Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Pentax K-S1
The Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Pentax K-S1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2019 and August 2014. The M-E Typ 240 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera, while the K-S1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M-E Typ 240) and an APS-C (K-S1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Pentax K-S1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Pentax K-S1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The K-S1 can be obtained in four different colors (black, grey, orange, white), while the M-E Typ 240 is only available in silver.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-S1 is somewhat larger (1 percent) than the Leica M-E Typ 240. However, the K-S1 is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the M-E Typ 240. It is worth mentioning in this context that the M-E Typ 240 is splash and dust resistant, while the K-S1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||121 mm||93 mm||70 mm||558 g||410||n||Aug 2014||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica M10-R||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jul 2020||8,295||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica Q2||130 mm||80 mm||92 mm||718 g||370||Y||Mar 2019||4,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 5||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||812 g||350||n||Jul 2019||1,249||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica M10-P||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||123 mm||91 mm||73 mm||678 g||410||Y||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax K-500||130 mm||97 mm||71 mm||646 g||710||n||Jun 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Pentax K-3||131 mm||100 mm||77 mm||800 g||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|17.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The K-S1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 81 percent) than the M-E Typ 240, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M-E Typ 240 features a full frame sensor and the Pentax K-S1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the K-S1 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 23.7MP, the M-E Typ 240 offers a higher resolution than the K-S1 (20MP), but the M-E Typ 240 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.01μm versus 4.28μm for the K-S1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M-E Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 9 months) than the K-S1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the K-S1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica M-E Typ 240 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M-E Typ 240 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Pentax K-S1 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica M-E (Typ 240) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax K-S1 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||25.2||14.2||2821||94|
|3.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||25.7||14.4||3169||98|
|4.||Leica M10-R||Full Frame||40.9||7864||5200||none||25.3||14.3||2924||95|
|5.||Leica Q2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/30p||26.4||13.5||2491||96|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 5||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||584||65|
|7.||Leica M10-P||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||25.1||14.1||2739||93|
|8.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||24.8||13.7||2478||90|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|11.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|16.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the K-S1 provides a faster frame rate than the M-E Typ 240. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/25p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M-E Typ 240 and the K-S1 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the M-E Typ 240 has a higher magnification than the one of the K-S1 (0.68x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M-E Typ 240, the Pentax K-S1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2 / 2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Leica M10-R||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.5/s||n||n|
|5.||Leica Q2||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 5||2360||n||3.0 / 1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Leica M10-P||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Leica M10||optical||n||3.0 / 1037||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|12.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/6000s||5.4/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Pentax K-500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/6000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|17.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The K-S1 has one, while the M-E Typ 240 does not. While the built-in flash of the K-S1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M-E Typ 240 and the K-S1 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica M-E (Typ 240) and Pentax K-S1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||Y||mono / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Leica M10-R||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|5.||Leica Q2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Leica M10-P||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|8.||Leica M10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Pentax K-500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Pentax K-3||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
The M-E Typ 240 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the K-S1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the K-S1 was succeeded by the Pentax K-S2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Pentax websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M-E Typ 240 or the Pentax K-S1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica M-E (Typ 240):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (23.7 vs 20MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.63x).
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 9 months of technical progress since the K-S1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax K-S1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/25p).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 122g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (81 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2014).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M-E Typ 240 comes out slightly ahead of the K-S1 (10 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M-E Typ 240 or the K-S1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Leica M-E Typ 240||..||..||..||..||..||..||Jun 2019||3,999||amazon.com|
|2.||Pentax K-S1||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499||amazon.com|
|4.||Leica M10-R||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||..||4/5||Jul 2020||8,295||amazon.com|
|5.||Leica Q2||..||..||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2019||4,995||amazon.com|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 5||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2019||1,249||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica M10-P||..||..||3/5||..||..||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||amazon.com|
|8.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Pentax K-S2||4.5/5||..||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax K-500||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||549||ebay.com|
|15.||Pentax K-3||4/5||..||..||83/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A9 II||..||..||5/5||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499||amazon.com|
|17.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon R vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Canon T6i vs Pentax K-S1
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Leica M-E Typ 240
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Nikon D3400
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Panasonic GH3
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Panasonic GX800
- Leica SL2 vs Pentax K-S1
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Pentax K-S1
- Nikon Z30 vs Pentax K-S1
- Pentax K-1 II vs Pentax K-S1
- Pentax K-S1 vs Sony HX95
Specifications: Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Pentax K-S1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Pentax K mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2019||August 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 3,999||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.8 x 23.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||23.7 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5952 x 3976 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.01 μm||4.28 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.77 MP/cm2||5.45 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/25p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1061|
|Screen Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|Focus System||Manual Focus||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/6000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||no shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica M-E Typ 240||Pentax K-S1|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
139 x 80 x 42 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
121 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||680 g (24.0 oz)||558 g (19.7 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.