Best Leica camera alternatives in 2023

The Fujifilm X100V is a decent Leica alternative at a fraction of the price
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

If you have been looking at buying a Leica camera, you will know that the name 'Leica' comes with a very heavy price tag, especially for a new camera. 

Thankfully, there are great Leica alternatives on the market that give you the feel and usage of owning one of the best Leica cameras, but at a lower price. We've picked five cameras that are similar to rangefinder cameras in looks but offer better or more advanced features than a Leica, which you might find very beneficial while roaming the streets or documenting your latest reportage brief.

We've tested every camera on this list, and chosen a range of options to cover your different budgets and needs. The best Leica alternatives on this list still aren't cheap cameras, and some have seen a price increase due to popularity, but they are all still more affordably priced than their Leica equivalents.

best Leica alternatives: our top picks

The best Leica alternatives in 2023

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(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The best fixed lens Leica alternative


Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4
Lens: 23mm (equivalent) f/2
Burst rate: 11fps
AF points: 117-area hybrid phase/contrast AF
LCD: 3-inch, 1.62m-dot tilting touchscreen
Viewfinder: Hybrid OVF/OLED EVF, 3.69m dots
Dimensions: 128.0 x 74.8 x 53.3mm
Weight: 478g (including battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

Sharp lens, great sensor
Tilting touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

No stabilization
Fixed focal length (no zoom)

The Fujifilm X100V has bags of style, but it's backed up by serious tech. Fifth in a line of prime-lens compact cameras, the X100V omits zoom range in favor of a catch-it-all focal length and supreme image quality. In our review, we found it to be a very enjoyable camera to use.

The X100V has been put together with street photographers in mind; it has dial-based controls, and the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder is one of the best examples of its type on any mirrorless camera. All of this does come at a price, but if you can justify the expense, it’s worth it.

Read our full Fujifilm X100V review for more details

(Image credit: Nikon)
The best Leica alternative from Nikon


Sensor: 20.9MP APS-C CMOS
Lens mount: Nikon Z
Burst rate: 11fps
AF points: 209 phase detection points
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots
Dimensions: 126.5 x 93.5 x 60mm
Weight: 395g (body only)

Reasons to buy

Gorgeous style
Small and nippy

Reasons to avoid

One UHS-I slot
Below-average battery life

The Nikon Z fc takes the look of a traditional SLR film camera to a whole new level of retro design, and although it's not a rangefinder-style camera, neither was the original Leica M1 camera.

If you're tempted by Nikon’s full-frame Z system, but want something that's cheaper and more retro-looking, this camera is a perfect choice. The Nikon Z fc is a similar prospect to the Nikon Z50; it's an APS-C camera that's also stuffed with features. So, while you don’t get full-frame, you do get a whole lot else, inducing a generous AF system, wide dynamic range, solid high-ISO performance, and more. 

Nikon tried a retro throwback a few years ago with the Df DSLR and missed the mark, but we were pleased to discover that the firm knocked it out of the park with the Z fc. The best Nikon Z lenses is still relatively new, but there are a lot out there already. This makes the Nikon Z fc a smart investment with an eye on the future.

Read our full Nikon Z fc review for more details

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
The best rangefinder style Leica alternative


Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
Burst rate: 11fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic (30fps with crop)
AF points: 91 Intelligent Hybrid (contrast and phase detection)
LCD: 3-inch tilting “fold-down” touchscreen LCD, 1.62m dots
Viewfinder: Hybrid OVF and OLED EVF (3.69m dots)
Dimensions: 140.5 x 82.8 x 46.1mm
Weight: 497g (including battery and memory card)

Reasons to buy

Unique, absorbing experience
Beautiful image quality

Reasons to avoid

Takes getting used to
Not cheap

The Fujifilm X-Pro 3 handles like a very traditional camera, and it's designed to be used like a classic rangefinder camera. With a “hidden” fold-down LCD to discourage you from checking your photos and to keep you in the moment, it gives you a choice between a modern EVF and an optical-style rangefinder.

Although it can be a steep learning curve learning to use and shoot on the X-Pro3, if you're looking for a Leica alternative this comes very close.

Read our full Fujifilm X-Pro3 review for more details

(Image credit: Alistair Campbell/Digital Camera World)
Canon's latest EOS-M model is an affordable Leica alternative


Sensor: 32.5MP APS-C CMOS
Lens mount: Canon EF-M
Burst rate: 14fps continuous, 30fps RAW burst mode
AF points: Dual Pixel CMOS phase detect, 143 / 99 points (depending on lens)
LCD: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Viewfinder: No
Dimensions: 119.6 x 70.0 x 49.2 mm
Weight: 398g (body only, with battery and SD card)

Reasons to buy

Impressive 32.5MP APS-C sensor
Formidable burst shooting

Reasons to avoid

No in-body stabilization
Limited native lenses

While this might seem an odd choice to some, the Canon EOS M6 II does offer a compact size with the addition of a Hotshoe EVF in the old style of a Leica viewfinder giving you that compact 'go-anywere' feel.

Pairing a seriously impressive APS-C sensor with super-fast burst shooting and a beast of an autofocus system, this pocketable camera is more than just suited for street or reportage shooting. It excels at it, given that it’s packing more megapixels than the majority of cameras on this list, it’s also a great choice if you’ve one eye on printing your images in a large format.

Read our full Canon EOS M6 Mark II review for more details

(Image credit: Adam Duckworth)
Panasonic's full-frame mirrorless is a great Leica alternative


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots
Viewfinder: Electronic, 2,360k dots
Lens: L-mount
Continuous shooting speed: 7fps
Video: Uncropped 4K UHD up to 60/50p
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

Best-in-class video performance
Magnesium frame and vari-angle screen
Dual SD card slots

Reasons to avoid

HDMI port not full-size
Only contrast AF

Despite its compact size, the Panasonic S5 shares the impressive 24MP CMOS sensor housed in the Lumix S1, but with improved AF. It also has a tough weather-resistant body and delivers up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization with compatible lenses. Its standout features include class-leading dynamic range and 4K video recording, as well as 96MP high-resolution RAW+JPEG capture. We couldn't say enough good things about it in our review. 

The Lumix S5 is smaller than the Lumix S1 and S1R before, and cheaper. It matches the Lumix S1 for stills and beats it for video, coming close to the capabilities of the far more expensive Lumix S1H. What a camera!

Read more: Panasonic Lumix S5 review for more details

You might also like the best camera for street photography, or one of the best retro cameras

Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.