Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Sony RX1
The Leica S-E (Typ 006) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and September 2012. The S-E Typ 006 is a DSLR, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a medium format (S-E Typ 006) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Leica S mount lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|1.5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g||113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S-E (Typ 006) and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1? 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 Sony RX1 is provided 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is considerably smaller (62 percent) than the Leica S-E Typ 006. It is worth mentioning in this context that the S-E Typ 006 is splash and dust resistant, while the RX1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 has a lens built in, whereas the S-E Typ 006 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the RX1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Leica S-E Typ 006»||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900||Leica S-E Typ 006|
|Sony RX1«||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||Sony RX1|
|Leica S3« »||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995||Leica S3|
|Leica M Typ 262« »||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica SL« »||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 007« »||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490||Leica S Typ 007|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica S2« »||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995||Leica S2|
|Nikon D4S« »||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1350 g||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D810« »||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D5300« »||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Pentax 645D« »||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||Pentax 645D|
|Sony RX1R II« »||113 mm||65 mm||72 mm||507 g||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A7R« »||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||Sony A7R|
|Sony A3000« »||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||Sony NEX-7|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 RX1 was launched at a lower price than the S-E Typ 006, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 S-E Typ 006 features a medium format sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 37 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.8 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 37.5MP, the S-E Typ 006 offers a higher resolution than the RX1 (24MP), but the S-E Typ 006 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 5.96μm for the RX1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the S-E Typ 006 is a much more recent model (by 2 years) than the RX1, 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 S-E Typ 006 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica S-E Typ 006 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S-E Typ 006 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inch or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inch or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony RX1 are 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica S-E (Typ 006) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..||Leica S-E Typ 006|
|Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93||Sony RX1|
|Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Leica S3|
|Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||..||..||..||..||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Leica S Typ 007|
|Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||..||..||..||..||Leica S2|
|Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82||Pentax 645D|
|Sony RX1R II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95||Sony A7R|
|Sony A3000||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81||Sony NEX-7|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The RX1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the S-E Typ 006 does not. The highest resolution format that the RX1 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the S-E Typ 006 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica S-E Typ 006, the Sony RX1, and comparable cameras.
|Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n||Leica S-E Typ 006|
|Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1|
|Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Leica S3|
|Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||n||n||Leica S Typ 007|
|Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n||Leica S2|
|Nikon D4S||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D810||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Pentax 645D||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.1||n||n||Pentax 645D|
|Sony RX1R II||2360||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0||n||n||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0||n||n||Sony A7R|
|Sony A3000||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-7|
One feature that is present on the S-E Typ 006, but is missing on the RX1 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The S-E Typ 006 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the RX1 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The S-E Typ 006 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the RX1 only has one slot. The S-E Typ 006 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the RX1 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica S-E Typ 006|
|Sony RX1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1|
|Leica S3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica S3|
|Leica M Typ 262||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M Typ 262|
|Leica SL||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica S Typ 007|
|Leica S Typ 006||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica S Typ 006|
|Leica S2||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica S2|
|Nikon D4S||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D810||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Pentax 645D||Y||stereo||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax 645D|
|Sony RX1R II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A7R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R|
|Sony A3000||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-7|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S-E Typ 006 (unlike the RX1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the S-E Typ 006 and the RX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1 was replaced by the Sony RX1R, 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 and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica S-E Typ 006 and the Sony RX1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica S-E (Typ 006):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 24MP) with a 25% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the RX1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the S-E Typ 006 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the S-E Typ 006).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S-E Typ 006 is the clear winner of the match-up (15 : 10 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 Sony RX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the S-E Typ 006 or the RX1. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 G16 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Canon G5 X vs Sony RX1
- Canon SX50 vs Sony RX1
- Canon T5 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Fujifilm X-M1 vs Leica S-E Typ 006
- Kodak AZ901 vs Sony RX1
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Nikon D500
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Olympus E-450
- Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Sony HX95
- Panasonic FZ330 vs Sony RX1
- Panasonic GH4 vs Sony RX1
- Sony RX1 vs Sony RX1R
Specifications: Leica S-E Typ 006 vs Sony RX1
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||Sony RX1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica S mount lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||September 2014||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 16900||USD 2799|
|Sensor Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||45.0 x 30.0 mm||35.8 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||1350 mm2||852.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.1 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||37.5 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7500 x 5000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.00 μm||5.96 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.78 MP/cm2||2.82 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50-102400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||93|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2534|
|Screen Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||1.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica S-E Typ 006||Sony RX1|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
160 x 120 x 80 mm
(6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||1260 g (44.4 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|
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