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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.

Headline Specifications
Leica S-E Typ 006 VS Leica S2
Leica S-E Typ 006 Leica S2
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Leica S mount lenses Leica S mount lenses
37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor 37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 80-1250
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.5 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1410 g

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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Leica S2
Compare S-E Typ 006 versus S2 top
Comparison S-E Typ 006 or S2 rear

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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica S-E Typ 006» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 16,900iLeica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S2« 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995iLeica S2
 
Leica S3« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 iLeica S3
 
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195iLeica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica S Typ 007« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 iLeica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950iLeica S Typ 006
 
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499iNikon D4S
 
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299iNikon D810
 
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995iPentax 645D
 
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299iSony A7R
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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.

Leica S-E Typ 006 and Leica S2 sensor measures

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).

S-E Typ 006 versus S2 MP

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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........Leica S2
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p........Leica S3
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p........Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
 
Pentax 645D Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440none24.612.6126282Pentax 645D
 
Sony A7R Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695Sony A7R
Neither the S-E Typ 006 nor the S2 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison

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.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S2optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S2
 
Leica S3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica S3
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S Typ 006
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
 
Pentax 645Doptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n Pentax 645D
 
Sony A7R2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n Sony A7R

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.

 

Connectivity comparison

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.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S2Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica S2
 
Leica S3YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S3
 
Leica M Typ 262Ynonenone--none2.0---Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Leica S Typ 007YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006Ynonenone--mini2.0---Leica S Typ 006
 
Nikon D4SYmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D4S
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
 
Pentax 645DYstereonone--none2.0---Pentax 645D
 
Sony A7RYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R

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.

Review summary

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.

S-E Typ 006 07:01 S2

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.

Expert reviews

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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica S-E Typ 006.......... Sep 2014 16,900iLeica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S2.......... Sep 2008 22,995iLeica S2
 
Leica S3.......... Sep 2018 18,995 iLeica S3
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195iLeica M Typ 262
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Leica S Typ 007.......... Sep 2014 24,490 iLeica S Typ 007
 
Leica S Typ 006.......... Sep 2012 21,950iLeica S Typ 006
 
Nikon D4S....4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499iNikon D4S
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299iNikon D810
 
Pentax 645D......4.5/5.. Mar 2010 9,995iPentax 645D
 
Sony A7R+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299iSony A7R
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.

Leica S-E Typ 006:
Check Ebay offers
Leica S2:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    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 Specifications
    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 16900 USD 22995
    Sensor Specs Leica S-E Typ 006 Leica S2
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    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
    Crop Factor 0.8x 0.8x
    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 100-1600 ISO 80-1250 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica S-E Typ 006 Leica S2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x 0.86x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    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
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 BP-PRO1
    Body Dimensions 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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