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Leica S Typ 007 versus Nikon D5

The Leica S (Typ 007) and the Nikon D5 are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and January 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a medium format (S Typ 007) and a full frame (D5) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 37.5 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 20.7 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica S Typ 007 and the Nikon D5 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the S Typ 007 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5
Compare S Typ 007 versus D5 top
Compare S Typ 007 and D5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5 is notably larger (33 percent) than the Leica S Typ 007. Moreover, the D5 is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the S Typ 007. 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera 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)
Leica S Typ 007» 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i i
Nikon D5« 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i
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
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249 i i
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 Typ 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i
Leica S2« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i
Nikon D7500« » 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D4S« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499- i
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i
Nikon D3X« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.5 in 44.4 oz 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999- i
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i
Sony A7R« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 73 percent) than the S Typ 007, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5

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 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica S Typ 007 features a medium format sensor and the Nikon D5 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D5 is 36 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.

Leica S Typ 007 and Nikon D5 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S Typ 007 offers a higher resolution than the D5 (20.7MP), but the S Typ 007 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 6.44μm for the D5). Moreover, the D5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the S Typ 007, and its sensor might 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 Typ 007 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

S Typ 007 versus D5 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica S Typ 007» Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p----
Nikon D5« Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
Leica S-E Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----
Leica S Typ 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476
Leica S2« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
Nikon D4S« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
Nikon D3X« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-24.713.7199288
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282
Sony A7R« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.614.1274695

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D5 provides a faster frame rate than the S Typ 007. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 4K/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S Typ 007 and the D5 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica S Typ 007 and Nikon D5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica S Typ 007»optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 3.5 n n
Nikon D5«optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 n n
Leica S-E Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n
Leica S Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n
Leica S2« »optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D4S« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 11.0 n n
Nikon D3X« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 1.1 n n
Sony A7R« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 4.0 n n

Both the S Typ 007 and the D5 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The S Typ 007 replaced the earlier Leica S Typ 006, while the D5 followed on from the Nikon D4S.

Review summary: Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D5

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica S Typ 007 or the Nikon D5 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 007):

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 20.7MP) with a 34% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More compact: Is smaller (160x120mm vs 160x159mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 155g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).

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Advantages of the Nikon D5:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/30p versus 4K/24p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (73 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 6 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.

S Typ 007 06:09 D5

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the S Typ 007 and the D5 in practical situations. 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 expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica S Typ 007»----- Sep 2014 24,490 i i
Nikon D5«-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249 i i
Leica S-E Typ 006« »----- Sep 2014 16,900- i
Leica S Typ 006« »----- Sep 2012 21,950- i
Leica S2« »----- Sep 2008 22,995- i
Nikon D7500« »HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D4S« »--4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499- i
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i
Nikon D3X« »-86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999- i
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i
Sony A7R« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299- i

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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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