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Leica S Typ 006 vs Pentax 645D

The Leica S (Typ 006) and the Pentax 645D are two professional cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and March 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a medium format sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 37.5 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 39.5 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   Pentax 645D
Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Leica S mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor 39.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 922k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
1.5 shutter flaps per second 1.1 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 156 x 117 x 119 mm, 1480 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S (Typ 006) and the Pentax 645D? 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 Pentax 645D

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica S Typ 006 and the Pentax 645D is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.

Size Leica S Typ 006 vs Pentax 645D
Compare S Typ 006 versus 645D top
Comparison S Typ 006 or 645D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645D is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Leica S Typ 006. However, the 645D is markedly heavier (17 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
 
Pentax 645D« 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
 
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
 
Canon 1D X« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.7 oz 1120 Y Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 43.4 oz 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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
 
Nikon D3S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 43.7 oz 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Pentax 645Z« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
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 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 645D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the S Typ 006, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 Pentax 645D

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 645D is 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 0.8 (S Typ 006) and 0.79. The sensor in the S Typ 006 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645D offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica S Typ 006 and Pentax 645D sensor measures

With 39.5MP, the 645D offers a higher resolution than the S Typ 006 (37.5MP), but the 645D nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.06μm versus 6.00μm for the S Typ 006) due to its larger sensor. However, the S Typ 006 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 6 months) than the 645D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. 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 Pentax 645D offers exactly the same ISO settings.

S Typ 006 versus 645D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 645D has a markedly higher DXO score than the S Typ 006 (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 Typ 006» Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
 
Pentax 645D« Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D
 
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
 
Canon 1D X« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34561080/30p23.811.8278682Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« » APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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
 
Nikon D3S« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382Nikon D3S
 
Pentax 645Z« » Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101Pentax 645Z
Neither the S Typ 006 nor the 645D 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 Pentax 645D

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S Typ 006 and the 645D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (98%), but the viewfinder of the S Typ 006 has a higher magnification than the one of the 645D (0.87x vs 0.78x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica S Typ 006 and Pentax 645D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Pentax 645D«optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n Pentax 645D
 
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
 
Canon 1D X« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 14.0 n n Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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
 
Nikon D3S« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D3S
 
Pentax 645Z« »optical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Pentax 645Z

The Pentax 645D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The S Typ 006 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the 645D uses SDXC 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 645D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Leica S Typ 006 vs Pentax 645D

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 Pentax 645D 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
 
Pentax 645D«Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 1D X« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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
 
Nikon D3S« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Nikon D3S
 
Pentax 645Z« »YstereomonoY-mini3.0---Pentax 645Z

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 645D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 645D was replaced by the Pentax 645Z, 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 and Pentax websites.


Review summary: Leica S Typ 006 vs Pentax 645D

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica S Typ 006 and the Pentax 645D? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica S (Typ 006):

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.78x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (1.5 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 220g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • 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 and 6 months of technical progress since the 645D launch.

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Advantages of the Pentax 645D:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2010).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the S Typ 006 comes out slightly ahead of the 645D (6 : 5 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 06:05 645D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S Typ 006 and the Pentax 645D 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the S Typ 006 or the 645D perform in practice. 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 Pentax 645D

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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
 
Pentax 645D«---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D
 
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
 
Canon 1D X« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X
 
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
 
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
 
Nikon D3S« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199- i Nikon D3S
 
Pentax 645Z« »--4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax 645D:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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.

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    Specifications: Leica S Typ 006 vs Pentax 645D

    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 Pentax 645D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 March 2010
    Launch Price USD 21950 USD 9995
    Sensor Specs Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 44.0 x 33.0 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 1452 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 55 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 37.5 Megapixels 39.5 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7500 x 5000 pixels 7264 x 5440 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 6.06 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 2.72 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 76 82
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.9 24.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.2 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 824 1262
    Screen Specs Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 98% 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.87x 0.78x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1.5 shutter flaps/s 1.1 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica S Typ 006 Pentax 645D
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    156 x 117 x 119 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz) 1480 g (52.2 oz)

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