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.
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.
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.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Leica S Typ 007||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|5.||Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica S3||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica S-E Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica S2||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1410 g||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D4S||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1350 g||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 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.
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.
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).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
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.
|1.||Leica S Typ 007||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|5.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|6.||Leica S3||Medium Format||64.0||9800||6533||4K/24p||25.6||14.4||3143||98|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||none||24.8||13.7||2478||90|
|8.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|9.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||25.1||13.7||2763||93|
|10.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|11.||Leica S2||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.5||2224||82|
|12.||Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89|
|13.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|14.||Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
|15.||Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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.
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.
|1.||Leica S Typ 007||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||n||n|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Canon 5DS||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Hasselblad X1D||2360||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.3/s||n||n|
|6.||Leica S3||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Leica SL||4400||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|9.||Leica S-E Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|10.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|11.||Leica S2||optical||Y||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5/s||n||n|
|12.||Nikon D4S||optical||Y||3.2 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Nikon D810||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Pentax 645D||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.1/s||n||n|
|15.||Sony A7R||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||4.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
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).
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.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica S Typ 007||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Hasselblad X1D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica S3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica SL||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Leica S-E Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica S2||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D4S||Y||mono / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D810||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Pentax 645D||Y||stereo / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony A7R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
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.
The 645Z is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the S Typ 007 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the S Typ 007 was succeeded by the Leica S3. Further information on the features and operation of the S Typ 007 and 645Z can be found, respectively, in the Leica S Typ 007 Manual (free pdf) or the online Pentax 645Z Manual.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 (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.
|1.||Leica S Typ 007||4/5||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||24,490||ebay.com|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||5/5||..||3.5/5||..||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon 5DS||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||..||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||amazon.com|
|5.||Hasselblad X1D||..||o||..||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica S3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2018||18,995||amazon.com|
|7.||Leica M Typ 262||..||..||..||..||..||..||Nov 2015||5,195||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica SL||4/5||..||4/5||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica S-E Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2014||16,900||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica S2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2008||22,995||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D4S||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||5/5||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299||ebay.com|
|14.||Pentax 645D||5/5||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2010||9,995||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony A7R||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299||ebay.com|
|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.
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.
- Canon 1D Mark IV vs Leica S Typ 007
- Canon 7D vs Pentax 645Z
- Canon G1 X vs Pentax 645Z
- Canon SX530 vs Leica S Typ 007
- Canon T8i vs Leica S Typ 007
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Leica S Typ 007
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D200
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Sony NEX-F3
- Nikon A1000 vs Pentax 645Z
- Nikon D800E vs Pentax 645Z
- Panasonic GM5 vs Pentax 645Z
- Pentax 645Z vs Sony NEX-F3
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 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 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|
|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%|
|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 Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.5 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica S Typ 007||Pentax 645Z|
|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 Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
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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