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Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

The Leica S (Typ 006) and the Leica S2 are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 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 Typ 006   Leica S2
Leica S 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 (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: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica S 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 Typ 006 vs Leica S2
Compare S Typ 006 versus S2 top
Comparison S Typ 006 or S2 rear

In this particular case, the Leica S 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 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 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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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» 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2« 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1410 g .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Leica S3« » 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2018 24,490 i i Leica S3
 
Leica SL« » 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Leica S-E Typ 006« » 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 16,900- i Leica S-E Typ 006
 
Leica S Typ 007« » 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Nikon D4« » 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« » 156 mm 117 mm 119 mm 1480 g 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 S Typ 006 was somewhat cheaper (by 5 percent) than the S2 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 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 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 Typ 006 is much more recent (by 3 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 (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 Typ 006 versus S2 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.

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
 
Leica S2« Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S2
 
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
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D
Neither the S 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: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S 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 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 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica S Typ 006, the Leica S2, and comparable 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 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
 
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
 
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

The S 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 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: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

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 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica S Typ 006»Y----mini2.0---Leica S Typ 006
 
Leica S2«Y----mini2.0---Leica S2
 
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
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Pentax 645D« »Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the S 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 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: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica S Typ 006 better than the Leica S2 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Leica S (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 modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the S2 launch.


Arguments in favor 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 Typ 006 is the clear winner of the match-up (6 : 1 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 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 06:01 S2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S 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 Typ 006 and the S2 in practical situations. 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: Leica S Typ 006 vs S2

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
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
 
Leica S2«----- Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
 
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
 
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.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica S Typ 006:
Check Ebay offers
Leica S2:
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica S 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 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 2012 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 21950 USD 22995
    Sensor Specs Leica S 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
    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 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 Typ 006 Leica S2
    Autofocus 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 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 Typ 006 Leica S2
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 power pack BP-PRO1 power pack
    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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