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Pentax K-1 II versus Leica S Typ 007

The Pentax K-1 II and the Leica S (Typ 007) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2018 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (K-1 II) and a medium format (S Typ 007) sensor. The Pentax has a resolution of 36.2 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 37.5 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: Pentax K-1 II vs Leica S Typ 007

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax K-1 II and the Leica S Typ 007. 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 measures 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 – the K-1 II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Pentax K-1 II vs Leica S Typ 007
Compare K-1 II versus S Typ 007 top
Compare K-1 II and S Typ 007 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S Typ 007 is notably larger (27 percent) than the Pentax K-1 II. Moreover, the S Typ 007 is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the K-1 II. 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 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.

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
Pentax K-1 II» 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
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
Canon R« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.3 in 23.3 oz 370 Y Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
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 006« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 44.4 oz .. Y Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
Leica S2« » 6.3 in 4.7 in 3.1 in 49.7 oz .. Y Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
Nikon Z6« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Olympus E-5« » 5.6 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 30.8 oz 750 Y Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Pentax K-1« » 5.4 in 4.3 in 3.4 in 35.6 oz 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A850« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 3.2 in 31.6 oz 880 Y Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The K-1 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 92 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Pentax K-1 II vs Leica S Typ 007

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Pentax K-1 II features a full frame sensor and the Leica S Typ 007 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S Typ 007 is 57 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.8. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Pentax K-1 II and Leica S Typ 007 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S Typ 007 offers a higher resolution than the K-1 II (36.2MP), but the S Typ 007 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 4.88μm for the K-1 II) due to its larger sensor. However, the K-1 II is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 5 months) than the S Typ 007, 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.

Unlike the S Typ 007, the K-1 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

K-1 II versus S Typ 007 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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
Pentax K-1 II» Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i----Pentax K-1 II
Leica S Typ 007« Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p----Leica S Typ 007
Canon R« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p----Canon R
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 006« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-23.912.282476Leica S Typ 006
Leica S2« » Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000-----Leica S2
Nikon Z6« » Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p----Nikon Z6
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
Olympus E-5« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.610.551956Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Pentax K-1« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
Sony A850« » Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032-23.812.2141579Sony A850

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the S Typ 007 provides a better video resolution than the K-1 II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/24p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Pentax K-1 II vs Leica S Typ 007

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The K-1 II and the S Typ 007 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax K-1 II, the Leica S Typ 007, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Pentax K-1 II»optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
Leica S Typ 007«optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 3.5 n n Leica S Typ 007
Canon R« »3690 n 3.2 2100 swivel Y 8000 8.0 n n Canon R
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Leica S-E Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S-E Typ 006
Leica S Typ 006« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S Typ 006
Leica S2« »optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 1.5 n n Leica S2
Nikon Z6« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
Olympus E-5« »optical Y 3.0 920 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Pentax K-1« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
Sony A850« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 3.0 n Y Sony A850

One feature that differentiates the K-1 II and the S Typ 007 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The K-1 II reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the S Typ 007 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The K-1 II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S Typ 007 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

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
Pentax K-1 II»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
Leica S Typ 007«YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Leica S Typ 007
Canon R« »YstereomonoY-mini3.1Y-YCanon R
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Leica S-E Typ 006« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S-E Typ 006
Leica S Typ 006« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S Typ 006
Leica S2« »Y----mini2.0---Leica S2
Nikon Z6« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
Olympus E-5« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Pentax K-1« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
Sony A850« »Y----mini2.0---Sony A850

Both the K-1 II and the S Typ 007 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The S Typ 007 replaced the earlier Leica S Typ 006, while the K-1 II followed on from the Pentax K-1.

Review summary: Pentax K-1 II vs Leica S Typ 007

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Pentax K-1 II and the Leica S Typ 007? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Pentax K-1 II:

  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • 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 full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.4 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (137x110mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 250g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (92 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the S Typ 007 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica S (Typ 007):

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/60i).
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-1 II is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 4 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.

K-1 II 11:04 S Typ 007

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the K-1 II or the S Typ 007 handle or 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 table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Pentax K-1 II»-79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
Leica S Typ 007«----- Sep 2014 24,490 i i Leica S Typ 007
Canon R« »rev79/1004.5/5-4/5 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
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 006« »----- Sep 2012 21,950- i Leica S Typ 006
Leica S2« »----- Sep 2008 22,995- i Leica S2
Nikon Z6« »--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
Olympus E-5« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Pentax K-1« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Sony A7R III« »HiRec90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Sony A850« »-75/100-4/54.5/5 Aug 2009 1,999- i Sony A850

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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