Leica S2 versus Leica M Typ 262
The Leica S2 and the Leica M (Typ 262) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2008 and November 2015. The S2 is a DSLR, while the M Typ 262 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on a medium format (S2) and a full frame (M Typ 262) sensor. The S2 has a resolution of 37.5 megapixel, whereas the M Typ 262 provides 23.7 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 S2 vs Leica M Typ 262
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica S2 and the Leica M Typ 262 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the S2 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M Typ 262 is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Leica S2. Moreover, the M Typ 262 is substantially lighter (52 percent) than the S2. 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|
|Leica S2»||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||49.7 oz||..||Y||Sep 2008||22,995||-|
|Leica M Typ 262«||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Nov 2015||5,195||-|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon G3 X« »||4.8 in||3.0 in||4.1 in||25.9 oz||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||5.9 in||6.3 in||3.1 in||48.9 oz||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||40.7 oz||2200||Y||Feb 2007||4,499||-|
|Leica M10« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica S Typ 007« »||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2014||24,490|
|Leica S-E Typ 006« »||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2014||16,900||-|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||-|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||-|
|Nikon D3S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||-|
|Nikon D3X« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||44.4 oz||4400||Y||Dec 2008||7,999||-|
|Nikon D3« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||45.9 oz||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999||-|
|Pentax 645D« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.7 in||52.2 oz||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||-|
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 M Typ 262 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the S2, 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 S2 vs Leica M Typ 262
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 S2 features a medium format sensor and the Leica M Typ 262 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M Typ 262 is 37 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.
With 37.5MP, the S2 offers a higher resolution than the M Typ 262 (23.7MP), but the S2 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 6.01μm for the M Typ 262). Moreover, the M Typ 262 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 years and 1 month) than the S2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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.
|Leica S2»||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||-||-||-||-||-|
|Leica M Typ 262«||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||-||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||-||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||APS-H||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.7||11.7||1078||71|
|Leica M10« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|Leica S Typ 007« »||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||4K/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Leica S-E Typ 006« »||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||-||-||-||-||-|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||-||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|Nikon D3S« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Nikon D3X« »||Full Frame||24.4||6048||4032||-||24.7||13.7||1992||88|
|Nikon D3« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||-||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
|Pentax 645D« »||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||-||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
Feature comparison: Leica S2 vs Leica M Typ 262
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S2 and the M Typ 262 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica S2 and Leica M Typ 262 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Leica M Typ 262«||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n|
|Canon G3 X« »||-||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n|
|Leica M10« »||optical||n||3.0||1037||fixed||n||4000||5.0||n||n|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||n||n|
|Leica S Typ 007« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||3.5||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 M Typ 240« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n|
|Nikon D3S« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n|
|Nikon D3X« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Nikon D3« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n|
|Pentax 645D« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||1.1||n||n|
Both the S2 and the M Typ 262 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The S2 was replaced by the Leica S Typ 006, while the M Typ 262 was followed by the Leica M10.
Review summary: Leica S2 vs Leica M Typ 262
So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica S2 better than the Leica M Typ 262 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Leica S2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (37.5 vs 23.7MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
- Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).
Arguments in favor of the Leica M (Typ 262):
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 160x120mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 730g or 52 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the S2 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M Typ 262 emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 3 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the S2 and the M Typ 262 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica S2»||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2008||22,995||-|
|Leica M Typ 262«||-||-||-||-||-||Nov 2015||5,195||-|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||-||89/100||-||5/5||-||Oct 2009||4,999||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||-||HiRec||4.5/5||-||-||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark III« »||-||-||-||rev||-||Feb 2007||4,499||-|
|Leica M10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Leica S Typ 007« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2014||24,490|
|Leica S-E Typ 006« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2014||16,900||-|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2012||21,950||-|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||-||-||4/5||-||-||Sep 2012||6,950||-|
|Nikon D3S« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199||-|
|Nikon D3X« »||-||86/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Dec 2008||7,999||-|
|Nikon D3« »||-||HiRec||5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999||-|
|Pentax 645D« »||-||-||-||4.5/5||-||Mar 2010||9,995||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. 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 do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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