Leica S-E Typ 006 vs S2
The Leica S-E (Typ 006) and the Leica S2 are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and September 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a medium format sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 37.5 megapixels.
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 S-E (Typ 006) and the Leica S2? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica S-E Typ 006 and the Leica S2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
In this particular case, the Leica S-E Typ 006 and the Leica S2 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the S2 is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the S-E Typ 006. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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 table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900|
|2.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995|
|3.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995|
|4.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195|
|5.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|6.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490|
|7.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|8.||Leica S1||339 mm||214 mm||119 mm||2500 g||..||n||Aug 1996||21,490|
|9.||Nikon D4S||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1350 g||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499|
|10.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|11.||Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|12.||Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The S-E Typ 006 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the S2, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a medium format sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 0.8. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 37.5 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the S-E Typ 006 and the S2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the S-E Typ 006 is much more recent (by 5 years and 11 months) than the S2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The Leica S-E (Typ 006) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S2 are ISO 80 to ISO 1250 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|6.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|8.||Leica S1||Medium Format||26.4||5140||5140||none||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89|
|10.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|11.||Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
|12.||Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S-E Typ 006 and the S2 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 viewfinder in the S-E Typ 006 offers a wider field of view (98%) than the one in the S2 (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the S-E Typ 006 has a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.86x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica S-E Typ 006 and Leica S2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|2.||Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|3.||Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|4.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|5.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|6.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||n||n|
|7.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|8.||Leica S1||optical||n||none / none||none||n||..||0.01||n||n|
|9.||Nikon D4S||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|10.||Nikon D810||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Pentax 645D||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.1||n||n|
|12.||Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n|
The S-E Typ 006 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the S2 uses Compact Flash or SDHC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The S-E Typ 006 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the S2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 S-E (Typ 006) and Leica S2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica S2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Leica S3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica S1||-||- / -||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D4S||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D810||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Pentax 645D||Y||stereo / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony A7R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the S-E Typ 006 and the S2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S2 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 006, while the S-E Typ 006 was followed by the Leica S Typ 007. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica S-E Typ 006 or the Leica S2 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Leica S-E (Typ 006):
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (98% vs 96%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.86x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 150g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the S2 launch.
Advantages of the Leica S2:
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the S-E Typ 006 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 1 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S-E Typ 006 and the Leica S2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the S-E Typ 006 and the S2 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900|
|2.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995|
|3.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995|
|4.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195|
|5.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|6.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490|
|7.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|8.||Leica S1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 1996||21,490|
|9.||Nikon D4S||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499|
|10.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|11.||Pentax 645D||5/5||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|12.||Sony A7R||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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 SX420 vs Leica S2
- Canon SX510 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Canon T4i vs Leica S2
- Canon T6i vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Leica M9 vs Leica S2
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Nikon D90
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Panasonic GX800
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Pentax K-5
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Sony A6300
- Leica S2 vs Nikon Z6
- Leica S2 vs Panasonic TZ100
- Leica S2 vs Sony A99 II
Specifications: Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Leica S2
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 S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica S mount lenses||Leica S mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||September 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 16,900||USD 22,995|
|Sensor Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||45.0 x 30.0 mm||45.0 x 30.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||1350 mm2||1350 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.1 mm||54.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||37.5 Megapixels||37.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7500 x 5000 pixels||7500 x 5000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||6.00 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||2.78 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 1,250 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%||96%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||1.5 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDXC cards||CF or SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Leica S2|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||1260 g (44.4 oz)||1410 g (49.7 oz)|
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