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Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1

Portability
78
Imaging
65
Features
23
Overall
48
Leica M-Monochrom front
 
Sony Alpha a1 front
Portability
61
Imaging
82
Features
93
Overall
86

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Key Specs

Leica M-Monochrom
(Full Review)
  • 18MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 2.5" Fixed Display
  • ISO 160 - 10000
  • No Video
  • Leica M Mount
  • 600g - 139 x 80 x 37mm
  • Announced May 2012
Sony a1
(Full Review)
  • 50MP - Full frame Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 100 - 32000 (Raise to 102400)
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 7680 x 4320 video
  • Sony E Mount
  • 737g - 129 x 97 x 70mm
  • Released January 2021
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Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Overview

Lets take a closer look at the Leica M-Monochrom and Sony a1, both Pro Mirrorless cameras by rivals Leica and Sony. There is a sizable difference among the resolutions of the M-Monochrom (18MP) and a1 (50MP) but they feature the same exact sensor measurements (Full frame).

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The M-Monochrom was unveiled 9 years earlier than the a1 which is a fairly significant difference as far as camera tech is concerned. Both of these cameras offer different body type with the Leica M-Monochrom being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera and the Sony a1 being a SLR-style mirrorless camera.

Before diving in to a step-by-step comparison, below is a short view of how the M-Monochrom scores versus the a1 when considering portability, imaging, features and an overall mark.

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Reasons to pick Leica M-Monochrom over the Sony a1

 M-Monochrom a1 

Reasons to pick Sony a1 over the Leica M-Monochrom

 a1 M-Monochrom 
ReleasedJanuary 2021May 2012Newer by 106 months
Display typeTiltingFixed Tilting display
Display sizing3"2.5"Larger display (+0.5")
Display resolution1440k230kCrisper display (+1210k dot)
Touch friendly display Easily navigate

Common features in the Leica M-Monochrom and Sony a1

 M-Monochrom a1 
Manual focus Very precise focus
Selfie screen Neither features selfie screen

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Physical Comparison

In case you're planning to travel with your camera, you have to take into account its weight and volume. The Leica M-Monochrom enjoys exterior measurements of 139mm x 80mm x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5") with a weight of 600 grams (1.32 lbs) and the Sony a1 has sizing of 129mm x 97mm x 70mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8") accompanied by a weight of 737 grams (1.62 lbs).

Look at the Leica M-Monochrom and Sony a1 in our newest Camera & Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Bear in mind, the weight of an ILC will vary based on the lens you have at the time. The following is the front view scale comparison of the M-Monochrom versus the a1.

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 size comparison

Using size and weight, the portability score of the M-Monochrom and a1 is 78 and 61 respectively.

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 top view buttons comparison

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Sensor Comparison

Usually, it is tough to see the gap in sensor dimensions simply by seeing specs. The picture below will provide you a greater sense of the sensor sizing in the M-Monochrom and a1.

All in all, each of the cameras offer the same exact sensor sizing but not the same MP. You can anticipate the Sony a1 to produce more detail having an extra 32MP. Greater resolution will allow you to crop images a little more aggressively. The more aged M-Monochrom will be disadvantaged in sensor innovation.

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 sensor size comparison

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Screen and ViewFinder

Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Leica M-Monochrom Portrait photography info
Sony a1 Portrait photography info
71
you can focus manually
good resolution (18 megapixels)
great sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
doesn't have liveview
89
manual focus
great flash sync speed (1/400s)
megapixel count excellent (50 megapixels)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
includes face detection focus
supports RAW files
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Street Comparison

Leica M-Monochrom Street photography info
Sony a1 Street photography info
65
great sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
fixed screen
lack of image stabilization
79
tilting screen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
supports RAW files
features focus by touch
environment sealing
above average high ISO (32,000)
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Sports Comparison

