Is Leica a lightweight camera for landscape photography while hiking?

I read on another blog (I read it here) that a Leica M is a good camera for taking landscape photos while hiking because it’s allegedly light weight.

Let’s see how Leica stacks up against an Olympus Pen-F with the 12-40mm f/2.8 “PRO” lens.

Leica M (Typ 262): 21.2 oz
Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.4 ASPH (most lightweight Leica lens): 6.9 oz

Total: 28.1 oz

Olympus Pen-F: 15.1 oz
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 “PRO” lens: 13.5 oz

Total: 28.6 oz

So it’s about the same weight (less than half an ounce difference), but the advantage of the Olympus setup is that you can zoom from 12mm to 40mm (equivalent to 24mm to 80mm). With the Leica, you are stuck at one focal length. Plus with Olympus you get image stabilization for sharp landscape photos when the light becomes more dim. Image stabilization more than makes up for the Leica having a full-frame sensor.

I previously tested the Olympus 12-40mm lens and determined that it was as sharp as prime lenses, although sharpness is a bourgeois concept so maybe you shouldn’t care about that anyway. However, if you are going to be a sharpness Nazi, then you should probably get another brand of full-frame camera that has a high-resolution sensor of more than 40 megapixels. The Leica M (Typ 262) has only 24 MP, so if you are imagining making these huge 40 x 60″ prints, the Leica doesn’t have the resolution that you really need for that.

* * *

If people were actually reading my blog and leaving comments I can imagine at least two types of angry comments.

1. You FOOL! The Leica is FULL FRAME! Any camera with less than FULL FRAME makes garbage photos! You MORON!

2. You FOOL! No lens is sharper than LEICA. NO LENS! You MORON!

Sorry, I don’t buy into either of these arguments. The real test would be to make some really big prints, one from photos taken with the Olympus setup, and one with the Leica setup, and do an experiment to find out if knowledgeable viewers can consistently identify that the Leica print is somehow superior without knowing in advance which cameras and lenses were used.

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