A/D conversion firmware to render the result. The moment the light passes through the lens, everything then happens in software (as it were). Add to that the elaborate digital manipulation of RAW files in post, and it’s even more disingenuous to say that there is anything other than software processing happening throughout the entire digital workflow, from capture to final editing. So what constitutes a “pure” image anymore?

          • nemo295

            Of course metrics are important, but they don’t dictate how a camera’s image quality looks to me. My eyes do. And my eyes tell me that the M10 takes gorgeous images. I also own a Sony A7RII, which by every metric DXO employs, ought to blow the M10 out of the water in terms of how the final image looks. It doesn’t. Not even when I use the same lens on both cameras. The Leica’s images still have a uniquely beautiful quality that the Sony can’t match. The Sony is a fine camera, but it’s no Leica.

          • Robert Falconer

            Truthfully, Sony processing has always been a bit lackluster. You really have to take the RAWs into post to get the full benefit out of their sensors. So when we talk about “the Leica’s images”, what are we talking about? SOOC jpegs, or processed RAWs (which are immediately altered by whatever processing software you use, and how you manipulate the image)? To my eye, the best out of camera processing comes from Fuji, bar none. But once again, individual tastes and visual perception also play a huge roll in all of this.

      • David V. Kutaliya


      • El Aura

        Because MF generally lags smaller sensors in technology. Of the MF sensors you cite, P40 Plus, P45 Plus, and IQ180, the former are pretty old and latter is still relatively old. Most importantly, they are all still CCD sensors. High ISO performance improved significantly with the move to CMOS (in particular compared to older MF CCDs), as did the base ISO read noise levels.

        The last Nikon CCD was the 10 MP DX sensor used in the D200, D80, D60 and D3000, released in 2005, 2006 and 2009.

        The P45+, P40+, and IQ180 were released in 2007, 2009 and 2011. The Coolpix A, D3400, and D610 were released in 2013, 2016, 2013.

  • Trevor McCook

    Strange to see Leica products consistently and surprisingly middling the range of technical ratings chart, next to modest economical competitors. Yet the actual picture taken with a Leica rangefinder looks as though the hand of God has touched it. If Angels in lab coats could summon up a category for that, it would be the final word, and the mother of all ratings.

  • Les

    DxO’s tests are looking for specific sensor characteristics:

    Low noise at high ISO – exemplified by Sony’s “disappearing Milky Way” sensors which eliminate both noise and fine detail.

    Wide dynamic range, but with little regard to performance within that range. The perfect example of that is the old Sony “missing bits” raw files that skipped information in the middle of the exposure range (where most important detail typically resides) in favour of the extremes.

    They don’t care much about colour accuracy. As long as there’s lots of bits, it doesn’t matter if the sensor can’t tell blue from green.

    They don’t reward detail at high ISO values because they consider it noise.

    Whether or not DxO’s scores are relevant is open to debate. If you are trying to achieve a look that is consistent with their scoring system, then maybe you want one of their high-scoring cameras. On the other hand, if you want a different look, you will probably prefer a sensor/camera that does do score well by DxO’s standards.

    The M9 is a perfect example. It gets a terrible DxO score, and yet it’s capable of making some of the most wonderful images I’ve ever seen: great colour, subtle gradation, and shadows that aren’t smudged.

    • i love the m9 look! this ccd sensor is sweet as butter!

    • Aditya Gupta

      M9 was the last leica with that special “leica” look

      • Les

        The S (006) and SE use sensors of similar origin, but obviously they don’t have other aspects of the “Leica look:” small format and access to classic Leica lenses.

  • leica cameras have soul, you cannot measure that!

  • freediverx

    A camera’s value and utility are defined by more than just dynamic range.

  • James Evidon

    There seems to be little difference in performance between the M10 and the M240. The main advantage to the M10 would seem to be the size factor. I’ll keep the M240.

    As for the Leica look, I think it is much more apparent with film than with digital.

  • soundimageplus

    It is worth pointed that DxO rate the sensors in their reviews by downsizing to 8MP. Whether anyone thinks that is useful, who knows. I know I don’t.

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