Leica M8 vs. Sigma DP2

Comparison

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M8 image
vs
DP2 image
Leica M8 Sigma DP2
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Megapixels
10.30
4.70
Max. image resolution
3936 x 2630
2640 x 1760 x 3
Note: Sigma DP2 uses Foveon X3 image sensor, which is a new type of sensor that has 3 layers of photoelements stacked together in 1 pixel location. Traditional CCD/CMOS sensors have 1 pixel for 1 color, whereas Foveon sensor captures all 3 colors (blue, green, and red) at every pixel.

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
Foveon
Sensor size
27 x 18 mm
20.7 x 13.8 mm
Sensor resolution
3930 x 2620
2655 x 1770
Diagonal
32.45 mm
24.88 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1.7 : 1
(ratio)
Leica M8 Sigma DP2
Surface area:
486.00 mm² vs 285.66 mm²
Difference: 200.34 mm² (70%)
M8 sensor is approx. 1.7x bigger than DP2 sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 2 year gap between Leica M8 (2006) and Sigma DP2 (2008). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
6.87 µm
7.8 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 0.93 µm (14%)
Pixel pitch of DP2 is approx. 14% higher than pixel pitch of M8.
Pixel area
47.2 µm²
60.84 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 13.64 µm² (29%)
A pixel on Sigma DP2 sensor is approx. 29% bigger than a pixel on Leica M8.
Pixel density
2.12 MP/cm²
1.65 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 0.47 µm (28%)
Leica M8 has approx. 28% higher pixel density than Sigma DP2.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Leica M8
Sigma DP2
Crop factor
1.33
1.74
Total megapixels
10.30
4.70
Effective megapixels
10.30
4.70
Optical zoom
1x
Digital zoom
No
No
ISO sensitivity
160, 320, 640, 1250, 2500
50,100, 200, 400, 800 (1600 and 3200 in RAW)
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
28 cm
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
41 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
n/a
Metering
Centre weighted, Multi-segment, Spot
Centre weighted, Evaluative, Spot
Exposure compensation
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No
Yes
Min. shutter speed
8 sec
15 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/8000 sec
1/2000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (rangefinder)
None
White balance presets
6
6
Screen size
2.5"
2.5"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
230,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
Secure Digital
MultiMedia, SDHC, Secure Digital
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion rechargeable
Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Weight
591 g
280 g
Dimensions
139 x 80 x 37 mm
113.3 x 59.5 x 54.6 mm
Year
2006
2008




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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Leica M8 diagonal

w = 27.00 mm
h = 18.00 mm
Diagonal =  27.00² + 18.00²   = 32.45 mm

Sigma DP2 diagonal

w = 20.70 mm
h = 13.80 mm
Diagonal =  20.70² + 13.80²   = 24.88 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

M8 sensor area

Width = 27.00 mm
Height = 18.00 mm

Surface area = 27.00 × 18.00 = 486.00 mm²

DP2 sensor area

Width = 20.70 mm
Height = 13.80 mm

Surface area = 20.70 × 13.80 = 285.66 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

M8 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 27.00 mm
Sensor resolution width = 3930 pixels
Pixel pitch =   27.00  × 1000  = 6.87 µm
3930

DP2 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Pixel pitch =   20.70  × 1000  = 7.8 µm
2655


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

M8 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 6.87 µm

Pixel area = 6.87² = 47.2 µm²

DP2 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 7.8 µm

Pixel area = 7.8² = 60.84 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

M8 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 3930 pixels
Sensor width = 2.7 cm

Pixel density = (3930 / 2.7)² / 1000000 = 2.12 MP/cm²

DP2 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Sensor width = 2.07 cm

Pixel density = (2655 / 2.07)² / 1000000 = 1.65 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

M8 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 27.00 mm
Sensor height = 18.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 10.30
r = 27.00/18.00 = 1.5
X =  10.30 × 1000000  = 2620
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 2620 × 1.5 = 3930
Resolution vertical: X = 2620

Sensor resolution = 3930 x 2620

DP2 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor height = 13.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 4.70
r = 20.70/13.80 = 1.5
X =  4.70 × 1000000  = 1770
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1770 × 1.5 = 2655
Resolution vertical: X = 1770

Sensor resolution = 2655 x 1770


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


M8 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 32.45 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.33
32.45

DP2 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 24.88 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.74
24.88

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

M8 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Leica M8, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Leica M8 is 1.33

DP2 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Sigma DP2, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sigma DP2 is 1.74

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