• 35mm 864.0mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 50 - 50,000
  • APS-C 369.0mm2
  • 20.9 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200

Buy From

Differences

Leica SL (Typ 601) advantages over Nikon D500

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.00 vs 4.22 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,821 vs 1,324 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Thinner
    39 mm vs 81 mm
    Thinner
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.80x vs 0.67x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 20.9 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 200 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/8000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D500 advantages over Leica SL (Typ 601)

  • Less expensive
    $1797 vs $5995*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 1.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1240 vs 400 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More dots on screen
    2359k vs 1040k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    200 vs 33 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    1638400 vs 50000 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Shoot 4K video
    Both provide
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Touchscreen
    Both provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Both provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Both provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Both provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D500

Review Excerpt

  • Superb build quality; Amazing EVF; Great image quality from RAW files; Good high ISO performance; Very good dynamic range; Very low shutter lag; Fast AF on stationary objects; Class-leading ~11 fps burst mode; 4K DCI and UHD video; Full HD up to 120p. Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS; Dual card slots; Decent battery life for its class.

  • Big for a full-frame mirrorless camera; Very slow buffer clearing; Contrast-detect AF system struggles with moving subjects; In-camera JPEGs are muted and dull; Very limited native lens selection (but supports many other Leica lenses via adapters); Expensive.

  • Superb image quality; Great high ISO performance; Rugged, comfortable camera body; Sharp articulating touchscreen display; Excellent AF point frame coverage; Fast continuous shooting speeds; 4K UHD video; Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth.

  • Somewhat large for an APS-C camera; Expensive for a DX camera; 4K UHD video doesn't offer full DX field-of-view; No built-in flash; Still uses contrast-detect for Live View AF; Dual slots use two different card types (XQD and SD).

The Competition

Compared to Leica M-P (Typ 240)

Leica SL (Typ 601)
Leica M-P (Typ 240)
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $6262
  • 35mm
Nikon D500
Leica M-P (Typ 240)
  • $1797
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $6262
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Pentax K-3 II

Leica SL (Typ 601)
Pentax K-3 II
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D500
Pentax K-3 II
  • $1797
  • APS-C
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
  • $797
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking

Compared to Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)

Leica SL (Typ 601)
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • Shoot 4K video
  • $7995
  • 35mm
Nikon D500
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)
  • $1797
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $7995
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Leica M-D (Typ 262)

Leica SL (Typ 601)
Leica M-D (Typ 262)
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Rear display
  • Focus peaking
  • $5995
  • 35mm
Nikon D500
Leica M-D (Typ 262)
  • $1797
  • APS-C
  • Rear display
  • Lens selection
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D7500

Leica SL (Typ 601)
Nikon D7500
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $1147
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
Nikon D500
Nikon D7500
  • $1797
  • APS-C
  • NFC
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $1147
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
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