Editor’s Correction: in a previous version of this article we slipped up and compared it to the Leica M-E. We apologize for this mistake. The new Leica M indeed bests the Canon 5D Mk III’s sensor. Edits are down below. We apologize for this mistake.
DxO Mark has just released their analysis of the new Leica M’s sensor. From what I’ve been reading from other tests around the web, people are really digging the new camera. But according to DxOMark’s lab tests, more affordable full frame cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony are still quite far ahead of it. To be specific, theSony A99, Sony RX1 and Nikon D800 all best the new Leica M. However, the M’s sensor trumps the Canon 5D Mk III.
So what significance does this have? Despite the fact that all images are still taken by photographers and they need to have a creative vision first, consider the prices. The Leica M has a full frame CMOS sensor, weather sealing, can use an EVF, shoot video, and can also use Leica R lenses. The LCD screen also enjoyed major upgrade from the Leica 9–the camera’s predecessor. The M is also more affordable than the M was on launch too.
But the Canon 5D Mk III, Nikon D800, and Sony A99 all can do what the Leica can, and more at a much more affordable price. Canon also has a much more complete system than Leica despite the sensor not being up to par. (The RX1 isn’t weather sealed though.) Granted they aren’t as compact or have the build quality of the Leica, but every photographer works on a budget. My buddy Jim Fisher over at PCMag.com sprung for one of these and now I’m wondering if he has buyer’s remorse.