Leica M-Monochrom Sports photography highlights
Sony a1 Sports photography highlights
45
good resolution (18MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
doesn't have liveview
very slow continuous shooting (2.0 fps)
lack of shutter priority mode
lack of image stabilization
low battery life (350 CIPA)
has no phase detect auto focus
91
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000s)
quiet shutter (1/32,000s)
high frames per second (30.0 frames per second)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
megapixel count excellent (50 megapixels)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
includes tracking autofocus
environment sealing
great battery pack (530 shots)
supports phase detect auto focus
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Travel Comparison

Travel photography with Leica M-Monochrom
Travel photography with Sony a1
54
good resolution (18 megapixels)
doesn't have Timelapse mode
low battery life (350 per charge)
display is not selfie friendly
74
great battery pack (530 CIPA)
environment sealing
has bluetooth
features focus by touch
megapixel count excellent (50MP)
display isn't selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Landscape photography with Leica M-Monochrom
Landscape photography with Sony a1
58
you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Leica M mount)
good resolution (18 megapixels)
great sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
screen is somewhat small (2.5 inch)
doesn't have liveview
lack of image stabilization
low battery life (350 per charge)
doesn't have Timelapse mode
88
manual focus
switch lenses (Sony E mount)
pretty good screen size (3")
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
megapixel count excellent (50 megapixels)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
above average high ISO (32,000)
supports RAW files
environment sealing
great battery pack (530 CIPA)
two card slots
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Vlogging Comparison

Leica M-Monochrom as a Vlogging camera
Sony a1 as a Vlogging camera
9
lack of video recording
37
built-in touchscreen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
includes face detection focus
high res video (7680 x 4320 resolution)
comes with external microphone socket
display isn't selfie friendly
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Leica M-Monochrom vs Sony a1 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Leica M-Monochrom and Sony a1
 Leica M-MonochromSony Alpha a1
General Information
Manufacturer Leica Sony
Model Leica M-Monochrom Sony Alpha a1
Class Pro Mirrorless Pro Mirrorless
Announced 2012-05-10 2021-01-26
Physical type Rangefinder-style mirrorless SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type CCD BSI-CMOS
Sensor size Full frame Full frame
Sensor measurements 36 x 24mm 35.9 x 24mm
Sensor area 864.0mm² 861.6mm²
Sensor resolution 18MP 50MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 3:2 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution 5212 x 3472 8640 x 5760
Maximum native ISO 10000 32000
Maximum enhanced ISO - 102400
Lowest native ISO 160 100
RAW support
Lowest enhanced ISO - 50
Autofocusing
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points - 759
Lens
Lens mount Leica M Sony E
Number of lenses 59 133
Focal length multiplier 1 1
Screen
Type of display Fixed Type Tilting
Display sizing 2.5 inch 3 inch
Resolution of display 230 thousand dots 1,440 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch screen
Display tech TFT color LCD with a sapphire glass LCD cover -
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Optical (rangefinder) Electronic
Viewfinder resolution - 9,437 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage - 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.68x 0.9x
Features
Min shutter speed 32s 30s
Max shutter speed 1/4000s 1/8000s
Max quiet shutter speed - 1/32000s
Continuous shutter rate 2.0 frames/s 30.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range no built-in flash no built-in flash
Flash options Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction, Wireless, Hi-speed sync
External flash
AEB
White balance bracketing
Max flash synchronize 1/180s 1/400s
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions - 7680x4320 (30p, 25p, 23.98)
Maximum video resolution None 7680x4320
Video file format - XAVC S, XAVC HS, H.264, H.265
Microphone port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless None Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) Yes
GPS None None
Physical
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 600g (1.32 pounds) 737g (1.62 pounds)
Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5") 129 x 97 x 70mm (5.1" x 3.8" x 2.8")
DXO scores
DXO Overall score not tested not tested
DXO Color Depth score not tested not tested
DXO Dynamic range score not tested not tested
DXO Low light score not tested not tested
Other
Battery life 350 photos 530 photos
Form of battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model - NP-FZ100
Self timer Yes (2 or 12 sec) Yes
Time lapse recording
Storage type SD/SDHC card Dual SD/CFexpress Type A slots (UHS-II supported)
Card slots Single 2
Retail cost $7,950 $6,498