Leica CL vs Panasonic LX15
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (labelled Panasonic LX10 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2017 and September 2016. The CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the LX15 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (CL) and an one-inch (LX15) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica CL and the Panasonic LX15 is provided 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX15 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the CL is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX15 is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Leica CL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the CL nor the LX15 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX15 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.
Concerning battery life, the CL gets 220 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the LX15 can take 260 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack. The power pack in the LX15 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Leica CL||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||106 mm||60 mm||42 mm||310 g||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|6.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|8.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|13.||Leica TL2||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950|
|14.||Leica TL||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695|
|15.||Panasonic TZ200||111 mm||65 mm||45 mm||340 g||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|16.||Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|17.||Panasonic TZ100||111 mm||65 mm||44 mm||312 g||300||n||Jan 2016||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 LX15 was launched at a lower price than the CL, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 CL features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic LX15 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX15 is 69 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2. The LX15 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.
With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the LX15 (20MP), but the CL nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 2.41μm for the LX15) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the CL is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the LX15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 resolution advantage of the Leica CL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the CL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inches or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inches or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inches or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX15 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica CL and Panasonic LX15 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
|14.||Leica TL||optional||n||3.7 / 1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic TZ200||2330||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic TZ100||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the CL, but is missing on the LX15 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 LX15 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the CL does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration 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).
The Leica CL and the Panasonic LX15 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the CL and the LX15 write their files to SDXC cards. The CL supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the LX15 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).
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 CL (Typ 7323) and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica CL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon 2000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon 200D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Leica TL2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Leica TL||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic TZ200||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|16.||Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic TZ100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the CL has a hotshoe, while the LX15 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the CL and the LX15 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The LX15 replaced the earlier Panasonic LX7, while the CL does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica CL and the Panasonic LX15? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic 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.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 2 months after the LX15).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the CL necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 131x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the CL).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (260 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the CL comes out slightly ahead of the LX15 (14 : 13 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica CL and the Panasonic LX15 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the CL or the LX15 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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.
|1.||Leica CL||..||..||4.2/5||..||..||4/5||Nov 2017||2,795|
|2.||Panasonic LX15||..||+ +||..||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|3.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|4.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779|
|5.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|6.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|7.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|8.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399|
|10.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||3.9/5||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899|
|12.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|13.||Leica TL2||3.5/5||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2017||1,950|
|14.||Leica TL||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Nov 2016||1,695|
|15.||Panasonic TZ200||..||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|16.||Panasonic TZ90||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|17.||Panasonic TZ100||4.5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon XTi vs Leica CL
- Leica CL vs Nikon Z5
- Leica CL vs Nikon Z6
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-620
- Leica CL vs Pentax K-3 III
- Leica CL vs Sony A58
- Leica Q2 vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D800E vs Panasonic LX15
- Nikon D90 vs Panasonic LX15
- Panasonic LX15 vs Sony NEX-6
- Panasonic LX15 vs Sony NEX-F3
- Panasonic LX15 vs Sony RX100 II
Specifications: Leica CL vs Panasonic LX15
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 Model||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||24-72mm f/1.4-2.8|
|Launch Date||November 2017||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 2,795||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6014 x 4014 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.52 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 50,000 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Maestro II||Venus|
|Screen Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/25000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||no USB||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica CL||Panasonic LX15|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||220 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
106 x 60 x 42 mm
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||403 g (14.2 oz)||310 g (10.9 oz)|
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