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Leica C-LUX Comparison Review

The Leica C-LUX is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in June 2018 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.

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The Leica C-LUX has a Camera Elo of 2302. This rating puts the C-LUX among the top 30 percent of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the C-LUX falls among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Leica C-LUX
Fixed lens compact camera
24-360mm f/3.3-6.4
20 MP, 1" Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)
Electronic viewfinder (2330k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1240k dots
Fixed touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge
113 x 67 x 46 mm, 340 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Leica C-LUX vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica C-LUX vs credit card front
C-LUX versus credit card top view
C-LUX and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica C-LUX alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons 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
 
Leica C-LUX 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
 
Canon SX730« » 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« » 113 mm 64 mm 41 mm 279 g 330 n Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-T20« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
 
Leica D-LUX 7« » 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Nov 2018 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX 7
 
Leica CL« » 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
 
Panasonic LX100 II« » 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic TZ90
 
Sony RX100 VI« » 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica C-LUX was launched in the US market at a price of $1,049. 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.

Leica C-LUX:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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.

The Leica C-LUX features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica C-LUX among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Leica C-LUX sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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
 
Leica C-LUX 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-T20
 
Leica D-LUX 7« » Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p----Leica D-LUX 7
 
Leica CL« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
 
Panasonic LX100 II« » Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p----Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic TZ90
 
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX100 VI

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The C-LUX indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the C-LUX can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the C-LUX has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2330k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.53x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Leica C-LUX in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica C-LUX2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X-T20
 
Leica D-LUX 7« »2764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y Leica D-LUX 7
 
Leica CL« »2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 1/4000s 7.0 n n Leica TL2
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »2764 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 1/4000s 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TZ90« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ90
 
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 VI

One convenient feature of the C-LUX is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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 Leica C-LUX and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
 
Leica C-LUX-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica C-LUX
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YFujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-T20« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X-T20
 
Leica D-LUX 7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YLeica D-LUX 7
 
Leica CL« »Ystereomono----Y--Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »Ystereomono--micro3.0Y--Leica TL2
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TZ90« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ90
 
Sony RX100 VI« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony RX100 VI

It is notable that the C-LUX offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

The C-LUX has a zoom lens built in (8.8-132.0mm f/3.3-6.4), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 360mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the C-LUX in practical situations. 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).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica C-LUX--4.5/5-4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm XF10« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Jul 2018 499 i i Fujifilm XF10
 
Fujifilm X-E3« »+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-E3
 
Fujifilm X-T20« »++82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i Fujifilm X-T20
 
Leica D-LUX 7« »----4.5/5 Nov 2018 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX 7
 
Leica CL« »----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
 
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
 
Panasonic LX100 II« »+82/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
 
Panasonic TZ90« »++-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449- i Panasonic TZ90
 
Sony RX100 VI« »++83/1004/5-4.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica C-LUX FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the C-LUX.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the C-LUX based on?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the C-LUX?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Leica C-LUX?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Leica C-LUX has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Leica C-LUX?

The C-LUX offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Leica C-LUX feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Leica C-LUX support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the C-LUX use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-DC15, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica C-LUX
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-360mm f/3.3-6.4
    Launch Date June 2018
    Launch Price USD 1049
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1" Sensor
    Sensor Size 13.2 x 8.8 mm
    Sensor Area 116.16 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 15.9 mm
    Crop Factor 2.7x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.41 μm
    Pixel Density 17.18 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 80-25600 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2330k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1240k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-DC15 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 113 x 67 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 340 g (12.0 oz)

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