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Leica S Typ 007 vs Pentax 645Z

The Leica S (Typ 007) and the Pentax 645Z are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and April 2014. 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 51.1 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 007 versus Pentax 645Z
Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Leica S mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor 51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor
4K/24p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-204,800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.2 LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1260 g 156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica S (Typ 007) and the Pentax 645Z? 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

The physical size and weight of the Leica S Typ 007 and the Pentax 645Z are illustrated 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica S Typ 007 vs Pentax 645Z
Compare S Typ 007 versus 645Z top
Comparison S Typ 007 or 645Z rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Leica S Typ 007. However, the 645Z is markedly heavier (23 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 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica S Typ 007 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 24,490 i
 
Pentax 645Z 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i
 
Canon 5DS 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Hasselblad X1D 5.9 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 25.6 oz .. Y Jun 2016 8,995i
 
Leica S3 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 i
 
Leica M Typ 262 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Leica SL 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2014 16,900i
 
Leica S Typ 006 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950i
 
Leica S2 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995i
 
Nikon D4S 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.6 oz 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499i
 
Nikon D810 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Pentax 645D 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995i
 
Sony A7R 5.0 in 3.7 in 1.9 in 16.4 oz 340 Y Oct 2013 2,299i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 645Z was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 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 645Z is 6 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 0.8 (S Typ 007) and 0.79. The sensor in the S Typ 007 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645Z offers a 4:3 aspect.

Leica S Typ 007 and Pentax 645Z sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the S Typ 007 (37.5MP), but the 645Z has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 6.00μm for the S Typ 007). It is noteworthy in this context that the S Typ 007 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 645Z, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 resolution advantage of the Pentax 645Z implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645Z for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inches or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inches or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inches or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica S Typ 007 are 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm for good quality, 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for very good quality, and 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica S (Typ 007) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

S Typ 007 versus 645Z 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p........
 
Pentax 645Z Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101
 
Canon 5DS Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187
 
Canon 5DS R Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886
 
Hasselblad X1D Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p........
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.282476
 
Leica S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Pentax 645D Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440none24.612.6126282
 
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 S Typ 007 provides a higher video resolution than the 645Z. It can shoot video footage at 4K/24p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The S Typ 007 and the 645Z 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 007 has a higher magnification than the one of the 645Z (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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica S Typ 007 and Pentax 645Z in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n
 
Pentax 645Zoptical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Canon 5DSoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon 5DS Roptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Hasselblad X1D2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/2000s 2.3 n n
 
Leica S3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Leica S2optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Pentax 645Doptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n
 
Sony A7R2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 4.0 n n

The Pentax 645Z 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 007 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the 645Z uses SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The S Typ 007 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the 645Z can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

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 007) and Pentax 645Z 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Leica S Typ 007YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Pentax 645ZYstereomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 5DSYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Canon 5DS RYmonomonoY-mini3.0---
 
Hasselblad X1DYstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Leica S3YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica S Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
 
Leica S2Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D4SYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Pentax 645DYstereo----2.0---
 
Sony A7RYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

It is notable that the S Typ 007 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 645Z This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

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

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the S Typ 007 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the S Typ 007 and the 645Z are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The 645Z replaced the earlier Pentax 645D, while the S Typ 007 followed on from the Leica S Typ 006. 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

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica S Typ 007 and the Pentax 645Z? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Leica S (Typ 007):

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/60i).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.87x vs 0.78x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 290g or 19 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the 645Z).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 37.5MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
  • 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 (1037k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S Typ 007 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

S Typ 007 10:07 645Z

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica S Typ 007 and the Pentax 645Z 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 007 or the 645Z perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica S Typ 007.......... Sep 2014 24,490 i
 
Pentax 645Z....4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i
 
Canon 5DS+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Canon 5DS R+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i
 
Hasselblad X1Do81/100....4/5 Jun 2016 8,995i
 
Leica S3.......... Sep 2018 18,995 i
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Leica S-E Typ 006.......... Sep 2014 16,900i
 
Leica S Typ 006.......... Sep 2012 21,950i
 
Leica S2.......... Sep 2008 22,995i
 
Nikon D4S....4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499i
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Pentax 645D......4.5/5.. Mar 2010 9,995i
 
Sony A7R+ +82/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2013 2,299i
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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 007:
Check Amazon price
Pentax 645Z:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica S Typ 007 vs Pentax 645Z

    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 007 Pentax 645Z
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica S mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 24,490 USD 8,499
    Sensor Specs Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Medium Format Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 45.0 x 30.0 mm 43.8 x 32.8 mm
    Sensor Area 1350 mm2 1436.64 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 54.1 mm 54.7 mm
    Crop Factor 0.8x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 37.5 Megapixels 51.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7500 x 5000 pixels 8256 x 6192 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2 3.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/24p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 204,800 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II PRIME III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 101
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 4505
    Screen Specs Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
    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
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 3 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-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Leica S Typ 007 Pentax 645Z
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-PRO1 D-LI90
    Body Dimensions 160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    156 x 117 x 123 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 1260 g (44.4 oz) 1550 g (54.7 oz)

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