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Canon 40D vs Leica D-LUX 5

The Canon EOS 40D and the Leica D-LUX 5 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and September 2010. The 40D is a DSLR, while the D-LUX 5 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 5) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 10 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D
versus
Leica D-LUX 5
Canon 40D   Leica D-LUX 5
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Canon EF mount lenses 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
no Video 720/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge400 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Leica D-LUX 5? 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 Canon 40D and the Leica D-LUX 5 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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.

Size Canon 40D vs Leica D-LUX 5
Compare 40D versus D-LUX 5 top
Comparison 40D or D-LUX 5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica D-LUX 5 is considerably smaller (55 percent) than the Canon 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the D-LUX 5 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX 5 has a lens built in, whereas the 40D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 40D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 40D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the D-LUX 5 can take 400 images on a single charge of its BP-DC10 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
2.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
4.
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
5.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
6.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
8.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
9.
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
12.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
14.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
15.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
16.
 
Olympus E-30 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 D-LUX 5 was launched at a lower price than the 40D, despite having a lens built in. 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

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica D-LUX 5 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the D-LUX 5 is 86 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.4. The sensor in the 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the D-LUX 5 offers a 4:3 aspect. The D-LUX 5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Canon 40D and Leica D-LUX 5 sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the 40D offers a slightly higher resolution than the D-LUX 5 (10MP), but the 40D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5) due to its larger sensor. However, the D-LUX 5 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 1 month) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica D-LUX 5 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

40D versus D-LUX 5 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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
1.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
2.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.510.4-58339
3.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
4.
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
5.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
6.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
7.
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
8.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
9.
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
11.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
12.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p19.810.8-30343
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
14.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
15.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
16.
 
Olympus E-30 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.453055
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
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. The D-LUX 5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX 5 can use is 720/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 40D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 40D, the Leica D-LUX 5, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
2.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
3.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 1100Doptical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
6.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
7.
 
Canon 450Doptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
8.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon 400Doptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
12.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
14.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-30optical Y2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y

One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the D-LUX 5 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D-LUX 5 uses SDXC cards.

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 Canon EOS 40D and Leica D-LUX 5 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon 1100DYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon 60DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 50DY- / ---mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon 450DY- / ---mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 400DY- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
11.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-30Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the D-LUX 5) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 40D and the D-LUX 5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the D-LUX 5 was followed by the Leica D-LUX 6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 40D better than the Leica D-LUX 5 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).

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Reasons to prefer the Leica D-LUX 5:

  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/60p video.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 40D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 40D).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the 40D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 40D emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 10 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.

40D 12:10 D-LUX 5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Leica D-LUX 5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 40D and the D-LUX 5 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
2.
 
Leica D-LUX 5........4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
4.
 
Canon 1100D..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
5.
 
Canon 60D5/5+..79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
6.
 
Canon 50D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
7.
 
Canon 450D..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
8.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
9.
 
Canon 400D..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
10.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
11.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
12.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
13.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
14.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
15.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
16.
 
Olympus E-30......71/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2008 1,299i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica D-LUX 5:
Check Ebay offers

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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 40D vs Leica D-LUX 5

    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 Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3
    Launch Date August 2007 September 2010
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 7.85 x 5.89 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 46.2365 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 9.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 4.4x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 2.14 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 21.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Leica D-LUX 5
    Battery Type BP-511A BP-DC10
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    110 x 65 x 43 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 271 g (9.6 oz)

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