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Leica S Typ 006 vs S1

The Leica S (Typ 006) and the Leica S1 Pro are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and August 1996. The S Typ 006 is a DSLR, while the S1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a medium format sensor. The S Typ 006 has a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, whereas the S1 provides 26.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica S Typ 006
versus
Leica S1
Leica S Typ 006   Leica S1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Leica S mount lenses Leica R mount lenses
37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor 26.4 MP, Medium Format Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 50-1,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots no LCD
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) no rear screen
1.5 shutter flaps per second 0.01 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 339 x 214 x 119 mm, 2500 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S (Typ 006) and the Leica S1 Pro? 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 Typ 006 and the Leica S1 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.

Size Leica S Typ 006 vs Leica S1
Compare S Typ 006 versus S1 top
Comparison S Typ 006 or S1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S1 is considerably larger (278 percent) than the Leica S Typ 006. Moreover, the S1 is substantially heavier (98 percent) than the S Typ 006. It is worth mentioning in this context that the S Typ 006 is splash and dust resistant, while the 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica S Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2012 21,950i
2.
 
Leica S1 339 mm 214 mm 119 mm 2500 g .. n Aug 1996 21,490i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
4.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
5.
 
Leica S3 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 i
6.
 
Leica CL 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i
7.
 
Leica TL2 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 16,900i
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 24,490i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
13.
 
Leica S2 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1410 g .. Y Sep 2008 22,995i
14.
 
Nikon D4 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999i
15.
 
Pentax 645D 156 mm 117 mm 119 mm 1480 g 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995i
16.
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 Y Jan 2019 899 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The S1 was somewhat cheaper (by 2 percent) than the S Typ 006 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

Sensor comparison

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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a medium format sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the S1 is 4 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 0.8 (S Typ 006) and 0.85. The sensor in the S Typ 006 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the S1 offers a 1:1 aspect.

Leica S Typ 006 and Leica S1 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S Typ 006 offers a higher resolution than the S1 (26.4MP), but the S Typ 006 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 7.01μm for the S1). However, the S Typ 006 is a much more recent model (by 16 years) than the S1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 resolution advantage of the Leica S Typ 006 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S Typ 006 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica S1 are 25.7 x 25.7 inches or 65.3 x 65.3 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 20.6 inches or 52.2 x 52.2 cm for very good quality, and 17.1 x 17.1 inches or 43.5 x 43.5 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica S (Typ 006) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S1 Pro are ISO 50 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

S Typ 006 versus S1 MP

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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.282476
2.
 
Leica S1 Medium Format 26.4 5140 5140none........
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
4.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
5.
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p25.614.4314398
6.
 
Leica CL APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p24.013.3178882
7.
 
Leica TL2 APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p23.913.3175382
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
9.
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none25.113.7276393
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p25.113.7276393
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
13.
 
Leica S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.5222482
14.
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
15.
 
Pentax 645D Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440none24.612.6126282
16.
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.013.6143183
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the S Typ 006 nor the S1 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 Typ 006 and the 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica S Typ 006 and Leica S1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
2.
 
Leica S1optical nnone / none none n .. 0.01 n n
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y3.2 / 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
4.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
5.
 
Leica S3optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
6.
 
Leica CL2360 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
7.
 
Leica TL2optional n3.7 / 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
9.
 
Leica SL4400 Y3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
13.
 
Leica S2optical Y3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
14.
 
Nikon D4optical Y3.2 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
15.
 
Pentax 645Doptical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n
16.
 
Sony A64002359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the S Typ 006, but is missing on the S1 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 Typ 006 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the S1 uses external storage.

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 (Typ 006) and Leica S1 Pro and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica S Typ 006Y- / ---mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica S1-- / --------
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmono / monoYYmini3.0---
4.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Leica S3Ystereo / monoYYmini3.0Y--
6.
 
Leica CLYstereo / mono----Y--
7.
 
Leica TL2Ystereo / mono--micro3.0Y--
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Leica SLYstereo / monoYYfull3.0Y--
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Y- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007Ystereo / monoYYmini3.0Y--
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
13.
 
Leica S2Y- / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D4Ymono / monoYYmicro2.0---
15.
 
Pentax 645DYstereo / ----2.0---
16.
 
Sony A6400Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YYY

It is notable that the S Typ 006 has a hotshoe, while the S1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S Typ 006 (unlike the S1) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the S Typ 006 and the S1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S1 was replaced by the Leica S2, while the S 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 Typ 006 or the Leica S1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica S (Typ 006):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 26.4MP) with a 24% higher linear resolution.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Rear screen: Has a backside LCD (3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1.5 vs 0.01 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (160x120mm vs 339x214mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1240g or 50 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Reflects 16 years of technical progress since the S1 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Leica S1 Pro:

  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 1996).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the S Typ 006 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 2 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 Typ 006 10:02 S1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S Typ 006 and the Leica S1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 Typ 006 or the S1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica S Typ 006............ Sep 2012 21,950i
2.
 
Leica S1............ Aug 1996 21,490i
3.
 
Canon 1D X Mark II....4.5/589/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
4.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
5.
 
Leica S3............ Sep 2018 18,995 i
6.
 
Leica CL....4.2/5....4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i
7.
 
Leica TL23.5/5..3/5..4/54/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i
8.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
9.
 
Leica SL4/5..4/584/1004.5/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006............ Sep 2014 16,900i
11.
 
Leica S Typ 0074/5.......... Sep 2014 24,490i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
13.
 
Leica S2............ Sep 2008 22,995i
14.
 
Nikon D4........4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999i
15.
 
Pentax 645D5/5.......... Mar 2010 9,995i
16.
 
Sony A64004/5+4/585/1004.5/54/5 Jan 2019 899 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 Typ 006:
Check Ebay offers
Leica S1:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica S Typ 006 vs Leica 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses Leica R mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 August 1996
    Launch Price USD 21,950 USD 21,490
    Sensor Specs Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 36.0 x 36.0 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 1296 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 50.9 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 0.85x
    Sensor Resolution 37.5 Megapixels 26.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7500 x 5000 pixels 5140 x 5140 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 7.01 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 2.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 50 - 1,600 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 Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 1.5 shutter flaps/s 0.01 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards external
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single SSD
    Connectivity Specs Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 no USB
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica S Typ 006 Leica S1
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 external
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    339 x 214 x 119 mm
    (13.3 x 8.4 x 4.7 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz) 2500 g (88.2 oz)

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