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Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon D80

The Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon D80 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and August 2006. The D-LUX 5 is a fixed lens compact, while the D80 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 5) and an APS-C (D80) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Leica D-LUX 5
versus
Nikon D80
Leica D-LUX 5   Nikon D80
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 Nikon F mount lenses
10 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 10 MP – APS-C sensor
720/60p Video no Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 460k dots 3.0" LCD – 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge600 shots per battery charge
110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g 132 x 103 x 77 mm, 668 g
Leica D-LUX 5:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D80:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon D80? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon D80 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon D80
Compare D-LUX 5 versus D80 top
Comparison D-LUX 5 or D80 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D80 is considerably larger (90 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 5 nor the D80 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 D80 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 D80 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D-LUX 5 gets 400 shots out of its BP-DC10 battery, while the D80 can take 600 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
2.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
4.
 
Canon G7 X 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699i
5.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
6.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
9.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849i
11.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
12.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
13.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
14.
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
15.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
16.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499i
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D-LUX 5 was launched at a lower price than the D80, 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

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 Leica D-LUX 5 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Nikon D80 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D80 is 711 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 1.5. The sensor in the D-LUX 5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D80 offers a 3:2 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.

Leica D-LUX 5 and Nikon D80 sensor measures

Even though the D80 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 10 megapixels. This implies that the D80 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the D-LUX 5 is much more recent (by 4 years and 1 month) than the D80, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Leica D-LUX 5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D80 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

D-LUX 5 versus D80 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.510.4-58339
2.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.811.926062
4.
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
5.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
6.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p19.810.8-30343
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.711.043042
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i19.410.732139
9.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none22.611.8103769
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p18.49.5-72729
11.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
12.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
13.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
14.
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
15.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.411734
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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D-LUX 5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D80 does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX 5 can use is 720/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D80 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica D-LUX 5 and Nikon D80 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G7 Xnone n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5/s Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n2.0 / 207 tilting n 1/2000s 2.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s n n
15.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n3.0 / 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The D-LUX 5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D80 uses SDHC 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 Leica D-LUX 5 and Nikon D80 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.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G7 X-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymono / mono---2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D2XsY- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono / ---mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the D-LUX 5 and the D80 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D80 was replaced by the Nikon D90, 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 Leica and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica D-LUX 5 better than the Nikon D80 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Leica D-LUX 5:

  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/60p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D80 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 132x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D80).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D80 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D80:

  • 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX 5 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 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 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.

D-LUX 5 11:09 D80

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon D80 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX 5 or the D80. 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
 
Leica D-LUX 5........4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699i
2.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +..81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
4.
 
Canon G7 X4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699i
5.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
6.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849i
9.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1............ Sep 2006 849i
11.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
12.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
13.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
14.
 
Nikon D2Xs............ Jun 2006 4,699i
15.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
16.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5....74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499i
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica D-LUX 5:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D80:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon D80

    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 Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 August 2006
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    Sensor Technology CCD CCD
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.85 x 5.89 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 46.2365 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 4.4x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.14 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 21.59 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/60p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 524
    Screen Specs Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.62x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica D-LUX 5 Nikon D80
    Battery Type BP-DC10 EN-EL3e
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge600 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 65 x 43 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 271 g (9.6 oz) 668 g (23.6 oz)
    Leica D-LUX 5:
    Check Ebay offers
    Nikon D80:
    Check Ebay offers

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