Leica C-LUX vs CL
The Leica C-LUX and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2018 and November 2017. The C-LUX is a fixed lens compact, while the CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (C-LUX) and an APS-C (CL) sensor. The C-LUX has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the CL provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Leica C-LUX||Leica CL|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-360mm f/3.3-6.4||Leica T mount lenses|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)||ISO 100-50000|
|Electronic viewfinder (2330k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1240k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|370 shots per battery charge||220 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 67 x 46 mm, 340 g||131 x 78 x 45 mm, 403 g|
Body comparison: Leica C-LUX vs CL
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica C-LUX and the Leica CL is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica CL is notably larger (35 percent) than the Leica C-LUX. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the C-LUX nor the CL are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the C-LUX has a lens built in, whereas the CL is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The power pack in the C-LUX can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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.
|Leica C-LUX»||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica CL«||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795||Leica CL|
|Canon M6« »||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon SX730« »||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Leica D-LUX 7« »||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195||Leica D-LUX 7|
|Leica TL2« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
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 C-LUX was launched at a lower price than the CL, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Leica C-LUX vs CL
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica C-LUX features an one-inch sensor and the Leica CL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the CL is 220 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the C-LUX (20MP), but the CL nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 2.41μm for the C-LUX) due to its larger sensor. However, the C-LUX is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the CL, and its sensor might 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 the CL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Leica C-LUX has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are ISO 100 to ISO 50000 (no boost).
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.
|Leica C-LUX»||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica CL«||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica CL|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon SX730« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Leica D-LUX 7« »||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 7|
|Leica TL2« »||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica TL|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony RX100 VI|
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, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Leica C-LUX vs CL
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the CL offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the C-LUX (2360k vs 2330k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica C-LUX and Leica CL along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica C-LUX»||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica CL«||2360||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||8000||10.0||n||n||Leica CL|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon SX730« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Leica D-LUX 7« »||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||4000||11.0||n||Y||Leica D-LUX 7|
|Leica TL2« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||4000||7.0||n||n||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||-||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Leica TL|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||4000||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The C-LUX has one, while the CL does not. While the built-in flash of the C-LUX is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the C-LUX and the CL write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Leica C-LUX vs CL
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 Leica CL (Typ 7323) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica C-LUX»||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica CL«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica CL|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon SX730« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Leica D-LUX 7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Leica D-LUX 7|
|Leica TL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony RX100 VI|
It is notable that the CL has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The C-LUX does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the C-LUX and the CL are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Leica.
Review summary: Leica C-LUX vs CL
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica C-LUX and the Leica CL? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Leica C-LUX:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 1040k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the CL requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x67mm vs 131x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the CL).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the CL).
Advantages of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2017).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the CL comes out slightly ahead of the C-LUX (11 : 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.
In any case, 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 and the CL 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.
Expert reviews: Leica C-LUX vs CL
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 C-LUX»||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica CL«||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795||Leica CL|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon SX730« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Leica D-LUX 7« »||-||-||-||-||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195||Leica D-LUX 7|
|Leica TL2« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695||-||Leica TL|
|Panasonic LX100 II« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999||Panasonic LX100 II|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||HiRec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||449||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Sony RX100 VI« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199||Sony RX100 VI|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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Specifications: Leica C-LUX vs Leica CL
|Camera Model||Leica C-LUX||Leica CL|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-360mm f/3.3-6.4||Leica T mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2018||November 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1049||USD 2795|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.6 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||370.52 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6014 x 4014 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.92 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||6.52 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125-12800 ISO||100-50000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2330k dots||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1240k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB no|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BP-DC15 power pack||BP-DC12 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||220 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
113 x 67 x 46 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||340 g (12.0 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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