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Leica S Typ 006 Comparison Review

The Leica S (Typ 006) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in September 2012 and is equipped with a medium format sensor. It offers a resolution of 37.5 megapixel.

camera

The Leica S Typ 006 has a Camera Elo of 1849. This rating puts the S Typ 006 among the top 50 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (medium format cameras), the S Typ 006 falls below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

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


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Leica S Typ 006 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica S Typ 006 vs credit card front
S Typ 006 versus credit card top view
S Typ 006 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica S Typ 006 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica S Typ 006 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica S2« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica S Typ 006 was launched in the US market at a price of $21,950. 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.

Leica S Typ 006:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Leica S Typ 006 features a medium format sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 0.8. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica S Typ 006 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Leica S Typ 006 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« » Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p----Leica S3
 
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p----Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica S2« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S2
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the S Typ 006 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the S Typ 006 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 98% and a magnification of 0.87x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Leica S Typ 006 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 Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S Typ 006
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica S3
 
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica S2« »optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n Leica S2
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n Pentax 645D

One useful feature of the S Typ 006 is a presence of 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.

 

Connection 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 (Typ 006) 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica S Typ 006Y----mini2.0---Leica S Typ 006
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S3
 
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica S2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S2
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« »Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D
 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the S Typ 006 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica S Typ 006----- Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« »----- Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« »----- Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« »----- Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica S2« »----- Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica S Typ 006 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the S Typ 006.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the S Typ 006?

The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the S Typ 006?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Leica S (Typ 006)?

Leica does not publish a shutter rating for the S Typ 006. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The S Typ 006's flash sync speed is 1/125 sec.

Does the Leica S Typ 006 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the S Typ 006 use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-PRO1, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the S Typ 006?

Yes, Leica offers the Multi-Function Handgrip S as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An 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 Summary
    Camera Model Leica S Typ 006
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012
    Launch Price USD 21950
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x
    Sensor Resolution 37.5 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7500 x 5000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 76
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 824
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 1.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 power pack
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz)

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