I looked in my camera backpack this morning and realized I had packed two of the industry’s best DSLR’s right next to each other; The Leica S2 and the Nikon D800. I reckon it’s time for a field test!
C’mon….let’s go see just how good these cameras really are.
Side by side, they looked very similar in size in my bag and the pixel count is similar as well, but there are plenty of features that set these two awesome cameras apart. Despite similar pixel counts, the medium format sensor of the S2 is nearly twice the size of the D800. The Leica offers 37.5 MP and the Nikon, 36.2 MP. The biggest difference, however, is the bit depth. Nikon offers 14 bit processing versus 16 bits for Leica’s camera. Currently there are about 40 gazillion Nikkor lenses available for the D800 while Leica offers only four : 30mm, 35mm, 70mm, and 120mm macro. The S2 also does have an adapter which will allow Hassy and Mamiya lenses to attach to the front of the weatherproof camera. Nikon’s D800 is weather resistant, but not fully weather sealed.
All that specifications aside, I really just wanted to see how well the images out of these camera looked, so I set out for The Marine Corps Memorial near my house to put these awesome machines to the test.
My conclusion is that the resolution is very very close between these two cameras, while to auto white balance tends to favor the Nikon , (but only very slightly), I think the color depth favors the Leica.
The Leica auto focus was very snappy…it’ literally jumped into focus each time I depressed the shutter. Looking through the viewfinder is nothing short of amazing. It’s huge…and so bright. This camera is a work of art. There aren’t 700 menu items, just the few things you need to make a superior image.
I think in the head to head…Leica has a slight advantage, though both cameras are stellar image making machines.
Below are the images , for your review click each to see full size and click again to zoom.